5 Young Social Media Platforms You Should Watch in 2021

Bill Stamats

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No matter how plugged in you are, it’s tough to keep up with the rapid changes happening across social media. New technology, tools, and platforms are reinventing not only how we communicate with each other, but how we perceive and engage with brands.  

If the pace of innovation has you dazed, a quick update might be in order. Here are five young social media platforms destined to become major players in 2021.  

1. Clubhouse 

You’ve probably heard some of the early buzz about Clubhouse. Though it’s open to new users by invitation only (and limited to iOS devices at the moment), Clubhouse has already built a network of approximately six million. 

Part podcast and part talk radio, Clubhouse allows people to host, listen, and join in live conversations with other users. The app’s appeal comes from the broad range of topics being covered and the excitement generated by not knowing what sort of discussion you might drop in on next.  

Though it’s a bit early to understand Clubhouse’s full marketing potential, it clearly offers something unique – immediacy. Real-time conversation is a great way to workshop new product ideas, gauge reactions, and better understand what factors influence choice among today’s young consumers.  

2. Twitch  

Owned by Amazon, Twitch combines live stream gaming with social media. Its base of 140 million active monthly users skews male (80%) between the ages of 18 and 34. Active streamers make money by growing their subscriber base, participating in eSports competitions, and developing their careers as social media influencers.  

Duracell, EA, and Indeed are just a few of the brands currently active on Twitch. By sponsoring live stream events, offering free merchandise, and working with influencers to develop and share exclusive content, these companies are able to target specific audiences during moments of intense online engagement.  

3. TikTok 

With more than one billion users (40% of whom are between the ages of 16 and 24), TikTok continues to surge in popularity. In 2020, downloads of the TikTok app surpassed those of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.  

The platform is all about quick, entertaining connection. TikTok users share short videos that can be enhanced with filters, music, and text. By adding hashtags, users can also optimize their videos for search and launch challenges that audiences around the world can participate in.  

TikTok challenges are appealing to companies that understand the viral potential of user-generated content. Chase Bank, Colgate, Chipotle, and Kaiser Permanente are just a few of the brands already using the app to reach millions of young people.  

4. Instagram Reels 

Facebook’s answer to TikTok, Instagram Reels offers a similar set of features and functions. Users can film and upload videos and add music, text, and interesting effects. Though specific numbers aren’t available for Reels, Instagram reports a user base of more than one billion.  

For marketers, Reels offers an innovative way to connect with Gen Z audiences. Use it to demonstrate new products, provide short tours, capture an event, or share any experience that reinforces a brand’s energy and personality.  

5. Houseparty 

Though total user numbers are hard to come by for Houseparty, downloads exceeded 50 million in 2020.  

The group video-messaging platform allows users to play in-app games with one another and host face-to-face video chats with up to eight attendees. Video filters, fun special effects, and stickers can be added to enhance the live experience.  

For brands looking to connect with young audiences in a small group format, Houseparty is ideal. For example, a recruiter might host a series of “houseparties” for select college prospects who’ve already visited campus. Sessions could include an alumnus and offer an insider’s view of campus life or specific degree programs.  

Social media is today’s word of mouth. Stamats can help you connect with your audiences, expand your reach, and inspire new brand ambassadors. Call or email for more information on our full suite of social media services.

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