Ambika Sharma– Founder & MD, Pulp Strategy Communications shares six trends that will shape up the design and creative world on social media
There are about 7.6 billion people all across the globe out of whom around 2.8 billion are on social media. In short, if social media was a country, it would be bigger than India and China – the world’s two most populous nations – put together, while still leaving room for other countries to creep in. This is the eminence that social media today enjoys in modern society.
Thankfully, this makes people, or in other words customers, irrespective of their locations, just one click away from the marketers. But in marketing, detailing to every level possible is crucial to hit the proverbial nail on its head. Since design serves as an integral element in social media marketing, let’s quickly analyse social media design trends 2018
1 GIFs and animations:
2017 has been earmarked as the year when Facebook introduced GIFs on its platform. Interestingly, these GIFs have sparked a new vigour and made users get almost addicted to them. The reason behind the increasing popularity of GIFs and animations is that they, at times, help convey a message that words and pictures cannot express – especially for the meme-loving millennial audience. The trend is slated to gain further momentum in 2018.
2 Louder and brighter colours
The amount of pictures and videos that we are uploading and sharing on popular platforms is increasing with every day that passes. As a matter of fact, we were sharing more than 1.8 billion new pictures on social media platforms roughly three years ago. Today, the figure has increased to 4.5 billion for WhatsApp alone, spare other popular media sharing platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. The sheer volume is making it nearly impossible to stand out of the crowd, especially with the prevalent clean and controlled design scheme with neutral colours.
Graphics are now moving beyond the delineated area of muted and easy-to-digest colours with a blend of stronger accents. Spotify has been doing it for a while by using bold shades and in-your-face designs. In fact, the platform’s pictures are now easily discernible and have created a brand identity of their own. Businesses can also use bolder and louder designs while still clinging onto their minimalist roots.
3 80s and 90s patterns
Colour schemes from the 80s and 90s have gained more popularity as millennials are becoming more significant as both brand leaders and key target audiences. A popular instance can be drawn from pretty pastel designs used in Facebook videos for birthdays, anniversaries, and other festive celebrations. Such colour schemes trigger a kind of nostalgia and establish a closer connect with the millennial audience.
Stock photos are widely used in communications but now a perceptible shift is being observed from this basic approach. Such pictures, while having a greater shelf life, do not create the desired impression on target audiences. In 2017, more focus has been on graphic personalization and user-generated content.
Micro-interactions, such as the ‘Like’ button on Facebook and moving dots on Google’s voice search, are gaining more popularity. They give an intuitive experience by making users feel as if they’re manipulating the interface while providing a feedback for their actions. Detailing to this extent has been propelling social media designs to the next level.
6 Colour gradients
Colour gradients once used to be an integral part of designs and were prominently featured in websites, corporate communications such as PDFs and PPTs, and company logos. Eventually, design aesthetics evolved to flat designs, such as the ones used in early-Facebook. Now, gradients are making a comeback by being incorporated with the flat design giving us ‘Flat 2.0’ or ‘semi-flat’ illustrations. Their reappearance in iOS and Instagram have further given fillip to this trend and we’ll be seeing more of them in branding, illustrations, backgrounds, and overlays in the year to come.