New Report Says Social Media Trends Will Include Decentralized Social Networks, Multi-Sensory Social Media, Predictive Analysis, Prominence of Communities

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Talkwalker has released a new report stating that 2023 will disrupt digital advertising. Brands won’t take back control. But, they will learn to shake up the industry by managing the symbiotic consumer and brand relationship simply by being better listeners, and using more immersive consumer insights to get closer to their communities, with a seamless ability to quickly capitalize and act on them. 

This report used the insights identified using Talkwalker’ s consumer Intelligence platform. The report mentioned that the year 2023 will finally bring the long-delayed end of third-party cookies. It stated that Google has once again delayed the end of cookies until 2024 to allow testing and uptake of its Privacy Sandbox APIs. 

While consumers are concerned about the lack of privacy these cookies bring, 70 percent of advertisers feel that digital advertising overall will take a step backward because of their removal. 

Social media will meet a new social standard

While mentions of fake news are on a slight decline, deepfake mentions are on the rise, more than doubling from January 2022 to August 2022. Talkwalker’s AIpowered forecasting predicts a continuation of this growth in the coming months. The report highlighted that the consumers believe that they’re getting savvier with internet falsehoods, but  technology that creates them is developing fast and 2023 will be a breaking point. 

Decentralized social networks will be the next big thing. According to the report, consumers expect different levels of censorship and free speech. Without a central force, there’s an increased risk of toxicity and radicalisation. These startup decentralized networks may not take over in 2023, but they will cause big players to take notice.

It is expected to see major social platforms tackling more of the issues consumers raise and possibly even putting more power back into the hands of their users.

There’s no lack of conversation around the world’s biggest decentralized social networks. Players such as  Mastodon and Steemit have millions of registered users and generated a combined 385K mentions between January and August 2022 – a 43% increase compared to the previous six months. Steemit is a particularly interesting example, as it combines its decentralized model and the decision  to reward content creation and curation through its very own cryptocurrency (STEEM), which  can be traded on crypto exchange platforms such as Binance.

Multi-sensory social media will provide content for all. The report mentioned that brands will invest further in bringing sensory elements to digital experience, from gamification to fully immersive digital malls, which 45 percent of consumers expect to be mainstream by 2030.

Samit Malkani, group marketing creative manager – brand, India and Southeast Asia, Google said, “As platforms and formats proliferate, it’ll be interesting to see how brand and social teams can find a balance between building platform-first and scaling effectively. We may see, for example, that short-form video can scale across platforms… or that it can’t and teams will have to create more assets than ever before.”

Social Commerce will rise and fall

Much like influencer marketing a few years ago, social commerce is still finding its feet.

According to the report, social commerce in China is estimated to be responsible for around 14.3 percent of all e-commerce in 2023, compared to just 4.9 percent in the US. 

The metaverse rush will pay off 

Facebook is doubling down on its Meta rebrand, while tech leaders like Microsoft and Tencent are starting to reveal their own metaverse concepts.With a potential market of USD 800 billion, expect even more players to join the contest in the coming months. However, the concept is entering a critical time, potentially facing a format war, stated the report. Much like VHS vs. Betamax, or Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD, some metaverses will start to thrive, while others are quickly abandoned, according to the report.

Rebeca Ricoy Paramo, regional marketing director, Duolingo said, “We are just getting to know all our alternatives and possibilities in the metaverse. I think 2023 will still be a year of exploration, where many brands will dare to continue exploring and finding ways to join us. The biggest challenge will be finding ways to add value to this platform and not upload us just because everyone else is doing it.”

Predictive analytics will disrupt marketing

The report highlighted that the capability brings so much potential, with the ability to look into the future of a trend,. only 42 percent of marketers say they have predictive analytics capabilities. Expect this to change in 2023, mentioned the report. David Low, chief marketing officer, Talkwalker said, “Predictive analytics finally uses the power of AI to automate this, at scale, with the most reliable industry data, and in real time. It might seem like a pipedream, but predictive is already used in everything from insurance to shipping. 2023 will be when marketers get to join in the fun.”

The environment will no longer be an afterthought

The report stated that there is a growing sense of urgency to the conversation, as consumers don’t want to hear buzzwords like sustainability, green or net zero. Instead, they need action that makes a genuine difference to the situation, with around 82 percent of consumers wanting companies to put people and the planet before profit. Customer experience will get even more social. The report highlighted that 75 percent of consumers say the pandemic has driven long-term changes in their behaviours and preferences, one of which is a bigger focus on urgency.

Time is more precious, and nobody wants to waste it – even when it comes to brand interactions. The report mentioned about the rise of instant deliveries from companies like Gopuff demonstrates this – the disruptive consumer wants things now.

Some up-and-coming companies have the environment baked into their DNA. Who Gives a Crap is a 100% recycled toilet paper startup that gives back 50% of its profits to fund sanitation solutions. Its popularity had been steadily increasing since its creation in 2012, thanks to its impertinent tone on social, fun product packaging, and speedy delivery model, but the pandemic accelerated that trend.The Australian company now ships its colorful paper products to over 40 countries, raised $41.5 million in capital in 2021, and generates remarkable consumer engagement, with the majority of its 4000+ yearly mentions originating organically from Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok – including in reviews of hospitality experiences!

Customer experiences will get even more social. The report highlighted that 75 percent of consumers say the pandemic has driven long-term changes in their behaviours and preferences, one of which is a bigger focus on urgency. Time is more precious, and nobody wants to waste it – even when it comes to brand interactions.

Personas are over, you will think ‘communities’

The report revealed that private social media platforms like Discord, Signal and Geneva will enable engagement within brand communities, with genuine connections instead of streams of content. 9.2 percent of Americans now use Discord at least once per week, so there’s demonstrated community demand, the report stated.

Jimmy Kim, AKA, DeadlyJimmy is a popular content creator from South Korea. Originally, he focused on gaming content but has now launched a more community-focused channel – Jimmy Kim – which has already accrued 31.2K subscribers. He often posts videos where he reviews food at convenience stores. He’s also cross-communities, using Twitch to show his 96.5K followers the best nightlife and street food spots as live streams in the “Just Chatting” category, with content often showing him just walking or driving around, or even going on dates.

Sources: The Economic Times, Report by Talkwalker & Khoros  ‘Social Media Trends 2023’

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