Although it is unlikely that anyone would have predicted Elon Musk becoming the owner of Twitter one year ago, they did eventually find someone to take over. It was a great year for social media in 2022. Donald Trump launched Truth Social and there were new calls to ban TikTok. A Twitter alternative wasn’t yet available.
There could be more social media disruptions in 2023. But, the one thing that is certain is that these platforms will be continued to be used daily by young people.
Wendy Mei (head of product strategy and product at Playsee) stated that “Gen Z” will still heavily influence social media. Their desire to be authentic will result in major industry transformations.
There could be new services
Gen Z users of social media will continue to desire accurate representations and will therefore gravitate toward authentic and less-curated content.
“Old platforms that are so entrenched with unrealistically perfect ideologies will be unable to satisfy this generation; the measurable shift in preferences has and will continue to lead to a significant discontent among some of the major players in the space – creating room for new platforms that promote authenticity,” added Mei. As with every industry, platforms will fail to survive the year. It’s our job to make sure that they don’t.
Mei said that social media users might also be able to find innovative ways to use it in their day to feel connected to their communities.
The downward spiral of Twitter will continue
Elon Musk appears to already feel a touch of “buyer’s remorse” about his $44 million acquisition of Twitter. It is unlikely that his policies regarding the social media platform will help it in the long-term.
Charles King, technology analyst with Pund-IT stated that Twitter’s downswing will be continued as long Elon Musk keeps his public image and engages with critics like third-grade playground bullies. Twitter is likely to try and engage well-known partners in overhauling troubled sections of its business including its advertising department.
Twitter may soon be gone.
Rob Enderle from the Enderle Group, technology analyst, said that Musk’s mismanagement and the increasing number of more viable competitions should make MySpace a solid category in year-end.
Twitter will not be the only social network that wants to get past its problems in 2022. Most likely, many people at Facebook parent Meta wish to see a better year than last. However, it is not yet clear what the exact process will look like.
Enderle observed that “the Metaverse social networking experiment will continue failing until technology meets expectations,” which is likely to be towards the end the decade.
King stated that “rumours that Meta would split into two organisations, one focused in Facebook and the second on the metaverse” was likely to be true. While this should please large institutional investors and shareholders, it will not help Mark Z’s vision for the commercial metaverse get traction.
TikTok to Be Banned in the Real World?
At this point, it is more likely a matter of when – not if – the Chinese-owned TikTok will see a widespread ban in the United States. Already several states have ban the video-sharing app from government devices. The House of Representatives did the same last week by banning the app from any staff member’s phone and all other devices.
The company might still be able to perform well for the short-term.
Lon Safko (tech entrepreneur), author of “TikTok” said that the platform is one that will experience continued growth in members. Social Media Bible. It amazes me that Vine was unsuccessful, but TikTok grew like wildfire. The “short-form” video has been a powerful way to communicate, even though our attention spans have fallen below the level of goldfishes. YouTube has their own version of TikTok-type short-form video.
TikTok’s clock could therefore keep ticking.
King said that TikTok’s ban from the U.S., and certain state-owned smartphones and devices was unlikely to stop its popularity among youth and advertisers targeting those audience. Their users haven’t been affected by the other known dangers that social media platforms pose, such as false information spreading and providing conduits for extremist speech.
Influence could be lost
2022 may have been the last big year for influencers – even as nearly a quarter of Gen-Z said in a survey last year that their ideal job would be an influencer. Market support is not there, and those who succeed will likely pay less attention to others who can.
Safko stated that Influencer Marketing has been more challenging in 2022 due to the number of people trying become influencers. Their interest in other products has fallen to almost zero thanks to successful influencers.”
In addition, almost all social media platforms are now at saturation. They will need to be supported in order to preserve shareholder value.
Safko said, “They all face the constant threat of their Board of Directors increasing revenue and membership activity plummeting.” While social media will be used, it will require a tremendous amount of money and effort to achieve marginal results. The bluebirds are still there, and people who become influential more naturally than they plan will be.
There will always be old problems
There is general agreement that there will be a lot more change in 2023 than we have seen so far, particularly since the country remains divided.
As we move into the next election cycle, platforms will continue to be a safe and easy political target. AI will appear more frequently in the segment. Unfortunately most of them will focus on scamming customers, but there will be some that improve moderation or increase engagement,” Enderle said.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything will be different this year. The past successes will probably continue.
Safko stated that “Hookup app popularity continues to rise in activity and popularity.” Popular apps like OkCupid (Hinge), Tinder (Tinder), and Grindr are all more in demand than ever.