What is likely to trend for Social Media for the year 2022? 

As we are wrapping-up the last phase of yet another COVID-disrupted year, we all hope that a return to normal will happen soon. Though we expect that the full economic impacts of the pandemic are likely to play out over decades in varying ways, our reliance on social media marketing and influencer marketing is going and growing stronger. 

The implications of digital marketing, the pandemic-induced lockdowns and changing online behaviors, has seen new trends like audio social, the growth of eCommerce and the evolving metaverse for digital connection. 

Also the work from home shift, and the migration to hybrid work models, have resulted in broader digital connection. 

All of these elements will decide what’s coming next in the social media space. So what to expect from Facebook, Twitter and the rest in 2022? With the pandemic disruptions easing and stable pathways appearing there’s certainly a lot predicted to happen though even amid the chaos.

 

  • Facebook

 

Irrespective of the rising challenges, and a steady stream of controversies, Facebook remained atop the social media heap in 2021.  

The platform continues to expand into markets and also continues to add new ad tools and business options to build a more complete platform that facilitates the next stage of brand connection.

In Spite of its advancements to move into VR, and the evolving metaverse concept. It still faces challenges. But Facebook looks set for further growth and continues to develop in more, and different ways.

The key elements of development includes:

eCommerce focus

Facebook and Instagram shops have given a big push into eCommerce and a way for retailers to connect with audiences. In-stream shopping has become a key element of focus for the platform. The development of Facebook Pay and its own Diem digital currency helps streamlined payment processes and improved product discovery.

AR/VR development

The next stage of Facebook’s AR glasses are expected to be more specifically integrated with Instagram. If Facebook can own the trending Metaverse space, it will be a big win for its future ambitions.

Algorithmic shifts

Whistleblower Frances Haugen had recommended removing algorithmic amplification made by Facebook. Instead he suggested providing this as a simple, optional feed alternative.

Audio social

Facebook has taken a more measured and cautious approach, by restricting access to its audio rooms only to high-profile users and groups.

Building digital identity

Digital identity, and building a bridge between your Facebook profile and your VR/metaverse presence will be another key step.

Trust the system

With regards to Facebook ads, ‘trust the process’ will be a key refrain. With this, Facebook urges its ad partners to rely more on its machine learning processes for guidance to spend.

 

  • Twitter

 

Since Twitter’s adoption of a new, faster development timeline, it has added a lot more features over the past 18 months. Twitter improves, both in terms of engagement and revenue. Though there are key elements that require more focus, it is theoretically on track to meet the ambitious growth targets. Twitter needs improvements, or Jack Dorsey and Co. could soon be out of the job. 

Twitter’s plan for 2022 to build on its momentum:

Building payment frameworks

Twitter’s main push over the past year, in terms of its business efforts, has been building pathways for creators to make money from their tweets. It also established expanded revenue streams for the platform itself.

Options like Super Follows and Ticketed Spaces facilitate a direct monetization for users. Twitter is also developing its own Twitter Blue subscription option for access to new tweet features.

Shopping via tweet

Twitter is also developing its eCommerce options with the rise in mobile shopping shift. New shop elements are already being tested on its Professional Profiles.

Crypto and NFTs

Twitter is taking more practical steps into the next stage of tech development. These new options will enable people to make payments via cryptocurrency, and new display tools.

New video tools

Twitter to make video a bigger focus next year, as it is already set to integrate the full-screen presentation options and tools leftover from Fleets into new areas.

If it can lean into the broader interest in full-screen and short-form video, that could be an engagement winner. 

 

  • Instagram

 

This other social app of  Facebook has become a key player in many aspects.  The platform continues to chase trends, whether they be of Snapchat or TikTok-origination, and it remains popular with younger users.

What’s in store for IG in 2022?

Buy, Buy, Buy

eCommerce is the key focus on Instagram. More shopping options on Instagram favours habitual usage, and gets the users more accustomed to spending.

Instagram wants all posts to be shoppable. And is working on object identification tools, for still images and video, to facilitate that.

More shopping options are expected to be tested in IG through the year to include advanced product search by image, product discovery panels in the main feed and a big push on live shopping. 

A new usage focus for the app is developing.

AR linkage

Instagram will have direct connection into its AR glasses and tools. This will also extend to NFTs and digital avatars, which will be increasingly integrated into the IG experience.

Variable focus

Video engagement is already dominant on the platform and Reels being its fastest-growing element. It is predicted that Instagram will put more focus on these formats. Before eventually retiring the traditional feeds altogether, it will see an optional Stories/Reels home screen option.

 

  • Snapchat

 

Despite having a much smaller niche than its competitors, Snapchat has established a valuable place in the social media marketplace. Snapchat has become a key platform for more intimate connection and community. It also facilitated new trends in content consumption via shorter, snackable shows. 

Despite clear disadvantages, it also remains a leader in AR.

Here’s what’s on the horizon for Snap.

Keeping up with the big boys

Snapchat has long been the leader in AR tools and capacity and is better at understanding its audiences. It has consistently shown that it has far more creative and cultural nous.

Virtual fashion

The rise of NFTs aims at a new stage for digital representation. People can better showcase their personal fashion sense and interests through their online profiles.

Video in focus

Snap also sees potential in the spotlight. Snap is investing in top TikTok stars to create more dedicated Discover shows. This will help them take their content to the next level, and build Snap as the key platform for this new TV-like format.

Scanning the scene

With more snap options, Snapchat will look to lean into. This will help connect users to additional information and special offers .

 

  • Pinterest

 

To discover new products and trends, of all the major social platforms, Pinterest turns the biggest winner of the pandemic-led eCommerce shift. Many more users are turning to the app as a replacement for the shopping mall.

The challenge now for Pinterest is to ensure that the new users that it’s gained as a result of the pandemic don’t suddenly drift off as physical stores reopen.

So how will Pinterest do that?

Video content

Pinterest is working to align with consumption trends. New video display formats, including Stories, with a Pin-specific spin in each case are all part of the changing trend. 

Live-shopping

Though live-streaming is not a part of Pinterest’s product suite at the moment, the expanded push on live-stream commerce, following the lead of Asian eCommerce trends, is expected to be added to Idea Pin options, likely late Q2 next year.

Simplified process

This is a key that focuses on making products more universally accessible.

 

  • TikTok

 

Tik Tok is a new big player with usage that now rivals Instagram. TikTok continues to grow, despite the lingering concerns about its connection to the Chinese Government.

What can you expect from TikTok over the next year?

Shopping spree

While TikTok continues to expand, and has now surpassed a billion active users, its key challenge still lies in effective monetization, both for the platform itself and for its top creators. 

Trendjacking

TikTok, requires a dedicated, platform-specific, minimally disruptive approach.

Live-streaming for the win

TikTok too is looking to facilitate more live-stream commerce and more live-streaming in general to expand user behaviors.

 

  • LinkedIn

 

LinkedIn looks to have a bigger focus moving forward. The platform sits on valuable troves of career data that could help. The platform is already seeing steady increase in user engagement. And is looking to build its own creator tools and  also seek to boost its options to help facilitate more remote work arrangements. It aims to maximize the economic opportunities for the minority communities, which have been disproportionately hit by COVID-19.

Here’s what you can expect from LinkedIn in 2022.

Major Events

LinkedIn has  become a bigger facilitator of live-stream events, and expects this to become a larger element of the in-app experience in 2022.

Remote recruitment

The shift to remote work is expected to stay, and calls for consideration for many brands as they assess broader economic and lifestyle benefits over time.

Story time

As part of its announcement that it was shutting its Stories option, LinkedIn would be building some elements of stories into new tools. 

 

To Conclude

Mentioned in this article are some of the key trends that you can expect to see take shape in 2022 with regard to the various social media handles. Though it is still hard to predict, there are some clear indicators of key trends and shifts that point to the next stage.

With many people looking to evolve from the pre-COVID days and build new opportunities in the re-building market, social media marketing and influencer marketing will see a significant role to play. This could open up major new potential for those paying attention, and these new features will look to align with those trends, and facilitate growth.