Social Media Platforms: The trends to watch out for in 2021

Social Media Platforms: The trends to watch out for in 2021

  • Social media apps kept us together, even from miles apart, in 2020.
  • It will continue to play an important role in our lives in 2021 and beyond.
  • So, from our trends series today, we look back at 2020 and bring you some of the biggest social media trends for the year 2021.

Ever wondered how difficult 2020 would have been without technology and social media apps? We would have spent hours playing the snake game on Nokia, stared at the ceiling roof and probably played Dumb Charades with our neighbours.

Social media apps made surviving 2020 a little easier for us. While distance apart, it kept us together with our loved ones. We experimented with virtual dining, watched movies together over Zoom calls with our friends and even attended virtual birthday parties. If it wasn’t for YouTube, we have no idea how we would have looked up recipes. Brands also followed the consumers and relied on social media apps to lure them and stay connected. Social media has never been more powerful as a marketing tool as it is today.

According to Socialbakers, brands dramatically increased their investment on social media advertising in 2020. At its peak in Q4, worldwide ad spend increased by 50.3% compared to the holiday peak in Q4 2019. Video posts on Twitter jumped by 26.7% in Q4. Video accounted for 17.9% of all posts on Instagram, and 18.1% of all posts on Facebook, in Q4 2020. In terms of format, Facebook Live was by far the most engaging type of post on that platform in Q4 2020.
Statista predicts that one of the main trends within Social Media Advertising is monetization of social networks and messenger apps. The integration of shopping and payment solutions into social networks combined with exact localisation will increase user engagement, conversions, and performance of advanced targeting. Besides the growth potential in the field of social networks, an integration or proliferation of advertising spaces within messenger apps such as WhatsApp or Instagram will rapidly increase the revenue potential of current market key players like Facebook.
So, as we move forward in 2021, what kind of role will social media play in our lives and what would be some of the marketing trends that would continue to penetrate in 2021?

Here are some key trends, according to experts, to look forward to:


Kanika Mittal, Business Head, Twitter India:

In 2020, with more people than ever on the Internet, Twitter saw the emergence of many new conversations and trends. We saw a number of interests gain popularity including hobbies like gaming, fitness, cooking, animal-Twitter, etc. These new conversations have uncovered opportunities for brands to take consumer engagement a step ahead by connecting around these themes that are fresh and relevant. We’ve worked with brands, and witnessed them be more open to experimentation and innovation in order to reach consumers where they are — their homes and their timelines. We’ve also seen several businesses stand up and make a statement in these tough times. Bold and thoughtful innovation has emerged as a prevalent trend this year, and we foresee that continuing in the coming year too as businesses test and learn to adapt to these waves of change.


Durgesh Kaushik, Head – Market Development, Snap inc, India:

A trend we’ve seen accelerate in 2020 is the importance of visual communication and how platforms like ours can help empower it. Globally, we saw an average of 4 billion snaps created every day in the first quarter of the year. Our Friendship Report showed that 91% of Indians – regardless of age – felt like digital communication helped them maintain their friendships during isolation. For example, we normally gather together to celebrate festivals, but were unable to do that this year. Through AR on Snapchat, we’ve helped Indians across the country celebrate over 20 cultural moments with friends. We believe Snapchat is a complement to real friendships and are grateful to be able to serve our community at such a moment in time.
As we have continued to invest in our camera and augmented reality platforms, we have been able to see the power and potential of this technology when it is accessible to everyone. From our Lensathon in partnership with Skillenza where 70% of submittants said they had no prior AR or 3D design skills, to a university student who created a Lens which went viral in India and across Southeast Asia, garnering billions of views on Snapchat. AR provides a unique opportunity to build the creative digital skills that we believe – and already see – are vital to the new digital economy.”


Azhar Iqubal, Founder and CEO, Public App and InShorts:

2020 was a high decibel year unlike any for our sector. On one hand, social media apps saw an unprecedented surge in user base, fuelled by the lockdown. On the other, our sector received backlash for circulation of unverified content. The government has done a commendable job by introducing guidelines to curb misinformation and create an enabling environment for homegrown apps to thrive responsibly. The digital content consumption habits formed during the lockdown will continue to drive growth for the sector in the new year, and I foresee fresh infusion of funds and talent to sustain this progress. At the same time, there will a far greater responsibility on us to prove that social media apps can serve as credible sources of information in addition to connecting users and communities.

We have recently raised funding for the Public app and hired over 300 employees in 2020 to bolster our expansion plans in the coming year. We will continue investing in people and technologies like AI and ML for content monitoring and personalization as per user interest. We plan to hire an additional 300 employees and will start monetizing the app to make it self-sustaining.


Kyle Fernandes, CEO & Co-Founder of MemeChat:

2020 was a unique year where digital-first companies were offered a chance to make a real impact. At MemeChat we saw tremendous growth with our user base multiplying in just a few months. It has been an eventful year where we have made decisive steps towards our long-term plan of working towards expanding our user-base while working on more innovative technologies.
In 2021, we are hoping to keep pushing on our growth accelerator. We will see more participation by users in terms of viewership and meme creation. As a means of marketing and advertising, we will see memes going mainstream. 2021 will be the year meme marketing will come of age as more and more brands use it for their promotional activities.

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