Here’s what we expect the social media landscape to look like in 2023, based on updates we saw in 2022:
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Virtual Reality is Becoming More Mainstream
Virtual reality (VR) gained mainstream popularity during the pandemic as people searched for ways to connect with others during quarantine. Today, its uses continue to evolve and more social media platforms, such as Snapchat, are experimenting with VR. For example, Sephora introduced “Virtual Artist,” which allows customers to try on digital makeup and purchase the product from home.
Augmented Reality Continues to Grow
In place of a completely immersive experience, social networks are increasingly uploading material that delivers an augmented reality (AR) experience. Users can “try on” products and see what they would look like using visual interaction. Snapchat has been a leader in this space and in 2022 partnered with several companies, such as Amazon and Adidas, to promote AR features. Other platforms, such as Meta, have also partnered with brands to expand their AR capabilities. In 2023, we can expect to see more AR features on social media and an increase in marketers using AR in their digital marketing campaigns and advertising.
As social media platforms continue to evolve and add features that make it easier for users to shop, social commerce is expected to continue growing in popularity. Facebook and Instagram, in particular, have been investing in this trend by adding features that enhance the shopping experience for users. For example, having a Facebook Shop allows customers to quickly and easily purchase products they see on the platform, streamlining the customer journey. Setting up a social media store may involve a few extra steps, but it can be as simple as adding a “Buy Now” button and hosting live shopping streams.
Video Content Takes Over
Video content is becoming increasingly important on social media, with platforms like Instagram shifting their focus from static images to video. Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, announced in 2021 that the platform would no longer be a square photo-sharing app, but would instead focus on video content. Instagram has followed through on this announcement by heavily promoting Instagram Reels in 2022. WhatsApp created a status feature where individuals may share their daily lives, news, or events in a story-like manner, while Facebook incorporated its Story feature, enabling users to publish personal Instagram Stories on the network. YouTube also made improvements to Shorts, further solidifying its position in the short video market. To include short-form videos in your social media strategy, it’s important to create valuable content for your audience and consider using gamification techniques, such as Instagram’s poll feature, to increase engagement.
Emphasis on Inclusivity, Authenticity, and Transparency
Online movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, as well as a growing focus on transparency, have led to a shift towards purpose-led marketing. Consumers are more likely to support brands and businesses that align with their values and actively address social issues. As a result, it’s important for brands to be authentic and transparent about their commitment to diversity and inclusion, and to avoid staying silent on issues that matter to their target audience.
Livestreaming Isn’t Going Anywhere
Livestreaming has become a popular trend in the world of social media, with many brands and individuals using it to share video content with their audiences. According to a study by Livestream, 80% of audiences would prefer to watch live videos from a brand rather than read a blog. Additionally, the online live-streaming industry has seen significant growth, with a 99% increase between April 2019 and April 2020. It is also predicted that the live video streaming market will reach a value of $149.34 billion by 2026. Popular streaming platforms like Twitch have millions of daily visitors and content creators, as well as a large number of active daily streamers. Brands can also explore the benefits of using live shopping as a way to engage their audience and drive sales.