In order to meet customer demands, brands must anticipate upcoming trends. According to recent McKinsey research, 2021 was a year of transformation. People, corporations and society began to look ahead to shape their future rather than just survive the present. The world experienced a very unpredictable environment over the past two years, which makes it difficult to make accurate predictions, however, the year will certainly bring many surprises. Six digital trends are set to shape our lives in 2022.

First of all, social media. Platforms will concentrate more on privacy and content quality in feeds. By the end of 2022, all major social media platforms will most likely have updated their privacy policies and tweaked their algorithms to protect user privacy and increase the quality of content. And due to the high demand for strong, winning content, new creative influencers will form and make an impact on branding and engagement. As an example for that, according to recent McKinsey research, thanks to the growing popularity of the new “short-form” video content, “Instagram and TikTok are likely to witness a rise in ad expenditure in 2022 and Instagram will continue to grow beyond its 50 % ad revenue share.”

In 2022, brands will have to rethink their buying journey to take advantage of the opportunities of different platforms. Furthermore, approximately 73% of people today report using online services with high data protection, such as encrypted email and privacy-protecting search engines, to protect their privacy online. At the same time, data is needed to provide consumers with useful information, and relevant advertising. Also, data enables marketers to reach the right audiences with meaningful and memorable messages that enhance online experiences.

In addition, increased connectivity means more digital transformation. A faster connection enabled by 5G and Wi-Fi 6 is crucial if the world is to embrace these new digital trends. With organizations and consumers thinking outside the box, working from home will become more hybrid. Many IT executives plan to use smaller and smarter devices, as well as wireless and noise-cancelling headphones in the future.

The growth of artificial intelligence will be the third trend in 2022. In the future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) may change “how we think about, create, and enjoy food or fashion, or how we look for a job”.

Moving on to the fourth influencing trend - Metaverse. The metaverse refers to a mix between the physical world, and virtual reality. It indicates subsets of technologies that are combined into one unit. When COVID-19 arrived, brands were already slowly shifting towards virtual reality and with the crisis came an increased need for online socialization and interaction. Through blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, users can interact, socialize, explore, and create content in the virtual environment. As of 2022, metaverse is expected to be one of the most important commercial topics. It will be supported by major brands such as Nike, Gucci, Microsoft, and others.

Adding on a fifth trend named, “shoppable content” as the world of shopping has changed nowadays. The e-commerce market grew nearly 30 % last year, and new ways of monetizing content have emerged. People can now buy products directly from social posts, while watching TV shows, and YouTube videos on connected TVs. Story telling is key to create content that people want to buy.

The final trend is all about “new workplace, new skills”. With workplace set to change, skills will apparently be next. According to research, in 2022, new occupations will account for 27 % of big corporate employee bases, while technologically outmoded positions will decline from 31 % to 21 %. So, changing the division of labor between humans, computers, could potentially eliminate 75 million current job openings while creating 133 million new ones.

Retail companies will continue to need data analysts, software developers, and social media specialists. Despite this, the number of "human" jobs is expected to increase, including customer service, organizational development, and innovation management. AI will create jobs and ensure employment across a variety of different fields instead of taking our jobs, as well as accelerate larger trends in digital technology.

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