The curtain closed on 2023, leaving behind a scene of significant changes in the social networking universe. This year marked a pivotal stage in the digital evolution, where platforms adapted and transformed to meet the changing needs and expectations of users; And now, as we enter 2024, we want to look at how these transitions will impact emerging trends on the major social platforms: Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and the newly launched Threads.
The year 2024 looks set to be an exciting chapter in the history of social media, as digital evolution continues to transform the way we connect and share information; As we enter the new year, we think it would be interesting to anticipate (as far as possible) the emerging trends that will set the pulse of the most prominent platforms. These predictions are based on various sources and analyses of the current dynamics of the digital space;
General trends for networks: AI will continue to grow
- Interactive content and immersive experiences; Leading platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn are set to adopt more interactive approaches; It is expected that the immersive experiences, involving virtual and augmented reality, are further integrated into the content. This trend aims to take user engagement to new levels, creating experiences that transcend the screen and become even more immersive;
- UGC or user-generated content will continue to improve in quality. The user-generated content or UGC has undoubtedly been one of the ‘top’ formats of these last two/three years. Much more ‘natural’ and spontaneous than the ad hoc advertising content we are all familiar with; And it will remain the lifeblood of social media, but this year, it is expected to be a step up in quality, a ‘step up’; Platforms such as TikTok and Instagram will implement more advanced editing and production tools, giving users the ability to create more professional and engaging content;
- Boosting the importance of mental health in social media; Yes, as you read; And it’s about time; With growing awareness of the importance of mental health, social networks are taking steps to create more positive environments; Even more features and tools that promote digital wellbeing, such as reminders for breaks and limits on the visibility of certain types of content, are expected to be introduced in 2024; Something more than interesting and necessary;
- Integration of shopping and social networks; This relationship between shopping and networks has been commonplace in recent years, but platforms such as Instagram and TikTok are now expected to continue to improve the direct shopping functions from posts, videos and stories, transforming the digital space into an interactive showcase where products can be discovered and purchased even more easily and quickly;
- Artificial intelligence as a form of personalisation (among other things); AI will play a super-relevant role in personalising social media experiences; More advanced algorithms are expected to learn and adapt content according to users’ individual interests, improving retention and overall satisfaction;
- Authenticity is rewarded; According to Metricool, in a year in which artificial intelligence has been one of the protagonists, the user is rewarding – more than ever – authentic and close content on social networks; According to the platform, user engagement and interaction is higher on smaller accounts; In other words, connection and closeness between brand and user;
And that is why the trend of this connection is going to expand through the different options offered by the networks; This is the case of Instagram’s private broadcasting channels, Whatsapp, interaction stickers, etc.
Social media trends 2024
At least for me, I have the feeling that Facebook is starting to be one of the great forgotten social networks; However, it is still the one with the most users in the world; It certainly won’t be the place where you’ll find millennials, let alone Generation Z;
Like all other social networks,over the past few years, Facebook has been prioritising video content, and this trend will likely persist in 2024. The platform is expected to further enhance its video capabilities and encourage the creation and viewing of audiovisual content;
Based on data analysed by the Metricool in its Social Media Study 2023, brands are spending less and less effort on Facebook, a social network where content from other networks is “leveraged”.
The loss of credibility in X over the last year is more than evident; The new policy allowed any user to obtain verification by paying a monthly fee, without a rigorous identity verification process; This change led to a wave of fraudulent verified accounts and spam, which led to the platform losing credibility; In addition, verification was removed from many legitimate accounts, leading to confusion and dissatisfaction among established users;
What is being done to try to ‘restore’ that credibility? As we have seen in recent months, X is introducing tools that make it easier to contextualise conversations; This could include features that allow users to add context to their tweets, providing additional information to avoid misunderstandings and encourage more informed discussions;
The resulting situation has been a critical point in the perception and functionality of X, calling into question the effectiveness and sustainability of the company’s strategic decisions under the new management. The loss of trust from users and advertisers, coupled with technical and financial issues, suggest a difficult road ahead this year.
Will X, Twitter, reinvent itself and thrive, or will it fade into social media history? According to Metricool and its study this year, X remains an effective platform for engagement, even despite declining impressions, algorithm changes or account size;
LinkedIn will continue its evolution towards a more visual and collaborative platform; A increase in the use of professional video content and live broadcasts is anticipated. This trend aims to achieve that kind of ‘more authentic connections’ between professionals, as well as creating a more dynamic and participatory environment;
We can also expect thatLinkedIn Learning is consolidated as an essential resource for professional development; With a focus on continuing education, companies are likely to use the platform for staff training;
Likewise, and as many of you already know, LinkedIn is a rather opaque network in terms of providing data, among other things; So we will gradually see what changes they implement in 2024;
As mentioned at the beginning, Instagram will continue its transformation into an e-commerce platform; The ‘shoppable’ feature will expand, allowing users to shop directly from posts and stories both directly from brands and from brands through influencers. Brands will strive to create more immersive shopping experiences, using augmented reality and interactive video;
Of course, as we all already know, preference for video content has been on the rise on Instagram, and this trend is expected to continue in 2024. Reels, short, entertaining videos will likely play a central role in Instagram’s strategy to keep users engaged; Further diversification of video content is anticipated, from tutorials to more immersive experiences;
Oh, TikTok, that social network that until a couple of years ago was ‘teenage stuff’; How wrong we were…
For 2024 we expect even more diversification of content, as TikTok is already a search engine in itself. It will continue to be a leader in short, entertaining content, users will seek more enriching experiences, including educational videos, tutorials and wellness content to balance entertainment with utility;
In addition, it is more than likely that TikTok will continue to improve its creative tools to allow users to create more sophisticated content. We will see a greater focus on advanced video editing, special effects and interactive features that allow users to take their creations to new levels; All in all, I am sure that this year TikTok will gain in quality;
Threads, Instagram’s messaging app that just arrived in Europe a few weeks ago, is expected to experience continued growth; Privacy will be key, with enhanced private messaging features and greater control over content visibility, cementing its position as an intimate space for communication between close friends;
Mark Zuckerberg’s company aims to add more than 40 million additional users to the platform by 2024; Will it succeed?
Finally, although we don’t have the ‘crystal ball’, the reality is that 2024 promises an exciting evolution in social media; From LinkedIn, where professionalism is mixed with authenticity, to Instagram, which is becoming an interactive showcase, to TikTok, which will continue to gain followers and improve the quality of its content, or Threads, which aims to be that platform for intimate communication (and even replace X), the trends reflect an ever-changing landscape; Those who understand and take advantage of these trends will be better positioned to build meaningful connections in this fascinating and ever-changing digital world;
Sources: Metricool Report 2023 and Trends 2024, wwwhatsnew.com, Digital Trends Reports from specialist consultancies such as Hootsuite and We Are Social, as well as analysis of changes in platform functions by digital marketing experts.