B&T’s 2020 Social Media Predictions

What will happen in 2020 on social? We'll all have 2020 vision (and laser cat will take over)

2020 will not only be the year of terrible puns about vision, it's also shaping up to be a big year for bringing authenticity back to social. And perhaps some better jokes! In 2019 we already saw some huge steps towards making social platforms a more positive space. The removal of Instagram likes, banning 'cosmetic surgery’ filters, and the introduction of an offensive comment filter to help tackle online bullying - just to name a few. With more people than ever demanding transparency, authenticity and increased awareness around mental health, creators and brands will need to take this to the next level in the new year.

A Shift in Thought

One of the key trends we're seeing born out of Gen Z is that the 'Instagram perfect' era is officially behind us. Influencers who are still fine-tuning their feeds with retouched travel photos and overusing the same old punny captions will quickly start to lose relevance.

It's not just influencers, this goes for brands too. Authenticity is in high demand and Gen Z are digital natives - they can't be fooled by the marketing glitz of yesteryear. That means we'll be seeing more untouched imagery, relatable captions with meaning, and more real life. You know, IRL. Gen Z are demanding this authenticity and transparency from brands, and this will only strengthen in the coming years.

New Platforms? TikTok will Take Over 2020

TikTok has already taken the social world by storm this year being the most downloaded social media app worldwide for September 2019.* We predict that TikTok will become the future go-to platform when running dark ads in 2020 with its most recent roll out of 3rd party tracking and biddable ads.

Targeting options currently include age, gender, geo-targeting, custom audiences and is soon to roll out interest and behavioural. And what’s so great about TikTok’s demographic? It’s targeting Gen Z! Meaning your ads will reach the 70 % of users aged 14-24 who are slowly but surely moving away from Facebook.

*Sensor Tower

The Rise of AR

For AR we’re betting things will take off in a much bigger way in 2020 now that Snapchat’s Lens Studio, Google’s AR Kit and Facebook’s Spark AR are both fully out of beta and firmly in the hands of creators!

Both companies have opened up their AR creation walled gardens, which previously had significant technical and financial restrictions, meaning they were out of reach for most. It’s been exciting to see how Spark’s community has responded to the tools that Facebook have put in their hands, given what we’ve seen and how well these have been built.

Shopping on social media platforms will become the number one way to shop with the help of AR. And this way, you will no longer need to leave your favourite social media channels in order to make a purchase!

With just a few clicks you can go from seeing something you like on social to trying these products on for size. Making a purchase has never been so fun and convenient, and will most certainly increase social sales in 2020.

Video Makes a Come-Back

In 2019 we saw the growth of video where it becomes more and more of an important ad format, especially with the rise of TikTok as noted above. In 2020, we would predict that videos will be increasingly prominent as a paid ad format. From a paid social point of view, we can see the monetising of IGTV being the next big thing in 2020. Already existing on Instagram and growing in popularity, it will be the new TV for phones and a natural next step for ad placement.

The Growth of E-Commerce

We also predict that social media platforms will continue to grow as an e-commerce platform. Social platforms will be prioritising how to make shopping in platform more convenient through a rise of shoppable ad formats and more integrated payment methods. For marketers like us, this should be good news as attribution would naturally be more accurate and CPA should be more efficient as we see a lower drop off post-click.

B&T Thoughts

So there you have it! From the end of an 'Instagram perfect' era to the rise in authenticity to the predicted and continued growth of AR and video formats, next year is set to be an exciting year in our eyes. How will this shape your 2020 social media strategy?


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