Social Media Trends for 2020
January 2020

By Alex Jeater


Short Form Video

Not so much of a new trend, but in 2020 short-form video will continue to build in importance with more brands taking to TikTok, currently the most downloaded social media platform, to tell their story.

To compete, Instagram has already introduced a raft of new Stories features and is even trialling “Reels” in Brazil, which enables users to create 15sec video clips set to music which can then be easily be shared to Stories. Sound familiar?


Mental Health

As previously documented, in a bid to help prevent some of the negative effects of social media on mental health, Instagram has been trialling the removal of likes in Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Australia, and it would be of little surprise if this was rolled out permanently in 2020.

For brands, the emphasis on what makes a great post will move to comments and paid activity – but ultimately should re-focus attention on the quality of the content produced, rather than the volume of likes.




Despite their notoriety, vast following, new ASA rules and tools designed to help make the industry more transparent, influencers are likely to experience a tricky 2020.

In a growing online climate of fake news, users are beginning to question the authenticity of what they see online, and this includes individuals with a large following. Indeed, users actively unfollow accounts that they believe are too contrived,  too obvious and are too far removed from why they followed that account in the first place.

We believe this trend will particularly impact the generalist, lifestyle influencer, rather than those with a highly engaged, niche following focused on a specific activity (e.g. golf, fitness, travel, interior design). Indeed, niche influencers who have a multi-channel approach (namely on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok) will continue to thrive.


Audience Engagement

Say goodbye to simple reading and watching content. Facilitated by new platform features, questions, polls and eCommerce features that encourage users to engage with brand content on a meaningful level are set to become even more important in 2020.

This is particularly the case for Gen Z and Millennials, who have grown up connecting
with brands and feel comfortable with online interactions.

For brands, this is particularly important, as reacting to comments and polls creates brand advocacy, and can genuinely help to create better products and services.

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