Reports Media & Marketing

Social media reboot The rise of social 2.0 and the emancipation of the digital native

Report by Hanna Kahlert
Cover image for Social media reboot
Synopsis PDF PowerPoint Excel

Already a client? Log in to read this report. Become a client or purchase this report.

The 20,000 Foot View: Social media is entering a new phase of innovation. Facebook’s trio of applications, alongside Snapchat, Twitter and other incumbents, still have market dominance. However, the rapid growth of TikTok, Discord and Clubhouse since the coronavirus-prompted lockdowns, alongside a migration to digital-first life, are early indicators of demand for – and adoption of – social platforms that lend themselves to lean-in entertainment behaviours. The result is a decoupling of social from the defining metric of engagement for its own sake.

Key insights

  • The success of social media originally hinged on its ability to translate pre-existing human social needs and communication methods into new forms of digital behaviour
  • The various incumbent social apps have saturated their original use cases and begun to overlap in features – and, hence, are now beginning to compete with one another
  • As a result, the incumbent apps have all begun ticking upwards in mainstream adoption, thus losing their prominence among younger users
  • Innovation has stagnated, and the market is ripe for fresh competitors to move in on the opportunity to provide distinct, novel communication experiences
  • Over lockdown, the digital-first push has upped the hyper-social aspects of entertainment media and heightened a need case for more distinct features and active participation
  • The common ground between the new disruptive platforms is a greater focus on becoming basic creator tools, enabling users to generate their own content, and act as utilities for user creations such as community-centric sharing and public discovery
  • An acceleration into digital-first lifestyles and activities heightens the need to bring the important aspects of ‘in real life’ (IRL) social behaviours into the digital world 
  • Social media is now more demarcated by social function (public discovery versus personal catch-up; lean-in versus lean-back) than it is by content type
  • As consumers become more creative in their digital social lives, the opportunity for creator tools to evolve and become social networks themselves centred around a creative activity is rapidly increasing
  • The attention economy is saturated, leaving little room for any insurgent to scale – but it is also at risk of fragmenting, allowing many smaller, standalone propositions to now each successfully hold their niches

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:        AOL, Clubhouse, Discord, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Fleets, Instagram, Myspace, Reddit, Reels, Signal, Snapchat, Spaces, TikTok, Tumblr, Twitch, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube

Unlock critical media insight and intelligence for competitive advantage

Become a Client
Already a client? Login to read this report

Or, purchase this report

Purchase this report