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Talk Social: 21st December 2021 – Our five social media predictions for 2022

Rather than looking back at the last seven days, for the last Talk Social of 2021, we wanted to look forward to next year. So here are our top five predictions for the world of social media in 2022, and what they mean for brands.

 

Enter the Metaverse

Sounding at times like something pulled from the pages of a science fiction novel, the Metaverse is being heralded by Mark Zuckerberg and Meta (formerly Facebook) as the successor to the mobile internet. And with its development comes new opportunities for enterprising brands.

The Metaverse promises to be a fully immersive environment in which users leverage virtual reality, cryptocurrency, live-streaming, and a host of other technologies to navigate a digital world that could one day become as important to daily life as the real world.

It is still very early days for the project, but we know Meta is investing 10 billion dollars to bring the metaverse to life and has estimated that fully realising the idea will take 10 to 15 years.

In the coming year, we can expect to learn more details about how the Metaverse will work and how Meta is strengthening its AR and VR credentials with new upgrades and products. Forward-thinking brands will be paying close attention to every update from Meta as they look to include the Metaverse into their marketing strategies and leverage its power to connect with consumers like never before.

More here.

 

Lights, camera, shopping!

Over the past few months YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have all made their first forays into the world of live-stream shopping. Each has unveiled its own service allowing users to tune into a live broadcast and purchase products directly from a live video feed.

It’s little surprise to see these platforms leaning into the live-shopping trend when you see how much traction the concept has gained in China. According to recent reports, China’s live-commerce space is on track to become a £320 billion market by the end of 2022.

And it’s easy to see why – it’s immediate, it’s engaging, and it can spark impulse buying behaviour while also helping to boost brand awareness and connection. With the new technical capabilities present on all the major platforms, it has the ability to become a key part of the eCommerce landscape in the UK as well.

More here.

 

Long time coming

It’s clear that 2021 was the year of short-form video content. The explosion of TikTok, and the introduction of copycat features, such as Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and Snapchat Spotlights, have all focussed on bringing users short 15-second posts. However, there is a gradual shift to longer-form content happening across platforms.

TikTok has expanded to three minutes in length while Reels went to 60 seconds. These changes could prove the beginning of a pendulum swing back towards longer-form content. This could present an opportunity for brands, as longer videos mean more placement opportunities to feature their advertisements within trending videos.

TikTok hasn’t said how longer clips might affect its recommendation algorithm, but it’s worth considering the possible parallels to YouTube. As the platform grew, YouTube biassed its algorithm toward viewer retention, which meant longer and longer videos became more prevalent. TikTok may not take the same approach, but if it turns out that longer videos equal longer TikTok usage, we might see less of the app’s short and snappy viral clips.

More here.

 

Who influences the influencers?

2021 has seen a proliferation of tools designed to support influencers maximise their reach and engagement, as well as earn revenue from their output. This will lead to new opportunities for influencer partnerships in 2022.

In the last month, Facebook launched a suite of live-stream features for influencers, including featured links, live-stream polls and guest chats. While earlier in the year, Twitter rolled out its Tip Jar feature that lets users send and receive money within the app.

The social media company’s impetus behind these new features is undoubtedly to win audiences to their platform by first attracting the top influencers. However, with these developments come new opportunities for brands. 

Marketers will need to ensure they keep a close eye on the evolution of influencer marketing so that they can jump on the trends that serve their strategic goals before the competition does. 

More here.

 

The space race

This year saw the meteoric rise of audio spaces app, Clubhouse, and Twitter following suit soon after with the launch of its copycat service, Twitter Spaces. This new form of content is set to become an important part of brand marketing in 2022.

Unlike radio or podcasts, live audio rooms offer the intimacy and authenticity of hearing thought leaders having real, unscripted discussions on a variety of topics. This offers brands a way to directly connect with their potential customers.

Although this medium is somewhat uncharted territory, its undeniable popularity means brands who get in early have the potential to become market leaders in an emerging space.

More here.

 

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