Why simplicity is the way ahead for social media in 2021

As We Are Social releases its annual trends report, chief strategy officer Mobbie Nazir reveals evidence of a move towards simpler and kinder social media habits that look to brands for assistance rather than aspiration

In its Christmas 2020 advertising, retailer Very encourages us to embrace every single moment. Meanwhile, SodaStream has recruited Snoop Dog for its latest campaign to extol the virtues of back-to-basics pleasures – like home baking and a family meal.

All around us, people are placing growing emphasis on the simple things. And in social media, too, this is a major trend for 2021, following a reprioritisation by social media users caused by Covid-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted everything – from daily behaviours and routines to long term planning and ambitions – and people’s wants and needs, along with how they satisfy them, have changed fundamentally, too.

In the early months of the crisis, consumers’ re-prioritisation led some observers to speculate they had become less materialistic, less possessions-orientated, less status-driven. There were reports of luxury and non-necessity brands slashing forecasts and scaling back ambitions.

As the year approaches its end, other evidence suggests that in the face of global recession and delayed recovery, people’s subsequent refocusing on simpler pursuits and stay-at-home activities – back-to-basics shopping and a more homespun lifestyle – are here to stay.