10 social media trends you need to know in 2024

As we know, the social media landscape is always evolving, and we can expect 2024 to be no different.

Though we rely heavily on social media in the beauty and media industry, and the lack of transparency has been a hot topic around influencers and paid brand partnerships, as well as a feeling of authenticity being lost amongst the sea of content creators on any which platform – hope is not lost.

Social media and influencer marketing leaders, Later, predict we will see a changing shift towards originality and transparency in 2024.

"This year is less about following the rules, and more about paving the way for experimentation," the marketing experts shared.

Keep reading for the top social media trends the Later team expects to inspire your social media strategy in 2024. 

1 – Long-form content returns 

For the past three years, short-form content centred around trending audio has been a key strategy for growing on TikTok and Instagram. But in 2024, solely hopping on trending audio isn’t a complete strategy for your channel anymore. 

In order to stand out, Later predict creators and brands will get more creative with longer and more original content. 

"Whether it’s adding commentary to a pop culture moment or a day-in-the-life vlog, video content is already shifting beyond the typical 15 or 30-second length," shared Later. "And with YouTube still reigning supreme amongst younger generations, it's only natural to see TikTok and Instagram encourage users to create longer videos too."

Long-form content is also have a resurgence thanks to Substack, bringing back the good ol' blog format. 

2 – Influencers use product placement 

POV: You watch a video of your favourite influencer applying a lip gloss while they talk about everything but the lip gloss. Jump to the comment section and you’ll likely see comments asking for the lip gloss brand.

And that is the power of product placement. 

While it’s not an entirely new concept, it is a subtle way to highlight a product and leave audiences intrigued rather than fatigued when it comes to buying. 

Later predict this type of marketing will be experimented with by brands who have affiliate marketing programs and are looking to join the conversation in a more "organic" way.

3 – TikTok enters its “FaceTime” era

TikTok content has seen a shift towards more casual, off-the-cuff storytelling. The appeal? It forms deeper connections. 

Audiences are wanting more "FaceTime" with their favourite influencers and brands, as they start to crave more companionship over entertainment.

4 – More AI integrations

While AI hasn't been fully embraced, Later predict we'll see more brands jump on the bandwagon – whether it's adopting AI into their software or creating AI-inspired filters and tools.  

"That said, AI can’t replace originality, and there are valid concerns related to plagiarism and the rise of AI influencers," said Later. "They're conversations we’ll be seeing a lot more of in 2024."

5 – Nostalgia core 

In 2023, it seemed like there was a core for everything: from cottage core to millennial core, it was endless. But what is a “core” exactly? 

According to Mashable, it's as a term used “to describe shared ideas of culture, genres, or aesthetics, and groups them all into one set category.”

And thanks to Gen Z’s resurgence of 90s and Y2K fashion, Later predict brands will be jumping on the nostalgia trend in 2024. 

Even Pinterest, with its annual Pinterest Predicts, has slated several nostalgic related aesthetics on their trends report like “Give a Scrap”, “Kitchens” and “Eclectic Grandpa”. 

Whether it’s creating throwback content or using "vintage" promo to launch a new product – it all makes for effective, relatable marketing. 

6 – Keyword search & SEO take centre stage 

Move over Google – nearly half of Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search instead. In a broader sense, this change reflects how searching a topic on the internet has changed.

This means that if you want your content to get discovered, Later says optimising your posts with keywords is more important than ever. 

7 – More selectivity with platforms

It’s easy to feel burnt out from social media as a user, let alone an influencer or social media manager who has to use it more frequently for work. 

However, if you’re looking to grow, a consistent posting schedule is a requirement on any social platform – meaning brands have to get more selective with where to dedicate their time. 

And with new platforms popping up only to fizzle out, it’s key to focus on what will make the most impact for your brand rather than jumping on something just because it's trendy.

8 – Storytelling is less linear

In TikTok’s 2024 Trend Report, it was noted how storytelling is becoming more unhinged than ever: “Ends of stories are starting first. Multiple story arcs can happen at once. Communities are making up fictional celebrities and narratives.”

This style of storytelling prompts the audience to dig a little deeper to understand what’s happening. 

9 – Gated content

Later says there has been a growing shift towards gated content, for a few reasons: 

- Fatigue of “suggested content” popping up on social feeds.

- Creators and brands seeking a deeper connection with their most-loyal followers.

- Creators wanting to “own” their content outside of always-changing social media platforms.

- Creators looking to monetise with “exclusive content” for their biggest fans.

Whether it’s using the Instagram Subscriptions feature or taking to Substack, will this strategy make content and newsletters more exciting? Time will tell.

10 – Instagram doubles down on Gen Z

Meta’s latest annual Instagram Trend Talk was centred around Gen Z, and it’s safe to guess that the platform has its eyes set on this demographic.

Higher Instagram usage could also point to positive signs for Instagram Threads. And though Meta’s newest platform has yet to establish a userbase as active as on X (aka Twitter), Later is not counting it out just yet. 

You can find more social media marketing tools via Later, here.

Header images: Getty