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Social media continues to change and evolve, and 2023 will be no different. There are several trends that could break out next year, as well as several trends that are still simmering below the surface. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know to become a better digital marketer in 2023.
Social shopping goes mainstream
Social media as a shopping platform is one trend that is ready to go mainstream in 2023. Shoppable Instagram posts have skyrocketed in popularity, and major retailers such as Walmart are having a lot of success setting up branded social media shopping experiences on platforms ranging from YouTube to Twitter. If anything, the COVID pandemic accelerated this trend, since so many people were locked down for so long. And now comes another possible catalyst: a worsening macroeconomic situation. If buyers can get discounts for items by shopping for them on social media, social shopping might become a new way to deal with inflation or recession.
A new video upstart?
One trend to keep a close eye on is video consumption habits across social media platforms. At one time, YouTube was the acknowledged social media leader when it came to video content. But that’s no longer the case, as TikTok has become the new star of social media video. According to one recent survey, Android phone users now spend more hours on TikTok than on YouTube.
Yes, YouTube has fought back with YouTube Shorts, and Instagram has launched a competitor of its own known as Instagram Reels, but TikTok is now driving the discussion around video. Look for other platforms to mount their own challenges in 2023, especially if the U.S. government decides to crack down on TikTok usage in the United States. That would open up a new market opportunity if TikTok is forced to exit the market.
Decentralized social media
One trend that is getting ready to pop is known as decentralized social media. In contrast to the current situation, in which a handful of extremely powerful corporations (think Facebook and Twitter) control what happens on social media, the new trend of Web 3.0 calls for decentralizing everything and giving more power back to the people and creators on these platforms. There are several key aspects to decentralized social media: greater privacy control over data and profiles by users, the ability for creators to earn more of the profits from content, and greater transparency about free speech. If there is no centralized HQ controlling all the action, there is no way to silence certain voices online.
Artificially intelligent social media
Finally, a word needs to be said about the growing mash-up between artificial intelligence (AI) and social media. For years, companies have been using AI solutions for predictive analytics, in order to make intelligent guesses about what people might be looking to buy online. And, for years, people have been creating simple bots to interact with people online, presumably to drive certain narratives.
But with the release of ChatGPT and other natural language AI interfaces comes the very real possibility of entirely AI-created entities interacting with you as if they were real people. The profiles will be AI generated, the story lines and bios will be AI-generated, and all content they create will be AI-generated. That will really raise questions about whether we’re still in control of the AI or not. If you thought “deep fakes” were bad, get ready for the next iteration of fakery.
Of course, there are a lot of other storylines to keep an eye on over the next 12 months. Will Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) still try to pivot into the metaverse? What will Elon Musk do with Twitter? And will the constant debate over free speech and censorship finally reach a tipping point? Stay tuned, the year ahead in social media looks as exciting as ever.