2020 was a big year for social, with strong growth evident across almost every platform. As we enter 2021, we’ve analysed the figures and spoken to those in the know to bring you our top predictions for the year ahead.
Over the last few years, Facebook has made a big transition. From status updates and wall posts, the platform has grown to almost match YouTube in terms of the amount of video content that is distributed and viewed on the channel.
We believe this will only continue in 2021, with Facebook video content not only increasing in volume, but also in quality, ultimately rivalling YouTube’s offering. If you’re interested in the video capability and opportunities of Facebook, familiarise yourself with, Facebook Watch and this will give you a great insight into what to expect/create.
Aside from video, e-commerce will be a huge focus for the platform. With the release of Facebook Shops, we expect to see big brands shift to selling via Facebook as well or instead of traditional e-commerce methods, providing yet more opportunities for savvy retailers and suppliers.
TikTok had a phenomenal year of growth in 2020, with millions of people who never thought they would use the channel ultimately finding themselves addicted to it.
We expect to see even more growth on TikTok in 2021 and even more content creators/brands using the platform. Much like Facebook, TikTok will also be ramping up its e-commerce offering.
Users now have the ability to sell products directly through TikTok, and the launch of a self-serve advert platform has seen even more brands jumping onto the platform to take advantage of the consequent marketing opportunities. We expect to see an even bigger push of this in 2021.
In 2021 we expect to see Instagram push their shop feature even further, encouraging brands, particularly, small businesses, fashion and sports brands, to sell on their platform. In 2020, the platform received mixed reviews for its changed layout, with the new design putting greater emphasis on the shop function.
We predict that in 2021 Instagram will change the layout again, either making shopping even more prominent or completely removing it from their bottom navigation bar.
The use of Stories on Instagram is also likely to grow, especially in light of its effectiveness for account development, and we see this rise in use continuing over the next 1-2 years.
YouTube had a great 2020, continuing to reign supreme in the realm of long form, high quality video content.
Last year, the platform added Stories to their offering, which many YouTubers are now using as a way to remind subscribers of new releases. We see YT Stories developing further over 2021, and will also see the roll out of YouTube shorts, designed to take on TikTok-style short-form content. If YouTube is a big platform for you, we would highly recommend jumping on YT Shorts as quickly as you possibly can.
This year we saw a rise in AR filters, particularly on Instagram stories, and in 2021 we expect to see exactly the same!
These filters were initially fairly basic, but as the tech and interest in AR has developed, they have started to become interactive and gamified. In 2021 there will no doubt be some really creative and different AR filters that will help pages to grow and get exposure. We also expect more brands to use AR as a means to promote their products – for example, showcasing how a particular outfit may look on a user, or how a piece of furniture would look in their home.