These Are the Social Media Newcomers You Should Have Your Eye on in 2020
If the first thing you do every morning is wake up and check social media, you’re not alone.
Social media has been an integral part of everyday life. Not only does it provide the platform for conversations to take place, it shapes those conversations. That’s why marketers flock to social to connect with customers and try to capture a sliver of that online attention.
As we kick off the new year, it’s worth looking into the social networks that will influence the online conversation in 2020. Obviously, the major players like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube will continue to dominate the social scene. However, as users begin to grow more skeptical of these platforms in the wake of privacy and misinformation scandals, we may start to see attention shift and splinter to new areas of the market.
Each year, hundreds of social networks quietly launch and die off, but every once in a while, a smaller app succeeds in capturing a share of online attention. Snapchat is one example. Pinterest is another.
This year, we’ll see the rise of even more new social networks, and, while not all of these apps will succeed, it’s worth keeping your eye on them in the coming year.
With over 80 million U.S. downloads, TikTok is the one to watch in 2020. Compare those 80 million downloads with the measly 7 million downloads of Instagram’s stand-alone IGTV app, and it’s clear to see why so many are taking notice of the Chinese video-sharing import.
TikTok, formerly Musical.ly, is a short-form video creation and sharing platform where users can add fun effects like video overlays, AR filters, and more. For the uninitiated, TikTok videos are 15 seconds long, and mostly focused around lip-syncing (either to music or other media like movies or tv) or movement-based activities like dancing, gymnastics, or cheerleading. Challenges and reactions make up a large portion of TikTok content as users vie to capitalize on current trends.
The foreign-born company has not been without controversy. The U.S. Army recently banned its soldiers from using the app, calling it a “cyber threat.” That, however, has not significantly slowed the app’s momentum.
While especially promising for fashion and ecommerce companies looking to capitalize on a hot new platform for influencer marketing, I’ve seen TikTok used across the spectrum in every industry from digital marketing to finance.
Vero isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, just improve upon the design.
Designed as an Instagram lookalike, Vero is a visual platform where users can share content like photos, music, books, movies, links, and more. Vero aims to center itself at the heart of the cultural conversation by encouraging users to share what they’re reading, watching, and listening to. The main difference, however, is that the app promises an ad-, algorithm-, and data-mining-free experience.
Users can choose exactly who they want to see their posts by choosing between four categories: close friends, friends, acquaintances, and followers. While the app initially launched in 2015, it gained a significant number of followers before suddenly going dark in 2018. Now, it looks like the app is back just in time as users become ever more concerned over data privacy on major social platforms.
Lasso is the Facebook company’s response to TikTok.
Just like TikTok, Lasso allows users to create short-form videos with filters and effects. However, since it’s owned by Facebook, users can cross-post their content to Facebook Stories. (According to reports, the Lasso team intends to add the option to share to Instagram in the future.) Similar to TikTok, Lasso makes it easy to find trending hashtags and add your own twist at a chance of capitalizing on that virality.
When Facebook first launched Lasso in 2018, only 5 percent of U.S. teens cited Facebook as their favorite social platform, and the number of teenage monthly users had dropped from 60 percent to 36 percent since Spring 2016. Lasso is just one of the many standalone apps (Poke, Slingshot, and Bolt, to name a few) Facebook has launched to try and win back teen users.
While Lasso still trails behind TikTok by a huge margin, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to introduce the app in markets where TikTok does not yet have a foothold, such as Latin America.
Have you tried any of these up-and-coming social networks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!