The last 12 months have been rather chaotic in the social media world. Meta’s gradual downfall continues, TikTok continues to thrive, Twitter is in absolute disarray; at this point, anything could happen in the coming 12 months.
Of course, no one knows exactly what’s coming for each platform, but as a social agency, we think we’re pretty well equipped to have a go at predicting the future of social media.
So, what’s on the forecast for 2023?
General social media predictions for 2023
The free speech debate has been prevalent on social media throughout 2022. Consumers expect different levels of free speech and censorship on social media. As platforms continue to find the balance between free speech and hate speech, we expect to see new decentralised platforms continue to rise to popularity in 2023—like Mastodon.
Decentralised platforms put the power back into the hands of users, with servers having their own rules that users are aware of before joining.
The metaverse market is expected to reach around $800 billion, so it’s safe to say we can expect more players and platforms entering the field. This year, we have seen brands of all price ranges and sectors have entered the metaverse in one way or another—the most popular method being a metaverse experience alongside a metaverse-inspired collection.
In 2023, we anticipate brands will continue to implement sensory elements to digital experiences. In addition, platforms will continue to develop their own metaverse capabilities—from social commerce to social avatars.
As social media continues its battle between content and social, we predict that brands will use social media to engage directly with subcultures and niche communities. Whether this is through comment sections, or broadening their niche influencer marketing, brand personas will become more diluted as they shift to engage the emerging subcultures on social platforms.
TikTok trends for 2023
TikTok Shop expansion
TikTok has already announced its plans to expand TikTok Shop in the US, but we anticipate that in 2023, TikTok will expand this initiative into more regions. Consumers are becoming more open to new social commerce channels, and with the influence #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has, it makes sense for the platform to continue pushing its TikTok Shop and TikTok LIVE commerce experiences.
Developments to the TikTok Creator Fund
One of TikTok’s main struggles (and creator gripes) is its poor creator funding. The platform has finally rolled out TikTok Pulse, offering creators revenue for ads promoted within proximity to their videos.
Given the rising competition of other social platforms offering better creator funding, we expect TikTok to begin testing new models to pay their creators more effectively.
Expanded search capabilities
TikTok’s search option is relatively limited. Despite offering longer captions for SEO, and using on-screen text as part of its SEO ranking, the actual search functionality isn’t up to par. As TikTok users continue to use TikTok as a search engine over Google, it’s likely TikTok will continue to develop its SEO function and search options for users.
Instagram trends for 2023
Instagram social commerce investments
While Instagram isn’t as far ahead with social commerce as other platforms, given its use as a discovery tool for consumers, we can expect to see Instagram invest more in its shopping capabilities. Instagram has begun testing livestream shopping, so it’s likely it will continue with its investments in the new year.
More recommended content
Despite often being dissed by users, Instagram is adamant that AI-recommended content is the way forward for the platform. Instagram scaled back the volume of recommended content in 2022 until “it could get it right.” Will 2023 be that year? It’s likely.
AR and interactive ads
New AR and interactive ads will lead to new opportunities for brands, and create a more engaging ad format for users. Other platforms have already experimented with this, and with the gradual integration of metaverse-like features on the platform (NFTs and avatars), it is likely Instagram will use AR as a stepping stone towards the metaverse.
Facebook trends for 2023
Consumer engagement through DMs
The number of engagements between brands and consumers through DMs is still on the rise, and Meta is looking into developing more tools to help brands with this shift in communication. Having already introduced the Click-To-Message ads on Messenger, marketers can expect new ad options that align with this engagement.
Avatar development and integration
Meta has been pretty excited about its avatars and the potential to create its own metaverse. To help with its metaverse plans, Meta will likely continue to push its users to use their avatars as a way to connect. It currently offers sponsored clothing and items for avatars to wear, so as the metaverse creeps closer, it’s likely these options will increase tenfold.
Twitter predictions for 2023
New subscription push
One of Elon’s first moves as Twitter CEO was pushing the Twitter Blue subscription. The “new and improved” subscription would offer users the chance to buy a verification tick—something that caused a bit of a stir.
Musk plans to use subscriptions as a revenue boost for the platform, while also providing another method to reduce the number of bots on the platform. Rumour has it, Musk was considering charging users a fee to tweet, but thankfully he has since binned this idea.
It’s likely that Musk will charge Twitter Business users for access to new analytics tools and exclusive features.
A new algorithm
Another of Musk’s plans for the bird app is a refined algorithm. The CEO wants to understand how algorithms dictate the Twitter experience, but the challenge lies with getting users to implement algorithmic modifiers.
Most users go to the app to find out the latest news, trends, or memes. There is a simplicity to Twitter that makes it an ideal place to casually engage with content. Adding an algorithm could potentially reduce this desire to engage.
New ad formats
Elon Musk has stated he wants to make Twitter the “’most respected advertising platform” available. A natural move would be to introduce new engaging ad formats. At present, advertisers have been pulling their Twitter spend amid concerns over content moderation, but new ads could potentially draw them back.
Musk has already identified the issue with creator funding on the platform. In one of his more positive decisions, he wants to offer creators compensation for their time and effort creating content.
A method of funding that is being seriously considered is paywalled videos. With options to charge $1, $2, $5, $10, or $20 to view videos, creators will be able to take home the majority of revenue earned from paywalled videos.
Pinterest trends for 2023
Live shopping developments
Pinterest is the platform for purchase inspiration. So, it’s only natural the platform continues to inspire people to purchase through livestream shopping. Pinterest has already tested the waters with Pinterest TV in select regions and categories, but we imagine the platform will introduce a livestream display or livescreen shopping tab in the app.
Better search and discovery capabilities
Pinterest has been used as an inspiration and discovery tool by consumers for years. In 2023, we expect the platform to introduce new ways to highlight products relevant to users through improved search tools.
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