2020: Video becomes the face of entertainment.

by ALEX MARTIN, SIOBHAN MULCAHY & VALERIA PERILLI | Published on September 10, 2020

Welcome to our second #ThursdayThoughts social media blog, where we discuss the latest trends and cultural events that are taking over the social media industry and in return creating new opportunities for companies in the employer brand space. This month, our focus will be the continuous competition amongst TikTok, Instagram and Triller to become the #1 destination for short-form videos.

Did you know that by 2022 video traffic will quadruple, making up for 82% of all online traffic? Whether it’s entertaining, informative or inspirational, video content is one of the most powerful tools available to marketers today, combining easy-to-consume information with storytelling and impactful visuals.

During lockdown, video-content consumption and of course, production, has skyrocketed, enabling TikTok to reach 2B downloads and 850M active users worldwide, while the use of Instagram lives increased by 300%.

While it’s still early days, TikTok has reached a tremendous level of success in 2020 – although with India banning the Chinese-owned app, and the US threatening to do the same, its LA-based competitor, Triller, is now thriving and regaining market share, reaching 250M downloads in August.

Taking advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the future of TikTok, Instagram has launched its very own video-editing feature: Instagram Reels.

So, what’s next? Just like on TikTok, users can now record and edit short videos set to popular soundtracks using Instagram Reels. Despite this being perceived as Instagram’s attempt to keep users off TikTok, it’s the beginning of a new chapter of entertainment on the platform and as Robby Stein, Instagram’s Product Director, puts it «it’s just another thing to do on Instagram».

But, what does this mean for brands in the employer brand space who are looking to try out new platforms? Could the introduction of Reels create a competitive advantage as Instagram is already an established place for many brands? Surely, Reels will fast gain in popularity, just like Instagram Stories did in 2016. However, in the long run, building a successful social media strategy means diversifying – and avoiding putting all your eggs in one basket.

Platforms are constantly evolving, with Snapchat now looking to introduce a new feature that allows users to add music to their snaps, much like TikTok. With Instagram offering the opportunity to share short-form videos via Stories & Reels, and long-form videos via IGTV, well-established brands could take on this opportunity to play with creativity and establish themselves across new content categories.

Just remember, content is king, but the future is video.

Image credit: Instagram