Exploring the trends in Think Forward 2024: The Social Reckoning
To mark the release of Think Forward 2024: The Social Reckoning, We Are Social is running two webinars on 14th November 2023, where Global Chief Strategy Officer, Mobbie Nazir and Head of Research & Insight Paul Greenwood will talk through the five trends that will be shaping social over the next 12 months. Sign up to the 9am GMT webinar here, or the 5pm GMT webinar here.
Our Think Forward report this year, as the name suggests, shows that a reckoning has come in social spaces. The commercialisation of digital worlds is forcing people to try new ways of creating, absorbing and sharing content. First it was the trend of de-influencing, now users are looking for new forms of self-expression within a more commoditised landscape.
This new coalition government of capitalism and creativity has an inbuilt space for brands – but also a new and nuanced set of demands. Every brand will be judged: are you making a sponsored ad or are you a patron of the arts? It will be fascinating to see if – and how – brands are able to respond to these deeper measures of relevance and authenticity.
How this is playing out on social
In our webinars on 14th November, we’ll explore the five trends that will be affecting social media in 2024, as featured in Think Forward: The Social Reckoning. These are:
Having reached peak stimulus with ‘sludge content’, the attention economy is shifting gears. The most forward-thinking users, creators, and culture-leading brands are toying with other modes of bringing people in – ones that turn away from hyper-stimulation.
People – whether minorities, disempowered groups, or just users writ large – still value representation. But in today’s culture, there’s less faith in the power of representation alone. As notions of identity compound and deepen, communities want to see messy complexity over neat narratives.
People are looking for more interaction between on- and offline worlds. Today, characters, communities, and behaviours born on the internet are moving seamlessly into offline worlds. And this interplay isn’t just tolerated – it’s expected.
The year of Barbenheimer and the Eras Tour has made it clear: in search of mainstream collectivity, everyday users are acting like ultra-fans. The lines between fan and non-fan are increasingly blurred, as we all engage in fan behaviours and immerse ourselves in collective moments.
As social media and the internet become more commoditised, users are breaking out of its commercial structures in an attempt to reclaim creativity. Amidst the homogenisation of online spaces, there’s a compelling counter-trend emerging, spearheaded by younger generations.
For more on these trends, sign up to the 9am GMT webinar here, or the 5pm GMT webinar here.