Social Media Trends to Watch in 2020

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After reflecting on 2019 and the ways social media has quickly evolved in the past year, I’m predicting the ways it will change in the year to come. If there are any trends you think we’re missing, let us know!

  1. Instagram Will Try to Reduce Mental Health Issues

The platform has already experimented with removing likes for select users in several countries in an attempt to alleviate mental health issues that have increased since the boom of social media. Whether this test will become a permanent feature of the app remains unknown. If it does become a fixture of Instagram, it will signify a shift in influencer marketing, as influencers will need to begin to provide data showing their engagement rates to brands. My guess is that this isn’t the only big change Instagram will make in an effort to lessen mental health issues caused by their app and we’ll see more tweaks in the coming year.

  1. Facebook Will Struggle to Stay Relevant

That’s not to say the site will die. At this point, it’s hard to tell if it ever will. But, as less people trust the platform and fewer Gen Zers join the app, it will continue to lose credibility and will have to find some way to evolve and stay relevant. In March, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that private messaging is the app’s future, stating that private messaging will be the way most people interact on their products. Time will tell if the shift towards private messaging will help keep Facebook relevant, but I’m skeptical that it will.

  1. TikTok is Going to Rise in Popularity

TikTok, the trendiest app among Gen Z (and my new favorite platform), isn’t going anywhere any time soon. As brands targeting Gen Z continue to get acquainted with the platform, many will allot part of their advertising budgets to the app. The key to brands effectively joining the TikTok community will rely on their ability to create content that feels authentic to the app. Unlike the aesthetically pleasing images on Instagram or quick, concise updates on Twitter, TikTok videos are largely fun and carefree and often comedic. To succeed on TikTok, brands will need to mirror this style of media.

  1. Social Commerce Will Continue to Grow

Buying goods directly from social media has steadily been on the rise. Instagram and Facebook have already found ways to insert themselves into the buying process, such as Instagram’s recent addition of an in-app checkout feature. I suspect more platforms will enable purchases in their apps, and the ways Facebook and Instagram integrate commerce will continue to evolve.

  1. Ephemeral Content is Here to Stay (While it Disappears)

While ephemeral content (temporarily accessible media) is designed to disappear, the form of content isn’t going away. Younger generations continue to push for brands to be transparent and authentic, and because this type of content is usually created in-the-moment or designed to disappear, consumers trust it more than they believe a brand or influencer’s static posts.