With 2021 coming to a close, many find themselves awaiting what upcoming changes will shake the marketing and public relations industry next year. The aftermath of a global pandemic is going to play out over a longer period of time than expected, and this will present both challenges for social media companies as well as major implications regarding our online behaviors in the future.
Despite facing plenty of challenges and controversies, Facebook remains the top social media platform, with nearly three billion active users. Although the platform has been struggling to remain in touch with younger generations, the company is still expanding into different markets. This expansion is how the company is able to offset any big usage declines. Additionally, Facebook is continuously offering new features, tools and options for brands, helping them facilitate better connections with audiences.
When the pandemic first started, the company made a big push into eCommerce, with increased Shoppable posts and the introduction of Facebook and Instagram Shops. These features were a way for businesses to connect with their target audiences. One of the key elements of focus for the company has been in-stream shopping. Facebook has also made improvements in product discovery while streamlining payment options. All in all, companies that have already been using the platform can continue to do so, and will benefit from new systems that Facebook announced, which will help businesses maintain ad effectiveness despite any data restrictions.
Although a subsidiary of Facebook, Instagram is another key player in terms of social media marketing, as it has remained relatively popular with younger generations of audiences. The main focus of this platform in recent months has been eCommerce, which is why the company has made practically every post inside the app Shoppable.
Additionally, with Facebook’s push into the AR and VR markets, Instagram might also be integrating more of those types of functionalities as well. That might look like connecting Facebook’s tools and AR glasses to connect users with brands through new experiences. The company is also expanding into NFTs and digital avatars, and it’s creating an even stronger push into video content, with Reels being one of the fastest-growing features of the app. In the future, brands might only use the traditional static posts on the platform for their eCommerce ventures, despite different types of content and features becoming more popular.
Despite adopting a faster development timeline, Twitter hasn’t had a lot of universal success with the implementation of different features in the last couple of years. However, the platform’s numbers—in terms of engagement and revenue—are continuously improving, and the company has been making a push into developing ways for creators to make money from sharing content.
Twitter has also been developing eCommerce features, with new business pages for brands, professional profiles and in-stream purchases now being made directly from tweets. Additionally, like many other platforms, the company has been taking very practical steps into the new phase of tech development, such as towards NFTs and cryptocurrency. While the Fleets feature from Twitter shut down soon after it was launched, the company is still making video a big focus, which will help brands connect with their target audiences.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.