The Evolving Landscape Of Social Media For Brands | CLSEE

Here are my observations on 5 key trends that are building the bridge for a wider horizon for the social ecosystem. Easier to remember the acronym – CLSEE

The considerable rise in content creation and consumption is all emancipating. Being beyond the walled gardens, with more the power in the hands of users, has enabled us to democratize content for all kinds of audience interests and genres. With 780 million internet users (growing) and an average of around 7.3 hours per day spent on smartphones4, the volume of digital media consumption in India is second only to China. At 4.9 hours per day, Indians came eighth in the world for the most amount of time spent on phone apps in 2022, a 32 per cent growth since 2019.

Here are my observations on 5 key trends that are building the bridge for a wider horizon for the social ecosystem. Easier to remember the acronym – CLSEE


Recently, YouTube partnered with Prince William’s Earthshot Prize to raise awareness of climate solutions to discover, accelerate and scale ground-breaking solutions to repair and regenerate the planet. This is a good example of how a collaboration for a purpose is crafted. Vision is the key. In the social media and influencer ecosystem, there is a deeper scope and that is how a specific conversation could be made keeping in mind that it needs to transcend beyond the product or brand to longer-lasting conversations. What we call ‘engagement’, I see this evolving to being measured beyond ‘likes’ and moving rather towards ‘comments’ and how those are spoken with.


The good part is today we have access to multiple tools for social listening. What I see evolving is more time being spent on understanding deeper actionable insights from the data. 20 years ago, it was all primary research with no such tools. Hence, the ability to use such a tool effectively and yet optimally will become more and more important to stay connected with the consumer journey and understand their wants better with focus, given the fact the non-linear journey today.

Social Commerce

The interesting part is the catalysts that are strengthening social commerce. Personalisation, Convenience, Community Building, Micro entrepreneurship – all these stitched by trust.

It is estimated that India’s ecommerce market will grow to USD 220 billion by 2025, with social commerce poised to become a USD 100 billion market. The launch of Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) with its lower commissions (8-10 per cent versus 18-40 per cent at some online retailers) is expected to increase the number of online shoppers and shopping options. The proliferation of D2C platforms, which is already an INR 960 billion industry, growing at 40 per cent CAGR. 

The reseller is a highly effective facilitator while adding considerable value for the end customer. Reseller-led social commerce has proved to be a powerful way for, say, reaching the next 200 million e-commerce buyers in India. Social commerce is also a good alternative for small and medium size unorganised businesses because it is a simple way of getting an online presence. Getting visibility on major platforms can be difficult for a small seller.

Experiential Trends

According to a recent report by FICCI, Online gaming will continue to grow and reach 500 million gamers by 2025 to become the third or fourth largest segment of the Indian M&E sector, driven by 5G and the conversion of feature phones to smartphones. Over 70 per cent of the Indian M&E consumption is on escapism, and the metaverse can enable the ultimate escapism.

In audio segment, over 80 per cent will not pay for music. The report also states that it expects the market to be driven by three major segments:

The premium segment (top 3 per cent to 5 per cent or so) will pay for music streaming and music experiences like concerts, themed dining options, merchandise, etc. The aspirational segment (the next 10 per cent to 15 per cent) will consume music on streaming, television, etc., so long as it comes bundled with data, e-commerce, or cable television bundles.

Extended Reality

Maybe the Matrix is true! Well, virtual seems to be a new reality,

XR is enabling brands to create new environments for their customers to explore engage evaluate transact share brand experiences, in the form of virtual or augmented reality. Although currently sparse, it is anticipated that the top 10-15 million Indian households will experience AR and VR by 2025, as well as create over 50 million virtual avatars.

Be it virtually trying on makeup, sunglasses, shoes, in the West it is also being used for cause-related awareness and location-based overlays that augment a user’s real-world environment. 

No doubt, XR could usher in improved safety for workers, enhanced customer experience and advanced learning. However, it could also exacerbate cyber-attacks and privacy breaches since such immersive technologies leverage sensitive data that could be misused.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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