Research

18 trends that highlight fundamental shifts in culture

By Sarah Personette
Monday, 4 November 2019

From “Ethical Self” to “DIY Spirituality,” Twitter reveals the fastest-growing conversations going into 2020

Knowing that consumers expect brands to be culturally relevant, we’ve always encouraged marketers to find authentic ways to connect with culture. 

Today, we’re releasing hundreds of cultural insights from the conversation on Twitter, to inspire and empower brands to develop campaigns on the leading edge of shifts in consumer behavior and beliefs.

We tapped into the largest catalog of human thought and conversation – Twitter –  to analyze billions of Tweets over the past three years. Using machine learning to remove commonplace topics and fads, we’ve uncovered hundreds of insights, 18 of the fastest-evolving trends and 6 overarching themes. These reflect fundamental shifts in U.S. culture and provide a window into what’s starting to matter more and more to consumers as we enter a new decade.

We’ve packaged all of these cultural insights into an immersive website, which we are unveiling today, and created a dedicated “Trend Pack” for each of the 18 trends that dives deep into conversation growth, key drivers, related hashtags, emoji sentiment...and of course, Tweets.

And this is only the beginning: We’ll refresh these insights annually and will expand to additional markets in 2020.

The Big 6

Well-being: The human desire to live a happy, healthy life continues to be a cultural priority, but the focus has shifted from the outside in. Where body image, diet, and physical appearance once dominated the conversation, a healthy mind and whole-body wellness are starting to take center stage. Trends in this theme: Data-Driven Bodies | Holistic Health | Being Well Together

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Everyday Wonder: 

The more people learn about the universe, the more in awe of it they become. They’re fascinated by the cosmos and everything it contains, from the planets themselves, to climate change and extreme weather, to spiritual energy and healing. Trends in this theme: DIY Spirituality | In Awe of Nature | Cosmic Fascination

📣Standout stat: Conversation around spiritual practices that were once considered “New Age” in the US – like yoga, chakras, Zen, and mindfulness – declined 45%. Meanwhile conversation around alternative spirituality – like healing, energy, and astrology in relation to spiritual practices –  jumped 168%. 

Creator Culture: 

Makers, builders, and entrepreneurs have joined artists, writers, and musicians in the creative arena. They’re actively blurring the lines between work and personal passions, reimagining the day job, and pushing creativity into mainstream culture. Trends in this theme: Creative Currency | Hustle Life | Connecting Through Video

📣Standout stat: Unsigned musician hashtags have increased 113% as unsigned artists use Twitter to get buzz around their talents.

My Identity:

The concept of identity is broader than ever, and people have never felt more empowered to be their true selves and make their own rules. They’re living out loud, sharing their passions, breaking stereotypes, and demanding more from society on issues of gender and diversity. Trends in this theme: Fandom | Gender Redefined | Represent Me

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One Planet:

More and more people are holding themselves, their communities, and businesses to higher standards when it comes to respecting the planet. As people take a hard look at the environmental costs of everyday life, they’re becoming increasingly focused on taking action and finding innovative solutions to create a more sustainable culture. Trends in this theme: Ethical Self | Sustainable Steps | Clean Corporations

📣Standout stat: The conversation around environmental veganism has lifted 235% as people discuss veganism as a means to safeguard the future of the planet.

Tech Life: 

Technology is continuing to change how people learn, how they create, and how they work. People are excited, even if a bit uncertain at times, about having a front-row seat to fundamental change, and they’re imagining the possibilities of a more connected, more efficient, more expansive future. Trends in this theme: Blended Realities | Future Tech | Tech Angst

📣Standout stat: Conversation about a fourth industrial revolution has grown 340% as people discuss their unpreparedness for change, especially when it comes to the effects of AI and blockchain on the workforce.

How marketers can use these insights to connect to culture

Having this level of insight into the topics that are of growing importance to consumers is incredibly valuable in the creative development, and even product development, phases of marketing, as well as participating in the conversation with consumers. 

We’re sharing these insights to help marketers stay on the leading edge of culture, and get a deeper understanding of what’s starting to matter more to consumers. Our goal is to inspire powerful and award-winning campaigns in 2020.

Dive into all of our insights at: https://marketing.twitter.com/na/en/culture-and-conversations#/

 

Methodology: From January 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019, billions of Tweets were analyzed to uncover the most-used hashtags, then mapped to cluster themes of conversation. Through both human coding and machine learning, commonplace topics like politics and sports were removed, and significant growth areas and contextual shifts in conversation identified. With the help of cultural insights experts at CrowdDNA, 18 emerging trends were uncovered. Tools used: Twitter Internal, Crimson Hexagon, and Talkwalker. Tweet volumes at monthly increments, geo-filtered for US market, growth stats compare Q2/2019 vs. Q1/2016.

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@sep

Sarah Personette

‎@sep‎

Global VP of Client Solutions

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