The Future of Social Media in 2020

Our social media predictions for this year 🤔

Kerry, what’s the future of social media for 2020?

The Success of TikTok will influence the social landscape.

Because of this, I think we’ll see brands encouraging more creative user-generated content as well as Instagram adding new TikTok style features this year.

TikTok has taken the social media world by storm and seen massive growth in 2019. Its user base is already mover 500 million people, despite only launching in 2016.

Hugely popular with Gen Z, TikTok is all about bringing new creative content to people, rather than being another network that is just about following people in order to see their content. Popular content can go viral really quickly too.

What is TikTok? They call themselves a “destination for short-form mobile videos.” 

Video creators can share vertical, looping videos between 15 and 60 seconds in length. An extensive editing toolkit, with an array or filters and effects, and a massive music library, lets users tune and score their content to clever and comedic effect. Read more on what the network is all about and how brands can use it in this Hootsuite article.

How will this impact 2020?

Brands seem to be being shared on TikTok by users rather than being particularly active themselves, so there’s a lot of opportunities for brands to encourage user-generated content (and potentially influencer work).

If your brand is product based, fun or creative, and used by young people, there may well be some TikTok content out there already!                                

In these early stages of a social network, it’s still all about fun (their tagline is ‘Make Your Day’) and relatively few adverts. But this will undoubtedly change. 

I predict that:

  • More big brands will start encouraging people to share content on the network, whether that’s through video or campaigns based on TikTok challenges
  • We’ll see a lot more advertising on the network throughout 2020 (although hopefully not too much)
  • If Facebook don’t buy it, I’m sure we’ll see some new Instagram features emulating the best of TikTok

 

Callum, what’s the future of social media for 2020?

The customer journey through social will lengthen. 

The paid ads landscape is getting more and more competitive and as a result, people are inundated with ads constantly. Because of this inundation, ads are, to an extent, losing their potency. 

They can still be hugely effective if utilised in the correct way, but putting an ad in front of someone who’s never heard of you before and expecting a purchase immediately isn’t going to work. 

The focus moving forward needs to be on nurturing the relationship through multiple touchpoints including, awareness, engagement and lots of value-adding content.

 

Daria, what’s the future of social media for 2020?

Content will become more creative, authentic and ‘in the moment’. 

People have been posting less and less on social. I definitely noticed I have and it’s also something I’ve observed among people I follow, especially on Instagram. 

Source

It doesn’t mean we are not interested in using Instagram as much as before though. Quite the opposite. Nowadays, we are so focused on creating the “best” content and being more picky about what we post. What’s more, we are using Instagram Stories more often than scrolling through the feed, hence the recent increase in Instagram Stories advertising as well. Less edited and more authentic content was an important part of social media activity in 2019 and it’s not going to change this year.

I think in 2020 we are still going to focus on publishing honest, authentic and less edited content, showing the real side of the business/brand. In addition to that, as we know, Instagram started experimenting with hiding likes on posts and this might actually boost the numbers of posts published daily. We won’t be putting as much attention to the editing process but rather post more creative and at the same time real content, that’s not focusing just on the highlights. 

Considering we’re more interested in watching Stories than scrolling through posts, I think there will be even more video content as it’s one of the bests if not the best form of content that significantly increases your reach on all of the social media platforms. And because people are getting more and more creative (Kerry mentioned TikTok which is another proof of that) the visual, video content (could be also stop-motion, boomerang or any movement/animation added to the picture) will be winning on social in 2020.


Alice, what’s the future of social media for 2020?

Platforms will continue to try and make social media a more positive experience for the user. 

Back in 2018, Facebook announced it was changing its algorithm to prioritize content from friends and family over that from brands and businesses. Mark Zuckerberg cited ‘wellbeing’, and a need to ‘encourage meaningful interactions between people’ for the changes. The same year, Instagram rolled out the ‘Your Activity’ feature, which, among other things, sent daily reminders aimed at helping users to manage their social media usage. 

2019 saw further attempts to counter the negative effect social media is having on its users. Both Facebook and Instagram trialed hiding likes, with Instagram also banning face-altering filters that mimic the effects of plastic surgery, and placing restrictions on the promotion of weight loss products. This comes in response to research that linked the usage of the platforms with poor mental health and low self-esteem. 

My prediction for social in 2020 is that platforms will continue to roll out changes aimed at challenging the negative connotations to do with low mental health, increased stress, screen addiction and poor self-image.

It’s likely they’ll also keep exploring how to rebrand the platforms as places for social interactions with friends and family, for generating discussion and promoting content creation. This is an interesting contradiction to newer features on Instagram, that have expanded the channel into an online shopping service, suggesting more focus on consumerism. 

The effect of both changes will likely alter influencer marketing as we know it, although I’m not sure how successful they’ll be in generating positive change that effectively combats the negatives of social media. 

 

What are your predictions for the world of social media in 2020? Let us know! And if you’re planning to up your game on social this year make sure to check out our upcoming courses as well as services to see how we can help you.