If there's one thing we can count on, it's that social media is always changing.
Last year, authenticity was in like never before (hello, BeReal) and relatability became more important than ever (goodbye, overuse of filters).
In 2023, these themes trend onward with a heavy shift towards community-led content and originality.
Keep reading for the top social media trends to keep on your radar in 2023.
And if video is more your style, check out our YouTube video outlining a few social media must-knows:
Table of Contents
- #1: Less Copy & Paste Trends
- #2: UGC Creators Shine
- #3: YouTube Shorts Takes Off
- #4: AI Goes Mainstream
- #5: Rise of LinkedIn Creators
- #6: Keyword Search & SEO Take Center Stage
- #7: Gated Content
- #8: Storytelling Is Less Linear
- #9: Instagram Doubles Down on Creators
- #10: Pay Transparency Between Brands and Creators
10 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2023
Here are the top 10 social media trends the Later marketing team is keeping an eye on in 2023.
From the rise of YouTube Shorts to more conversations about AI content creation, these are the trends to watch:
Trend #1: Less Copy & Paste Trends
In 2022, hopping on trends was a key strategy for growing on TikTok and Instagram.
But in 2023, solely using trending audio is out.
In order to stand out, creators and brands are incorporating more original content into their overall strategy.
From longer-form vlogs to no-frills conversations on niche topics, video content is already shifting towards casual, off-the-cuff storytelling.
Even video editing is becoming more about telling a story, like using multiple apps to create clever edits:
The challenge now is to make your video stand out in a sea of copycats.
The standout fix? Brands and creators are starting their own "trends" by using a popular audio — but putting their own unique spin on it.
Take creator Yasmin Hero whose transitions took TikTok by storm, creating a new way to film OOTD content:
Think less copy and paste; more original and off the cutting room floor.
Trend #2: UGC Creators Shine
UGC (aka user-generated content) is incredibly popular with brands.
In fact, a 2021 study revealed that 80% of consumers say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
But not every brand has a bank of UGC to use, nor an in-house team to create photos that look organic.
Which is where UGC creators come in.
Essentially, these creators get paid to create UGC-inspired content for brands.
And if it sounds a lot like freelance content creation, you’re not far off.
In 2023, UGC creators fill a gap in the market with an increase in Nano creators monetizing on social — without the need to post on their own channels.
Learn everything you need to know about UGC creators in this blog post: What Is a UGC Creator? (+ How to Become One)
Trend #3: YouTube Shorts Takes Off
According to Business Insider, views on YouTube Shorts have generated an average of 50B+ views per day — up from 30B in 2022.
The appeal of YouTube Shorts is twofold: creators who post on Shorts are able to attract more viewers to their long-form content and grow their number of subscribers.
Plus, with YouTube's new revenue opportunities for Shorts, the platform is reemerging as a go-to for creators. Cha-ching.
TIP: Subscribe to Later's YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on the latest social media news, trends, and updates.
Trend #4: AI Goes Mainstream
The future has arrived and artificial intelligence (AI) is officially everywhere — and more accessible than ever.
There’s a range of AI-inspired effects trending on TikTok in 2023, including the ability to turn yourself into your fav fictional characters:
And while AI can’t replace originality, creativity, or thought leadership, we’ll likely be seeing a lot more of it in the coming years.
Trend #6: Keyword Search & SEO Take Center Stage
Move over Google — nearly half of Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search instead.
This means if you want your content to get discovered, optimizing your posts with keywords is more important than ever.
In a broader sense, this change reflects how searching a topic on the internet has changed.
Users are looking for a more exploratory experience with curated takes and personal experiences (think TikTok storytelling and honest reviews on Reddit).
TIP: When building out your 2023 social strategy, make a list of keywords you’d like your brand to rank for and be sure to regularly create social content around them.
Trend #7: Gated Content
There’s been a growing shift towards gated content, for a few reasons:
Fatigue of “suggested content” popping up on social feeds
Creators and brands seeking a deeper connection with their most-loyal followers
Creators wanting to “own” their content outside of always-changing social media platforms
Creators looking to monetize with “exclusive content” for their biggest fans
Only time and open rates will tell.
Trend #8: Storytelling Is Less Linear
One trend we spotted in 2022 that is taking off in 2023 is the concept of telling a story mid-way through instead of at the beginning.
It’s the ultimate hook — whether it’s decoding a trending topic or sharing a sound bite that’s bound to stop viewers in their tracks and make them want to play catch-up.
The @nolitadirtbag account is the perfect example. Its anonymous creator posts cheeky jokes for very niche New York-based fashion communities.
Not everyone is in on the joke, yet the page is quickly growing because people want to be in on it:
This style of storytelling prompts the audience to dig a little deeper to understand what’s happening.
And what better way to get someone’s attention than to make them feel a little FOMO?
Trend #9: Instagram Doubles Down on Creators
There’s a lot of talk about Instagram being “over", especially to younger generations — but we can't count it out in 2023.
One reason? The app still has over 2B monthly active users.
And while the average user may have some complaints, Instagram’s staying power lies in how it attracts (and retains) creators.
Our guess: With the release of creator-specific features like Broadcast Channels, the app will continue to double down in 2023.
For more Instagram must-knows, read: 10 Instagram Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2023
Trend #10: Pay Transparency Between Brands and Creators
One thing creators know for sure: exposure doesn’t pay the bills.
And on social media, pay transparency is quickly becoming a popular topic of conversation:
Even big brands are being called out publicly for undercharging, meaning what once flew under the radar no longer flies.
Social media is the wild west — it's constantly evolving.
And while it can be overwhelming when a new feature drops or a trend emerges, it allows you to experiment and see what works best for your specific audience and goals.
So whether it’s posting more original content or optimizing for SEO, we’re tapping these 10 social media trends as ones to keep on your radar.
Plan, schedule, and analyze all of your social media content with Later's management tools — for free! Create an account today.