Social media is a very lucrative platform which helps in building connectivity among people and developing relationships. It acts to bridge the gap. Social media has become an inevitable part of the lives of not only the Gen Z people and millennial but also the elderly people from the 20th century. Whether it is marketing, business, entrepreneurship, education, politics, governance, policy making or entertainment, the different platforms of social media are coveted by everyone for their respective needs.

Not a single day goes by in people’s lives where they can ignore the usage of social media. It has become inevitable and an extremely integral component of our lives. The importance of social media in today’s world has made marketers, business men and entrepreneurs flock to its various platforms for a better and effective targeting at their consumers. It is of great need of the hour to stay alert and aware of the dynamic and active social media trends. Several trends are currently popular with social media platforms.

The ephemeral content has remained and will continue to be popular with the millennial. Ephemeral content is the content which is available for a short span of time and vanishes after sometime. The snapchat, facebook and Instagram stories are one such content which disappear within 24 hours of posting.

In today’s circuit, people have a very short attention span and the methods of content consumption have also changed lately. The content format for stories is brief, engaging and unavoidable. That is why it has become popular with people and they develop an addiction for scrolling through stories for hours.

The statistics prove the rise in popularity for ephemeral content. There has been a substantial rise in the amount of Daily Active Users (DAUs) for Instagram stories from 100 million DAUs in October 2016 to 500 million DAUs in January 2020. Marketers have fully incorporated the use of Instagram stories for product placement. According to a survey by hootsuite, 64% of marketers have incorporated the use of Instagram stories with most brands posting at least four stories per day for advertisement.

Although Facebook and Instagram have dominated social media for several years, some other niche social media platforms have emerged to give competition to them. Not only has there been a rise in various social media applications, they are also quite famous and well liked among people.

For instance, the Chinese origin app TikTok which emerged in 2016 and was previously known as musically (started in 2014) has gained a lot of popularity with people belonging to all age groups. The B2B companies like 10Pearls and CitrusBits prefer using LinkedIn for their social media initiative rather than Facebook or Instagram. There are various other social media platforms which are gaining popularity and will continue to do so for a long period of time.

An upcoming trend is to being predicted by social media experts is the removal of likes by Instagram. Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most favored and used social media platforms and any change made by it is substantial for the users. It can also massively change the landscape for other social media platforms. Instagram recently tested the initiative of removing the like feature in a beta test and it is suspected that it may apply this change officially within some time. This change is expected from Instagram based on the logic that likes determine the social value of a person. People wait for hours and hours for approval from their followers which is derailing for their mental health.

A lot of people have rejected this idea saying that Instagram is doing this only to shred off the brands who promote themselves through influencers. If Instagram removes “likes”, then brands will not be able to directly measure the success of their campaigns through social media influencers. This will not only affect influencers and brands but other platforms could also be encouraged to take such steps.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have been used by brands for advertising and selling their products from a very long time now. This trend of social commerce has become the latest retail avenue for brands and it will only continue to grow in the coming future. Social commerce is well on its way to become a mainstream retail channel giving direct competition to offline stores and other websites. This trend will continue to nurture under effective features like shop able posts by certain social media platforms.

One of the most appealing contents on social media is the video content. It appears that it will dominate all other social media content soon. From daily vlogs, gaming videos and food recipes to short stories and Instagram TV videos, video content is the future of social media.

According to a study done by Cisco, 82% of the social media content will consist of video content by 2022. It clearly indicates the growing importance and popularity of video content among people. If someone wants to build a career out of any social media platform, he/she should definitely start off by creating short stories or videos portraying the skills in which they are adept.

The influencer marketing has also become an immensely followed and pursued trend in social media. One can see an influx of influencers and bloggers belonging to all sorts of communities and financial backgrounds. The influencer marketing has increased because of the sheer rise in influencers on social media as well as the market spending on these influencers. Investing in influencers is much easier and much less costly than the production of ravishing campaign ads. These influencers get much more engagement and cost much less than paid advertisements with proper production houses.

Social media has become a very dynamic and competitive space. It is really difficult and easy both at the same time to gain popularity with social media platforms. One only needs to find out their interest and apply the trends to their interests to become well acknowledged and successful in this field. But the key is to stay updated and alert with the active and upcoming social media trends.

By Ali Asad

The author is doing M. Phil in Public Policy and Governance. He is working  as a freelancer. Previously worked with HubPages and Washington Post.

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