New Report Looks at Social Media Usage Trends Over the Past Decade, and Where Things are Now Headed

New Report Looks at Social Media Usage Trends Over the Past Decade, and Where Things are Now Headed

If you wish to perceive the newest social media platform updates, and maximize your personal efforts in social media advertising and marketing, it is price taking a broader view of consumption traits, and contemplating how folks are wanting to make use of social apps to attach, in numerous methods, over time.
By understanding such traits, you will get a clearer concept of what folks wish to see out of your model – which is the place app analytics platform App Annie’s newest report is available in.
App Annie’s ‘Evolution of Social Apps’ report appears at how social media utilization traits have developed over the final decade, highlighting the rise of live-streaming, the growing deal with social commerce, the development of TikTok and Snapchat, and extra.

The report is vital studying for these trying to keep a deal with on key shifts, and what’s driving the newest platform updates. You can obtain the full report right here, however on this publish, we’ll have a look at a few of the key notes of curiosity.
Probably the largest spotlight of the report is the rise in shopper spending inside social apps, with cumulative spend already at $3.2 billion in the first half of 2021 – up 50% year-over-year.

As you’ll be able to see on this chart, the broader adoption of social media apps in Asian markets – significantly India – has pushed in-app spending to new heights, with App Annie projecting that, for the full yr, in-app spend will hit $6.78b this yr.
That’s anticipated to proceed to rise at an annual development fee of round 29% transferring ahead, which App Annie tasks will see social app spending attain an enormous $78 billion by 2025.
If you had been questioning why each app is trying to transfer into in-stream commerce, that is it. The information factors to vital alternative for these platforms that may increase consumer engagement into direct spending and procuring behaviors, facilitating new income potential for the platforms, and new alternatives for manufacturers.
If you’ve not thought of plugging your product catalog into Facebook or Instagram Shops, otherwise you’re not monitoring TikTok’s evolving eCommerce plans, it could be time to concentrate (you’ll be able to signal as much as our e-newsletter proper right here).
The report additionally appears at how, precisely, customers are trying to spend in social apps, with live-stream creators main the method in lots of respects.

As per the report:
“Total time spent in the high 5 social apps with an emphasis on dwell streaming are set to surpass half a trillion hours on Android telephones alone, exterior of China in 2021, a 3-year compound annual development fee of 25% in comparison with 15% for chat and photograph & video apps”
Which is an attention-grabbing shift – between 2014 and 2018, the focus moved away from social media platforms, and public broadcasting of your ideas and opinions, and in direction of messaging and personal teams as an alternative, with Facebook, specifically, making an enormous push on teams as a way to maximise its in-app engagement.

Now, plainly live-streaming is gaining traction as soon as once more. Which, in fact, has been amplified by the pandemic, with live-streaming typically offering the finest substitute social outlet for these in lockdown. But even with that being the case, it does certainly appear that live-streaming is having a second. And when you think about the extension of that being VR connection and socializing in digital worlds (i.e. the Metaverse), it appears doubtless that this development will maintain, at the same time as we transfer into the post-COVID atmosphere.
But it’s not simply viewing live-streams, it’s spending in broadcasts as nicely:
“Social apps that supply live-streaming as a outstanding characteristic account for $3 of each $4 spent in high 25 social apps in H1 2021.”
A big ingredient of this development has been digital “gifting”, with content material creators in Asia, specifically, producing massive {dollars} from in-stream digital items, which primarily act as donations to the creators, subsidizing their output.
Facebook, YouTube and TikTok have all created their very own variations of the similar, and whereas the development doesn’t appear to have caught on in western areas with the similar veracity as their Asian counterparts, the information once more factors to vital alternative, with live-streams offering a way of speedy connection, serving to to construct group and facilitate direct transactions in-stream.
Indeed, Facebook is now trialing procuring live-streams in its predominant app, and on Instagram as nicely, whereas TikTok has additionally hosted a variety of live-stream procuring collaborations with massive manufacturers and platform stars.

Whether that turns into a much bigger development in western markets stays to be seen, however the alternative is there, and as famous, it does additionally align with broader utilization shifts.
The report additionally appears at the development of TikTok, which, based on App Annie’s information, has now surpassed YouTube in each the US and the UK when it comes to common month-to-month time spent in-app, per consumer.

TikTok’s development has been superb to witness, and it’s now arduous to see it not changing that reputation right into a sustainable enterprise, each for TikTok itself and for its high stars. The predominant threat for TikTok stays efficient monetization, with short-form video providing much less potential for advertisements, and thus, decrease earnings potential for creators. In this sense, YouTube and Facebook can provide higher income alternatives, however TikTok is working to ascertain extra direct linkage between manufacturers and creators, whereas it’s additionally experimenting with longer type movies to facilitate extra advert alternatives.
There can also be the ever-present threat that the US Government, and doubtlessly others, might transfer to ban TikTok because of its Chinese Government hyperlinks. That ingredient has gone quiet of late, nevertheless it’s a lingering concern amongst safety analysts, and might nonetheless turn into a significant obstacle for the app, if it had been to dropped at a head as soon as once more.
For this cause, it additionally appears doubtless that high creators will likely be trying to hold their choices open, relatively than counting on the app – which, in itself is also an obstacle to TikTok maximizing its development potential.
Either method, from a normal utilization standpoint, TikTok is clearly an enormous winner, and it continues to realize traction in the social area.
Which can also be mirrored on this chart, wanting at app obtain rankings over the previous decade.

Facebook’s dominance is completely clear, nevertheless it’s additionally attention-grabbing to notice the different traits, like the rise of TikTok, the fall of Twitter and the resurgence of Snapchat.
Which is one other ingredient highlighted in the report – based on App Annie’s information, Snapchat’s abroad downloads have grown by 45% in the final 12 months, compared to the 2 years prior.

That can largely be attributed to India, the place Snapchat has seen enormous take-up since launching its up to date Android model again in 2019. Earlier this yr, Snapchat reported that it’s seen 150% development in energetic customers in the area.

Which is absolutely the place most social apps are now wanting – with Indian smartphone adoption rising, the alternative exists to attach with billions extra customers, and the apps that may acquire the most traction in India stand to see enormous profit, particularly in regard to in-app purchases and income potential.
So in lots of respects, the newest options and updates you’re seeing aren’t even targeted on you. Live-stream commerce, in-app procuring and different additions are actually aimed at the Asian market, the place there’s a lot bigger development potential for social apps than in western areas, the place adoption is already excessive, and spending shouldn’t be growing at the similar charges.
So even in case you don’t suppose that these new components will work out, perhaps they’ll in different areas, and in the event that they see adoption in the US and Europe as nicely, that’s only a bonus.
As such, in case you actually wish to gauge the place issues are headed in the social media panorama, and what the platforms will likely be trying to deal with in future, it could be price trying to Asian adoption traits as an alternative, or contemplating what’s gaining traction in China, inside its personal net bubble.
And what’s gaining traction in China proper now? Live-stream commerce and Douyin, the native model of TikTok.
It’s not arduous to see both of those components turning into a lot greater issues in western markets as nicely.
You can obtain App Annie’s ‘Evolution of Social Media’ report right here.

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