If you’re a business or an agency utilising social media, you would agree that it’s a space which is both highly unpredictable yet extremely easy to predict. The fun lies in this paradox.
If you’ve been following the growth and dynamics of social media and the channels that make it possible, you will realise that much of what each of these channels offers is almost the same albeit with a somewhat different format, however the end objective of each channel remains the same - to ensure that users spend as much time as possible on the channel. From a business perspective, it’s imperative to get the fans and followers hooked to your brand and your content, ensuring that the brand channel becomes an important platform for brand communications.
With what we’ve seen over the years with Instagram playing tug-o-war with TikTok and now with BeReal entering the fray, it is going to be an extremely interesting phase of transition. The recent noise coming from these social media stalwarts makes it difficult to differentiate one from the other but with a lot of impetus being put on giving the power back to the consumer or content creator, the onus is back on brands and creators to put out creative, relatable and interesting content regularly to compete in an extremely competitive market.
That being said, let’s look at what’s the latest news coming from this space:
TikTok has come into 2022 with all guns blazing and their updates have assured the channel critics that it means serious business. To put this into perspective, in 2021, only 3% of marketers said that TikTok was the most effective platform for reaching their business goals.
Fast forward to 2022, that number has shot up 700% with 24% saying the platform was the most effective.
Above: While the effectiveness of Facebook and Instagram decreased, TikTok saw a large increase.
If you’re still sitting on the fence with TikTok, get this.
The TikTok threat to Google’s business isn’t just limited to YouTube, as it is becoming a key search platform for younger audiences, eating into Google’s core Search and Maps products. Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who runs Google’s Knowledge & Information organisation says that “In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people (U.S. users, ages 18 to 24.), when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search,” he continued. “They go to TikTok or Instagram.”
This trend, in fact, has become so pronounced that Google confirmed last fall it was working on deals that would allow it to index Instagram and TikTok videos in Search.
Mind = Blown.
P.S: TikTok is also introducing new shopping ad formats, including video, catalog listing and live shopping ads.
It’s September 2022 and we’re beginning to get mixed feelings about Instagram. If you’re a user then Instagram has everything you need and more. Having a headstart in the visual social media game definitely gave Instagram the edge over anyone who entered the scene after, but let’s be real, the platform and the parent company aren’t really known for being innovative, rather buying or aping their way to remain among the top social media channels out there. Not much has changed since IG Stories, Filters, Reels and embedded shopping but all this definitely does not mean that you sleep on this behemoth of social media.
Bragging rights where they belong though; according to Instagram, there are now more than 1,2 million AR filters in the Meta platform, and 82% of the users have already used or interacted with a filter in the past year.
Recently Meta launched 6 new Reels features, including Add Yours stickers, remixing Reels, and sharing Instagram Reels to Facebook. It also launched the feature of adding QR codes for posts.
Meta also confirmed that it is looking at introducing a reshare option to the Feed, which basically provides users the ability to reshare posts in Feed — similar to how you can reshare in Stories and original creators are credited for their work as well. This feature is currently in its testing phase.
Dual is another exciting feature added to the burgeoning feature list on the platform, which is another format for making Reels. Both cameras — the front and rear — of a phone can be used simultaneously to make a reel.
Another reason to get excited about Instagram is that users will be able to make payments directly from the Instagram app. Making Instagram shopping even more seamless, this update enables buyers to track their orders as well and further expands the scope of its e-payment service Meta Pay.
One of the biggest updates of the year came from YouTube as it did a one-up over rival TikTok. YouTube will start sharing ad revenue with Shorts creators as the company tries to catch TikTok, the company announced recently. This announcement came shortly after YouTube recorded its slowest growth rate in the second quarter since Alphabet started breaking out the unit’s revenue in 2019. This basically means that the video platform has a new revenue-sharing model for creators of popular short-form videos.
Popular creators have long been able to make money on YouTube’s main site by running ads in their videos and keeping a portion of the revenue through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) and until now, the only way to make money in Shorts was through a $100 million Shorts Fund that was launched last year.
Another interesting piece of information coming out of YouTube is the usage data around their playback speeds feature. One of the channel features allows users to control how quickly or slowly videos play. YouTube currently supports video playback speeds of 0.25x, 0.5x, 0.75x, 1x (default), 1.25x, 1.5x, 1.75x, and 2x. Here were the results:
* Most viewers use the playback feature to watch videos faster (rather than slower).
* 1.5x is the most-used speed, followed by 2x and 1.25x.
* Viewers use the feature more and more as the day progresses, with a spike starting around 11pm.
So, what does this mean for your brand? This basically affirms audiences’ current preference for shorter and faster content.
Talking about content updates, let’s have a look at what’s trending and where the content game is headed:
Video content consumption
So let’s ask the question on everyone’s mind, “Is short-form video content still king?”
With TikTok holding its own, short-form video content is extremely popular with consumers. Data shows that over half (51%) of social media users say they’ve watched a short video (under 10 minutes) in the last week. Although longer videos format is still enjoying its fair share with 39% of social users saying they’ve watched one online in the last week. Video marketers, take note.
Interestingly, short-form video is most popular with Gen X social media users (53%), while long-form video is most popular with Gen Z (42%). Now there’s a social media trend we didn’t expect.
There’s more to content that meets the eye and brands have realised that feeding brand-specific content to users does not work in their favour. Data clearly points to what the users in different demographics and interest categories are looking for.
The data above clearly points towards two winning content categories: Fun and Creative. This is a key takeaway for any brand putting out content on Meta, TikTok and YouTube - mould your content according to what the users are looking for and present it in a fun and creative manner and you will get eyeballs.
Another thing to lookout for are the new channels emerging on the social media horizon. The following are the hottest social media Apps to lookout for:
* BeReal: Users receive a daily notification to share a photo within a 2-minute timeframe
* Polywork: A professional social media network that focuses on finding people to collaborate with
* Superlocal: Users earn cryptocurrency and NFTS by sharing their locations.
For more information about how to get the most out of your social media marketing, get in touch with us today.
Over a decade of experience in social media marketing, I work and play as the Social Media Director at Crowd. A lover of the written word, I thrive on creativity and the sheer dynamism of the social media industry always keeps me on my toes.