2022 Predictions

Happy New Year! The holidays are over and we’re feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work and bring you all of our 2022 social media predictions! Here’s what we think is going to be big on social this year…

Our 2022 Predictions

Instagram

2021 was a huge year for Instagram! The platform announced it was “no longer a photo-sharing app” and that going forward Instagram will be prioritising video content.

We saw some big changes to the platform from lots of new stickers to the retirement of IGTV’s and are sure we’ll be seeing a lot more innovations from Instagram this year as it continues to compete with the likes of TikTok for users’ attention. 

It is no secret that Instagram plans to double down on video in 2022, so we can expect some big developments to video on Instagram this year. 

Although Reels became massively popular in 2021, the feature still has a long way to go to compete with other social platforms’ short form content. We hope to see updates that provide a better user experience for Reels, with more functionalities introduced to help the editing process within the Instagram app, so users do not have to leave the platform. 

We also expect to see Instagram developing and testing more video formats, in particular, developing the longer form video content features on the platform, including longer stories and longer Reels. In 2021 Instagram retired their long form video feature ‘IGTVs’ and towards the end of the year, revealed it was testing 60-second stories. Considering their competitor TikTok enables videos up to 3 minutes to be shared, we predict that Instagram will follow in their footsteps and allow users to create and post longer Reels. 

Will 2022 be the year we wave goodbye to the traditional Instagram feed and experience a video first feed? 

Changes to the traditional Instagram feed have already been in testing for a long time. At the end of 2021 users reported seeing a customisable timeline in testing that gave users the power to choose what they see in their timeline by choosing between: home, following and favourites. Although these features are still in testing, we expect to see Instagram roll out new features to give users more control over their browsing experience similar to TikToks ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feed. 

With video becoming even more of a focus for Instagram, we are confident that we will see some changes to the Instagram timeline that prioritises video content. For instance, giving users the option to open the app to their latest Stories or Reels rather than the traditional feed layout. 

Finally, shop, shop, shop! ECommerce has accelerated massively over the past couple of years and is now a key focus for Instagram.

Instagram reported last year that over ¼ of teens and young adults are expecting to shop directly through their social media feeds and special in-app features. So we can expect to see developments that make all posts shoppable and enable the whole shopping experience within the Instagram app. 

Facebook

2021 was a big year for Facebook with the company rebranding to Meta back in October. The popular social media platform still carries the Facebook name, though. In addition to the rebrand, Facebook was busy last year introducing regular updates. This year we expect to see Facebook ramping up its changes to the platform to remain competitive. 

Over the past couple of years, Facebook has made a big push into eCommerce, with the introduction of Facebook Shops and experimenting with Live Shopping on Facebook, providing more ways for retailers to connect with their audiences.

With the continued rise of online shopping, we expect to see further developments to eCommerce on Facebook. In-stream shopping has become a key element of focus for the platform, and in 2022, we can expect to see Facebook expand this even further with developments to shoppable posts, streamlined payment processes and improved product discovery. 

Video is an integral part of every social media platform and you can’t neglect the importance of video content on Facebook. Facebook reported that videos posted to Facebook receive 135% more organic reach than images. In 2021 Facebook rolled out Reels on Facebook to users in the US, but given the popularity of Instagram Reels, we suspect this feature will be rolled out worldwide in 2022 along with other features that support video on the platform. 

TikTok

Last year, TikTok went from strength to strength, and even surpassed the 1 billion user mark. The platform has shown it is a force not to be reckoned with and looks set to become an embedded part of the social landscape. Therefore, if it isn’t already, TikTok should be a key consideration for all digital marketers moving into 2022. Here’s what we predict that we will see from TikTok over the next year:

In 2022, we’re expecting to see big eCommerce growth on TikTok. 

In 2021 TikTok took some positive steps towards providing more monetisation opportunities on the platform, for both brands and creators, with various eCommerce tests and the launch of its Creator Marketplace, which helps facilitate sponsored content. 

But the platform still has a lot to work to do on the monetisation front if the platform wants to remain competitive. This year we expect to see more options being rolled out that facilitate more eCommerce and branded partnership opportunities. 

Like most other social platforms, TikTok is also looking to facilitate more live-stream commerce in the app, and focus on more live-streaming in general. 

With 2021 we saw a steadily increasing flow of live-stream broadcasts in the ‘For You’ feed, and soon, more of these will be from brands, about products aligned with users’ interests. 

As we know, the TikTok feed algorithm is very good at showing users more of what they like. So will we see that in 2022 this extends to products too? 

WhatsApp

The WhatsApp updates came thick and fast last year, but what can we expect from the platform in 2022? WhatsApp shows no sign of slowing down in 2022 and continues to be the most popular messaging app worldwide, with over 2.5 billion active users. We are sure we will see an array of new features from WhatsApp this year to make the app experience more useful and pleasant for its users. 

We predict this year will be the year we see WhatsApp prioritise users’ privacy and give its users more control. 

Towards the end of 2021, WhatsApp introduced a disappearing messages feature similar to Snapchat with users able to choose from three-time limits for the messages to disappear: 24 hours, 7 days, and 90 days. Now there are reports that the app will remove these specified time limits and allow users to set their own time limit for the message to disappear. 

Another feature that could be rolled out in 2022 is the ability to hide last seen from specific contacts as part of WhatsApp push to protect the privacy of its users. Currently, WhatsApp offers three options to hide their profile picture and last seen status. These are: everybody, nobody, and my contact. But the new option could enable users to hide their last seen status from specific users.

Another update that makes sense for the messaging platform is message reactions. A preview of a message reaction feature was allegedly spotted by WABetaInfo last year. Similar to the way you can react to messages and posts on Instagram and Facebook, the feature will allow users to react to a message using a total of six emojis. It is rumoured that the message reactions will be available in individual chat threads as well as group chats. A good addition to the platform that we think a lot of people will use.

Pinterest

Over 400 million+ monthly users around the world come to Pinterest to plan what to do, try or buy next. Pinterest experienced huge growth during the pandemic due to shopping centres being closed. But now Pinterest is faced with the challenge to capitalise on the growth in new users by introducing engaging features to ensure its users don’t drift off now physical stores have reopened. 

In 2021 we saw Pinterest start to shift its focus to video content, which is no surprise after seeing the growing popularity of the likes of TikTok. We expect to see Pinterest continue developing its short form video content, specifically, with its ‘Take’ option, which will enable users to respond to Idea Pins with their own variation or attempt. 

Given the popularity of live-stream commerce on other social channels, it’s no surprise that we expect to see Pinterest introduce the ability to live-stream to facilitate live-shopping on the platform. Live-streaming is not a part of Pinterest’s product suite at the moment but we expect this to be added into its Idea Pin options.

Continuing the eCommerce theme, we expect to see more eCommerce features added this year to facilitate more buyable pins and also the development of a simplified shopping process. 

Twitter

2021 was a funny year for Twitter. The platform adopted a new, faster development timeline, which has seen it add a lot more features over the past 18 months – though many of those new updates have fallen flat and we’ve seen Twitter remove them. 

A big feature we saw Twitter introduce in 2021 was Twitter Spaces — where users can hold live audio conversations, very similar to Clubhouse. During the pandemic, the popularity of audio on social rocketed and since audio has become a powerful way for marketers to build connections online through valuable conversations, we think the importance of Twitter spaces will grow in 2022 and should definitely be something for brands to consider in their marketing plan. 

Another user behaviour that’s changed over the past couple of years is the growth in mobile shopping. Could 2022 be the year users can shop via a tweet? Twitter is developing its eCommerce options and is already testing new shop elements on its Professional Profiles, along with in-stream buying from tweets.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn consistently updates its features to keep up with the ever-changing world of professional networking and this won’t change in 2022. Amid major shifts in the job market, LinkedIn will continue to update its platform to make networking connections easier and more accessible. Here’s some updates we can expect from LinkedIn in 2022.

Although LinkedIn was traditionally seen as more of a professional networking platform, 2021 is the year that the focus turned toward creators. LinkedIn recently launched LinkedIn Creator Mode in an effort to make the platform more appealing to content creators and we suspect the updates will just keep coming in 2022. With Creator Mode, more members have been given access to LinkedIn Live, so we predict 2022 will be the year LinkedIn really leans into video.

The Pandemic has forced companies to adapt the way they recruit, so another way we will see LinkedIn hone in on video is through the use of their ‘video introductions’ feature via LinkedIn Recruiter, allowing Recruiters to invite candidates to record an introduction after applying for a job on LinkedIn. This is an interesting addition and one we are sure lots of recruiters will find useful.

In addition to this, LinkedIn has looked to become a bigger facilitator of live-stream events, and we expect this to become more of a key element of the in-app experience in 2022. While many people are keen to get back to in-person events, the pandemic showed just how powerful online events were, enabling businesses to expand their event audiences through online broadcasts. We expect to see LinkedIn provide the facilities for these events, without businesses having to set up a dedicated website for them. So keep an eye out for more LinkedIn Events in your feed. 

The social media world keeps evolving and there are some clear indicators of key trends and shifts that the social media platforms will need to quickly adapt to. We can’t wait to see what 2022 brings and look forward to keeping you up to date with all the latest industry updates from the top social media platforms this year!

Happy New Year!
SHC Digital