There is so much global conversation going on around Facebook’s many platforms that they are able to pull up future predictions across multiple industries just by looking at trending keywords we are all using. And that is just what they have been doing.
On 12 December 2018, Facebook released their 2019 Topics & Trends Report from Facebook IQ. It details topics that may see mainstream waves come 2019 based on their findings between January 2017 and October 2018.
The key categories in this report include Beauty & Fashion, Commerce, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Mind & Body, Science & Technology, and Travel & Leisure. In order to come up with the report, Facebook worked with industry leading business intelligence experts at The Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, PSFK and Stylus.
Although most of the findings are centered around anonymous data extracted in the US, there are also some trends that this writer think will pick up in Malaysia next year (2019). If Here are some of them:
Beauty & Fashion: Print is Back!
There was a time not so long ago that fashion took a dull and minimalistic turn. Designs were a tad conservative and dull colors were a thing. Well, not anymore.
From snakeskin and zebra to giant tropical leafs, bigger and bolder prints are making an aggressive comeback. In fact, an article released by Her World back in April 2018 prepared fashionistas for the Clash of the Prints.
From restaurant decors to clothing designs, brands ought to take heed on this impending trend. Splash a few strong and large print patterns on the feature wall or hang a giant Monstera Deliciosa in a heavy picture frame to capture the attention of fashion forward thinkers.
Consumers are becoming more aware of their power to affect change in the world’s production. This came from the consistent string of viral social media content surrounding topics like global warming, plastic waste and sustainable consumption. The result is a rise of consumers changing their purchasing power to help the environment.
1 Beauty Products
In case we haven’t already noticed this, more and more beauty products are starting to carry the identity of being organic and made with natural ingredients. Everything from homemade soaps to fruit-flavored shower gels are finding their ways into more households.
Consumers are also getting themselves more educated on the kinds of chemicals found in shower products. For example, a chemical called Phthalate which is commonly used to soften and give PVC plastic a transparent look, is also known to cause damage to liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive systems.
While it is attractive to flow with demand for products that are organic and use natural ingredients, it is also important to stay away from using harmful ingredients. Consumers will literally research every chemical compound at the back of your packaging, and will not hesitate to raise the pitch fork on social media if they find anything harmful.
2 Greener Packaging
Due to the recent heavy demonization of plastic, even how products are packaged make a difference. A recent viral video on Facebook showcased the new Shampoo Bar concept, which is just shampoo that comes in the form of a bar. The video stated that over 80% of plastic litter in the ocean is made up of packaging like shampoo and soap bottles.
If you’re a brand that is still doubting the validity of this viral trend, know that one of the makers of shampoo bars, Lush, sold 12,000 shampoo bars in just 2 days thanks to that viral video.
In July 2018, Starbucks globally announced their commitment to do away with straws by the year 2020, beginning with the roll-out of a new sip lid. While this little initiative completely missed the point of reducing plastic waste – all their cups and the new sip lids are still made of single-use plastic – it managed to provide a good PR run during the times when straws were the number killer of sea turtles.
3 Circular Economy
Circular Economy, for the uninitiated wokes, describes the regenerative environment where resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimized by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops. In this system, everything is made to last longer, easier to repair and refurbish, using less or no waste, and allows for recycling and up-cycling.
In the recent few decades, the production industry has found a way to maximize profits from customers by reducing the lifespan of their products. The result is a world where nothing lasts long enough, and everything needs to be thrown away because they cannot be repaired (looking at you, Apple).
Influencer Marketing Gets Serious
Those who say Social Influencers do not help with KPIs have been looking at the wrong numbers. Merely equating them to sales isn’t the answer, and there is a far more powerful place for them: being influencers as their name intended.
There is an ever increasing trend of millennials identifying themselves as brands, and having the power to sway their peers’ habits. As more attention move away from traditional media into social media, brands who reject social influencers will soon see themselves overtaken by smaller and more nimble competitors.
A good tip would be to lookout for Micro Influencers with around 10,000 to 20,000 Followers. They are cheaper to employ, much easier to work with, and they have better personal connection with their followers.
Entertainment: New Age Sports
It wasn’t that long ago when nobody thought gaming could actually become a sport played and watched by millions worldwide. As of 2017 worldwide eSports market revenue reached US$ 665 Million, and is projected to hit over US$ 1.6 billion by 2021. And the predominant age group in the US for this massively growing market in 2017 itself was between 18 to 34 years old at 75%.
It is incredibly baffling that while the entire world is moving away from televised networks and into social platforms, the largest sports networks are still sticking to high-margin television channels. Traditional media platforms only cater to the older audience that grew up before the Internet was mainstream.
It isn’t much about moving from one platform to another, but rather capturing the attention and interests of new bloods. Young audiences today do not watch football or basketball anymore. And they care less about Olympics and the other games too.
There will come a time when the old get replaced by the young, and the only sports the world will watch are games played on computers or consoles and watched on streaming channels like YouTube and Twitch.
Tough luck, traditional sports. Their entire existence is under threat because they refused to air games over Twitter. From now on, we will be watching Fortnite Olympics instead.
Glamping: The Perfect Balance, and Perfectly Instagrammable
Every major destination has been overdone. From the Shibuya Crossing to the Matterhorn in Switzerland, there is no where else in the world one can visit that didn’t have their images flooded on Instagram already.
While hiking and camping are too dreadful to consider, there is one middle point that strikes the perfect balance: Glamping. Being just close enough to the wild, while having all the amenities that one will not suffer.
Glamping began its life in Malaysia a good few years ago, but it was way to expensive for most people to consider. Today one can enjoy a good Glamping experience from as low as RM 95 per person per night, which is sure to get more competitive as this activity gains popularity.
If you are a brand planning to start something in 2019, these few most actively trending keywords can help spark some ideas in riding the wave. While there’s no absolute certainty that all the predictions will pick up steam within the year, it surely does help to know what the world is talking about. Just maybe, there is a goldmine in here somewhere.
 “The 2019 Topics & Trends Report from Facebook IQ|Facebook for ….” https://www.facebook.com/business/news/insights/2019-topics-and-trends-report. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
 “These 7 styling tips will help you rock the clashing prints trend | Her ….” https://www.herworld.com/fashion/tips/street-style-stars-how-wear-clashing-prints-spring-2018-trend. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
 “Phthalates and DEHP | Health Care Without Harm.” https://noharm-uscanada.org/issues/us-canada/phthalates-and-dehp. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
 “https://www.facebook.com/attn/videos/2142… – Arubalife Organics ….” https://www.facebook.com/arubalife/posts/1801008656634221. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
 “Lush Sold 12,000 Shampoo Bars in Just Two Days – Allure.” 12 Jun. 2018, https://www.allure.com/story/viral-lush-shampoo-bars. Accessed 27 Dec. 2018.
 “Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws Globally by 2020 | Starbucks ….” 9 Jul. 2018, https://news.starbucks.com/press-releases/starbucks-to-eliminate-plastic-straws-globally-by-2020. Accessed 30 Dec. 2018.
 “• Global eSports market revenue 2021 | Statistic – Statista.” https://www.statista.com/statistics/490522/global-esports-market-revenue/. Accessed 5 Jan. 2019.
 “• U.S. eSports fan age 2017 | Statistic – Statista.” https://www.statista.com/statistics/532322/esports-viewers-by-age-usa/. Accessed 5 Jan. 2019.
 “9 ‘Atas’ Glamping Sites In Malaysia For Less Than RM250 … – Says.com.” 7 Jun. 2018, https://says.com/my/lifestyle/top-glamping-sites-in-selangor-for-a-weekend-getaway. Accessed 5 Jan. 2019.