Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian

The COVID-19 pandemic made social media’s presence in our lives even more important. Most marketers had already planned to expand their social media marketing in 2021 anyway, but the pandemic heightened that urgency and caused marketers to rethink their strategies. Here’s what’s going on at some of the major platforms.

Despite a year of challenges, Facebook looks to be even stronger next year with Shops, which it launched in May, allowing seamless shopping across its platforms. Marketers should also anticipate seeing advancements in Facebook Pay to further simplify shopping with one-click buying options. Highlighting products for purchase within posts will also enhance the shopping experience.

Also anticipated is the opportunity to expedite eCommerce across the expected merger of its messenger apps. The interconnectivity of Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct has been hinted at several times and, when enhanced, will deliver more opportunities when accomplished. What this will mean for marketers is the ability to easily broaden their reach across all three channels.

What’s likely to be introduced next year is AR, the Project Aria wearables project announced in September by Facebook. It teamed up with a subsidiary of Ray-Ban to build a wearable device, which, when completed, will be expected to perform everyday tasks easier and better.

Apple is also working on its own version called Apple Glass Exact, the details of which remain largely unknown, aside from the fact that it will be synced with the iPhone A Bloomberg report said it would display things like email, maps, games and text from the iPhone to the face.

With the closure of movie theaters, Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality headsets have filled the entertainment gap. Sales have skyrocketed, in large, part to the pandemic. Prices have been coming down, making it more appealing for marketers to consider video ads and promotions.

Unlike Facebook, don’t expect to see much in the way of changes and improvements with Twitter. Yet, it remains a popular platform.

No changes are anticipated for Moments and Audio Spaces. However, the increasing popularity of Fleets will likely bring about improvements like AR options and effects to further grow its audience.

Status indicators on profiles could be a welcome addition. The topic, however, is somewaht unpredictable. It appears to be a feature that has the potential for more engagement with its ability to provide recommendations to users after collecting relevant feeds.

As far as Instagram, continued attention and focus on eCommerce are expected to continue into 2021, especially the development of shopping tools to foster more sales. Because it’s already a place many shoppers visit in search of new products, expect to see the introduction of AR try-on tools and one-click shopping.

With TikTok’s fate in the U.S. still hanging in the balance, look for Stories to try some new approaches in user home feeds. What might the result be if Instagram aligned its home feed with the preferences of individual users and offered them the option of switching back if they wished? Reels, on the other hand, maybe in standby mode depending on the fate of TikTok.

Popular in its AR space and its younger demographics, Snapchat’s steady growth can be traced to its Snap Originals programming. Expect to see more studios and publishers flocking there as we return to a new normal.

With TikTok’s U.S. future still hanging in the balance, expect to see it making eCommerce a focus in 2021. Another of their challenges will be ensuring that its main creators get paid.


Ronn Torossian is CEO of leading PR agency 5WPR.