No one can predict the future. But if you work in Digital Marketing, you get pretty good at recognising Social Media trends. In this blog post we’ve compiled a list of what features and developments we expect to see on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Pinterest and LinkedIn in the next year.
Facebook: Suggested Content, Whatsapp Integrations and Metaverse
First things first, you are going to keep seeing more content from people you don’t know. In a bid to increase the engagement on the site, Facebook will show you more “top-tier content” rather than pictures of your aunt’s holiday. Facebook could regain some competitive edge back from Tiktok if they manage to get their content recommendations right. It looks as though up to 40% of content on your home feed will be recommended by the AI algorithm. You can always switch over to the Feeds tab to see content only from your family and friends.
Our second prediction for Facebook are “Click to Whatsapp” ads – we’re actually surprised that this is not already available. You can already run “Click to Message” ads that force users to interact with your business account through the Messenger app (most relevant in France, but not so widely used in the rest of Europe), so why is Whatsapp not available yet? More than 50 million businesses around the world are already leveraging Whatsapp for Business and it seems makes sense to us that Facebook will integrate this into the ads package.
Finally, Facebook (i.e Meta) really, really wants you to jump onto the Metaverse train, and one way to do that is to get users excited about customizing their digital avatars. There will be more opportunities for sponsored items and brand collaborations for avatars as Meta encourages people to express individuality through their digital selves on other Meta platforms. Think Bitmoji, but for Facebook.
Instagram: Reels, Monetization and Augmented Reality
Like its older, (less trendy) brother Facebook, we expect Instagram to lean into AI-recommended content. Especially when it comes to Reels. Instagram is clawing back market share from Tiktok any way it can, and one of the major developments has been Reels. So we can expect Reels to continue expanding to become the most used function of the app.
While Reels is not news per se, there will be new features and opportunities within the product. For example, we predict that live shopping will be on Instagram’s development agenda next year. It makes sense for Instagram to continue to find new opportunities for creators to monetize their content and shoppable reels seems like an easy win (as already proved by Tiktok).
And again, all roads lead to the Metaverse. It is likely that in order to inspire the next generation of digital creators, we expect Instagram to add in new forms of content creation including Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D posts. This will serve as a stepping stone towards getting creators interested in designing Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for the Metaverse.
Twitter: Subscriptions, Trial & Error and Crypto?
It’s certainly been a tumultuous year for Twitter. Now that Elon Musk stands firmly at the helm, we can expect big changes from the platform.
Clearly, Musk wants to recoup some of the $44 billion he spent on Twitter, not to mention the $3 billion that Twitter is apparently losing everyday. Therefore, the payment subscription model simply has to work, one way or another.
We are also speculating that perhaps Musk is willing to try something completely new and we could see some sort of payment processing happening through Twitter as well. There has been some speculation to this effect and it will be interesting to find out if there is any meat behind them. Afterall, Musk’s first successes came from Paypal, it might not be too farfetched if Twitter becomes associated with cryptocurrency trading.
One thing is for sure, we expect there to be a lot of trial and error on the app as Twitter settles into its ‘new normal’ and desperately tries to stay solvent.
LinkedIn: Video & Audio Connections
The Professional Social Network is continuing its rapid growth and has ‘record levels’ of engagement this year. This can be partly attributed to the fact that LinkedIn is slowly pivoting away from only professional content and is becoming more like a general social media app (which you can browse during work hours). In an effort to keep up the momentum, we can expect LinkedIn to build on its video and audio connection tools. This will allow for in-app calls for interviews for example, as well as more content generation in the form of topical livestreams, webinars or podcasts.
Pinterest: Global Expansion and E-Commerce
Everyone’s online mood-board boomed during the pandemic as its loyal users and Pinterest newbies were stuck in-doors looking for new furnishings and DIY tips to pass the time. Pinterest’s audience is mostly based in the US (at 85 million active users), so naturally North America also drives most of the ad revenue. Now Pinterest is setting its sights on the world advertising stage. We believe that Pinterest is set to expand its advertising service to more markets next year as it continues to grow.
It is clear that Pinterest is interested in facilitating sales over the platform. Shortly after instating Bill Ready (former commerce boss at Google) as CEO, Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann said in a statement: “In our next chapter, we are focused on helping Pinners buy, try and act on all the great ideas they see”. Pinterest is only going to get stronger in the next year and will become a real contender in the e-commerce race.
Tiktok: Data Privacy and Monetization
The fastest growing, and arguably the most controversial app at the moment, Tiktok is under constant scrutiny because of its ties to the Chinese Government and its data protection (or lack thereof). In 2023, we foresee that there will be further investigations and Tiktok might be forced to clearly separate its data from the CCP.
Despite the legal road bumps, Tiktok is still ploughing ahead with live-stream commerce and in-app shopping. Following the huge success of this new online shopping experience in Asia, Tiktok is determined to bring it to Europe and the USA. This will not only boost revenue for Tiktok, it will also give creators more possibilities to monetize their content and stay loyal to the platform.