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As we move into 2021, we’ll see people re-evaluate the role platforms should play in their lives, rethink which sources they engage with, and relearn how to use social in line with tectonic shifts in the drivers that underpin our screentime.

Here are 6 Key Trends that we expect to shape social media in 2021:

1. The Simple Life

People are re-evaluating what’s important to them, sharpening a desire to pay more attention to life’s simple pleasures, and reconsidering the role social can play in enjoying them.

Where we’ve seen it: There has been a rise in communities like Gardening TikTok and the cottagecore movement – a Tumblr-born aesthetic defined by mostly-city based women participating in quaint, agricultural aesthetics and hobbies.

2. Practical Advocacy

Where we’ve seen it:People are getting an education on social justice via Instagram slideshows, with high-design 101s created for the IG carousel format.

3. In-Feed Intimacy

Where we’ve seen it: Facebook updated its suite of reactions with the ‘care’ emoji to facilitate more intimate online interactions and people are using TikTok to discuss complex subjects with empathy and nuance.

4. Reliable Idols

Where we’ve seen it: Medical professionals are blowing up for democratising information that typically comes with a consultant’s fee, while specialists in niche fields are gaining traction for combating misinformation.

5. Platforms Unbound

Where we’ve seen it: Games like Fortnite and Animal Crossing have transformed into social hubs and live content has seen social feeds evolve into 24-hour events venues, whether for catwalks from Louis Vuitton on TikTok or micro drag shows aired on Instagram Live.

6. Open-Source Creativity

Where we’ve seen it: Charli XCX collaborated with her fans via Zoom to write her latest album, and on Instagram, film industry polymath Miranda July has been crowdsourcing entire scripts from her followers.

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