Digital trends for back to school: what’s cooking on social media?

Javi Sagredo

29 September 2022

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BeReal? What’s that?

The “post-vacation reset” is never easy. After these not-so-busy weeks in which we’ve spent more time on our phone, there’s no doubt we have all heard of the latest social media trends, right? Right. But let’s take it easy and give each platform the attention they deserve.

BeReal’s Influence

To date, there seems to have been no more spontaneous and natural way of communicating digitally than BeReal. The french social media platform, born in 2020, reached its peak in terms of popularity during summer 2022. The dynamic is easier than you might think: with the front and back camera simultaneously, you capture the reality of an encapsulated moment. You only have two minutes to create your content once you receive the notification and, if you want to repeat the picture, everyone will be able to see how many times you tried.  

The App’s success around the globe is owed to its spontaneity, at a time when social media are finding it increasingly difficult to convey authenticity and freshness. According to company data, the new Gen Z ally has grown by 315% during 2022 and accumulates more than 7.6 mill downloads. 

A new player that’s already defining the industry’s standards 

The impact of the App has been such that Instagram and TikTok already have their own “BeReal adaptation”. The former has done it through the Dual feature, available for Reels and Stories, while the current entertainment titan has created a new feature known as “TikTok now” where creators can take videos up to 10 seconds with both cameras. Who wore it best? Place your bets.

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Source: TikTok

Is there room for brands?

BeReal brought a fresh alternative to the table at a time when brands took over the users’ feeds. As its name tells us: BeReal wants people to  show themselves authentically and to consume less overproduced content. In addition, BeReal doesn’t count with Advertisements or “special accounts” for brands, having users as the only stars of their App.

In a context where authenticity is embraced, within an oasis that refreshes users from Apps saturated with ads, the real question is: how can brands use BeReal to their advantage and connect with users? This is a topic that continues to be reflected upon, so there isn’t a single answer. However, there are some brands that have started using their creativity to position themselves on the platform. 

Mango has been one of the brands to take the lead. The renowned fashion brand understood the dynamics and purpose of the App, so they are focusing on creating “more spontaneous” content on their account. Mango has decided to use BeReal to show the behind the scenes of their operations, moving away from editorial and overproduced content, in order to have a more authentic approach to their customers.

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Besides showing your brand from a different light than what we are used to, companies can also use BeReal to innovate with different creative content. A great example would be Chipotle, the American fast food chain, which shared limited promo codes that could be enjoyed by the first 100 customers to use them. This initiative was one of the first marketing campaigns launched in the App, showing that even if BeReal isn’t designed for brands, they can make their way in if they use their engine to innovate in the platform. 

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Reels, the templates revolution

Although the news broke before we grabbed our swimsuit and hit the beach, Reels’ templates appeared just a couple months ago, replicating the trendiest Instagram videos. Bye bye video tutorials, hello accessibility. 

“Use template” aims to compete against TikTok in terms of providing a simplified content creation space. Browsing among the latest Reels, users who find the feature “Use template” will automatically be directed to a guide where they only have to place the audiovisual material they want.

This new content creation system of Reels allows to add up to 13 videos, thereby allowing synchronisation with the original audio. 

New updates in the format

Meta hasn’t stopped testing new ideas to highlight the entertaining factor of Reels. Among the new updates, these videos already have a maximum duration of 90 seconds. On some devices the new time limit is not updated yet.

In addition, the content creators are now able to add stickers (polls, quizzes and emoji buttons) to encourage interactions with users.

And in case your mobile phone is not the best working tool for you, Creator Studio has a new section where you can edit from other devices such as your PC. Currently this is only enabled for Reels on Facebook. 

A Vertical Instagram

Instagram has been warning us for months: bye bye 1:1. A few months ago, a period of tests where vertical content would prevail in the social network was announced, taking TikTok as a reference. The presence of video content has marked this paradigm shift, as the need to connect with Gen Z becomes more and more important. 

For now, IGTV disappears and all the videos that were published so far become part of Reels. What does it mean? That the content published in 1:1 will be seen with black margins, as it is not adapted vertically. Thus, both users and content creators will need to adapt photos and videos to the new dimensions.

To date, however, there have been no more significant advances, such as the possibility of a full vertical feed. But only time will tell…

A matter of design: Hello 90’s & 3D

Sometimes trends are fleeting. But when the new generations live somewhere in between the 90’s nostalgia, the metaverse and 3D,  the coexistence of these trends is key today.

This is especially true in the fashion industry. Brands such as Pull&Bear and Bershka are going through a facelift in their quest to attract new and younger audiences that, in the future, might become the new consumer. Staying alert to these new trends will be our best ally to face generational change.

3D compositions, grungy collages, abstract creations and fashion films that evoke the values of 90s teen movies seem to set some guidelines for defining the visual identity of the decade. 

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Resources :Pull&Bear

The Era of Communities

To close up, and without going out of the “fashion spectrum”, let us highlight the increasingly leading role of nanoinfluencers, who have become one of the main pillars in the editorial planning of big fashion names.

Fashion brands such as Springfield have started to connect with the ordinary user on a deeper level, reposting content in which they show their outfits in the most natural, organic way possible. This may not generate a huge impact as big influencers do, but it provides the brand with something that’s more important than reach, and harder to obtain —especially in a context where all brands want to be perceived as “the exception to the rule”—: credibility. 

Can you think of a better opportunity to start building a long-lasting relationship with your potential clients?

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New resolutions for the start of the working year? Put some of these trends into practice. Happy  Q4 of 2022.