We are excited to share our top predictions for social in 2023. This year, both new and ongoing trends will excite interest across the social industry—from the development of gamification in the social space to the ways shopping trends change in the face of global events. Keep reading to see our predictions on the top trends that will shape the #social industry in 2023.
1. Social and gaming
In 2023, we will see a flood of digital products and experiences entering the market where social and gaming intersect. Gaming gives brands great opportunities to drive social interaction and community engagement.
We have seen games become more social and social media become more gamified. We have made friends in games and tried to play the system to win on social media. While it used to be easy to distinguish games from social media, the metaverse provides the missing link, making the two virtually indistinguishable. As the metaverse unfolds, we’ll see new products that redefine games and social media as endpoints on a broad spectrum.
2. New social unicorns will be built
In 2023, unpredicted new experiences will take millions of hearts by storm because social media—in significant ways—is headed for revolution.
We are approaching the end of an era. You can feel the tension in the air. Unmet needs lurk in the restless hearts of netizens. Meta’s name change shows that it knows change is coming. Millennials can remember the excitement and relevance of the early, addictive days of social media. When did you last feel that online? In 2023, online social experiences will branch out in surprising ways. Many new, niche, and different social experiences will become available. Get ready for mega apps, tiny niche apps—and everything in between. The new social unicorn hunt is on.
3. Creators get (more) rich and famous
In 2023, the massive economic driver of helping creators monetize will continue to tilt the playing field in match-deciding ways. In part this is driven by the phenomenal growth of video “‘lives”’ or live streaming:
Apps that offer livestreaming as a prominent feature are also those that are driving the majority of today’s social app spending, the report says. In the first half of this year, $3 out every $4 spent in the top 25 social apps came from apps that offered livestreams, for example. (Source: TechCrunch)
The hypothesis is that creators today can monetize only a tiny fraction of the willingness to pay for their content. First, the desire to pay must be captured (the content is free, though people would pay)—but then those payments are captured not by the creators but by the platforms. This hypothesis has amassed so many believers that we can believe it. The conundrum is that this reservoir of market-making cash flow is held back by a dam that no one seems able to breach. In 2023, we will continue to see that the winning platforms will be the platforms that make their creators rich and famous.
4. The death of the traditional shopping mall
In 2022, we witnessed the steady rise of social commerce, which enables social media users to purchase products directly through social media. In 2023, social media platforms are expected to continue to be popular consumer shopping outlets.
Furthermore, it’s projected that by 2026, global social commerce sales will reach a whopping $6 trillion, with the US having approximately 108 million social buyers by 2025. (Source: Influencer Marketing Hub)
The traditional shopping mall is ever less popular. With online shopping so prevalent, many malls have had to close their doors due to reduced footfall.
Shopping malls will continue to exist, though. In fact, brands will combine their physical presence in malls with online tactics to ensure they reach all potential customers.
All in all, 2023 is destined to be a year of innovation—and we can’t wait to see what it will bring. This year, transformative technologies—like artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), and blockchain—will surely come to the fore.
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