“Sociable” is the most recent commentary on necessary social media developments and trends from industry expert Andrew Hutchinson of Social Media Today.
Can you think that it’s now almost 4 years since we were all locked inside our homes, eyeing the surface world suspiciously through our windows, whilst trying to administer our workday between playing IT manager/teacher for our youngsters?
Yes, as weird because it could seem, 2023 is nearly over, with 2024 now just weeks away. And except for preparing for the vacation rush, we also need to start out planning for the 12 months ahead, and the way the subsequent 12 months will change our approach to digital marketing, based on the subsequent wave of innovations and updates that’ll proceed to reshape how all of us interact.
Want to get ahead of the subsequent wave, and make sure that you sound smart to your mates and colleagues when discussing the subsequent big shifts?
I’ve got you. Every 12 months, I share my predictions for the 12 months ahead, and historically, they’ve proven to be around 80% accurate.
Don’t consider me? Check out my predictions for 2021, 2022, and 2023.
So what are the large changes coming for digital marketers over the subsequent 12 months?
Here’s a platform-by-platform breakdown of what’s in the works, starting with Facebook, which stays the preferred social media platform (by usage) in the world.
More AI, more video
This will come as no surprise, but expect to see Facebook continuing to integrate more AI tools, and AI recommendations, as it really works to re-align itself with rising engagement trends.
The implementation of more AI-based recommendations, largely by inserting more Reels clips into user feeds, has helped Facebook turn around its once-flagging engagement, with time spent in the app increasing in 2023, although fewer individuals are actually posting original updates.
Meta’s taken cues from TikTok, in utilizing recommendations based on a wider range of content, versus confining people’s feeds to only the Pages and people who they explicitly follow, while its advancing recommendations AI has change into an increasingly accurate predictor of likely user interest.
Expect to see Reels proceed to dominate user feeds, which, for marketers, means specializing in creating more entertaining, more engaging content, that’s then more more likely to be shown to a wider audience of non-followers.
Worth noting too that the reach of link posts has continued to say no this 12 months, as Meta continues to step away from news content, and more towards entertainment.
Which, in itself, is a key trend, with social platforms losing among the “social” focus, in favor of more engaging content. That, again, implies that your direct Page and profile following is less relevant, versus the engagement you’ll be able to drive with each individual post.
In the identical vein, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly enamored with the potential of generative AI, which also means that you just’re going to see more generative AI features coming to the large blue app.
We’ve already seen its first projects, in generative AI backgrounds for posts and generative AI stickers, and I believe that Meta will proceed to try to wedge in AI-based experiences throughout the Facebook process, including post prompts, AI-generated quizzes to spice up engagement, video creation tools, etc.
Which brings us to the subsequent point.
Celebrity-influenced AI chatbots won’t work
One of Meta’s principal generative AI initiatives this 12 months has been its recent, celebrity-influenced AI chatbots, which are actually available for interaction across WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.
Chatbots, inspired by the more refined, more engaging ChatGPT generative AI experience, have so far been one in every of the principal ways for apps to integrate this evolving tech.
But I don’t consider that this specific approach goes to be effective.
Sure, it’s a little bit of a novelty to speak to “Billie”, a chatbot modeled after Kendall Jenner. But that novelty wears off pretty quick, and then you definately’re left with utility, which somewhat negates the necessity for celebrity influence.
Chatbots definitely do have a future, in complementing, perhaps even replacing existing search and discovery processes, and assisting with a spread of tasks. But having them respond in specific celebrity voices looks as if an unnecessary, and somewhat tone deaf misinterpretation of their value.
I believe that, at some stage next 12 months, Meta will move to reduce this push, in order to re-focus on AI processes that deliver more utility, versus gimmicks.
Avatar: The Way of Water (and Facebook, apparently)
Meta’s very keen to get more people interacting as their 3D avatars in its apps, as a way to bridge users into the metaverse, where, eventually (no less than in theory), we’ll all be engaging as these digital doppelgangers.
The logic here is sound, based on the rising variety of younger users who’re already engaging as digital characters in game worlds like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox.
Given that such a interaction is already so commonplace, even habitual for the subsequent generation, it is smart for Meta to lean in, which is why it’s now attempting to integrate more avatar options inside its apps.
And while Meta’s also developing more realistic-looking avatar models, those are a good distance off from being publicly available (given the advanced 3D scanning required). As such, you’ll be able to expect to see Meta adding more avatar engagement options into Facebook, including recent animated post options, recent sticker types, and a much bigger give attention to using your 3D depiction as your online identity.
Expect Meta to also look to integrate users into more avatar/VR interactions, via Facebook and Instagram porting your character into its VR worlds, because it has with its latest VR shooting game.
That could then change into a key stepping stone into the subsequent stage of digital engagement, as Meta sees it.
AR glasses passthrough tech
Meta’s next iteration of its Ray-Ban Stories glasses are seeing positive reviews, while demos of its recent Quest 3 VR headsets, with full passthrough, also look impressive.
And while fully integrated AR glasses might not be commercially available next 12 months (Meta’s AR glasses are currently scheduled for public release in 2027), the advancing tech is step by step aligning, which can see Meta make a much bigger push on the subsequent stage of digital accompaniment over the subsequent 12 months.
How? Through early testers and real-world testing, which can see Meta proceed to showcase how, exactly, its next-level AR glasses will work, which shall be the logical progression of its Ray-Ban collaboration.
Eventually, these shall be fully AR-enabled, while the most recent version of the device, which enables users to live-stream to Meta’s apps, may also see strong take-up amongst streamers, helping to boost its popularity.
Expect to see many amazing examples of Meta’s AR glasses next 12 months, because it looks to ramp up the hype around how each its AR and VR experiences will enhance your real-world experience.
That may very well be the important thing push that makes its metaverse strategy feel real for the primary time, and sees mixed reality headsets gain real, significant momentum through the 2024 holiday shopping season.
Messaging tools for business
Messaging is the brand new social media, with an increasing number of people now switching to non-public messaging groups to share their latest updates, versus posting publicly.
As a result, and because it looks for more opportunities to maintain its ad business humming, Meta will add a spread of latest ad options aligned with messaging, following on from the recognition of its “Click To Message Ads”, which have change into a much bigger consideration for many.
Essentially, if you desire to reach customers, you’ll need to think about messaging, while Meta may also proceed to develop recent business messaging tools to capitalize on the ubiquity of WhatsApp in various emerging markets.
I wouldn’t anticipate this resulting in a WeChat-style messaging commerce boom, as such, but there shall be more ways to attach with brands directly via messaging apps, which can likely also include Meta’s coming custom AI chatbot features, that’ll enable brands to construct their very own conversational AI bots via Meta’s tools.
More AI, more video
Much like its big brother, Instagram has also seen strong increases in engagement by incorporating more AI-recommendations into its principal feed. Which hasn’t all the time made everybody comfortable, but has driven a solid increase in time spent in the app.
As a result, you’ll be able to expect to see much more AI-based highlights inside your IG experience, together with recent generative AI creation tools to align with this rising trend.
Instagram’s already testing various types of AI stickers and image editing tools (together with message summaries and AI suggestions for DM replies), and I expect the visual focus of the platform will see it implement more sorts of generative AI creation tools over the approaching months.
My guess can be collaborative AI images, which friends can contribute to, creating all recent sorts of digital collages, and in-stream visual editing tools that may enable you to update specific sections of your photos with generated elements.
And also, like Facebook, more avatars.
Instagram’s already testing recent types of avatar stickers, and again, with the metaverse on the horizon, the more people who are interacting via their avatars, the higher it’s for Meta’s long-term plan.
Expect to see a type of generative AI-based avatar animation that creates response stickers based in your text inputs.
The evolution of Threads
I mean, it just about needs its own section already, but without delay, Threads stays under Instagram, and it’s not quite significant enough to have its own dedicated focus as yet.
But it’s getting larger. In recent weeks, Threads has began to achieve more momentum, triggered by the Israel-Hamas conflict, which has highlighted the issues in X’s revised approaches to moderation, verification, etc.
Which was all the time going to be the case.
X owner Elon Musk has shared various personal grievances in regards to the way that social platforms have worked with government officials in the past to assist manage the impacts of worldwide events, just like the COVID pandemic, which Musk felt was overblown and unnecessary for probably the most part. And as such, it was only a matter of time until Elon’s personal perspective became an element in one other major news event, together with his views on perceived mainstream media bias influencing the way in which that X now addresses the identical.
That’s subsequently pushed more people to Threads, which is becoming an increasingly viable X alternative, while Musk’s repeated attacks on mainstream journalists and organizations have also led to more of them de-prioritizing his platform in favor of Meta’s alternative.
So can Threads change into a legitimate challenger for X?
It seems likely, and with more features incoming, including DMs and an API, I expect that Threads will proceed to achieve momentum, and change into no less than a partial competitor for X’s audience.
Essentially, X’s strategic decisions now put it liable to losing relevance, fast, and Meta has so far shown that it’s taking the fitting steps to make Threads a solid option for similar engagement.
I expect that Threads will proceed to grow, and even match X’s user numbers by the center of next 12 months.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to “beat” X, as such. But it’s going to establish its place in the broader social media ecosystem, making it a more viable consideration for marketing teams.
And then, once it reaches that level, the ads will come.
AR shopping activations
A giant area of opportunity that I feel Snap could have won out on is AR activations in real life, like AR displays in-store, so that you could see what an item looks like on you, and/or 3D versions of real-world products that you could virtually collect and use in-app.
Snap made moves in this direction with its ARES initiative, but cost pressures have since forced it to maneuver on from the project, and I expect that Instagram might step in to fill that gap, by offering its own in-store AR integrations, that’ll help brands bring their product experiences to life via the app.
Meta’s already developing a spread of 3D product display tools, as a part of its broader metaverse vision, and by directly integrating this into real-life displays, that might make this a more enticing, engaging option.
That would also align with Meta’s own AR glasses development, by forming partnerships now that may power real-world AR experiences in future.
X (formerly referred to as “Twitter”)
As I recently outlined, I do get where Elon Musk is heading together with his broader plan for X, and I do think that, given more time and resources, it could work. But I’m not confident that X goes to have either, which essentially implies that it’ll keep moving too fast, and be spread too thin, to effectively execute Musk’s “every little thing app” vision.
The principal example is subscriptions, which, in theory, could work in addressing the platform’s issues with bots, while also augmenting X’s revenue.
But X is pushing too hard too fast. If you would like people to pay, it’s essential give them something to pay for, and while forcing people to pay even a small amount will result in more sign-ups, most individuals currently see no reason why they need to fork over their money to make use of an app that they’ve all the time been in a position to access for free.
For this to work, X would should be a vital service, which, for the overwhelming majority of its 253 million users, it’s just not, especially with various other rival, freely accessible apps competing for audience attention.
Musk’s view is that, eventually, all social apps can have to charge for access either way, and that X is just ahead of the sport. But the one social subscription offering that’s seen any level of success so far is Snapchat+, and that’s only since it offers a spread of add-ons that its users actually want, amongst its largely affluent user base.
X’s broad audience, from all walks of life, and from each developed and developing markets, should not going to pay. And unless X re-focuses its subscription push on offering users more value for money, this won’t work, especially not as a short-term prospect.
Again, over an extended period, with more development time, and more offerings aligned with user requests, this may very well be a viable path. But because it currently stands, with X pushing to switch lost ad revenue, its subscription drive goes to fall flat.
I expect X to maintain pushing anyway, before revising its subscriptions focus at some stage mid next 12 months.
The principal crux of Elon’s “every little thing app” vision revolves around in-app payments, and enabling more types of shopping, banking, funds transfers, etc., all at low price.
And again, in theory this might work, and Musk ould have good insight into such after his time working with PayPal. But it’ll take time, years even, to get all the required approvals and licensing, and it’s hard to see X being anywhere near enabling payments at the size Musk envisions for a protracted, very long time.
Musk’s repeated criticisms of key fiduciary institutions and governments likely won’t help him in this respect, while X also now has 80% fewer staff, meaning that lots of the event work is being pushed onto a comparatively small number of individuals.
I expect that X can have advanced, somewhat, on its payments push by the top of 2024, nevertheless it’ll still be nowhere near its “every little thing app” vision.
X has also missteped on verification, not only in terms of letting users buy a blue tick, but in addition by removing blue ticks from previously verified profiles.
That effectively devalued the X Premium product right away, because now, you’re not paying $8 to be potentially viewed as a more necessary person in the app, you’re paying simply to be seen as someone who’s paying to make use of X.
Sure, there are some interesting add-on features in the X Premium package, like editing, longer posts, longer video uploads, etc. But with 80% of X users never posting anything in any respect in the app, the worth of the X Premium offering is largely none for the overwhelming majority.
Effectively, Elon erased the worth of the choice to 80% of its potential market due to his own personal grievances.
As a result, I do think that X will revisit its verification program at some stage, and make a move to re-build it as a more prestigious and priceless offering once more.
The business offering, at $1,000 per thirty days, is largely not viable for 95% of brands, and it’s getting even less so day by day, as X loses relevance. It’ll have to re-think its entire approach here, beyond simply adding recent price tiers and reducing ad exposure for paying users.
X’s verification program was somewhat broken under previous Twitter management, with confusion around who did and didn’t qualify for a tick. But it’s absolutely meaningless, and valueless now for the overwhelming majority, and if X wants to extend paying user take-up, it’ll need to vary up the entire thing.
As a social app, X isn’t doing so great. But as a news app, X continues to be a pacesetter in average downloads.
As such, expect to see X look to make real-time news content more of a spotlight, through dedicated feeds and highlights, that’ll higher link users into trending conversations.
This has all the time been a failing for X, in that you could only sustain with fast-moving news stories in the event you’re following the fitting people and profiles, and to try this, you might have to know who they’re in the app. X could look to handle this by highlighting key trends at the highest of the app, where Fleets was once, or by adding in more trending news highlights in the principal “For You” feed.
Expect, also, to see X showcasing more live streams and Spaces, that are also difficult to find as they occur.
Previous Twitter management had been trying for years to raised integrate live sport content, in order to maximise engagement around in-progress sporting events, while also higher showcasing tweets.
Expect to see X revisit concepts like this, as a part of this expanded news and events focus, which could also see X look to sign more exclusive video content deals to bring them into the app.
Twitter could never crack the code on this, but perhaps, the brand new X team can find a greater technique to bring all of it together, which could then keep sports fans in the app, and stop them from migrating to a different platform.
Creator payments backlash
One of X’s biggest innovations has been its creator ad revenue share program, which sees creators earn money for their most engaging posts in the app.
Which is a great move. All platforms know that getting creators paid is essential to keeping them around, and former Twitter management had long struggled to seek out equitable ways to make such a reality.
X can have solved this, but on the other hand, perhaps not, with the revenue share payout scheme still largely opaque, particularly as a consequence of the proviso that only ads shown to X Premium subscribers are eligible for this system.
As a result, and as more people look to hack X’s ad revenue share system (by posting engagement bait), I expect, at some stage, there to be a creator backlash, as ad revenue share payments decline significantly as a consequence of the impacts of updates to the method.
We’ve seen this occur on Snapchat, and other apps as well, where creators actually find yourself turning on the platform as a consequence of perceived inequities in the method. I feel that X goes to be the subsequent platform to face this, as it really works to refine and improve its revenue share system, in higher alignment with the platform’s own goals.
That could then see more creators re-focus on other platforms as a substitute, consequently of the bad taste left in their mouth by changes to the method.
And I believe that no less than a few of those impacted shall be amongst Elon’s most vocal supporters.
Bankruptcy warning mid 12 months
I don’t understand how serious this shall be, as Elon has made such warnings in the past. But I do think that with ad revenue still down, and its subscriptions and other projects flailing, together with its added, billion-dollar debt burden as a part of Elon’s takeover deal, X goes to issue a bankruptcy warning sometime in the subsequent seven months.
While Musk and X CEO Linda Yaccarino have been keen to color a rosy picture of the app’s performance, every external evaluation suggests that things should not going so great. And as Threads continues to achieve traction, and lure influential users, and Elon himself continues to share controversial, divisive takes (that are more likely to increase much more as he further aligns himself with right wing candidates in the U.S. Presidential race) I don’t see how X goes to reverse its fortunes on ad revenue, its key income element.
I believe that Elon will proceed to tout recent metrics like “unregretted user seconds” and “cumulative user minutes.” But at some stage, he’ll be forced to confront the reality, that his optimistic vision for what the app might be isn’t going to come back to fruition on its current path, no less than not on the speed that it must in order to show any sort of profit.
Whether this finally ends up being a serious threat or not will largely rely upon external aspects, just like the broader market impacts of ongoing global conflicts, and the rise of Threads in relative balance. But I do think that the X experiment could flame out, and be de-railed entirely by this time next 12 months.
Is that likely? I might say not, as X still has a robust enough presence at this stage. But it does have to make lots of money, relatively quickly, or it’ll be on the downward slope.
Elon, so far, hasn’t shown a predilection to diverting from his original path, which could find yourself being the downfall of the app.
Like Snapchat’s ARES project (which, as noted earlier, Instagram could also capitalize on), Pinterest too could also look to facilitate more in-store integrations, in order to merge the platform with real-world experiences.
Pinterest is now a key product discovery and shopping destination for many hundreds of thousands of users, and by working directly with retail stores, it could help to boost its presence, while also providing retailers with lower cost AR integrations to boost the shopping journey.
It looks as if a logical win-win for either side, which could also help Pinterest higher align its platform with next-level AR experiences.
Expect to see more Pinterest-branded AR displays in your local shopping center soon.
AR try on advances
Along the identical line, Pinterest will proceed to advance its AR Try On elements, in order to further enhance its in-app experience.
Pinterest already offers make-up try-on tools, and it’s experimenting with home décor products as well, using the more advanced LiDAR processes in newer mobile devices to raised map scenes and spaces, and ensure proper scaling and fit.
Expect Pinterest to proceed so as to add more AR options, including clothing try-on tools which can be more accurate to real-world fit.
Pinterest continues to hit above its weight in this respect, and given the potential value of such to Pinterest’s shopping-focused audience, I do think that it could change into the leader in retail-focused AR innovation by making a much bigger push here.
AI is coming
Yes, Pinterest may also integrate generative AI.
Thus far, Pinterest hasn’t jumped aboard the generative AI bandwagon, preferring as a substitute to stick to its core mission. But as more people change into more accustomed to searching via conversation prompts, I expect that Pinterest, too, may also add in conversational AI search tools to boost in-app discovery.
There may very well be some conflict here, in that Pinterest CEO Bill Ready is a former Google exec, which could see the app lean more towards waiting to integrate Google’s AI tools than, say, signing an agreement without delay with (*34*) and OpenAI.
But technical complexities aside, I do think that Pinterest will roll out a recent type of generative AI search at some stage next 12 months, together with a tool that allows you to create AI visualizations of, say, an outfit that you prefer to, then Pinterest’s system will find similar, real product matches based in your creation.
Another key innovation here may very well be a virtual wardrobe type tool, which allows you to scan in items of clothing that you just own, in order to assist Pinterest then refine its advice algorithms around your preferences.
Pinterest Lens already does this to some extent. But perhaps, by constructing a more dedicated process for scanning in your favorite items, Pinterest can higher guide user behaviors towards enhanced discovery, aligned with their interests.
The challenge is tips on how to make this straightforward, or fun (or each), but I believe that this shall be one other area of opportunity for Pinterest to explore, along its more AR-aligned personalization push.
3D object creation in-stream
Pinterest also must make 3D object creation easy in-stream, in order to supply more insight into products.
It already has the beginnings of this for its 3D home décor Pins, nevertheless it’ll have to make this a neater, more accurate process inside its catalog feed ingestion tools.
The more 3D items Pinterest has in its data banks, the more it may well display them in more ways, using AR try-on and other types of display.
And again, with AR glasses coming, Pinterest will need this to maintain up with the subsequent stage of online shopping.
Shifting AI focus
LinkedIn has gone more all-in on generative AI than every other platform, through its association with OpenAI via parent company (*34*).
LinkedIn’s already added generative AI profile summaries, feed post prompts, job descriptions, collaborative articles, and more. But in 2024, I expect that it’ll shift the main target of its AI usage towards enhancing the in-app experience, and improving content matching and discovery in the app.
To be clear, LinkedIn already does this to some extent. But I expect it to include more recommendations and alignments, based on systematic understanding of your network, experience, engagement, etc.
So LinkedIn will keep digging on AI, but I feel there’ll be fewer consumer AI tools, and more back-end improvements, which should help to boost discovery and engagement.
Virtual events and video streams
Which is a key concern for LinkedIn’s increasing video content ecosystem.
There are an increasing number of virtual events being hosted in the app, and more video is being uploaded. But each are generally hard to find, unless you’re following the fitting people and profiles in the app.
I expect LinkedIn to enhance on this, with dedicated event and video feeds, potentially swipeable from the principal timeline. LinkedIn could also look to raised highlight live events along the highest bar of the app, while it might also utilize AI to raised showcase relevant examples of each to users, versus only showing you updates from your personal connections.
Meta has already shown the way in which on this, and LinkedIn has opportunity to significantly enhance engagement, especially with more people looking its way for real-time skilled engagement as they move on from X.
Improved profession pathway mapping
Using its unmatched skilled database, LinkedIn’s higher placed than any platform in history to focus on profession pathways and opportunities.
Which it’s tried to construct in the past, with tools that help university students map out their profession focus, and help professionals visualize their likely profession journeys, based on others with similar experience.
This appears like a major area of opportunity, especially with advancing AI, and I expect, at some stage, that LinkedIn will look to supply more profession guidance type tools, built around AI chat prompts throughout the app.
You could also be unclear in regards to the job best aligned to your skills and interests, or what next steps to take to see more success. LinkedIn’s database could help in each respects, with a tool that allows you to cross-match your skills and experience with the hundreds of thousands of other LinkedIn users, and shows how others in similar positions have progressed.
This might be difficult, as no person’s profession path is prescriptive. But the advancement of AI could facilitate expanded opportunity on this front.
Improved candidate incentive prompts
Another use of LinkedIn’s database may very well be additional prompts to assist candidates improve their probabilities of getting a job in the app.
LinkedIn already provides recommendations of relevant LinkedIn Learning courses to up your skills, relative to a selected role, in addition to skill assessments. But the subsequent stage could go even further, to assist guide users towards improving their skills every week, and refining their profile based on regular suggestions.
LinkedIn could then add incentives, like badges that show how proactive a user has been in updating their skills recurrently, or how lively they’re in related discussions in the app.
The platform is already seeing solid success with its recent “Top Voice” badges aligned with Collaborative Article contributions, and there may very well be more ways for LinkedIn to incentivize and drive greater in-app engagement, benefiting each the app and users alike.
Broader ID verification
This isn’t really a prediction, and LinkedIn has already stated that it’s making this an increasing focus. But in order to combat bots, and improve trust in the platform, LinkedIn’s going to present more users the chance to substantiate their government ID, and confirm their profile in the app.
LinkedIn’s offering its version of verification for free, nevertheless it’s working with third-party providers to substantiate user information, versus doing the checking itself.
LinkedIn’s aim is to eventually have all members “confirm no less than one attribute of their skilled identity”, with a view to confirming the IDs of 100 million users by 2025.
That’s a viable and priceless goal, which could enhance trust in LinkedIn’s listings, and improve in-app engagement.
Linking creator tools to profession incentives
LinkedIn also desires to further incentivize creators in the app, and along that line, expect to see LinkedIn higher link its creator rewards to profession incentives, like promotion opportunities.
How will it do this?
By providing in-app drivers to get people, say, showcasing their expertise in key areas of development.
What are businesses looking for in each area of interest, and the way can LinkedIn then construct that into the inducement drivers for those with Creator Profiles in the app?
Building a presence on LinkedIn itself is a robust driver, but expect LinkedIn to also take a look at how it may well further connect those objectives back to real-world opportunities, in addition to in-app incentives.
TikTok has struggled so far to get its in-stream shopping elements off the bottom in Western markets, despite them being a significant hit for the app in China, and other Asian regions.
And even that’s more likely to take a success, with Indonesian authorities recently implementing laws that ban the sale of products in social apps, in order to guard local businesses from international competition.
With this in mind, the signs should not great for TikTok’s broader push to re-shape user behaviors around in-app shopping and product discovery. But it’s not done for as yet.
In China, the local version of TikTok has already branched into recent areas of commerce, including food delivery and native services, that are assisted by its local content feed, which highlights videos from local users and businesses.
TikTok’s been testing the identical for a while, with some users seeing an alternate “Nearby” content feed in the app.
Expect this to change into a much bigger focus in 2024, as TikTok tries to seek out more ways to increase user behaviors, by incorporating food delivery and native business listings, that might be targeted to users inside this “Nearby” stream, in addition to via discovery surfaces in the app.
Really, TikTok only needs one big, priceless commerce offering to set the wheels in motion for a broader in-stream shopping shift. Direct retail listings haven’t done it, but perhaps these other options will facilitate a bigger trend, that’ll then open up recent avenues for the app.
TikTok has already begun experimenting with generative AI tools, including text-to-video translation tools and AI profile images.
Expect to see TikTok making a much bigger push on AI next 12 months, which can include the combination of said text-to-video tools, enabling users to post wholly AI-generated video clips, and the expansion of its AI chatbot experiment, which it’s currently testing in chosen markets.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance can be testing the same chatbot with its hundreds of thousands of users in China, which can eventually enable it to launch a more refined version of its AI chatbot experience inside TikTok, I’m guessing sometime early in the brand new 12 months.
Chatbots, so far, haven’t been a revolution in social media apps. But they do serve a functional purpose, while also keeping users in-stream, and a chatbot linked to TikTok trends, and facilitating broader content, and product discovery, may very well be a priceless addition for the app.
The real trick lies in making it a priceless, enjoyable experience, which, again, TikTok can have some advantage on, provided that it’s already implemented the identical in China before bringing it to Western users.
I expect TikTok to take some big leaps on generative AI, which could put it ahead of social media competitors, and make this a more priceless addition to the app.
On one other front, the Chinese version of TikTok recently implemented recent rules which require that all digital avatars (“virtual humans”) be registered with real-name authentication.
We haven’t seen many wholly digital characters take hold on TikTok as yet, though now we have seen the NPC trend, which sees real people acting like robots.
It seems that may very well be short-lived, with actual robots potentially taking on, and becoming stars in their very own right.
Another element to look at in the app.
U.S. TikTok ban?
Will TikTok be banned in the U.S.?
The speculation has gone on for a while now, with CFIUS’s review of the app being delayed by various political and regulatory challenges, despite ongoing concerns from security officials as to the security of the app, and the accessibility of American user data.
But really, all of it boils right down to somewhat precarious U.S.-China relations. And in that sense, I don’t think that TikTok shall be banned in the U.S. unless there’s an escalation in aggressive behavior towards the U.S. from the CCP, whatever that will entail.
There are obviously levels to this, and a major escalation in tensions would clearly result in a U.S. TikTok ban. But even a smaller incident, like the invention of one other CCP spy balloon in U.S. air space, could offset the balance here, and force the White House to take motion against the app.
Which I don’t consider that it actually desires to do.
While banning TikTok in itself wouldn’t be a significant blow to either nation, it’s a symbolic move that might immediately represent a transparent distrust of China to hundreds of thousands of TikTok users. Which, understandably, the Chinese Government can be lower than pleased about, which might then have broader implications for ongoing partnerships and arrangements between the 2 nations.
So, really, it is dependent upon geopolitical shifts. If China were to more directly support Russia’s efforts in Ukraine, which it has tacitly endorsed, or if it were to intervene in other conflicts, or seek to stamp its authority in Taiwan, which the U.S. has opposed. All of those could have implications for TikTok, but until there’s one other significant reason for the White House to react, I don’t think that TikTok will face a full ban.
But that might change in a short time, with U.S.-China relations maintaining an ever-delicate balance.
Bigger push on Snapchat+
Snapchat+ now has over 5 million paying subscribers, and has been probably the most successful social media subscription offering so far, eclipsing X Premium and Meta’s paid verification program.
Snap’s seen success here by providing interesting, value-add elements, that appeal to its core user base. And with that success, Snap’s constructing an entire recent revenue stream, which is why you’ll be able to expect Snap to make this a fair larger focus moving forward.
Really, many of the Snapchat+ additions have been pretty lightweight, in development terms. But the advantage that Snapchat has here is that it understands its audience, and has been in a position to constantly add in features that Snap users will wish to check out.
Expect to see more of Snap’s incoming features to be funneled through Snapchat+ first, because it becomes a much bigger point of emphasis for Snap development.
That’ll likely also include recent generative AI tools, which Snap is already constructing into the app.
DM ad products
More social media engagement is moving to messaging, and consequently, every app isn’t only working to emphasise their DM features, but they’re also trying to seek out recent ways to monetize DMs, and help brands tap into the identical.
Snap’s DM’s are its foundational connection element, which makes monetization of them tougher. But as it really works to seek out recent revenue opportunities, expect Snap to experiment with recent ad options that’ll facilitate direct connection between users and businesses in the app.
Meta, for example, has seen strong results with its “Click to Message” ads, and Snap shall be trying to seek out similar options that lean into the DM trend.
That could offer significant opportunity for marketers, as Snap’s inbox is its most respected in-app real estate, in terms of engagement and resonance.
It’ll be price noting what Snap comes up with in this respect.
It’s under increasing cost pressures, as a consequence of the impacts of the broader market downturn, and ad industry changes. But AR glasses remain on the cards for Snap, as it really works to take care of its industry leadership, and compete with Apple and Meta for that next stage.
Virtually every AR trend of the past decade has originated from Snap, and in order for it to take care of the position that it’s built, it likely must bring its own AR glasses to market.
Snap was the primary social app to launch its own camera-equipped sunglasses, which had much-hyped launch. But interest in Spectacles has waned over time, and can likely proceed to lose out as Meta pushes its own, more advanced Ray Ban Stories models.
So can Snap actually release its own business AR glasses?
It’s been testing them out with creators for over a 12 months, and while they still seem a bit clunky, it does suggest that Snap will release a totally AR-enabled version sometime soon.
Could Snap actually beat Apple and Meta to market?
My prediction is that Snap will bring out an initial version of AR-enabled Spectacles in 2024, with a much smaller release, for a more area of interest market. But that it’s going to beat its larger competitors in the space.
Bitmoji character development
Bitmoji characters are hugely popular, but greater than that, they might even be Snap’s key entry point into the subsequent stage of digital connection, especially if the metaverse involves fruition as Meta hopes.
People are already accustomed to those digital depictions of themselves, which could mean that Snap will find a way to merge itself into the metaverse experience by porting its Bitmoji characters into this recent experience.
As such, you’ll be able to expect Snap to proceed to refine and develop its 3D Bitmoji characters, with a view to using them in more ways to showcase products, communicate, and eventually, represent users in games, social environments, etc.
It’s a bet on the metaverse becoming a thing, more so than it’s on Bitmoji remaining relevant in themselves. But it may be a wise one, while Snap also continues so as to add more brand sponsorships for Bitmoji items.
Potential takeover goal?
This is more speculative, and I don’t have lots of backing for this, outside of gut feel.
But I do think that Snap stays a possible takeover goal, particularly as the corporate stays in a troublesome financial position, which has seen it cut lots of of roles all year long.
If Snap continues to struggle to get its ad business on target, there’d be a spread of potential suitors waiting in the wings.
Apple has worked with Snap on a spread of AR projects in the past, and is developing its own AR glasses, while (*34*) has been branching into recent areas of late.
Meta, too, could use Snap’s AR expertise for the subsequent generation of its own AR glasses, while owning one other platform would significantly expand its social media empire (note: I’m unsure that regulators can be so comfortable with this pairing).
Snap has projected a return to growth in 2024, and CEO Evan Spiegel sounds optimistic. But Spiegel’s also about to welcome his fourth son into the world, and you’ll assume that he could do with a bit less stress, and a bit more free time.
Maybe, then, Snap could change into available in 2024, which could significantly shake up the social media landscape.
Again, this is concept. But it appears like something is coming, and that Snap could also be taking a distinct view of its future after the previous few years of challenges.
Things are all the time changing in the social media world, and it’s hard to predict exactly what shall be coming next. But these are my best guesses at what each app shall be doing in 2024, which could make it easier to to plan for the subsequent stage.
Read the complete article here