media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg walks you through five social media trends that you can expect to see in the new year.

With only about four weeks to go before 2019 draws to a close, it is the ideal time to see what next year has in store.

Social media is ever-changing due to technology growing and expanding almost daily. Keeping up with the trends will allow you to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Here are five social media trends you’ll see in 2020:

1. Awareness around social media wellness

Social platforms are starting to realise how vital it has become for users to acknowledge the impact digital technology has on their mental health. That’s why in 2020, you’ll see more and more platforms implementing changes that aim to have a positive impact on their users.

For instance, Instagram announced the global expansion of the ‘hidden like’ counts test. This is where users can’t see how many likes a post received except for their own. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri says that they are interested in learning how hiding likes will make people feel.

The purpose of the counts test is to take the pressure off of young people in terms of allowing them to post content they enjoy while not having to worry about how many people will actually ‘like’ it. This gives them the freedom to express who they truly are online.

Sourced from Social Media Today

Twitter has also joined the party by giving its users the option to hide tweet replies. The platform says that this had to be done because users had a tendency of changing the “original intent of tweets.”

An example of this would be when Pick ‘n Pay tweeted its new chicken advert and Nando’s responded by saying ‘Yoh, that’s awkward’ with a meme showing how Pick ‘n Pay copied them. This is despite Pick ‘n Pay’s claims suggesting that it didn’t mean for its advert to copy Nando’s.

It is because of this, and many other reasons, that users now have the option to hide tweet replies that change the meaning of the original tweet, which would otherwise be perceived to be as abusive or offensive.

Screen time has also become a hot topic of debate, especially in terms of the bad effects it can have on your health, such as poor posture and sleeping habits. And with people becoming more aware of the negative impacts of social media, there needs to be a limit as to how much time you spend online.

For example, an app like Off The Grid helps you put your phone down and reclaim your evenings. It does this by locking down your phone and only allowing you access once the set time has passed. If you want to access your phone earlier, you will have to start paying fees. The more frequently you access your phone, the more expensive it becomes. 

2. Social media and climate change

Social media platforms this year saw millions of people together who all want to be heard, and we’re sure that these voices will only get louder in 2020. For instance, on Friday, 20 September, a large number of individuals from all around the world participated in a global strike against climate change.

“Many have credited the young Greta Thunberg, only 16 years old, with launching this movement globally, setting an example for others who believe the actions of one individual can have an impact,” says Katherine Ellis in an article for NewsWhip.

Thunberg is a climate activist who has 8.3 million followers on Instagram; she frequently talks about climate change and the importance of its impact on the environment. She also wrote a book titled No One is Too Small to Make a Difference, where she shares her climate change speeches and talks about how important it is that people stand together to make a difference.

With her large following on social media, Thunberg has the ability to reach and impact millions of people, encouraging them to take part in fighting climate change with her.

Another example of an influential voice trying to make a difference via social media this year is Jimmy Donalds, better known as MrBeast. MrBeast is an American YouTube star who has 20 million subscribers on the platform. His fanbase challenged him to plant 20 million trees to represent his subscribers, which will aid in the fight against climate change due to the well-known fact that trees create oxygen.

More than 600 YouTube stars joined the initiative — aka, the #TeamTrees project— and helped MrBeast raise money so that he could buy and plant the trees. The project even received a couple of donations from celebrities and well-known personalities, including the likes of Elon Musk.

All of the donations received are going to the Arbor Day Foundation, which is “a US nonprofit conservation and education organisation dedicated to planting trees.” This shows how social media and climate change are walking hand in hand.

To sum up, in 2020, brands on social media will need to ensure that they get involved in the causes that matter to people.

3. TikTok will be making waves

It’s no secret that video content has been dominating the social media scene for some time now, all due to consumers’ attention span becoming shorter and shorter. Enter TikTok, “ a Chinese social network that allows people to make short videos, add music and edit them and then post them to their followers.”

“‘TikToks’ can be up to 15 seconds long, but users can also connect multiple clips together for up to 60 seconds of total recording,” says Louise Matsakis in an article for Wired. TikTok will trend in 2020 thanks to brands being able to create short and entertaining videos for their consumers.

Advertising on TikTok allows your brand to reach a large number of potential consumers seeing as the platform has 500 million active users worldwide.

It’s no wonder why more brands will be climbing aboard the TikTok train in 2020. Making videos this short will ensure to keep your consumers’ attention if it is done correctly, that is. Chipotle is one of the brands who is definitely doing things right on TikTok; it does this by creating content that keeps its consumers' attention. How, you ask? Well, just take a look:

4. Data protection will be a big thing

This year, Facebook kicked out all third-party users who use web crawlers on the platform. The only way that a third party would gain access is if the admins on the Facebook pages give them an authentication code. The reason why this happened was all due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that took place in 2018.

“As a principle, in a democracy, I believe people should decide what is credible, not tech companies. Of course, there are exceptions. Even for politicians, we don’t allow content that incites violence or risks imminent harm — and, of course, we don’t allow voter suppression,” explains Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Knowing how much damage the Cambridge Analytica Scandal caused Facebook may result in the platform carrying out the third-party authentication to its other platforms, such as Instagram.

In 2020, we may also see these authentications moving over to other big platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn or even Tumblr.

5. LinkedIn is here to stay

LinkedIn has over 575 million users, with more than 260 million monthly active users. Due to the platform’s continuous growth, it has started adding new features that helps users ‘prepare for an interview’ and find ‘ways to keep a pulse on the companies they care about’.

LinkedIn’s original focus may have been on making business connections and helping recruiters find the perfect candidates for their company, but the platform has become much more than that.

LinkedIn helps people to follow businesses they care about and share knowledge with one another. You can follow iconic business leaders such as Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington, where they share their success stories and their business journeys. In late November, Social Media Today published a study, which reported that “79% of marketers say that they see LinkedIn as a very good source to find leads.”

It is also a great place to incorporate your business marketing strategy. In fact, B2B marketers reported in the same study that 80% of their social media leads come from LinkedIn, so be sure to focus on this social media platform in 2020!

What other trends do you think we’ll see in 2020? Let us know in the comments section below.

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*Image courtesy of Vecteezy