Social Round Up – Hopes & Predictions for 2020

A new decade is upon us, and with it comes a fresh lens through which we can view the world of social media. Ten years ago, social media platforms were developing (some yet to be developed) and foreign to marketers. Now, as we step into 2020 armed with learnings and experience over the last decade, we take a look at what’s next for social media’s ever-evolving landscape. Here are our social media predictions for 2020.

Brands Will Dabble in Less-Traditional Social Platforms

As paid media costs on Facebook continue to increase along with competition on the News Feed, we predict that we’ll soon see more brands dabble in social outside of the core platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.

So, what channels does that leave us with? TikTok, for starters. If 2019 proved anything to social media marketers, it’s that the video-sharing app is here to stay. Late last year, the app surpassed 1.5 billion in the App Store and Google Play, making it the third-most-downloaded app outside of gaming in 2019. Moreover, TikTok launched advertising last year, making it an even more viable channel for social media marketers. For those focusing their efforts primarily in the US, however, TikTok still has room to grow as the majority of its users are international.

Another platform we may see marketers migrate to is Reddit. While brands have been wary of joining the space for some time due to Reddit’s notoriously tough audience, the platform is becoming more attractive as it, too, rolls out more robust advertising capabilities.

Big Changes May Be Coming for Instagram

We witnessed a slew of changes from Instagram last year – an updated Explore format, a plethora of interactive Story stickers, a test to hide likes, and so much more – so it’s not unreasonable to think we’ll see the same rate of change on the channel in 2020.

The biggest of these changes could be related to IGTV. Specifically, we predict that the Facebook-owned app will soon find a way to monetize the longform video content. Since its inception, Instagram has struggled to acquire widespread adoption for IGTV. In its quest to bolster IGTV’s popularity, Instagram has continually optimized the app to make it more user friendly while also contracting influencers to create exclusive IGTV content in an attempt to capture those creators’ audiences. As some of these efforts have yet to pay off, we think monetization is in IGTV’s future.

In addition to changes to IGTV, we’re predicting more robust capabilities for shopping on Instagram in 2020. In 2019, we saw @Shop come to life as well as significant developments to in-app purchasing through Checkout. These updates signify that Instagram is making a big push to become social users’ one-stop-shop for everything from product inspiration, discovery, and purchasing.

VR May (Finally) Increase in Popularity

Our last prediction for 2020 relates to the world of virtual reality. Over the last couple years, we’ve seen companies try – and fail – to make VR the next big thing. Much like IGTV, users just simply weren’t there for it. But that may be changing. Leading into the holidays of last year, Oculus’s Quest headset completely sold out through February of this year, showing a clear spike in user interest around VR. Moreover, the upcoming launch of Facebook’s Horizon could further drive interest in virtual reality.

2020 is still fresh, so there is plenty of time for bigger changes with even bigger implications to hit social media. If, and when, that happens, our team will be ready to help your team tackle those new challenges. See how.

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