2022 trends: In-Feed Syllabuses
Last week, we launched our annual trends report – Think Forward 2022: Brave New Worlds. It features the five key trends that we expect to shape social media over the next 12 months. This post looks at the first trend covered in the report: In-Feed Syllabuses. For more, check out the full Think Forward report here.
Learning has long played a role on platforms like reddit or YouTube, where channels like Kurzgesagt (or ‘In a Nutshell’) and VSauce have drawn millions of subscribers. But recently, there’s been an uptick in the number of people turning to social to learn: 74% of Gen Zers globally have used social to learn practical life skills, which is more than any older age group.
After a year of forced experimentation with work, schoolwork, and self-directed political education, social media is gaining new in-roads as an educational tool.
While the consensus is that the infrastructure, process and behaviour that are required to formally learn or train online are not quite ready, there’s a sense that informal learning in the feed can equip us with practical tools we’re not always able to get from conventional education systems. Out of the ashes of the pandemic, people have experienced small wins in everyday life that are pushing a new kind of in-feed education.
Learning journeys don’t necessarily end on social, but increasingly, it’s where they start – and where they’re nurtured.
This has exciting implications for the future, when digitised education will be normalised. Educational features will be embedded into digital spaces, and digital platforms will in turn improve the accessibility of education for all.
The Behavioural Change
Life skills from the feed
From financial literacy to colloquial language skills to Black history, social is gaining traction as a place to pick up the skills we didn’t learn in school. People are looking to digital platforms for actionable info they can apply to daily life.
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Learning as leisure
The genre of edutainment is thriving in this context. @depthsofwikipedia is a page dedicated to wikitrivia, while German media giant BR recreated the 100-year-old story of activist Sophie Scholl via immersive storytelling on Instagram, telling her story as though she were a 21-year-old today.
Instagram is ideal for informing people about complex issues with relative simplicity, with creators often using aesthetic beauty as a vehicle for hard-hitting content. On TikTok, Brazilian model Isabelle Boemeke – otherwise known as @isodope – is demystifying nuclear power with visuals that are native to the platform.
stop shutting down nuclear power plants ffs #nuclearenergy #climatechange #decarbonize #fyp #learnontiktok
♬ original sound – isabelleboemeke
How can brands use it?
Brands can assert their values by educating people on important issues.
Knowledge and education have the power to transform communities and populations. When Ally Bank partnered with rapper Big Sean’s foundation to improve financial literacy among young Americans by creating an immersive educational world in Minecraft, it wasn’t just creating a learning tool, but enacting real social change.
Brands can collaborate with relevant educators to innovate their industries.
With a growing number of young people taking to social to educate their peers on industry specific topics – like Anna Lytical, a Google developer who teaches coding via TikTok – there’s an opportunity for brands to recruit and work with those educators to resonate with the next generation of talent.
Get yourself unstuck! #computerscience #codingforbeginners #codenewbie #dragqueen #edutok #github #womeninstem #lgbtqinstem
♬ original sound – Anna Lytical 🌈👩🏻💻👸🏻
Read more about In-Feed Syllabuses in Think Forward 2022: Brave New Worlds.