As the temperature drops and we find ourselves huddled under blankets and glued to our small screens in the comfort of our ‘working from home’ homes, we might ponder over what could be next on the horizon for social media in 2023?  Zoltar, take it away…

Chatty Business Messaging 

E-commerce paved the way for social media selling in 2022, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Instagram and TikTok have become established go-to platforms for e-commerce in the last 12 months, and for 2023 we will be able to add WhatsApp to the mix.

At the recent WhatsApp Business Summit in Brazil, Meta announced that it was working on ‘bringing a whole shopping experience’ to WhatsApp chat. This will include features such as searching for a business by category, and allowing businesses to create ‘click-to’ messaging ads, so expect to see updated business-friendly WhatsApp features on your mobile very soon. 

Keeping it Reel

No surprises here, but it looks like short-form video content is here to stay for 2023 and increasing in popularity. TikTok is still king with over 1.5 billion active monthly users in the last quarter of 2022, and Reels on Instagram are still getting prime-time with the algorithms.

YouTube have recently clocked on and launched their own ‘Shorts’ platform. ‘Shorts’ is proving lucrative for influencers as YouTube pays top-performing videos a percentage of all ad intake based on views, unlike TikTok’s less profitable Creator Fund.

Could YouTube take the crown from TikTok in 2023 as the top short-from video platform by attracting the most talented creative folk? 

The Designer Avatar

2023 will also see the rebirth of the avatar. Avatar integration is high up on Meta’s priority list as it envisions avatar identities as the key proprietors of the Metaverse. This digital form of identity has no limits and will incorporate sponsored items, customised costumes, and new ways to connect digitally. Luxury fashion brands are already selling designer avatar clothing in the Meta Store.

Gone are the gimmicky basic caricatures of 2020, and in their place are more sophisticated, multi-dimensional characters with interchangeable features. Apple has already done this with their Memojis, and WhatsApp have just launched theirs following on from Facebook. Meta’s reasoning behind the new feature is both fun and privacy. Eliminating the need for one to share a personal photograph, but also a fun way to create an expression, a step up from the standard emoji.

Expect to see avatars popping up on all Meta platforms in 2023 at a screen near you.

AI Creativity

Following on from the emergence of avatars is the rise of Artificial Intelligence on social media. With a focus on creativity, new tools for generating mind-boggling landscapes, sensual selfies and even cuter pet portraits will soon have full integration onto social media platforms with an aim to increase engagement.

Only last week the app caused a storm through the creation of dreamy selfies and ‘Magic Avatars’, though not without its criticism. AI editing programs such as Midjourney enable the creation and sharing of digital art on an incredible level that would give Salvatore Dali a run for his money, and can be an impressive way to attract attention for your business or brand.

Virtual Reality will also be making an appearance, alongside Augmented Reality functionalities. Keep an eye out for Meta’s Ray Ban Stories AR-enabled glasses, which are due to be released at the end of 2023. Hopefully they will be more stylish than the cardboard red and blue 3D-TV specs from the nineties.

Multi-Sensory Multi-Tools

Multi-sensory experiences in general seem to be the flavour for Social Media in 2023, and aside from the aforementioned entertainment platforms, LinkedIn will be having its moment by creating and integrating video connection tools such as introduction video snippets, video chat features and Zoom-like meetings. It also plans to enable users to host professional audio events in the form of interactive podcasts.

New for LinkedIn in 2023 will also be a focus on allowing more data insights for jobseekers, building on its learning platforms for upskilling, and creating intelligent pathways for landing that  ‘dream job’. After having record levels of engagement for 2022, we are excited to see how LinkedIn continues to thrive in 2023. 

Whether or not these predictions manifest into reality remains a mystery, but we hope we have given you some sparks of marketing inspiration. Now time for eggnog.