The vast majority of social media users are ignorant of concepts such as the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to We Are Social's annual Think Forward report.
While brands such as Hellman’s and Deliveroo have already dipped their toe into the metaverse – digital space in games such as Fortnite and Animal Crossing where brands can insert themselves – 87% of social media users do not know what the metaverse is. The term generally refers to a virtual world beyond the physical world, and includes Snapchat filters and Ariana Grande Fortnite concerts.
Meanwhile, NFTs are unique assets in the digital world which can be bought or sold, but have no physical form of their own. In this instance, people can buy the original image of a meme, a tweet, or a digital work of art. Yet despite their growing prevalence, 85% of social users do not understand them.
Think Forward: Brave New World, looks at digital trends for the forthcoming year. This year, it is backed by a survey of more than 3,000 people who use social media daily.
The report also revealed that 57% of respondents, all of whom were over 18, said they had learned practical life skills from social media rather than university.
Respondents were from the US, UK, France, Italy, China and Australia for a global perspective, so that brands have the opportunity to impart knowledge from their feeds.
Another opportunity lies within TikTok. Data from the video-sharing platform demonstrated that 35% of users said they watched less TV after downloading the app. This means brands and broadcasters have the opportunity to develop social-first campaigns.
Mobbie Nazir, global chief strategy officer at We Are Social, said: "Many marketers are going to decide if 2022 is the year they 'do an NFT' without really knowing why.
“The insights Think Forward gives into what is really motivating the consumers who’ve embraced this trend already provide a great way for brands to approach this area more strategically and ensure that if and when that first branded NFT is launched, it’s something effective.”
Lore Oxford, global head of cultural insights at We Are Social, added: “Think Forward 2022’s predictions about the directions social content is headed highlight some really exciting trends for the creative minds in our industry.
“We’re on the brink of a renaissance in creativity on social, in which brands and creators alike are going to have to work harder and better to make us laugh, move us, and connect us.”
We Are Social is a global, socially led creative agency who has worked with Samsung, Netflix and Google.