Will Facebook be able to maintain its popularity in 2021? Statista’s latest numbers as of October reported that Facebook maintains a commanding lead on its competition with more than 2.7 billion worldwide users. YouTube and WhatsApp trailed at 2 billion each. Even Facebook Messenger, with 1.3 billion users, outpaced WeChat’s 12 billion and Instagram’s 1.1 billion. Brands intending to remain or increase their presence on Facebook have this data to back them up.
In 2018, there were 3.5 billion broadcasts on Facebook Live, and a second-quarter 2020 survey by Socialbakers showed a 26.8 percent increase in usage over the same period a year earlier. The social media and digital marketing firm went on to predict that the trend will continue in 2021.
Based on its own data, Facebook predicted that even more people would be shopping on Facebook next year. It credited an increase in e-commerce and its launch of Facebook Shops as the reasons. These, too, are expected to maintain their popularity with marketers, according to Socialbakers. It reported that Facebook’s news feed got 58.2 percent of business ad spend for the third quarter of this year. It added that the click-through rate of 1.82 percent was also higher than instream videos and video feeds.
With more people working remotely—and mostly from home—AR will likely continue in popularity. A prevalent platform is Facebook Spark AR Studio, which was introduced in 2017. They report that more than 1.2 million effects have been created since then by more than 400,00 creators from 190 countries. Business Insider pointed out the growing potential of chatbots by citing 40 million businesses already using Facebook Messenger to connect with customers. It expected the trend to continue.
After analyzing data from January to August of this year, Digiday found that user-generated content had doubled from 223 to 495 billion in just eight months. The online trade magazine expects that trend to also continue into 2021. Video content is expected to increase as well. Comparing the third quarter of this year with the same period a year earlier, Socialbakers reported an increase of 2.6 percent.
Based on data it analyzed, SocialMedia Today saw more companies exploiting the potential of hashtags and predicted their use on Facebook to increase. Facebook predicted that it foresees private, interest-driven communities, increasing their presence. It noted that there are already 10 million groups being used by more than 1.4 million people worldwide.
In the final assessment of Facebook in 2021, mother.ly said observers might see more support for small businesses in 2021. The community-driven lifestyle brand based its statement on the $100 million in grants Facebook awarded this year.
The obvious consensus of the different industry watchers is that Facebook will maintain its strength and growth as a powerful marketing tool. The areas that call out loudly for marketers to pay attention to are perhaps more employment but certainly better use of videos, UGC, AR, chatbots, hashtags and Facebook Live.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.
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