Social media has become an integral part of most people’s life. Most of my screen time is attributed to my social media apps. When I need to relax, I will go to my friends’ stories on Instagram to see what great restaurants or great outdoor places they’ve found recently. And I get the latest news, connect with my friends and even shop through Instagram. I learn about coding and how to analyze and evaluate company stocks through YouTube. Social media is no longer just social.
As can be seen from the above research results, the younger generation now uses TikTok and Snapchat more often. My friends told me it is time for us to start using TikTok to keep up with the trend. As new platforms come out, different platforms also have their specific loyal users and evolve particular functions. Here are some social media demographics and stats to show you how far these social media became.
Facebook has 2.7 billion monthly active users. Their largest age group is 25-35. Facebook is expected to lose 2 million users under the age of 25 this year.
Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users. Their largest age group is 25-34. Eighty percent of Instagram users follow at least one business profile, with 200 million of them constantly checking their favorite brands. Instagram faces fierce competition for younger users. TikTok(29%) recently overtook Instagram(25%) as the most popular social platform among American teens. Instagram stories are two times more popular than Snapchat.Top brands love Instagram. Recent Instagram data highlight the value of influencers and Instagram content in motivating shopping.
YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users. Their largest age group is 15-25. YouTube’s popularity among younger users highlight a long-term and ongoing shift to video content. From what I know, now most younger kids want to be YouTubers when they grow up. And there is an increasing number of schools providing classes to teach young children to be YouTubers. YouTube is the second largest search engine, taking second to Google with 3 billion searches a month. YouTube grows as a social network and as a competitor of streaming platforms like Netflix.
Twitter has 187 million daily active users. Their largest age group is 30-49. Twitter’s role as a place to discuss events and gather breaking news makes it the perfect place to share content and promote discussions. 42% of Twitter users are highly educated and higher earners. Although there are 1.3 billion Twitter accounts, only about a quarter of them are active every month.
So what changes can we expect to see for social media?
1.Live streams will remain popular
Due to the pandemic, Face-to-face meetings turned into Zoom conferences, and live concerts turned into live streams of artists playing from their homes. Facebook saw a massive rise in messaging and live streaming. In 2018, an estimated 47 percent of global consumers said their live streaming increased from the previous year. And that number is set to grow — Cisco estimates that 82 percent of Internet traffic will come from video by 2022. Social media live streaming is dynamic, authentic, and engaging. Live Streaming E-commerce in social media platforms is rage in China. The live stream of Li Jiaqi, the best salesman of beauty products in China, was watched by 300 million people and sold around 1 billion dollars sales a single day. I wonder if this live stream marketing would be a trend in the US.
2.Stories as a content format and more visuals
More than 500 million users interact with Instagram Stories every day. A study by Social Insider found that images in stories get 5.65% more clicks than videos. The click-forward rate is the number of people who see your account and move on to the next story before it’s finished. We continue to see s shift toward live content that is composed through a camera. What I love about Stories is it is about the present. I believe that the ability to see through other people’s lenses in real-time is becoming a powerful force in social media.
3.Less personal content, but more memes
Social media users share less personal information on major networks, preferring to show some external content to their friends, such as a funny video or a funny meme. What I really enjoy is is to share funny videos with my friends, or chat only with memes.As I am not a native speaker, I rely on memes very much. When I was not fluent in English, Memes could help me communicate with my friends smoothly.I firmly believe that I could write a blog about Digital Transformation using only Memes
4. VR and AR will become more popular on social media
By early 2021, Facebook uses the Oculus VR platform to beta test a virtual world that allows people to explore, connect with others, and play games. TikTok showed off a golden ball, slowly falling and then blasting open and filling the room with shiny paper and shiny balloons.AR and VR experiences are inherently interactive, very compelling for user engagement and fun.
On the other side, Social Media brings downsides and dangers such as cyberbullying. I believe that only enforced regulations can encourage users to increase trust in social media networks and promote engagement.
Sometimes my friends around me and I would delete social media apps for some time because we think it takes up too much of our precious time, which we could use for reading and our families. It’s fair to say that people have mixed feelings about Social Media. There is a popular joke on Twitter that even though you no longer want to be on Twitter because it is so toxic, you remain on it anyway. Gradually, many people say goodbye to their social media apps because they think these platforms no longer serve them as positively as it serves them negatively. Social media has evolved from a direct electronic exchange of information to a virtual meeting place, retail platform, and crucial marketing tool of the 21st century in less than a generation. When people’s social media are flooded with misinformation, many advertisements and accounts are banned for no reason; people may start to miss the platform that begins as pure communication. It’s just like cooking. If you add more and more seasonings, the dish may not taste good. Many people now mitigate to Private Message Apps because some people want a platform to speak freely and not be spied on. Sometimes I discussed something in the chat, and then the platform kept pushing relevant advertisements to me. I felt like being snooped on, and sometimes I felt not very comfortable.
What do you think of social media? Do you want them to go back to simplicity, or do you want them to become more and more of an integrated platform?