21 Social Media Trends to Look Out For in 2021

It’s hard to believe that we are already in the final month of 2020. This year has simultaneously flown by and felt like an entire decade packed into one, so we’re all looking to 2021 for a mental refresh. What better time for a social refresh too! Below, we’ve gathered 21 trends to keep an eye out for in 2021. 

  1. Instagram Aesthetic: While curated feeds have been the trend for years, visual storytelling is expected to continue to reign into the new year. Plan to see more people striving for the #NoFilter vibe as the no-edit edit takes control. 

  2. Video: Across all social platforms, video is still very powerful. From an ad standpoint, 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI!

  3. Reels: While TikTok is still sticking around, Reels have done fairly well, especially on Instagram’s Explore page. Consider experimenting with the feature as it settles in and continues to integrate with the platform. 

  4. Fleets: We might be saying farewell to Fleets pretty soon. After a pretty disastrous rollout of Twitter’s entry into “story” features, Twitter HQ is reportedly considering pulling the feature back.
  5. Virtual Reality: VR and AR experiences are just a click away, and after a year spent at home more than ever before, many developers focused on finding ways to bring virtual experiences right into our homes. 

  6. Social Messaging: 2020 was a major year for changes in online discourse, reflected significantly in how people engage with one another on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. After the rise of socially informed infographics, don’t expect this energy to disappear overnight.

  7. Twitter Topics: Personalized Topics have been featured on Twitter’s Discovery page for a while, but they recently added previews and descriptions to avoid confusion and the spread of misinformation. Topics and suggestions are expected to continue getting more focused.

  8. Stay Authentic: This is easier said than done when it comes to social media, but at the end of the day, the best performing content tends to be honest. We’re all smart; we can tell when someone’s being a phony.

  9. Customers: Changing customer expectations, in light of that same idea of social messaging, has led to more focus on brand voice. Customer is still king, baby.

  10. Making Choices: We can’t be all things to all people, and neither can a company. As with any path to success, find what you’re great at, and work on being the best version of that you can be.

  11. Check Marks: Twitter is exploring the idea of expanding its verification format, moving beyond just the elusive blue checkmark. Verified accounts would instead be designated within a specific categorization.

  12. Community: Think globally, act locally; many companies are seeing results by investing in their communities. Getting the people around you on board can go a long way.

  13. Animate: Large, eye-catching text and moving elements can be eye-catching. Test out some movement. Shake it up!

  14. E-Commerce: The integrated Shop tab on Instagram is polarizing, to say the least, but the company doesn’t seem to be making any plans to roll this back. Plan for the mall in your pocket to stick around for a while.

  15. Tunes: TikTok was an incredibly powerful tool for launching songs to the top of the charts this year, or even bringing some beloved throwbacks back to the forefront. Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” anyone? Expect this to continue as the next dance or trend could inform another big hit. 

  16. Nostalgia: Art and culture tend to be cyclical, and fashion is the same. Regardless of the platform, people will probably be laying out some retro interfaces and sharing nostalgia-fueled content to develop an aesthetic. 

  17. Agility: 2020 challenged all of us, and, once again, required that brands step up and participate in some hard conversations. Be transparent. Stay agile. Try something new. 

  18. LinkedIn: Sure, LinkedIn might not be anyone’s go-to social media, but even the folks over at LinkedIn HQ are working on integrating video and providing better data insights to users.

  19. Meme Queen: It’s dizzying, but the most engaged have seen it a hundred times: a joke starts out on Twitter, goes viral, gets screenshotted, and shared to Instagram. Then, three weeks later, your mom sends it to you on Facebook with the caption, LOL! This isn’t going to stop any time soon.

  20. Life Events & Summaries: If Spotify Wrapped proved anything, it’s that people love learning about their own habits. Social platforms are working on pinging users on important dates, sharing old memories, and providing fun insights. 

  21. Bot Eliminator: Last but not least, every social media platform is working on making sure the people we follow (and the people who follow us) are just that: people. 

Happy scrolling into a happy new year!