It’s not enough for a new innovation to make a splash and come charging out of the gate, taking the world by storm. It has to keep those hearts and minds, always staying fresh and relevant. That’s why any concept worth its salt will change and evolve, courtesy of new trends.

Social media is no exception to this. In order to not end up as yesterday’s news, social media trends come along and rewrite (or add to) many of the rules and ways of doing things. Meanwhile, on the part of the user, it’s important that they remain informed on what those latest trends are; after all, who wants to be left behind?

Although the year is roughly half over, there are many concepts and trends predicted at the beginning of the year that are still in the process of emerging, as can be seen by checking out “Asian Social Media Trends That Could Be Heading Westwards”. And below you’ll find a quartet of today’s trends worth keeping an eye on.

Say It With Pictures

4 Emerging Social Media Trends You Should Know About

The research and advisory firm Forrester recently studied over three million user interactions on seven popular social media networks and discovered that Instagram posted an impressive 4.21% engagement rate, far outdistancing Facebook’s .07% and Twitter’s .03%. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that images are a major influence. Social media is trending more towards visual, with sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat rising in popularity. We are a sight-driven species, and that’s what gets our interest.

Mobile! Mobile! Mobile!

4 Emerging Social Media Trends You Should Know About

Did we happen to mention “mobile”? Computer usage trends are showing people turning away from their (relatively) big old desktop systems and going mobile. Tablets and, more frequently, smart phones, are becoming the default way for people to engage each other online. Whether you own a business, work in e-commerce marketing, or are just trying to increase your own personal Internet presence for whatever reason, you need to think mobile.

Privacy Is King

4 Emerging Social Media Trends You Should Know About

All it takes are a few high-profile news stories about hackers either breaking into government or financial institutions and stealing data, or going into cloud storage sites and stealing embarrassing photos and other sensitive information, to get everyone thinking about privacy and security.

Not only that, there are the stories of people who post images or statuses that end up turning around and biting them in the rear at a later time. Everyone wants more privacy and more security to protect it. There has been an uptick in anonymous social networks (e.g. Snapchat) as demand for privacy has gone up.

The Internet Of Things

4 Emerging Social Media Trends You Should Know About

Now, everything from your bathroom scale, to your pet’s collar, to your car, can have a sensor and an Internet connection. That’s what’s called the Internet of Things, and it’s growing fast. As the IoT gets more sophisticated, it’s possible that these devices can post to your social network of choice without you actually having to post it yourself.

As an actual, real-life example, I run with an iPod and it keeps track of my time and distance. It is linked to Nike Plus, which in turn is linked to my Facebook account. If I activate certain settings, the iPod will send the results of my latest run to Nike Plus, which in turn posts it on Facebook. Yes, this is now a thing. If you want to know more about it, check out “Big Data And The Internet Of Things.”

These are just a few trends out there, but they are pretty significant ones. Buckle your virtual seat belts, because there are more changes coming in the next year or so.