The New Year is here and it is now 2021...
Everyone is aware of how 2020 created a big spike in eCommerce, internet usage, and the number of social media accounts. It is time to plan accordingly and think about how you want to build your online presence and assess the options you have to present your product and brand. Because really, it is the right time to pull out that one green apple out of the red apple basket for the stage and for the social media platforms. Let the magic and the video production companies do their part, and all you need to do is watch people take a seat!
Below are some new features made for social media platforms and some predictions for social media marketing.
First up is the almighty Facebook, which faced a lot of challenges, 2020 challenges being no joke.
Amidst the backlash over the role it had in compounding political division and amplifying hate speech, the platform still stands in 2021 with some new development.
FB Oculus & Virtual Reality
The virtual reality headset, FB Oculus Quest 2 is now better and cheaper. As more people are stuck at home, this will only heighten the product’s popularity. This product is a headpiece that is a game console in itself, with the interfaces built into the VR feature. It also comes with wireless controllers that require physical movement to control. FB has stamped it’s next stage of digital connection, thus opening doors for various audiences to connect. As FB rolls out Oculus’s 2nd model, with new improvements, it is for sure an innovation that is making new boundaries.
Facebook has made its big implementation with Instagram by linking Instagram Direct message with Facebook’s Messenger. While the gradual interconnectivity between Messenger, Instagram Direct, and Whatsapp is clear, it allows businesses to easily keep track of the conversation in one place and while maintaining its engaging communication features such as custom emoji reactions, Facebook’s vanishing message option, and colorful chat options.
The big controversy is how Facebook will handle the feed algorithm which displays dangerous hate speech. They have already taken action by banning QAnon conspiracy theory. However, there is still plenty of room to restrict misinformation and hate speech.
According to the New York Times and NPR, Facebook made “hyperpartisan pages” like Breitbrt and Occupy Democrats, less visible in user’s News Feeds. The goal was to reduce the spread of inaccurate election information.
How about if Facebook considers trying to increase engagement with news feed algorithms that display a balance of factual information and posts that encourages creative thought? Would this increase eCommerce activity?
Twitter’s version of social media’s Stories is finally here and Twitter is currently working on bringing more fonts and effects to this new feature! Although other platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok already have this feature, making it difficult to surpass them, it is another avenue for expression, marketing, and engagement.
With the intention of trying to increase engagement, Twitter is implementing a “Follow Topic” feature that allows users to follow their preferred subject in addition to users. Maybe this will branch into newer options like Topic spaces where the Twitter team compiles relevant content and presents it in a chat room format where similar videos, tweets, ideas, or even products can be shared amongst similar niche groups.
Some were already predicting this, but yes, Instagram has already become the new Facebook in the sense of, the new “place to be” online.
IG makes big moves with new features like Reels and a new eCommerce tool that makes shopping even more convenient with a click or two. With these crucial upgrades, IG’s success is no surprise.
This feature allows users to stay on the platform and purchase items instantly on their phones. This mobile feature is utilized by companies like Glossier, a beauty product company. I know shoppers are thinking, “Oh my gosh!” Well, it is here and as eCommerce took an uphill ride in 2020, this feature will become a powerhouse, pushing Instagram close to the very top of social media mountain.
As Instagram ad campaigns increase and the platform encourages more shopping behaviors, maybe the short films industry for food and beverages will also get their special button that allows companies to directly purchase the video production company’s services.
Though Reels is very similar to TikTok, it remains strong as Instagram is looking to further boost the feature through exclusive influencer deals. Not to mention, countries like India have banned TikTok, thus making this feature a fantastic replacement. As Instagram increases it’s eCommerce options and incorporates Reels content to the search page and the user’s new post feed, users are tempted to remain on the app.
Continuing to maintain its popularity throughout the years, Snapchat is a popular option for younger audiences. As it still holds its place at the top for innovative AR space and adds new app partnerships, this platform can make it a fun option for many.
eCommerce Focus & Upgrading AR Options
As Instagram and Facebook are rolling out more eCommerce tools, it will just be a matter of when Snapchat puts out more of its upgraded features. They already started to allow users to scan barcodes and labels which then presents the product’s information. Additionally, they are currently collaborating with Amazon to allow users to scan real-time products through the camera and allow the user to purchase the item right there on the same screen if it is available on Amazon. It is no doubt that with the heavy usage amongst the younger generation, that they will invest more time to keep developing innovative AR and eCommerce features.
Although LinkedIn was already a strong platform for companies to showcase their brand, with the 2o2o pandemic, the number of users surpassed 700 million members. That said, many people are using it to find employees and employers.
Who isn’t captivated by films and videos? As LinkedIn members are increasing, many are using video as a way to connect. Let’s admit, don’t we all want to watch something fun and learn something at the same time? Through videos and live streaming, it is possible for the audience to subconsciously digest information quickly, whether it is building trust and connection through a live stream with the CEO of a new snack company or watching a whimsical graphic motion video ad which displays spinning fresh ingredients making the potential buyer feel confident with their purchase. Even with returning to more in-person events, virtual events and streams will remain at a low cost, thus remaining appealing for many businesses. Expect to see more video tools and options for this very reason.
And last but not least, let's not forget about our newest contender, TikTok. While the app started with 500 million users in 2019, it is now close to a billion today. It has survived bans, restrictions, and accusations of censorship. As it still stands today, TikTok may be a crucial key component for your company’s marketing approach.
Although pretty much everyone is on TikTok, they still face a challenge which is to make sure their top creators get paid, otherwise, people will start to move on to different platforms. This is why it is more than likely for the app to start integrating more eCommerce options. While the Oracle x Walmart deal is still pending, Walmart has already stated its eCommerce intentions for the platform.
Additionally, China’s local version of TikTok called ‘Douyin’ has seen success
from incorporating eCommerce purchasing features on its platform.
Even if the deal does not go through, expect to see an increase of eCommerce features.
There you go! Hope you found this helpful.
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