As we bid farewell to 2023 and head into 2024, it's time to reflect on the whirlwind of events that shaped the social media landscape this past year. From the rise of artificial intelligence to new social platforms, the year was plenty noteworthy (and a bit hectic if you ask us).
In this blog post, we'll delve into the defining moments of 2023 and offer a glimpse into what we can expect in the upcoming year.
These Events Were the *Moments*
Are robots taking our jobs?? Not yet, but AI’s development has been nothing short of something out of a sci-fi movie. Generative AI, like ChatGPT, displayed amazing capabilities in writing natural-sounding language.
Sure, some of the writing sounds like a high schooler who is overusing a thesaurus, but the potential is there and growing.
We also witnessed the visual capabilities of AI based on simple text prompts from users, prompting a now common question: "Is this real, or is it AI?"
Here’s a post we made that sums up AI’s impact in 2023:
New Apps! (more screen time…😮💨)
In 2023, we witnessed the rise and fall of several new social platforms. This year's most noteworthy new app was Threads – Meta's X (formerly Twitter) contender.
In the midst of X’s ongoing drama, Threads came at a pertinent time, reaching more than 100 million users in the first five days.
But despite the initial excitement, Threads’ hype slowly died down, losing 80% of its active users and dropping to just 8 million by the end of July.
Goodbye Twitter. Hello X?
In 2023, Elon Musk continued his reign over Twitter, hoping to bring significant changes. However, his gradual alterations to the platform resulted in the downfall of the iconic social media site in ways no one could anticipate.
First of all, we said goodbye to Larry the Bird, Twitter’s late mascot. Sad, we know.
Musk's additional changes made Twitter less valuable as he restricted features to paying users, placed a ban on third-party client apps, flooded timelines with “verified” users, and rebranded the company as "X" in a controversial move.
Musk's bold actions with the platform and other controversies surrounding the app led to a mass exodus of users and advertisers. This left Twitter merely a shadow of its former self, raising questions about the future of the once-thriving social media giant.
Currently, it seems to be struggling despite Musk's vision of creating an "everything app" under the name X.
UGC Was King 👑
In 2023, we saw just how far user-generated content (UGC) can take a campaign. The Grimace Shake trend was a golden example of this.
The trend was unexpected (we’re still trying to wipe our memories of the horrors we saw), but the UGC that came from it was more than McDonald’s could have ever hoped for.
Surprisingly, some random cultural happenings got people talking online about a brand in ways we never saw coming.
One of these events was thanks to none other than Taylor Swift, whose romantic relationship with Travis Kelce led to tons of online conversation surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs.
Almost overnight, people who had never watched football in their lives were tuning in and creating content about the NFL team. We’re not sure this will help them win a Super Bowl in 2024, but they’ll at least have the popular vote.
And lastly, another notable mention was the Barbie movie. The nostalgic, quirky film saw momentous numbers at the box office as well as a copious amount of Barbie-related UGC during the release. We even made our own Random + Barbie post during the hype!
Buckle Up: What We Expect to See in 2024
- AI will continue to dominate. The influence of AI is set to grow even stronger in 2024. With platforms like TikTok and LinkedIn looking for new ways to integrate AI into the social realm, we predict that AI will get only better at accurately creating engaging content.
- As the downfall of Twitter/X and the untapped potential of Threads leaves a hole in our hearts, we expect to see some new contenders in the social space.
- User-generated content will thrive in 2024. Expect brands to leverage user creativity in innovative ways, with trends and challenges driving engagement and marketing strategies. As social media becomes more personalized and optimized toward user preferences, authenticity and user engagement must be a brand focus.
Want 2024 to be your breakout year on social media? Shoot us a message, and let’s talk social!