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2023 Wrapped: Plann’s Guide To The Biggest Social Media Trends, News and Updates

Your wrap-up guide to the social media industry insights you need to know from 2023.

In 2023, social media brought us trends like Tube girl, a universal obsession with Barbie and Susi’s ‘Call Me Crazy’ viral TikTok video (who knew storebought pesto could be the catalyst for the entire internet sharing their craziest life stories?). 

But as much as we’ve loved the rise of #GirlDinner, the past 12 months have delivered more than new hashtags and trending sounds. In fact, the social media landscape has continued to produce more curveballs than ever. 

From the growing influence of AI to platforms unashamedly copycatting each other, it’s never been more important to understand what trends, news and updates are influencing the world of social media marketing. 

Worried you’ve missed a piece of breaking news? Never fear: we’ve done the hard work for you and curated your complete guide to the biggest social media trends and updates of 2023 (along with practical tips for how to pivot your social media strategy in the new year and beyond). 

 

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A breakdown of 2023’s biggest updates in Social Media 

Before we look ahead, let’s recap the social media trends and industry news that defined 2023. Dive into our platform-by-platform breakdown for everything you need to know. 

Instagram

For the team at Instagram (and Meta more broadly), 2023 has been a year focused on collaboration and experimentation. 

Over the past 12 months, Instagram has rolled out new ways to engage and interact with audiences, including:

Broadcast channels: A public, one-to-many messaging tool allowing brands to broadcast messages to followers in curated channels at scale. 

• Notes: While technically launched in December 2022, Notes are short, 60-character status updates that appear on your account in Instagram’s direct messaging space.

• Co-created posts, carousels or Reels: An expansion of Instagram Collab, in 2023, users gained the ability to co-author a range of content formats, from Reels to carousels

Instagram is experimenting with co-created carousel posts

Interestingly, there has been a common thread between these updates and what functionality Instagram is investing in. Rather than focusing on public, in-feed interactions (such as likes, comments and shares), Instagram is doubling down on direct messaging functionality.

In fact, the platform released a best practice for DMs guide earlier this year, encouraging brands to inspire one-to-one conversations through Send Message buttons, DM Stories stickers and setting up automated responses in DMs. 

One of the most highly anticipated feature releases of 2023 was Instagram’s new multiple links in bio functionality. While we’re excited to see users able to add up to five clickable text-based links to their bios, here at Plann we believe this feature doesn’t go far enough for brands, businesses and content creators (and here’s why).

Plus, how can we forget the launch of Threads, Instagram’s answer to X (formerly known as Twitter), in July 2023?  With Elon Musk’s takeover causing serious turbulence, Threads was launched as Meta’s own text-based social app. While it took just 7 hours to hit a major milestone of 10 million users, this exponential growth slowed by 90% within just a matter of weeks.  

Even launching a web-based version of the platform did little to reignite usage and engagement, with X still holding the dominant position of the leading text-first social media platform. 

TikTok

Over at TikTok, the platform is going from strength to strength (now boasting 1.5 billion users, a 16% increase from 2022). 

Early in 2023, TikTok revealed the inner workings of its algorithm and what factors dictate content recommendations on the iconic For You Page. It all comes down to what accounts a user is following, the content that’s popular in their region as well as the user’s most recent content interactions – all helpful context for brands or creators looking to cut through and reach the right audience on TikTok.

tiktok keyword insights

Plus, TikTok has launched new features tailored towards organic search visibility and discoverability, including:

• A new Keyword Research tool to help brands discover trending topics and phrases to inspire their next viral video.

• Rolling out Topical Communities to help advertisers find and tap into communities relevant to the products and services they’re trying to promote. 

Plus, we’ve seen TikTok continue to test and roll out new shoppable opportunities, such as TikTok Shop, to inspire both product discovery and conversion within the platform. 

And TikTok is joining the copycat game with the launch of Lemon8 (their rival platform to Instagram) into Western markets in 2023. However, this channel has faced the same challenges as Threads, failing to gain traction with users in the US and UK this year. 

Pinterest

Over at Pinterest, everyone’s favorite visual search engine, product discoverability and inclusivity have been their big focuses in 2023. 

Pinterest unveils new AI-driven body type matching tools

One of the biggest developments of 2023 was the launch of their new body type technology, designed to help users see more diverse and inclusive search results that showcase a range of body types and sizes. 

In November 2023, testing kicked off for this new tool, allowing users to filter searches by different body types. 

YouTube 

For the team at YouTube, staying relevant as attention spans continue to dwindle has been a top priority in 2023. 

Reels Remix

While YouTube Shorts have been around since 2020 it was until this year that we started to see distinct similarities between Shorts and other mobile-first vertical video formats (like TikTok and Instagram Reels). 

Shorts scored stacks of new features from a Collab tool (do we spot a Duet lookalike?) to interactive Q&A stickers and new live view previews in the Short’s Discover feed. 

The Top Social Media Trends of 2023

Phew – that’s a lot to digest, huh?

While there’s no denying that big tech and the world’s top social platforms have been busy, all of these updates boil down to a handful of key trends. 

Trend 1. Platforms are cutting each other’s grass, but most copycats are struggling to do it successfully

From text-only posts on TikTok, Threads trying to replace X and X trying to replace every app, 2023 is a year defined by keeping an eye on the competition.  

So, why are these copycat features or platforms failing to gain traction? Originality can’t be replicated or duplicated. The more established a platform is, the more advanced they are in terms of technical development. This means newer intimidators are left playing catch up, often lacking the first-hand insights and depth of experience needed to pull off the move in the long term. 

While Threads seemed like a standout success story, the platform is struggling to maintain the users it acquired overnight (with X still proving to be the preferred text-based social platform). 

🔥 Hot tip: Don’t let shiny new tools or platforms distract you from your brand’s overarching social media strategy. While testing and experimenting with emerging tech is important, ensure you don’t drop the ball on your established social media channels (like Instagram and TikTok) in the process.

Trend 2. AI is making social content creation easier than ever before

Every facet of modern life is being influenced by AI, including your favorite social media channels. In 2023, we saw everything from new AI chatbot personas from Meta, AI-driven personalized recommendation tools on Pinterest and new GenAI creator tools on YouTube. 

Keep reading 👀👉 dive into our complete guide to the latest AI-driven tools from your fave social media platforms

With the barriers to entry for content creation being lower than ever before, 2023 has taught us that we need to shift from focusing on the quality (not just quantity) of content on social media. 

That means reallocating your time and resources away from time-intensive tasks (like searching for high-performing hashtags or writing captions) and focusing instead on strategic, value-adding work (like conducting customer research, proactively reviewing your social media analytics and ensuring your upcoming content entertains, engages and inspires your ideal customers to take action). 

Trend 3. Social platforms are operating more like search engines 

Between new Keyword Research tools on TikTok and Pinterest’s powerful search engine functionality,  it’s clear that social media platforms are giving Google a run for its money. 

But don’t take our word for it: according to PwC, 44% of Gen Z consumers globally use social media as their leading source of information when researching for products they intend to buy.

We’ve been banging on about the importance of understanding and leveraging social SEO for years. But off the back of 2023, we expected the principles of SEO to play an even bigger role in the success of brand and business content on social media. 

🔥Hot tip: Rather than focusing solely on SEO  keywords, it’s time to consider your audience’s intent when designing your upcoming social content. What questions are they asking? What barriers are stopping them from making a sale? Design engaging Reels and educational carousels, plus host live broadcasts that provide value and tackle your customers’ pain points head-on. 

How to pivot and evolve your social media strategy into 2024

Feeling inspired and ready to take action? Now is the time to evolve your social media strategy to ensure your content cuts through and drives action in 2024. 

Want to know what trends are going to influence the world of social media in the new year? We’ve got the inside scoop on the biggest trends you need to know about to boost your reach, inspire engagement and drive conversions on social media. 

In our 2024 Social Media Trends guide, we cover the five biggest social media trends for 2024, including:

1. The rise of GenAI in social media marketing 

2. User-generated content > promotional content 

3. Live streaming + social commerce unite 

4. Social media platforms challenge the world’s biggest search engines 

5. DMs are the biggest engagement opportunity for brands and businesses 

Plus, you’ll score practical tips, expert advice and tangible strategies to incorporate these big-picture changes into your business’s own social media plan. 

What are you waiting for? Download our FREE 2024 Trends guide today and stay one step ahead.

Now that you’re up to speed on the biggest trends in social media, it’s time to put your knowledge into action. If you’re looking to stay consistent and grow an engaged community online, Plann is the all-in-one social media content planner, scheduler and strategist you’ve been searching for. 

Ready to go from idea to scheduled posts in minutes? Join the 3 million global brands (and counting) that are finding success on social media with Plann. 

Sign up for a fully-featured, 7-day trial of Plann Plus. If you don’t like it, keep using Plann for free!

 

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