Social media has been huge for years, but since the global pandemic drove so many people to stay-at-home situations, connecting via online platforms has become even more popular.
If you like to stay up to date on all the latest developments in this area, here are some of the key social media trends making their presence felt in 2021.
Need for Heightened Security
There are many benefits to using social media platforms, but one of the significant downsides is the risk of becoming the victim of a cyberattack. Hackers are out in force and focused on social media sites. With people working from home more than ever before and often not employing adequate security strategies when they do, there’s even more need for heightened online security.
Facebook and other site breaches have made consumers especially cautious in the last year or so, too. Happily, though, most social media platforms are spending more time, energy, and money on boosting their security and looking for ways for users to improve data security and privacy.
If you use social media sites, check the account settings you have setup to see if you can protect yourself further. Ensure you have quality security software on all the devices you use to browse and post on social media, too. For instance, download a comprehensive antivirus for Mac product that covers you against viruses plus spam, spyware, ransomware, and other threats.
If you haven’t already become obsessed with one or more podcasts, 2021 may be the year when you do. Growth in this area is booming, especially after the 2020 stay-at-home restrictions led millions of people to spend more time at home and digest more content than usual. There are millions of podcast episodes online to choose from, with more added daily.
This year, we’ll see more integration of podcast offerings directly into existing platforms. Plus, search engines and smart-home devices such as Google, Alexa, and Siri Voice are paying attention to the popularity of podcasts and working to ensure this type of content is more quickly and easily accessible for consumers. This will help podcast growth thrive even more.
AR and VR
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been talked about for decades but have finally become more mainstream. AR, especially, is front of mind in 2021. Several social media platforms, including Instagram and Snapchat, already use augmented reality to enhance visual content by adding digital elements. Consider, for example, the many photo filters on offer.
We should see AR adopted more fully by other social media companies this year and beyond. These firms know that augmented reality can help businesses to provide better shopping experiences to consumers thanks to “try before you buy” type features and other tools that are increasingly included on social media platforms.
Entrepreneurs should keep in mind that augmented reality experiences are interactive and engaging. They help organizations develop creative and entertaining content that’s more likely to stand out in this information-overloaded market. Plus, AR doesn’t require additional hardware beyond a smartphone or computer, making it readily accessible to most shoppers and easily adoptable.
Virtual reality is coming on board more slowly, but strides are happening. Firms are investing in it more after seeing how much people missed meaningful in-person interactions during the COVID pandemic. VR offers a way to achieve closer communications virtually and can provide a sense of being close to someone even if you’re many timezones apart.
More platforms will start incorporating virtual reality technology this year. For example, look to Facebook. The tech giant has its Horizon online game that sets up an ever-expanding virtual reality world for users to explore, play, and create within.
Have you purchased any products or services via social media platforms yet? If not, you likely will soon. Social commerce, where brands sell their wares on social sites like Facebook or Instagram, is becoming very popular. Platforms are adapting to enhance user experiences and generate more income. They continue to add features and tools that support convenient on-site shopping.
It makes sense to consider using networking websites in this way for your business because social media plays such a pivotal role in purchasing decisions—many users research products on such sites before making a purchase. If you allow consumers to enter a checkout right there, there’s less chance of them re-thinking their decision or shopping around at other stores.
Social media may have been around for a while now, but it continues to evolve and offer more for consumers and businesses alike. Watch for new developments in this arena so you learn how you might use it to build your venture.