While many are relieved to see the end of 2021 and a return to normalcy on the horizon, we still have a long way to go, with the full economic effects of the epidemic likely to play out over decades and in diverse ways.
With the pandemic-induced lockdowns affecting online behaviors and igniting all new trends – including audio social, the accelerated expansion of eCommerce, and the expanding metaverse for digital connection – this will have repercussions for digital marketing.
There’s also the change to working from home and the migration to hybrid work patterns, both of which will have an influence on overall digital connectivity. All of these factors will play a role in what comes next in the social media sector, particularly from the main platforms.
So, what can you anticipate from Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the social media giants in 2022? With the pandemic disturbances subsiding, it appears that the next stages will be easier to anticipate, with more stable paths emerging – however our projections for 2020 and 2021, despite the upheaval, were also very correct.
There’s a lot going on, so here’s a breakdown of significant trends you can expect to see emerge over the next 12 months, platform by platform.
Despite increased competition and a regular stream of issues (both real and imagined), Facebook remained at the top of the social media trends in 2021, with its 2.9 billion active members dwarfing all others and becoming the world’s biggest interconnected network of humans.
Although the platform is losing touch with younger consumers, it continues to expand into new markets, countering any big usage decreases, as well as adding new ad tools and business alternatives to build a more complete platform and facilitate the next step of brand relationship.
That’s before you consider its foray into virtual reality or the metaverse’s growing notion. Of course, it still confronts obstacles and is the subject of many investigations around the world, but Facebook appears to be on the verge of even more expansion as it continues to expand in new and varied ways.
Social media marketing agencies in Dubai and around the world still take Facebook as a serious platform with immense potential for marketing and are keeping this platform as a part of their overall digital marketing strategy.
The following are the main development factors for The Social Network.
With the advent of Facebook and Instagram Shops at the start of the epidemic, Facebook made a significant push into eCommerce, giving retailers another method to connect with their consumers.
In-stream shopping has since become a major focus for Facebook, and in 2022, you can expect to see more shoppable posts, streamlined payment processes (possibly through the development of Facebook Pay and its own digital currency, Diem), improved product discovery, and more alerts for buyable products in-stream.
Live shopping will also be a big part of the show. Live-stream shopping has become a popular trend in China, with the value of the country’s live-commerce business increasing by 280 percent between 2017 and 2020 to reach $423 billion by the end of the year.
With the broad consumer emphasis more firmly oriented on eCommerce, now is the perfect time for Facebook to make a greater push as it aims to make live-commerce a bigger part.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has already staked his claim to the Metaverse shift, which could conceivably provide a way to combine the company’s many social media and growing tech projects.
Expect the next generation of Facebook’s AR glasses, which will be more tightly connected with Instagram, as well as the introduction of more interactive technology, such as wristband control for AR overlays and next-generation social and workplace tools for its Oculus VR headsets.
The recent ‘Facebook Files’ expose appears to be a watershed moment, not so much in terms of the company’s revelations (many of which we already knew or suspected), but in terms of the extent to which Facebook is aware of the negative effects its apps can have, and the efforts it makes – or doesn’t make – to mitigate those effects.
Will Facebook consider addressing these key issues, even if doing so would go against its commercial interests?
As Facebook looks to the next stage of digital evolution, beyond the Facebook platform, I expect the company to be more willing to experiment with things like limiting political content in News Feeds and giving users the option to turn off the algorithm via a simple, Twitter-style toggle or an alternate, swipeable timeline.
Is audio social going to be a long-term trend in social apps, or is it just a pandemic-inspired fad that gave users another option to communicate when COVID limitations were in place?
I believe it’s a combination of the two, but I believe Facebook will finally win the audio social race, owing to one essential factor: discovery.
While Twitter’s open reach may appeal to some, Facebook’s audio approach will see it get the most out of the option in the long run, even if it isn’t a significant connecting choice post-pandemic.
Building digital identity
Digital identity and creating a bridge between your Facebook profile and your VR/metaverse presence is another major step that you can anticipate Facebook to do in 2022.
As Facebook shifts its focus to the next stage, expect to see a lot more 3D characters of your friends in various forms throughout its apps.
Crypto and NFTs
While Facebook embraces the metaverse concept, Twitter is taking more practical steps into the next stage of technological development with new cryptocurrency payment choices and new display features that fit with the growing trend of displaying NFT purchases in the app.
New video tools
Next year, expect Twitter to put a greater emphasis on video as it attempts to combine the full-screen presentation options and capabilities left over from Fleets into new areas.
Twitter is already working on this, and if it can capitalize on the growing interest in full-screen, short-form video, it may be a hit in terms of interaction, with more emphasis on expanding tweeted videos into full-screen mode when tapped.
Buy, Buy, Buy
Instagram’s main focus is on eCommerce, with all posts being shoppable within the app. The more purchasing possibilities Instagram can incorporate, the more it can encourage users to spend.
Instagram would like every goods in all posts to be shoppable, or at the at least, to be able to guide product discovery, and it’s working on object identification capabilities for still images and video to help with that.
The emergence of NFTs heralds a new era in digital representation, one in which people may better exhibit their distinctive style and interests through online profiles and, eventually, digital avatars in virtual places.
This can be seen on Twitter, where NFT fans have changed their profile pictures to cartoon portraits of apes, robots, and other characters, which are actually artworks that they’ve purchased and, in many cases, will be available as full 3D avatars that they can use in metaverse-aligned digital environments.
Video in focus
Snapchat’s Discover original programming has already established itself as a popular source of entertainment for many, fitting with current viewer preferences (short-form, episodic content that fits younger viewer habits).
That’s why Snap sees potential in Spotlight, its TikTok-style feed of short-form video clips, and you can expect to see Snap invest in top TikTok stars to create more dedicated Discover shows that will help them take their content to the next level, and cement Snap’s position as the leading platform for this new TV-like format.
Understanding TikTok Marketing is essential for marketers to succeed on the app, which is also the most important barrier to entry for businesses. Marketers may often re-jig their promos from larger campaigns and fit them into each offering on other social applications. However, with TikTok, a dedicated, platform-specific, minimum disruptive strategy is required.
As a result, TikTok is aiming to provide marketers with more opportunities to capitalize on the hottest trends, and in 2022, you can expect even more alternatives.
Live-streaming for the win
Although I’ve mentioned it in every single eCommerce section, TikTok is also trying to encourage more live-stream commerce in the app, as well as more live-streaming in general, to broaden user habits.
You’ve probably already noticed this, with an increasing number of live-stream broadcasts appearing in your ‘For You’ feed, and soon, more of these will be from businesses, about items that line with your interests, and starring the creators you interact with the most to entice you in.
The transition to remote work is here to stay, and it will grow more important to many brands as they weigh the long-term economic and lifestyle benefits.
However, recruitment will confront new issues as a result of this, which LinkedIn will be well positioned to manage. LinkedIn will use its unrivaled library of professional and career development insights to help candidates find better job matches, as well as providing new video interview and engagement possibilities.
These are a few trends that you need to look out for in terms of social media usage. Social media marketing service providers always keep a keen eye on the everchanging trends and developments and try to stay on top of every new development and you should do the same in order to stay on top and build strategies that are fruitful for your business.
If you run a business and want to use social media to your advantage, reach out to Prism Digital, the best social media marketing company in Dubai and our expert marketers will help you devise, launch and manage effective social media marketing campaigns that will garner amazing results in terms of reach, awareness and conversions.