Sri Lanka’s Social Media Trend Forecast 2024

01. YouTube Shorts dominance in brand promotion: YouTube Shorts will emerge as a pivotal platform for brand social strategies in Sri Lanka. Similar to Reels & TikToks, leveraging Shorts will significantly enhance brand visibility on a platform that previously hosted mainly TV commercials. Check out the captivating content created by Kaali on his TikTok and Blok & Dino adopting the short-form branded content is setting new benchmarks for engaging Shorts content.

02. Emphasis on watch time as a primary metric: In Sri Lanka’s evolving social media realm, watch time is overtaking traditional metrics like likes and comments. Creators such as “Janai Priyai” and “Lakai Sikai” excel in retaining audience attention through extended content. Notably, Kamal Uncle on YouTube is revolutionising content creation by crafting original, engaging videos centered around food, exploration, and Sri Lankan culture. His captivating narratives not only entertain but also educate, fostering a deep connection with viewers and significantly contributing to prolonged user engagement, exemplifying the power of relatable storytelling in maintaining sustained audience attention. This shift underscores the diminishing focus on likes and comments as the primary measures of engagement.

03. Decline of live content: Live content attempts by brands in Sri Lanka will continue to dwindle, with audiences showing less enthusiasm for brand-generated live content. The space will likely be dominated by local streamers and creators who establish authentic connections with their audiences. Gaming streamers like Maniya and vlogger’s such as Dilshan are successfully engaging their audiences for hours, highlighting the effort required to maintain audience interest consistently.

04. Budget scrutiny leading to divestment from trend-based content: Tighter budgets will prompt brands in Sri Lanka to delve deeper into the effectiveness of trend-based content. I strongly believe that analysing sales data will reveal that while trend-based content may generate some additional engagement, its impact doesn’t match that of exceptional original content.

05. Uncertainty around Threads in Sri Lanka: Meta’s attempt with Threads may struggle to establish a substantial user base in Sri Lanka’s landscape dominated by Twitter unless it significantly evolves to capture local interest, especially considering the remarkable traction gained by existing platforms.

06. Increased social budgets due to senior social pros moving into overall marketing leadership roles: The notable promotions of senior social media professionals to leadership roles in Sri Lankan brands will trigger increased investments in social media marketing. These advancements, notably observed in the finance and healthcare sectors, will indicate a strengthened emphasis on social media strategies and budgets allocated to overall marketing campaigns.

07. Rise of in-house content creators: Sri Lankan brands and agencies are recognising the significance of dedicated content creators, seen in brands like Daraz on TikTok, adopting this mechanism and witnessing remarkable results. This shift towards high-quality, organic content creation is surpassing the volume of Canva-based content currently produced.

08. Surge in LinkedIn influencer marketing: As certain platforms decline, Sri Lankan influencers will increasingly turn to LinkedIn for its credibility-driven environment. Influencer marketing strategies will pivot towards trust-building on LinkedIn, emphasizing not just who the influencers are but also where they communicate.

09. Shift from paid social ads to engaging creative content: Sri Lankan brands redirecting funds towards engaging content strategies, fostering partnerships with local creators and collaborating on events, reflect a transition from conventional paid social advertisements to more audience-captivating approaches.

10. Prioritising Original Content over Trend-riding: The enduring impact and audience connection stemming from authentic, original content will be prioritised. For instance, the Mini trend, as exemplified by Hashano and Evanji around the “Echcharai -එච්චරයි” trend, showcases the power of originality and authenticity over fleeting trends. The shift in focus from traditional engagement metrics like likes and comments to the pivotal measure of watch time underlines the changing dynamics of audience engagement in Sri Lanka’s social media landscape.


11. Impact of anticipated GenAI use in social media is high: In the Sri Lankan context, social media is poised to experience a steeper decline in 2024, primarily due to the proliferation of misinformation, toxic user communities, and the prevalence of bots. There is significant concern surrounding the impending integration of GenAI into social media platforms, which is expected to detrimentally impact the overall user experience. Despite social media being the leading channel for digital marketing investment in Sri Lanka, consumers are actively seeking to limit their usage of social media, prompting a more cautious and selective approach to engagement with these platforms.

Leave a Reply