The top five social media trends of 2019December 20, 2019
By Jordan McDonald
55 comms social media coordinator
Top 5 Social Media Trends of 2019
1. The year of Stories
At the start of 2019, over 400 million users were actively using Instagram Stories every day, and that number has only increased. Users are responding to the unpolished nature of the media – a refreshing break from the often too polished news feed content. An interesting point to note is that Instagram learned that younger audiences, in particular, are spending more time watching amateur content creators than professional, which largely encouraged Instagram’s heavy investment increase in Stories and IGTV this year.
2. Private Groups
Private groups emerged toward the end of 2018 as a tool for businesses to communicate to an audience in a way that is unaffected by the Facebook algorithms. In 2019, this trend grew more prominent, and users are enjoying feeling like they belong to ‘meaningful’ groups of like-minded people. As we near the end of 2019 and look ahead to 2020, I anticipate private groups will only become a more important communication tool for businesses wanting to engage better with their audience.
There’s no surprise that trust has a spot in this list – it seemed like 2019 was non-stop controversy for a number of social media giants, most notably Facebook. But this trust has re-conditioned users world-wide into being more perceptive to deception or inauthenticity. Specifically, 2019 saw the straining of the influencer versus user relationship in light of growing distrust in social media altogether. Users were turning to sources they felt were most authentic – these being immediate friends, family, and even traditional journalism outlets. It’s caused a lot of influencers to become more transparent with sponsored posts, and the emergence of micro-influencers. Trust is never a quick fix so I expect this whole issue will continue to develop in 2020.
We’ve been saying it for a while now, but video continues to dominate social media as the most effective media form. In particular, vertical video is quickly becoming the most common media we consume, and that was supported by Instagram Stories and IGTV. Facebook also launched Facebook Watch which operates a bit like YouTube in terms of it pushing videos to you that you might like, and the ability to create Watch Parties with your friends. Subtitles in videos become the norm this year too – it’s widely known that 80 per cent of people watch videos without sound, so subtitles were a small change that could keep a viewer’s attention a bit longer.
My personal favourite on this list is Reddit. The 6th most visited site in the world, for me, feels like it’s always a few steps ahead of the other major social media giants. When I say that, I mean strictly with content. Reddit has tapped into the private group feel since its origination and the interactions on the platform feel far nicer than our Facebooks and Twitters etc. For companies looking to hone in on their niche as well as find great new content ideas, Reddit is incredibly useful for this. It is the most underrated social media and content generation tool. During 2019, Reddit saw massive increases in traffic which were noticeable with subreddits increasing in large numbers. It’s a late trend for 2019, but certainly one to watch coming into 2020.