The Biggest US Social Media Trends For 2022 by GWI— Interesting 33 Key Stats and Facts:
1. Q1 2021 boasts the highest average figures on record for US social media usage, as lockdowns forced consumers to find ways to fill their free time. While engagement has plateaued for younger consumers, our latest Q4 data shows older consumers have kept social media in favor.
2. Over 2 in 5 social media users have 5+ social media services.
3. Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the US.
4. Since Q4 2020, the number of consumers using TikTok monthly has grown by nearly 50%. Despite its youthful reputation, engagement has grown most among Gen X (+79%) and baby boomers (+147%). Its popularity doesn’t show any signs of slowing and older consumers will have a leading role.
5. Data privacy is a growing focus, with increasing use of privacy centered DuckDuckGo and encrypted messaging services.
6. With WhatsApp growing in the last year, and Discord and Telegram making big leaps, their engaged messaging communities are a strong option for marketers.
7. With significant growth among Gen X (+24%) and baby boomers (+33%) on Facebook Marketplace/Instagram Shopping, utilizing the latest story tools will help keep platform users engaged.
8. Short-form video reigns supreme, but longer videos are still popular among younger consumers.
9. Despite being the home of the original social media giants, Americans aren’t the most active users of their networks. They spend 11 minutes less per day on social media than the global average, with users from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, far exceeding it.
10. In the US, Facebook is used by over 7 in 10 consumers, far outnumbering Instagram. Yet, Americans stand out most for using apps like Reddit, Snapchat, and Imgur.
11. WhatsApp has global popularity, and despite its mass adoption, consumers in the US are nearly 1.6x less likely than the average consumer to use the messaging service.
12. Alongside Latin America (+45%) and in Europe (+33%), TikTok has been the fastest growing social platform in the US, growing by 33% since Q4 2020. And excluding China, Americans are 69% more likely than the global average to say TikTok is their favorite social media service.
13. Sponsored posts and ads on social media are the channels with the fastest growth for discovering new brands among social media users aged 55–64 (since Q4 2020).
14. Overall, time spent on social media has increased since Q4 2020, with US consumers spending an extra 7 minutes per day using social platforms.
15. In the US Gen Z are nearly 1.4x less likely to use Facebook than the average social media user. Instagram is their preferred platform, although the gap between the two has shrunk since Q4 2020.
16. TikTok has transformed the digital landscape in recent years. Initially a favorite among younger audiences, older consumers are joining it in droves. The number of Gen X/baby boomers using TikTok at least once a week has doubled since Q4 2020, which is something for marketers to keep an eye on.
17. The messaging service is most popular with consumers from the Midwest, aged 35–44, and with lower earners. Whereas, younger tech-savvy consumers are adopting new messaging services, with data privacy a major motivator.
18. Google is the most popular search engine in the US, but use of the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has increased 16% among social media users since Q4 2020.
19. WhatsApp is well-liked for its end-to-end encryption, and has seen a 6% growth in use since Q4 2020. But the biggest movers are Discord (+33%) and Telegram (+86%).
20. Users of IGTV & Reels are 1.5x more likely to think social media is good for society, and 1.9x more likely to be vocal about brands because of social media.
21. The curated online self has declined in popularity, ushering in a trend of more down-to-earth and spontaneous content creation.
22. Brands and online personalities can tap into demand with content that stands out for being authentic, emphasizing diversity and self-expression — a recipe that many are already following to great success.
23. Half of Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook users create or react to a social media story at least monthly, an increase of 4% since Q4 2020.
24. Affiliate marketing searches on Google peaked in Spring/Summer 2021, and US expenditure in the sector is expected to exceed $8 billion in 2022.
25. Compared to the average US social media user, Instagram Story users are over 1.3x more likely to think their finances will improve in the next six months.
26. According to Mastercard Recovery Insights, December eCommerce sales in the US increased 13.5% year-on-year, and in 2022, retailers will look at different platforms and tactics to reach hyper-connected consumers, which will only boost innovation.
27. There’s good evidence to suggest marketers might benefit from investing more in an organic or affiliate strategy.
28. Pinterest users are the most engaged with paid social in the US.
29. Social commerce levels the playing field between online giants and smaller brands, which for consumers will mean access to more products, from more stores, without inconveniencing their scroll through social media.
30. Marketers often favor Facebook for its self-serve testing tools, rolling out features such as dynamic experiences and organic A/B testing in Q4 2021. Efforts to develop the metaverse will only extend these capabilities further, as businesses and consumers invest and entrust in a virtual future.
31. 3 in 10 US social media users know what the metaverse is, more than users in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, or the UK.
32. Stories have left their mark on most, if not all, of today’s main social platforms, from swapping faces on Snapchat to sharing successes on LinkedIn.
33. Discord has long been popular with gaming communities, but is gaining traction with more mainstream audiences, growing to 350 million users in 2021.
These insights, in my opinion, will be a significant resource for any organization, brand, or marketer who uses social media for their business in the future days.
You may access the complete GWI Social Trends 2022 report here.
By the way, if you are interested, you may refer to this: What Should You Keep In Mind When Integrating Social Media Trends.
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