2023 Social Media Trends

Even in 2023, video content will dominate, and different social media platforms will fight even harder for the attention and favor of users.

6 min to read
Written by: Nataša Blagojević

When it comes to communication, especially on social media, some trends have become so strong in recent years that we can say with certainty how they will mark the year 2023 as well. Although the exciting and dynamic nature of social networks will probably give us a few surprises, with these conclusions we will reflect on this year’s social media strategies.

 

1. Vertical video format is the most important

 

In the last two years, we have experienced the rise of short formats of video content (so-called bite-sized content) and the return of live streaming. In 2023, the dominance of video will be even stronger. “Keep it short and simple” is the golden rule in creating content, and when it comes to video content, it would be best to also add “vertical” in this well-known phrase. A key reason for that is that content must be smartphone-friendly.

 

Although users prefer short forms, longer forms should not be completely ignored because the platforms themselves are experimenting with the possibility of publishing longer content. TikTok, a platform based on video content that has literally “exploded” in popularity in the last two years, is a trendsetter here. It has gradually increased the upper limit for video duration, so now it is possible to upload ten minutes worth of content. Instagram also extended the duration of the Reel, and recently it is possible to set a Story lasting up to a minute.

 

2. Social media is less and less social

 

In its evolution, in addition to being a sophisticated advertising tool, social networks have gradually become social media, and today they are more and more entertainment platforms. As the biggest competitor to Meta’s platforms, with almost a billion active users, TikTok leads the trends here as well. The secret to its success is an algorithm that ranks and displays content based on what communities find entertaining. The algorithm takes into account various elements, from the content with which the user interacts, location, language settings, to the content that the user himself creates. As many as 4 out of 5 users say that TikTok is very or extremely fun.

 

It is also crucial that the content we see on this platform is not necessarily related to what is posted by our friends and other users with whom we are connected. Facebook and Instagram, for which this has been key characteristic since their beginnings, are already adapting their newsfeed algorithms and functionalities, following the example of TikTok.

 

3. Growing anxiety and mistrust

 

The amount of content we are exposed to every day is becoming too much for many users. It is not uncommon to see negative content, fake news and misinformation on social networks. Also, users’ attention is scattered, and the time they can spend on different platforms is limited. The phenomenon of “Fear Of Missing Out” has long been known. If we add negative influence and pressure due to unrealistic depictions of everyday life on social media, all of this contributes to the increase of various negative feelings among users. The Global Web Index states that compared to Q2 2020, 11% more users feel anxious about social networks (mostly Millennials and Generation Z). It is a logical consequence that because of this, 14% of them try to limit the time they spend on them.

 

Platforms will have to tackle fake news and disinformation more aggressively, remove such content more quickly and sanction users who do not behave in accordance with the rules. Brands, on the other hand, will have to think carefully about whether it is worthwhile for them to be on all platforms and how many resources are available to them. An even more important question will be how to offer creative and original content to users in order to attract attention and remain relevant. Favorite content creators, who are traditionally early adopters of new functionalities and trend setters, will continue to be the best inspiration for this.

 

4. Content for relaxation, entertainment and inspiration

 

The negative feelings that users are beginning to associate with social networks, but also the changes in general that have occurred in the last two years due to the pandemic, war conflicts and economic instability, manifested as a growing need for purpose and meaning, work on oneself, finding a better balance between business and private life and the desire for greater satisfaction, can be interpreted as a clear signal of what kind of content users want to see on social networks.

 

Due to its popularity, TikTok is perhaps the best place for inspiration. From a teen app for dance and lip sync, it has grown into a platform that offers a handful of content and situations from everyday life that are easy to relate with. From playing with stereotypes or typical stories from work, school or family life, through beauty or cooking hacks, funny videos with pets to serious advice on how to get ahead in business, travel cheaper, learn new tricks in Excel and take care of mental health, on TikTok everyone can find a topic that interests them and a few minutes of relaxation, entertainment or inspiration.

 

Although each of these types of content represents a niche in some way, the common name is simple form, authenticity and immediacy in communication. If there is something funny and entertaining to it, the video will probably stand out on this platform very quickly with number of views and reactions.

 

5. Corporate activism and crises on social media

 

In their desire to get closer to users and become part of the conversation about today’s important topics, brands are increasingly stepping out of the safety zone in communication. Whether it’s about political issues, environmental protection or human rights, companies and brands are expected not only to have a stance, but also to act. It is becoming an increasing challenge to identify a space in which they can naturally fit in and through communication meaningfully show what values they advocate and why it is important for them to contribute to a social issue. Brands that do not find a firm foothold in this process and show that actions do not stand behind words, expose themselves to a great (reputation) risk. For bad attempts of capitalizing on serious problems, social media users usually don’t have nice words.

 

Considering potentially sensitive social issues, it is realistic that even with good intentions and a carefully planned communication strategy, brands will still encounter negative comments and resistance from certain groups of social network users. This is why it is important to incorporate potential negative scenarios into the strategy itself and define guidelines on how to act. In case of negative reactions, quick and clear instructions on how to respond will be of crucial importance for the team that manages the communication of the brand or company on social media.

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