Virtual event revealed the upcoming social trends that form the foundation for the Metaverse in 2022.
A roster of key speakers from the social media and technology conglomerate discussed the vision for Metaverse in the coming year. The session also discussed Metaverse’s transition into the VR world and how brands can build strategies more inclusive of these potential developments.
Creators, commerce, and metaverse
Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President for Global Business Group, kickstarted the session by introducing the viewers to the three main themes that will form the foundation for 2022: creators, commerce, and metaverse.
Decoding each of these themes, Mendelsohn described creators as the professional producers of the Internet. “An Internet culture is their way of life. They are ordinary people who have something to share with a specific audience. In 2022, the creator is said to become even bigger and that’s why we’re investing a billion dollars in creators across Facebook and Instagram,” she explained.
Micro-videos have already been listed as one of the digital trends to look out for in the coming year. Instagram reels are also reported to receive 22% more engagement than long-form videos. “We’re focused on making it easy for people to find, watch, and create videos across all platforms. Significant changes will be made to Instagram and Facebook to further lean into video content, putting reels at the center,” said added.
Shifting the focus to the second theme of commerce, Mendelsohn stressed how Meta is going to curate a seamless consumer journey across its social platforms. “Next year, we will further be developing Instagram Shops, including the online storefronts, business messaging, and so much more,” she explained.
Concluding her session, Mendelsohn evoked a virtual world larger than the smartphone, “What would you do if all the existing physical limitations of the world were removed? Think about that question and you’re thinking about the potential of the metaverse,” she said.
Personalizing trends and targeted advertising
The second part of the session dived into trends and their inclusivity into brand strategy. Carrie Timms, Director - Global Business Marketing, described how the advertising landscape is evolving and how Meta is open to give its audiences more control over how their data is used to be catered with targeted ads.
According to IAB Europe, 75% of people have benefited from relevant and targeted advertising. As a part of this process, it is imperative for brands to gain trust in their ethos and their ways of marketing. “Building trust will be critical in the way we market ourselves in the years ahead; the more they lose trust the harder it becomes to market a brand,” said Timms.
Meta is focused to drive the agenda of privacy to the center of building a personalized advertising ecosystem. “In addition to earning the trust of our users, we also want to earn the trust of businesses that advertise on our platforms. That means ensuring their ads only show up next to the type of content they’re comfortable with. To make this happen, we’re testing controls that allow advertisers to choose whether their ads appear next to news and political posts, posts about tragedy and conflict, and social issues that are under debate. We will open those controls to verification by third parties to ensure they’re working right,” she added.
Timms also pushed for brands to define their purpose. “Marketing success will also depend on audiences matching a brand’s actions to its worth. Brands that care about diversity, sustainability, and other socio-economic issues will be able to better grasp potential consumers,” she concluded.
Meta and e-commerce
Instagram and Facebook are fast becoming fresh e-commerce destinations. Meta will build a modern commerce system to meet that demand across ads, community tools, messaging, shops, and payments. In the process, it is focused to be the best place to advertise, and on improving the customer experience.
“When the pandemic forced local economies to shut down, we accelerated the launch of Shops to help businesses sell online. We now have over 300 million monthly visitors and over 1.2 million monthly active Shops,” explained Beth Horn, Director and Head of Industry, Retail and E-commerce.
With respect to the AR aspect of Meta, Horn explained how with future-facing immersive technologies, consumers will be able to visualize products and services before making a purchase.
Creators push culture forth and help drive business results
Caroline Drucker, Director of Instagram Media Partnerships for the EMEA region, spoke about the power of creators and authentic brand and creator partnerships. “Meta’s goal is to become the best place for creators to grow and make a living,” she explained.
Since both Facebook and Instagram already have a strong base in place for creators to generate revenue, in the upcoming year, Meta will be focused on developing tools especially catered to the creators’ community.
Drucker encouraged brands to tap form authentic partnerships with them, without driving creators away from their niche and targeted following.
Importance of people-first creative
Caitlin Ryan, VP Creative Shop for EMEA, closed the event around the concept of curating content that keeps people first, prompting brands to build ideas that empower and celebrate creator communities. “Creators fluently translate a platform-first visual language into a campaign allowing us to co-create with them. This is the language that people are speaking and gravitating towards on social platforms, and successfully leveraging it will allow brands to connect with people in more meaningful ways, driving both brand and performance results,” she explained.
To prepare for the future, Ryan encourages brands to build for what exists but experiment with what’s emerging. Commenting on the Metaverse transition to AR, she said, “An Internet that you’re inside of and where our ads aren’t just windows that people look into, but rather doorways that they can walk through, must truly deliver meaningful value for people.”