No man is an island. This is true as humans are social beings. They cannot strive and thrive without fostering relationships. A social media agency Hong Kong notes that it is also the basis on how social communities evolve. Its root can be traced back to 1844 when the 1st telegraph was sent by Samuel Morse. His code paved the way for international communication.
In 1969, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) allowed experts from different universities to share data, hardware, and software. In 1987 a nationwide digital network powered the US through the NSFNET. After a decade, the first and true social media network was created. It was the short-lived Six Degrees, a model of adding a list of contacts and relationships online. It has recorded 3,500,000 registered contacts until it ceased online in the year 2000.
Friendster followed in 2001. Then there were LinkedIn and MySpace in 2003. Facebook, the king of social media, was launched in 2004, followed by Twitter in 2006 and Instagram in 2010. In less than a generation, social media quickly evolve as a vital marketing tool of the 21st century. From direct information exchanges, they became a place for virtual gatherings and a platform for online retail.
With its fast-changing pace, let us now discuss 8 social media predictions for 2022!
Facebook Remains on Top (For Now)
Facebook is still the largest social media network in the world today. With 2.9 billion monthly active users, it covers more than 60% of the 4.48 billion social media users globally. Its large number of followers makes Facebook an ideal platform for advertising and marketing. Around 200 million brands and businesses tap into the power of Facebook marketing today.
Growing Utilization of User Generated Content (UGC)
A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong defines user-generated content (UGC) as an image, text, or video created by consumers instead of brands. They can be in the form of a review, status update, testimonial, unboxing, etc. Recent studies showed that UGCs influenced the buying habit of 8 out of 10 consumers in the modern world. By 2022, one of the social media predictions is the rise of UGC posts among brands and businesses. They can increase return visits by 20% and the time spent by consumers on a website by 90%. This means better opportunities to convert a prospect into a loyal customer by 81%.
More Augmented Reality Options
Augmented Reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the physical world. It involves overlaying audio and visual elements to enhance the sensory experience over social media content. One of the social media predictions for 2022 is the growing momentum of AR despite being in the infancy stage. Augmented reality searches grew by 81% in the last 5 years. Today, most social media platforms enabled AR tools for online shopping. Pinterest spearheaded the revolution by introducing AR-try on of makeups, hair pattern search, and online car test drive. Snapchat patented the Bitmoji fashion. With Facebook smart glasses and hats, 2022 maybe a year for AR shopping.
Shorter Attention Spans Result in More Bite-Sized Content
Recent studies showed that the attention span of people today has shortened to 8 seconds as compared to 12 seconds in the year 2000. This may be the reason why one of the social media predictions for 2022 is the rise of bite-size or snackable content. These can be an article with less than 600 words, GIFs, infographics, memes, or videos that are less than 30 seconds in length. Social media sites are adjusting to such types of content to make it easier for their target audience to digest a brand’s message. With clear messages and simple creatives, they can increase traffic among social media pages and websites daily.
Social Media Emerges as a Shopping Platform
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed the way people shop today. Most brands and businesses transformed from having physical stores to digital shops. Facebook and Instagram have rolled out Shops and live shopping. Twitter enabled product pages. Even Google launched Shoploop, an online shopping experience. As the number of US social buyers reached 80 million today, it is predicted to exceed 100 million by 2023. The same social media prediction for 2022 is expected to happen globally.
Social Media Becomes Part of Daily Life
An average online user spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media daily. It is about one hour longer as compared to that in 2012. This figure is expected to rise in the coming years. It is one of the social media predictions for 2022 and can be credited to the rise of mobile devices.
The Proliferation of Short-Form Video Content
According to a video marketing agency Hong Kong, video ads have convinced 84% of modern consumers to avail a brand, product, or service. With TikTok capturing the spotlight, people became addicted to short-form video content. Facebook and Instagram created Reels. Snapchat enabled Spotlight. YouTube introduced Shorts. All of these video formats last up to only 60 seconds. By 2022, studies showed that short-form videos will cover 81% of social media content.
The “Unbundling” of Reddit
Reddit is a social media forum and platform for discussing and voting news and trending content. Registered members can publish images, links, text, and videos within the platform. All these pieces of content can be voted down or up by other members. Reddit has the potential to become a giant beast among social media platforms. It is because it is now unbundling into different niches. Recently, Discord became the biggest chunk out of Reddit. It became an instant Slack app for gaming. Now valued at $3.5 billion, it became a subreddit among the community of gamers. Expect more subreddits to come in 2022!