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Which social media platforms are gaining some serious traction right now? And which ones seem to be losing their steam?
What trends can you expect to see moving forward into this year? And how does social media usage differ in each generation?
Let’s talk about all of that and more.
Which Social Media Platforms Are Gaining Steam?
First things first, where am I getting this data? The data we’re diving into is from HubSpot’s “The State of Social Media in 2023” Blog post, which surveys thousands of U.S. consumers twice a year to learn their preferences, behaviors, and attitudes toward each social platform.
If you want to take your research further, I’d definitely recommend checking out their full blog post since they cover way more than I will in this post. My post is just a summary and my interpretation of their data.
With that in mind, let’s go over which platforms have been gaining traction over the last year.
Among U.S. adults… Platforms gaining steam are:
- BeReal: 200% change year-over-year (YoY) between 2022 and 2023)
- Twitch: 29% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
- Tumblr: 25% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
Now, that’s only for adults. What about the stats for the younger and more online generation: Gen Z?
For Gen Z’s in particular….Platforms gaining steam are:
- BeReal: 1200% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
- Twitch: 31% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
- Instagram: 12% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
Which Platforms MIGHT Be Losing Steam?
Based on the data collected, among U.S. adults… Platforms Losing Steam are:
- Pinterest: -9% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
- Reddit: -7% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
- YouTube: -5% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
For Gen Z’s in particular….Platforms Losing Steam are:
- Tumblr: -40% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
- Twitter: -20% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
- YouTube: -20% change YoY between 2022 and 2023)
Now, could you click away from this post and go tell your friends that YouTube is dying and it’s time to put all your eggs into the BeReal basket?
Sure… buuut it’s important when looking at data, to not take things out of context. While that sums up the trends, I’m an “analytics” person. I want to dive deeper into the numbers so we can really get a grasp on what all of this means.
What This Means for You
What you see in the chart below is side-by-side data pulled from the US adult respondents (we will look at Gen Z, specifically, in a second).
Overall, you can see that Facebook is the #1 platform adults have used, with YouTube close behind it. Even though we did see a 5% drop from 2022 – 2023 from the people surveyed, it’s still the #2 platform AND over 50%!
Then, when you take your eyes to the bottom of the chart, you see that the 200% increase in BeReal users comes from 1% of respondents using that platform in 2022, and now 3% of the respondents had used it in the past 3 months.
And the same goes for Twitch. Twitch grew from 7% of respondents using the platform in 2022 to 9% in 2023.
Yes, these platforms are gaining traction. But does this mean they’re going to be the next big thing? Let’s wait to look at the rest of the data from Gen Z.
I think the biggest surprise for me is the jump in Instagram being 7%. I’d be interested to see Instagram’s data from 2021 to how the 45% of respondents using Instagram this year compares to 2021. It’s possible that, even with a 7% increase in the past year, there’s still a downward trend when compared to the previous years.
And, of course, I’m not surprised to see TikTok had an 18% increase. I don’t think anyone is surprised by that.
What This Means for Our Future: Gen Z
Okay jumping over to the Gen Z data.
This is where it gets juicy. If Gen Z is going to be carrying the future of social media and any trends, I’d definitely pay attention to these numbers in the chart below.
Based on the respondents, the #1 app Gen Z uses right now is… Instagram.
Not only that but a 12% increase from 2022 – 2023!
I’m sure your first thought is the same as mine… really!? Not TikTok!? How?? We’ll talk about that next.
Let’s first continue going over the data. Following Instagram is TikTok with a 2% increase, and the 3rd most popular platform is YouTube with a 20% decrease.
What’s interesting is a lot of the platforms that we millennials grew up with are seeing a decrease in use.
LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, FaceBook and even Twitter.
We are definitely in a weird period right now where social media is evolving, and we’re all watching on the sidelines.
Why Are These The Top Platforms?
The NEXT STEP when looking at this data is to figure out WHY these platforms are being used.
Why is that important? Because if you’re a Gen Z who wants to become a full-time Content Creator, and now you think Instagram is where you should put all your eggs into?… Skrrt… take a seat, buddy.
Here are the top reasons US adults use each of these platforms:
- Facebook: 66% of respondents said they use the platform “to keep up with friends and family”
- YouTube: 50% said, “To find entertaining content,” and 42% said, “to learn new things”
- Instagram: 38% said, “To share your pictures/videos,” and 33% said, “to keep up with family/friends”
- TikTok: 46% said, “To find entertaining content” and 26% said, “To learn new things”
- Twitter: 34% said, “To keep up with news/cultural trends”
- LinkedIn: 37% said, “To learn new things” and 26% said, ”To keep up with news/cultural trends”
These numbers are really interesting, so let’s take a deeper look at the data.
Being an Influencer on Facebook/Meta
If you want to be a full-time Influencer or Content Creator and you’re looking at Facebook, I can tell you based on this data that Facebook isn’t the place to do that.
I’m sure we all knew this already, but now we have hard data to back that up.
I wouldn’t even recommend it for Educators or Coaches because only 19% of people use Facebook “to learn new things”. And only a small percentage of that 19% will be your audience.
That’s not a lot.
Being an Influencer on YouTube
Now, YouTube looks is a great place for anybody teaching or entertaining.
Whether you’re a business, entrepreneur or content creator, it’s a great place to post content. However, YouTube isn’t the best platform for staying connected to your audience, as you can see by the 17% of people who use the platform “to keep up with celebrities/influencers”.
Being an Influencer on Instagram
I have to say, I find it a little funny that Instagram says their top goal with their platform is to keep people entertained, but that’s not really what people voted they use it for.
It looks like Instagram is still mostly used to share casual photos and stay connected with friends.
However, out of Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, Instagram seems to be the best place to “keep up with celebrities and influencers”. I think stories have a lot to thank for that, but no one really goes there to “learn new things”.
So, if you want to teach or really be discoverable with SEO, Instagram might not be the best place for that.
Being an Influencer on TikTok
TikTok definitely isn’t where users are keeping up with family and friends. It’s more of an escape to be entertained, distracted, or even search and discover new things.
I think that’s why we see a drop in YouTube for Gen Z users. A lot of users are using TikTok to search instead of YouTube or Google.
Trends Moving Forward in Social Media
With all of that information, what is the takeaway? What are trends that you should be keeping an eye out for or hopping on right now?
Honestly, there are quite a few, but I’m going to focus on the top two.
Trend #1: Short-Form Videos
This one is definitely a no-brainer, so I hope already jumped on this bandwagon. What bandwagon? That would be short-form video!
Short-form videos are driving business results and will continue to grow in 2023 with short-form videos generating the highest Return on Investment (ROI) for marketers.
Three of the most popular places to share short-form videos are TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. As you can see in the graph below, social media marketers plan to invest the most into short-form videos this year!
Why short-form video? Brand marketers have seen how effective they are in increasing brand awareness and engaging with social audiences. And both are effective in a short amount of time and in a very authentic way.
But creating videos that “go viral” is an art and a science. If you want to create videos that capture your target audience’s attention and increase views, grab my free Digital Product, 50 Hooks you can use on your short-form videos! You literally won’t have to think about your next 50 videos because of it.
Trend #2: Building an Active Community
Building an active online community is no longer optional.
I know we have been trained to chase after followers and grow your follower count as big as you can, but it’s not about that anymore.
It’s about the community that you’re building.
90% of social media marketers say that building an active online community is critical to success in 2023.
Consumer data aligns with this brand trend. One in five social media users joined or participated in an online community in the last three months. This isn’t crazy news to us. We’ve actually seen this topic rise in popularity more and more over the past three years.
Where Do You Go From Here?
If this is news to you, you might be wondering where you should spend time building communities.
First, consider your target audience.
Who is your target audience? Where do they hang out? What does their online activity look like? Do they prefer to be in Facebook or LinkedIn groups? Or Instagram broadcast channels? Think about who you’re trying to reach and where they spend their time.
The most effective platforms for community-building are Facebook and Instagram.
I personally have a Facebook Group for my online course students and love it. But if you want to reach Gen Z, TikTok might be a better option.
Lastly, if you want even more insight into current social media trends and the future of social media, download Hubspot’s Social Media Trends Report.
Follow your joy!