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Right now, around 80 per cent of the Australian population (that’s 20.5 million people) are active social media users, according to the We Are Social x Digital 2021: Australia report.
The average Aussie spends one hour and 46 minutes on social media every day, or one-third of our total time online – an increase of 10 per cent from 2019 to 2020.
This increased time online is also driving behavioural change with the widespread adoption of social media as the search engine of choice and users jumping on audio-only platforms to maximise activity while minimising screen time.
While COVID-19 brought big changes to our IRL and online life last year, social media platforms will continue to impact our behaviour and introduce new opportunities to engage, connect and reach people.
Here’s what we’re seeing in the not-so-distant digital future…
User behaviour on social media platforms will continue to shift at a rapid pace with new formats and immersive experiences emerging at breakneck speed, Aruga Account Director Nicole predicts. The social media landgrab shows no signs of slowing down with new platforms staking their flag; TikTok was the world’s most downloaded app in 2020 and Clubhouse created such a debut buzz that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter raced to create their own clones of the social audio app.
We’re also seeing platforms such as Pinterest and Reddit place greater emphasis on aligning with the social values of its users, creating a safe space for expression and gender identity, Nicole notes. Brands will also rely more on social media insights to adapt to shifting audience expectations and perceptions. Privacy will still be at the forefront of the agenda. Instagram recently introduced new safety settings for teens and both Instagram and parent company Facebook are working on parent-controlled versions for kids.
Senior Account Manager Leigh says social media usage will continue to surge worldwide and be an intrinsically vital marketing channel for companies. The total number of active social media users increased by 13.2 per cent in 2020 to 4.2 billion people worldwide. This equated to 1.3 million new users per day or nearly 16 new users every second.
Account Manager Henry believes audiences will start to reject the algorithms that determine what content they view and look to platforms that allow them to curate their own experiences.