The Matter Social Second: Five Predictions for 2021

By Matter

Welcome to another edition of The Matter Social Second – a monthly series keeping you informed on what’s trending in social media. This month, our social media pros share their top insights and predictions for 2021.

Users Connect Virtually with Gaming

Within the last year, social media users that identify as “gamers” increased by more than 10 million [source: Hubspot]. Platforms like Facebook are already leveraging this knowledge, launching new VR products and recording 7.6 million hours of Facebook Gaming Livestreams in Q3. In 2021, social media platforms will continue to tap into this ‘gamer’ audience: curating specific content, features, and more for gamers. Brands should also take note as this could present opportunities for game-related promotions in the new year. 

Is TikTok The Next Vine?

It’s no secret that TikTok took the social media landscape by storm this year, captivating Gen Z and Millennial audiences. You may remember a similar app called Vine that ceased to exist in 2016 after just 4 years in the spotlight. While both apps captivated younger audiences with easy-to-use video creation and meme-like content, Vine’s demise could be an indication of an impending fate for TikTok. 

Vine was discontinued due to a lack of revenue sharing with its top creators which ended up driving them away from the platform altogether. TikTok has plans in place to focus on revenue sharing and eCommerce in 2021, but unless they can follow through on these promises, TikTok following in Vine’s footsteps is a very real possibility.

Brands Focus on Quality and Purpose Over Quantity

2020 pressed brands to revisit their messaging strategies on social media. On several occasions, brands chose to hit pause on their regularly scheduled content to take a closer look at the social landscape and decide if they were sending the right message at the right time, which sometimes meant not posting at all. 

As we head into 2021, we’re going to see more brands step away from their premeditated content calendars and take the time to create quality content that is more thoughtful, sensitive, and in-touch with the world that we live in. We’ll see brands post less frequently and take a more thoughtful approach when it comes to their partnerships, influencer relationships and paid programs in the coming year. 

Social Shopping Has Arrived

Convenience is king for consumers. As leading social media platforms have already added Shop tabs or buttons, shopping directly from social media will increase and these channels will become an even greater part of companies’ marketing/sales plans. Brands will increasingly be adding the shop option directly to their posts, especially on Instagram. 2021 will be the year of “social media shopping.” 

New “Stories” Options Fade Away

In 2020 we witnessed multiple platforms releasing or enhancing their versions of “Stories.” Despite these sharing options gaining recent popularity, a shift away from Stories and disappearing content, particularly on channels like Twitter and LinkedIn, is already underway. We’ve noticed that most “Fleets” are just screenshots of Tweets – smart content is something brands want to tout, not have erased in a 24-hour window.