5 predictions for social media in 2023

By Lauren Adams

23.12.22

From Elon Musk buying Twitter, the rise (and imitation) of BeReal, plus the ability to schedule content through Instagram’s native app, 2022 has been another crazy year for all things social media.

But as we near the end of one year, it means another one is about to begin. Which poses the question…what does 2023 have in store for us?

Here are five of my predictions as we take a look into the world of social in 2023:

#1 A (even) larger shift towards closed communities
It’s no secret that today’s generation are becoming more hyper aware about social media and the effects it has on their day-to-day life. Therefore, it’s not surprising that in a social media landscape full of advertisers, brands and influencers, users are looking for a connection that matters in a digital world. In fact, 76% of internet users participate in an online community.

Closed community platforms such as Discord, Groups, Reddit and even micro-influencers specialising in certain niches help users to get just that. Filled with a waiting circle of users around a wide variety of topics, users have the opportunity to create meaningful and authentic relationships around a shared common interest online all through a space where they can truly be themselves.

As an added bonus, we find running campaigns featuring micro-influencers helps to bolster results as the communities tend to be more engaged with the influencer due to higher relevance vs. large-scale influencers who are a lot broader.

#2 A rise in LIVE shopping from platforms
Remember watching the likes of QVC, waiting to see which bargains were about to be sold to you via a personality on the big screen at home? Well, the trend of LIVE shopping is thriving again thanks to the likes of TikTok Shoppable LIVEs.

In fact, 50% of TikTok users have bought something after watching a TikTok LIVE and by 2026, Shopify predicts that live shopping will account for 10% to 20% of all western e-commerce.

LIVE shopping is booming (again) and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. I have no doubt that Meta will try to compete by moving into this space in 2023, however I remain sceptical whether they can implement it as seamlessly as TikTok appear to have done so far. Competitive pricing and fast distribution is key to success here!

#3 The demise of BeReal (sorry)
Having grown from just 921,000 users in July 2021 to 21.6 million users in July 2022, private photo-sharing app BeReal started to become a frequent feature in everyone’s personal social media routine. However, as expected, the bigger platforms started to swoop in and imitate the functionality of BeReal’s 2 minute time window to capture closed content. Say hello to TikTok Now & Instagram’s Glimpse.

Whilst BeReal does have a hardcore community base, I’m not convinced the app has longevity and its functionality can easily be capitalised by the bigger players in the social media landscape. I think with high promotion, my money is on TikTok making BeReal’s space in the mix redundant.

#4 Monetisation for the coveted blue tick
We know the demand for getting the coveted “blue tick” of approval is high across various platforms, however Elon Musk has recently made the bold move to monetise this option through a subscription based model. When you subscribe to Twitter Blue, users get a blue tick to position them as an “official” user, as well as access to some other benefits.

I have no doubt that Adam Mosseri and Zuckerberg are patiently sitting back and watching this all play out. If successful – whilst it comes with many risks – it’s an opportunity to monetise the platforms even further and as a business that’s kind of their ultimate priority. I do think that we could potentially see Instagram and Facebook eventually follow suit.

#5 A record label owned by TikTok?
With music being an inherent part of TikTok’s platform, brands itching to capitalise on trending audio and record labels putting so many limitations on which artists you can feature, length of clips etc. I’m throwing it out here that I think TikTok will eventually launch its own record label.

It makes complete sense – its platform has discovered and launched so many musical careers already, why not keep the usage rights exclusive to TikTok and build the relationship even further? Maybe not *quite* for 2023, but in the near future I really think we should watch this space…

So there it is, five predictions we have for 2023. What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on where you think social media is heading…