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Time for some change – Social Platforms are evolving in 2022

Digital marketing is a rollercoaster ride. No literally, it’s a rollercoaster. Every year the world of digital marketing gets more and more exciting and there are twists and turns galore. You never quite know what to expect and more importantly, how to use it to your business’s advantage. And as with every rollercoaster ride, there are tremendous highs with glorious views and stomach-turning drops as the world below come rushing towards you all at once – yup, we know the feeling. 

All your favourite social media sites are adding some new updates in 2022 and thankfully Digital Gap is here to give you a glimpse into the future with what you can expect and how to ensure you stay ahead of the curve for your business in the new year. 

TikTok 

TikTok continues to grow from strength to strength as it was voted as both 2020 and 2021’s most loved app and looks to surpass 1.5 billion active users in 2022. With that many active users and the cultural paradigm that it has created, this video-centric platform has a massive effect on the youth and brands alike. Riding on their wave of success, TikTok looks to include a new shopping feature similar to that of Instagram where users can purchase items showcased from content creators. The global pandemic has sped up online shopping like never before, with many consumers loving the ease, convenience, and safety that online shopping affords you and TikTok wants to jump on the bandwagon. The company has chosen to release this new feature to their UK market first before slowly expanding across the globe. Whilst it is no wonder that TikTok is now jumping on the proverbial shopping cart that is converting social media platforms into eCommerce platforms too; the question is more why only now? 

Twitter 

Ahh, Twitter. Everyone’s favourite ranting/expressive/venting platform. In all seriousness, Twitter still provides a vital tool as a line of communication between businesses and their customers in terms of updates, queries, or connections. It has shown growth in active users of 192 million in 2020 Q4 all the way to 211 million active users in Q3 2021 – quite a few more tweets going out into the Twitterverse! They recently rolled out a teaser of a new feature in the form of private accounts that allowed users control of follower lists, archiving old tweets (if you’re quiet you can hear celebrities everywhere sighing in relief) and more autonomy over their accounts. Twitter also announced the use of full-sized imagery on the platform too, removing the auto-crop feature that had so long limited the full photo being seen. And finally, Twitter also looks to add a content warning to tweets as a method of protection against impressionable users, a drive away from their current format which includes adding a warning to all your tweets which is obviously not ideal while this new feature will let you target single tweets and specific categories. There are not too many businesses that should be tweeting any NSFW content but it’s always good to know it’s there…

Facebook 

In the latest move to stay trendy, Facebook (or as we should now say, Meta) is looking to include a ‘professional’ user profile accessible and used only by content creators. This new feature has been designed as a method of monetization for creators and professionals alike and allows additional insights to be gained as well. Whilst Meta has hinted that more monetization programs to come, this new professional LinkedIn-lookalike allows for insights into follower growth, number of shares, reactions and comments in a format that allows for more informed decisions about the content they post. This new feature is for a venture into public profiles which, Meta warns, will allow for others to have more access to their public persona and open them up to the associated risks and opportunities. This new feature could allow for other key features such as scheduled group posts and new professional tools – a social media marketer’s dreams!

Instagram 

Instagram will forever be a fan favourite of all the social media platforms but over the years, they have made a few…. faux pas shall we say. Whilst the implementation of stories brought Snapchat’s growth to its knees, they also brought in the unpopular IGTVs to take on YouTube and messed up our feeds with their illogical  chronicle order of posts. Well, fear-not fellow Instagram-lovers, the order has once more come to the galaxy. Instagram has announced that they will bring back the chronological feed in early 2022 due to popular demand. Not only this but there are talks of the stories becoming the main feature of Instagram as a manner of competing with TikToks bit-size video chunks that only stories can achieve. 

On top of this, Instagram is focusing on safety in the new year and the first of this initiative is their parental control feature, set to come out in March 2022. This feature will allow parents to set time limits, check the amount of time spent on the app and see if anyone reports one another. This new update and emphasis on control comes on the heels of Meta’s call-out earlier this year from Frances Haugen’s incriminating doctrine that showed how both Instagram and Facebook had knowledge of their platforms being used as a harmful platform for body issues among young female users. So, the question remains – is this too little, too late? 

Pinterest 

Not only is Instagram adding their PG stamp to their platform, but Pinterest isn’t too far off either, with plans of their own that centre around the idea of parental control on the platform. Whilst not much more is known about this new update, it looks to roll out before March next year and will likely be met with open arms from Pinterest users. 

Pinterest Shopping (announced as a new feature this past year) is in full swing and seems to be well supported – who doesn’t want to shop their dream room online anyway? They have also become a lot more interactive as a platform, with live takeovers from stars such as Queer Eye, Oprah and Blake Lively, all in the name of style, fashion, and design. In addition to these successes comes the news that PayPal had bought the company this year, Pinterest stock has been allowed over the place but now looks to potentially be worth a trillion dollars in 2040. (Just think about that for a second…a trillion. Wow).

Whilst there is little else to be heard of plans for 2022 for the platform, they have released their predicted trends to come in 2022 which include lounge lingerie, DIY Car curtains and Greek-inspired architecture to name but a few. Somewhere in the world, a DIY fundi, living in a Greek mansion wearing their skims lounge wear is ecstatic.

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is the established, lawyer older brother in the social media family that occasionally lets their hair down and has a unique sense of humour. And now this older sibling is focusing on learning in 2022. LinkedIn learning is already doing well on the platform but a new feature of ‘Office Hours’ is sure to catapult it into the new big thing in education. This feature allows users to interact with experts and other learners as they broach the subject before them. This includes posting questions, comments and taking part in classes in live time, leading to more creator engagement and online learning; a new venture that many have tackled now in the time of covid to help upskill them in their workplaces as well as improving existing skills within the hours of a work office. Now, this is something we could get behind…

So, there you have it, 2022 looks to be starting with a bang and there is plenty to look forward to. However, constant change can be upsetting and stressful to know, tackle and use new updates to the best of your business’s advantage regularly which is where Digital Gap shines. Let’s ride this roller-coaster together. 

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