In the age of technology, we have seen it all: chats have been snapped, leaves have fallen from the Vine, and reality itself has become augmented. Platforms rise and fall, each offering new ways to create and connect, but the industry’s top hitters like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram continue to dominate. Now as we watch each shift and return in this ever-changing landscape, one thing is becoming clearer.
Audiences want honesty.
When social media first began its rise, one of the key issues users discovered was how easy it is to build an idealized person and then measure its value with surface-level likes or followers. But in 2020, users are rejecting these metrics altogether, looking to groups and communities for an online voice. The social experience is no longer about shouting into a high-speed void— it’s about finding the humans on the other end. And leaders of the industry are taking notice.
In an April 2019 interview with TEDx considering how the platform needs to change, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said, “One of the choices we made in the early days was we had this number that showed how many people follow you. We decided that number should be big and bold, and anything that’s on the page that’s big and bold has importance, and those are the things that you want to drive. Was that the right decision at the time? Probably not.” Instead, Dorsey believes that value lies with the conversation itself, with the bonds the platform can build and the discussions it can foster. In the past year, this line of thinking has sent major waves through the industry.
In 2020, Social Media is bringing us back together.
With the appeal of interactive features on the latest industry disruptor TikTok and experiments like the removal of the ‘like’ button on Instagram, we see a different way to value our interactions on social media, one that focuses on direct communication and engagement. Mark Zuckerberg emphasized this shift in his bold privacy-focused vision for social networking he announced in 2019. “People increasingly want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room. As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.”
Trust, Honesty, and Authenticity are destined to be the decade’s new buzzwords. And as the way users interact with social media changes, so too must the way companies and organizations reach these users. In 2020, we will see an increase in interactive and personalized ad experiences, and more importance than ever placed on direct messaging through apps like Facebook Messenger. Technology will continue to become more human, and companies must follow.
Audiences, people, continue to seek meaningful connections. People are turning away from overly-edited versions of a perfect life in favor of honest interactions and a new definition of value. In a world of constant input, people can spot false, artificial content faster than ever, and they will keep scrolling in pursuit of something real. Are you ready to connect?
The Hubbard Interactive Team is Here to Help
What a year it was! No matter if it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or LinkedIn, today’s social networks never fail to bore us. If you need help keeping on top of your brand’s digital presence, our team of digital experts can help. Whether it’s improving your website’s ranking in the organic search results or having a well thought-out social media strategy, we are here to help!
Jack Dorsey Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/jack_dorsey_how_twitter_needs_to_change?language=en