Random Presents: 2023 Social Media Wrapped

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.

Against a black background, red text says "Random Presents:" and white text as a subheading says "2023 Social Media Wrapped." Around the sides and bottom of the graphic, a collage of images includes photos of Elon Musk, the McDonald's Grimace Shake, the Threads logo, a brain, the X logo, and Margot Robbie as Barbie.

These Events Were the *Moments* 

AI Takeover

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:

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A post shared by That Random Agency (@thatrandomagency)

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.

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A post shared by Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck)

There were also several other social media platforms that received some hype this year, but they quickly faded away into the land of forgotten apps. Notable mentions include Lapse and Lemon8.

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!

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A post shared by That Random Agency (@thatrandomagency)

Buckle Up: What We Expect to See in 2024

Want 2024 to be your breakout year on social media? Shoot us a message, and let’s talk social!

How "De-Influencing" Might Affect Influencer Marketing

In the ever-evolving world of social media marketing, trends come and go, shaping the way brands and influencers connect with their audiences. One such trend that has recently captured the attention of marketing professionals is the concept of "de-influencing."

What is De-Influencing Anyway?

Influencer marketing is a strategic approach that leverages the influence and reach of individuals with large and engaged social media followings to promote products, services, or brands. It involves collaborating with influencers who have built credibility and trust with their audience, allowing brands to tap into their influence to effectively communicate their message and connect with their target market.

Though it may be slightly lesser known than its big brother, the concept of "de-influencing" is starting to crop up on popular social media accounts across the globe. De-influencing represents a shift in the influencer landscape, as influencers themselves now encourage their followers to question their choices and steer clear of certain products. These 'de-influencers' utilize diverse tactics to discourage their followers from buying specific items. They may employ methods such as posting negative reviews of particular products or offering critical perspectives on the culture of overconsumption and influencer marketing.


Replying to @.sam_ross THIS MIGHT BE A HOT TAKE HAHA #fyp #deinfluencing #dior

♬ original sound - katie

What's The Big Deal About De-Influencing?

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, the overwhelming abundance of sponsored influencer content has raised concerns among marketers about whether influencer marketing has reached its saturation point, despite generating over $16 billion in revenue in 2022.
The trending hashtag #deinfluencing on TikTok has garnered over 76 million views, igniting a wider discourse on excessive consumption. Within these videos, content creators candidly reveal their experiences with being influenced by TikTok, emphasizing the importance of thoughtful consideration to avoid succumbing to the allure of trendy products and ideas.

(some top videos of the #deinfluencing hashtag on tik tok)

In today's digital landscape, influencers are facing a growing need to exercise greater caution when it comes to promoting products. With social media audiences becoming more discerning and conscious about their purchasing decisions, influencers who endorse items that are perceived as harmful or wasteful are at risk of facing significant backlash from their followers. This backlash can result in a loss of credibility and trust, ultimately affecting their influence and brand partnerships. 
To maintain a positive reputation and continue to engage their audience effectively, influencers must approach product endorsements with careful consideration. By thoroughly vetting the products they promote, aligning with their audience's values, and fostering transparency, influencers can navigate the potential pitfalls of endorsement backlash and sustain meaningful connections with their followers.

De-influencing just another form of influencing?

De-influencing can be seen as a paradoxical phenomenon, with some arguing that it is another form of influencing. By countering established influences, de-influencers may inadvertently create new forms of influence and promote alternative ideologies. This complex nature of influence highlights the dynamic interplay between different perspectives, as de-influencing challenges existing power structures while potentially contributing to the formation of new ones.
Some people question whether de-influencers are paid by brands to attack their competitors. This suspicion arises from the belief that de-influencing campaigns could be a deliberate strategy used by companies to undermine rival brands. While there may be cases where de-influencers have hidden affiliations or ulterior motives, it is important to assess each situation individually and examine the evidence presented. It is necessary to approach de-influencing efforts with critical thinking, recognizing that not all de-influencers are driven by financial incentives or influenced by corporate interests.

What's Next For De-Influencing?

While influencer marketing is not becoming obsolete, companies will continue to seek partnerships with influencers who have a genuine connection to specific target audiences, and influencers themselves will continue to pursue lucrative deals. However, there is a growing sentiment among the audiences of these influencers that raises concerns about the concept of PR packages and freebies being given to individuals who do not genuinely require them. Although people may not entirely cease their discretionary spending, there is a developing sense of dissatisfaction among influencers' followers regarding the distribution of unnecessary perks.
Embracing the de-influencing trend presents brands with a valuable opportunity to collaborate more intelligently with influencers and establish stronger connections with their target audiences. To fully harness the potential of influencer marketing, the key has always been to forge enduring and genuine partnerships with authentic voices. The emergence of the de-influencing movement is potentially redirecting influencer marketing towards a path of significant growth. By aligning with this trend, brands can tap into a more effective and fruitful approach, enabling them to maximize the benefits of influencer collaborations and achieve greater gains.

Want to explore how you can make the most out of your influencer marketing strategy and learn about ways that de-influencing could impact your business? 

Our team at Random is here to guide you every step of the way! Send us a message below to get started.

Why Do Social Media Platforms Copy Each Other?

It's not uncommon to find similarities between various platforms in the dynamic world of social media. From layout and design to features and functionality, social media platforms frequently seem to copy one another. But why? To find an answer, we are going to look at some of the primary reasons for this trend, as well as examine its effects on the digital world.

  1. User Familiarity and User Experience

The main reason social media platforms resemble one another is to provide consumers with a familiar experience. Users feel more comfortable and the learning curve is reduced when a new platform incorporates features that have already proven successful on another platform. If users are already accustomed to the features and characteristics of their preferred social media platforms, they can rapidly adapt to the new one. By reducing complexity and ensuring a smooth transition, platforms can secure new users more effectively. 

  1. Competitive Advantage

In the fiercely competitive social media world, platforms constantly seek ways to gain an edge over their competitors. Copying successful features from competitors can be a strategic move to capture a larger user base. By incorporating popular features, platforms aim to retain existing users and attract those who are looking for similar functions. For example, Instagram's introduction of Stories, which were first made popular by Snapchat, helped Instagram maintain its position as a leading platform and drew users away from its competitors.

  1. Market Validation

Creating a new feature requires significant resources, time, and effort. By observing and copying features that have proven successful on other platforms, social media companies can leverage market validation. If a particular feature is well-received on one platform, it suggests that users are interested in that functionality, reducing the risk associated with innovation. For instance, TikTok's skyrocketing popularity demonstrated the immense appeal of short videos, prompting other platforms like Instagram and YouTube to introduce similar features such as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. By implementing features that have already been validated, platforms can focus on refining the execution rather than reinventing the wheel.

  1. User Expectations and Trends

Social media platforms are under constant pressure to live up to user expectations and keep up with the emerging trends. Users often desire similar experiences across several platforms to maintain a consistent digital presence. If a new platform fails to offer features that are popular on existing platforms, it risks being perceived as outdated or irrelevant. This is evident in the case of Vine, a once popular short-form video platform that failed to adapt to the evolving social media landscape. With the rise of platforms like Instagram and Youtube, which capitalized on the demand for short video content, Vine's inability to incorporate additional features ultimately led to its decline and eventual shutdown. This serves as a compelling example of the importance of adapting to trends and implementing features that resonate with users to maintain relevance in the social media ecosystem.

  1. Monetization Strategies

Social media platforms rely largely on advertising revenue and user engagement metrics. By duplicating successful features, platforms can tap into established monetization strategies. For instance, Facebook capitalized on the increased interest in real-time interactive content when it introduced live video streaming. With the help of this feature, advertisers and influencers had a great opportunity to monetize their video by including sponsorships and advertisements.

Facebook gave businesses and influencers a platform to reach a highly engaged audience while content creators could make money and form profitable partnerships by facilitating the seamless integration of promotional content within live streams. Platforms can create opportunities for both users and advertisers, attracting more investment and increasing profit.

Due to the competitive nature of the digital market and the goal to provide consumers with a seamless experience, social media companies are increasingly mimicking one another. Although some would claim that it hinders innovation, the approach has many benefits, as noted above. In the near future, we can anticipate more replication, adaptation, and invention as the social media world continues to change. This will eventually influence how social interaction and digital communication will develop in the coming years. 

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