Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are social media platforms that attract most people’s attention. Pretty much everyone is aware of their impact and influence. However, there are many more social media platforms out there and they have an influence that cannot be ignored. In 2020 especially, we saw the rise of social media platforms such as Twitch, Discord, and TikTok. These platforms saw a particular jump in use during the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the social distancing we were all practicing – but time has shown us that these platforms are here to stay.
Though you might not use or advertise on all of the social media platforms, it is essential to know what trends are out there and if you can jump on them while opportunity abounds. So let’s take a closer look at some of the latest social media platforms and how they might serve you.
Twitch was first launched in 2011 – though it did not gain serious traction until recent years. Twitch averages about 140 million active users per month. Twitch is primarily used by video gamers. On the social media platform, a gamer can use a camera to record him or herself gaming and broadcast his or her monitor for users to watch both the gamer play and listen to his or her commentary.
Twitch streamers can gain money by donations. Certain Twitch streamers can make thousands of dollars each month by having their subscribers donate them money and watch them play. However, Twitch is not only for gamers: anyone can set up a channel and invite people to watch them do anything – from cooking, to playing music, or simply just talking.
Twitch is dominated by young people: nearly three-quarters of its viewers are less than 34 years old. One of the strengths of Twitch is that it allows for a really strong connection between the Twitch streamer and its viewers, which can be a great way for a business to build a relationship with its audience.
Discord, launched in 2015, is another social media platform that is dominated by video gamers. Though the platform is still heavily populated with gamers, the platform has broadened its chatrooms to include other topics. Discord hosts about 100 million monthly users. Discord works by users building servers – in which they can use text, audio, and video to talk to other people. The servers are organized by topic, which could range from baseball card collectors, friends on Fortnite, or a book club.
Unlike other social media platforms, Discord does not allow any advertising on the platform. Despite that hurdle, it is still possible for a business to get its message out to its audience; the business just needs to be prepared to take its time to build trust and respect from its audience, which is the greatest strength of the platform. Discord allows for great opportunities to build relationships and communities.
TikTok was first launched in 2017. You might remember the social media platform music.ly, which merged with TikTok in 2018. TikTok is a gigantic social media platform, which is enjoyed by users from different cohorts from all over the world. In 2022, TikTok is projected to reach 1.5 billion users.
Vine and music.ly are both predecessors of the now uber popular TikTok. The social media platform works by combining the two strongest qualities of the two predecessors: TikTok has vine’s ability to express comedy and sketches and music.ly’s ability to incorporate music and interactions between its users. On TikTok, users can create short videos, under one minute, and record duos, in which they directly engage with other TikToks.
TikTok is a social media platform that all businesses should take an interest in. The platform is right behind Instagram and YouTube. Though creating videos might seem difficult and intimidating, try it out! TikTok is a goofy social media platform – so it is okay to be a little silly and creative!
Clubhouse is a social media platform that was created during the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, in 2020. Clubhouse has about 10 million weekly active users. Facebook and Instagram utilize some synchronous features – such as their live streaming tools. But, for the most part, these platforms are asynchronous, meaning that the content creator and the user are not on the platform at the same time. Clubhouse, on the other hand, is synchronous only: the content creator, which is audio-only in this case, can only be accessed in real-time, as the audio content is being created.
Clubhouse is used by a variety of people – businesses might get on there to discuss a particular topic, podcast hosts may go on to discuss an issue, or writers may talk about current events. Clubhouse is invite-only – so, yes, you can only access the platform if someone who is already a member has invited you. Monetizing Clubhouse is a puzzle that has yet to be solved. So perhaps you and your company, or some colleagues, can get together and figure out how to leverage Clubhouse to your advantage.
Twitter Spaces is a very similar social media platform to Clubhouse: the two platforms are both audio-only. Twitter Spaces is still in its beta version, and it is only available to iOS devices. For now, Twitter is deciding who can start their own conversations on its audio service.
As Twitter Spaces is still in its infancy, Twitter is still negotiating what sort of community standards it will enforce. Clubhouse does not enforce any, so Twitter Spaces is testing out what works and what doesn’t, in order to create, as they see it, a safe space for anyone to talk.
The social media platforms that are available are diverse and new ones continue to emerge and fill new niches. Not all new social media platforms will lend themselves perfectly to your business and not all can obviously be monetized. But stay ahead of the trends, stay informed of what social media platforms are out there, and be ready for your business to make a big splash when you catch the first wave of a social media platform.