We are already in 2021 and still can’t process all that happened in 2020! It was a chaotic year with the pandemic taking over. We got to see lots of fun and intriguing social media moments since people were confined in their homes to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. After all, social media was the only thing keeping people sane!
A lot happened last year. Schools, supermarkets, movie theatres, malls, offices, and everything was temporarily shut down, and people were told to stay inside their homes. As a result, everyone was more or less interested in making social media content or just staying in touch with the people they miss via social apps.
We all found something to hold onto to overcome the anxiety of contracting the virus and the agony of staying indoors. Binge-watching TV shows or movies, drawing, DIYs, cooking, baking, or coming up with some indoor games are all on top of the list. However, social media takes the first spot because everyone involved in anything was posting on social sites.
Topics to cover-
- Why is social media so popular?
- Top social media moments 2020
- Predictions for 2021 social media
Why is social media so popular in our daily life?
We’ve come a long way from the late 90s “SixDegrees.com” social media or Friendster and Myspace. The global impact of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Whatsapp, etc., is undeniable these days!
What is social media used for?
- Meeting new people or staying in touch with close ones
- It’s a good job market for establishing brands or starting a new business
- Entertaining and engaging content
- Current events or news from worldwide
- Sharing opinion, skills, or interests
Most importantly, social media nowadays is used for sharing everything we do daily. The pandemic year has just amplified the use of these media.
Top social media moments 2020 to remember
From Harry and Meghan Markle quitting royal status to the heart-wrenching death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, from the BLM movement to the USA presidential election, and from the first South Korean film winning Oscars to COVID-19 vaccines rolling out, 2020 has been super eventful! And obviously, each moment was posted on all social media, either as news or a meme.
So, what happened in 2020?
If we start dropping moments, the list will just keep getting longer. But we’ve summarized some social media moments in 2020 and picked the ones that garnered attention and interaction.
- TikTok blew up!
- Viral content
- COVID calendar by celebrities
- Breaking records with followers
1) TikTok blew up!
Some use it, some hate it. But TikTok is growing popular anyway. 2020 is not just the year of pandemic, it’s also for TikTok where it is right now. The first few days that we spent indoors led us to this video-sharing site, and internet-addicts made it go viral.
TikTok’s popularity is at the point where people recognize some users with fun TikTok content who were once ordinary faces. Besides, this platform was best used to promote the Black Lives Matter movement, and the related hashtag gained 23+billion views.
Since the audience’s attention span is shorter now, the 15 seconds to 1-minute video in TikTok has to captivate right away. Judging by the growth of this site, we do have a lot of genius content creators there!
TikTok shopping has also become the newest thing, and it’s not just for Gen Z. Because of the mass user-base, Shopify integrated with this app and allowed sellers to connect their TikTok business account with Shopify account. Everytime a product video appears on the user feed, it’s shoppable from right there!
2) Changes in Instagram
Instagram introduced “reels” feature, which was probably a direct response to TikTok’s popularity. Users can create 15-second videos with music and share them in stories, explore, or reels tab.
Reels are not just for fun. Brands use this feature to advertise or educate the audience about their products. With special effects and suitable background music, it’s instantly engaging content!
Brands or influencers have been posting about their live schedules to invite their audience. For instance, here’s an account inviting to a home-baking live.
Instagram Live was already an overused feature. But in 2020, there was a 40% increase. The same happened with Facebook live too. This just proves how people were stuck to their blue screen all the time during the time indoors.
Apart from being a fun place to spend time on, social media platforms are extremely powerful to start and promote any movement. 2020 was a year of protest and campaigns. It all started with the Minneapolis protest for George Floyd, then “Black Trans Lives Matter”, global protests demanding racial justice, and “anti-lockdown” protests too.
Social sites are the best places to promote a good cause or a protest. Thanks to hashtags, everything spreads all over the world quickly.
Online businesses gain more customers and reputation from social media. 2020 will remain the year for the online shopping boom. Since everyone was stuck indoors, even grocery shopping was done online!
Instagram rolled out “Shop” tab and IGTV Shopping, and Facebook brought “Marketplace”. Users can browse stores, products, or brands and order stuff from social media. Ordering from shop accounts’ stories was already a thing. But now people can order from Instagram reels too.
So, at this point, Instagram isn’t just for aesthetic posts or connections. This app has transformed into a full online shop.
Pinterest also has a “Product Pins” feature and a shopping tab. Pinterest users can search for a product in the shop tab, and now in-stock shoppable pins are easily discoverable.
Every platform performs better than the other when it comes to social commerce. Almost every part of all social media apps is now shoppable.
YouTube isn’t just another search engine or a social site. It’s a great place for brands, shows, or influencers to convey messages. Throughout the lockdown, all talk shows were recorded without a live audience, either in the host’s place or in the show’s set.
This was obviously a fairly new occurrence because not all shows or YouTube content are alike. It was a big problem for street food or travel vloggers because social distancing was mandatory, and they can’t go outside to record. So, some started repurposing old videos, home tours, DIYs, cooking, or safety tips for COVID.
Popular shows like The Tonight Show, The Daily Show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, etc., were all recorded in the hosts’ own residences. And it’s not just talk show hosts. Actor John Krasinski started creating short-length fun videos and called it “Some Good News”. The purpose was to promote goodness around the world to uplift the mood of the people staying inside.
He also made sure to gather his “The Office US” cast for a Zoom wedding of two fans!
Along with other social sites, YouTube was put to its best use during the lockdown indeed.
6) Viral content
Internet is not just for fun posts, shopping, or news sharing. For the last few years, we have been using it to make contents go viral! Even the smallest thing that happens, if it’s interesting, it starts circulating on everyone’s timeline. And 2020 was a year full of good, bad, and neutral events. So, something was going viral every other day.
Firstly, when the pandemic was declared, the news of toilet paper shortage went viral. People panicked and started overstocking toilet papers right before the lockdown was activated, leaving the stores’ stocks empty. Some started fighting for rolls! This was a peak moment when we couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry…But the news got pretty viral worldwide.
Netflix documentary Tiger King may have boosted the “going viral” thing. It got almost everyone engaged and generated nearly 2 million organic interactions.
With video content creators going creative from indoors, there was a tiny toddler who apparently stole the show with his “culinary skills”! Kobe chef and his adorable “cooking” tutorials suddenly went viral, and the baby chef still wears his popular apron in 2021.
Of course, the most viral content of 2020 was TikTok itself, and the users deserve all the credit for that. People worldwide started rising with their comedic talent, video-creating ideas, and potentials they didn’t know they had!
It wasn’t the year of bad news only. Some moments were very heart-warming. Balcony chants in Wuhan, a city of 11million people, went viral and inspired the world to keep up the spirits during the pandemic.
“Wuhan, stay strong” chants from balconies showed us how important human socialization is.
Since workplaces or schools had their doors shut, remote meeting apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Google Meet were downloaded massively. And if we look for viral games, the Indie game Among Us had a huge amount of download. While meeting apps or games are not conventional social sites, they did keep people connected.
Memes like Philosoraptor, Pepe the Frog, or Hide the Pain Harold are not on trend anymore. 2020 gave us real human versions of memes!
Before lockdown went active, Oscars happened, and guess what? So many celebrity meme faces! Tom Hanks’s cringe face and Billie Eilish’s totally confused face were two of the highlights.
As COVID-19 spread, online meetings and class memes became a regular thing.
Well, unfortunately, it wasn’t just a “couple of weeks”! Also, we all gave up on looking presentable for Zoom meetings or any online thing.
And then there’s the truest meme! Nobody wants to get back to 2020, even if they’re given a chance. Here’s a genius meme-maker using Michael Scott’s meme face for the perfect meme.
It was a year full of EVERYTHING! So, there’s nobody to blame if a harmless meme brings some comic relief! The Internet, social media, and memes were a few of the things that kept us entertained.
Meme culture was already quite popular, but 2020 just saw more spike in it! And, of course, a meme-year without a Trump meme is impossible. Here’s our favorite meme after Joe Biden became the new POTUS.
8) COVID calendar by celebrities
Celebrities are not different from us, and the lockdown and pandemic hit them too. So, some of them jumped into the trend of making COVID calendars using their own faces.
Here’s Reese Witherspoon’s calendar upto September. Mindy Kailing, Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo, and even Warner Bros. TV joined her right after.
The first few weeks of 2020 went by quickly because we all hoped the lockdown would only last a few weeks. But COVID-19 had other plans! So, this calendar pretty much sums up everyone’s 2020.
9) Breaking records with followers
Last 10 years were the peak of popularity for social sites. And anyone who has millions of followers is, of course, a celebrity.
Instagram broke in 2019 when FRIENDS actor Jennifer Anniston hit 1 million followers in just 5 hours and 16 minutes! Guinness World Records confirmed she was the fastest to do so. But her crown was given to Sir David Attenborough in September 2020. This 94-years young naturalist hit the million mark within four hours 44 minutes!
Nope. That’s not the end. Even Sir Attenborough’s record was beaten by Rupert Grint in November 2020.
The Harry Potter actor took the crown within 4 hours and 1 minute only! Admit it. You cried seeing Ron Weasly all grown up, didn’t you?
And if we’re looking for “most followed”, Christiano Ronaldo’s personal account holds 258.7 million, right after Instagram app’s own account with 385 million.
Summary of social media 2020
It’s hard to sum up the eventful year in a short time. But these top moments in social media were more or less our 2020, excluding the bad news, of course.
We started with baking or cooking in the first few months of lockdown (Remembering “Dalgona coffee”!) and ended up seeing protests for lockdown. The USA President Election was just another pin on the meme board. TikTok virals, BLM movement, online shopping spike, work-from-home, etc., have left their permanent marks online and offline.
All social media moments in 2020 are just a small part of people coping with the new normal. We’ve found humor in almost everything! Since humans were all indoors, not polluting the outside world, the earth started to heal. But a user found a way to make it fun!
Memes are hardly going away. This culture started early in the last decade and blew up in 2020 because people had a lot of free time. It’s still going on, and Bernie Sanders and his mittens became the first viral meme of 2021!
Social media predictions for 2021
Apart from the meme culture, there’s a lot to come this year as social media trends.
- Video content will reign all over social media
- Social media shopping will be more normal than ever
- Stories and reels on every platform
- Educational posts
- Brands with a cause
- memes, memes, and more memes!
Entire 2020 was mixed with good news and bad news. Some took social distancing as a new normal, and some are still looking for ways to get over the loss of their loved ones. Although COVID-19 took away lots of lives, some people don’t want to follow the mandatory hygiene rules.
The pandemic is not over yet. But we have learned to live with it. Maybe years from now, we’ll be asking ourselves how we survived 2020. We’ve slowed down a bit in our lives and let go of some pressure. Started prioritizing friends and family and worked on ourselves. And most of all, social media sites kept us going on.
That’s all for today. We’re hoping to get back our regular lives in 2021 pretty soon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, hoping for some better social media moments in 2021.