How to navigate social media platform changes in 2023

How to navigate social media platform changes in 2023

This year we have seen the most significant changes in social media platforms in the last 10 years. TikTok has grown in popularity, Elon Musk has made significant changes to X (previously Twitter), and Instagram Threads has launched as a direct competitor to the platform.

What does this mean for communications professionals?

With new changes to platforms, it also means new algorithms and new forms of content that communicators will need to consider when creating their engagement plans.

The rise of TikTok

The best-performing content on TikTok is low-fi, filmed on a phone, featuring a person talking and using the in-built editing of the platform. TikTok’s algorithm prefers authentic, region-based content. 

It is the most democratic of the social media channels.  

It doesn’t matter how many followers you have, your content is shown to people based on how long people watch your video. Hashtags are important as people who watch similar content are then shown similar videos around this.

TikTok measures how many people are watching after 15 seconds and after 45 seconds. Content creators have quickly learned to create content with this in mind by starting with a catchy, leading topic in the first few seconds, and then slowly explaining that concept over the whole video. 

Brands have struggled to create content in this space as any traditional, marketing and advertising content simply does not translate to the platform. It has moved beyond a platform for younger people and is one of the fastest-growing apps in the world.


X, formerly known as Twitter, has seen dramatic changes since Elon Musk bought the platform. 

Musk wants to make the platform commercially viable, which led to the introduction of Twitter Blue, a paid subscription. He has also changed the feed to a “for you” algorithm similar to TikTok, where X determines the content you see. 

Instagram Threads

In response to the unhappiness of many former Twitter users, Meta launched Threads. 

They launched an unfinished product to grab some of X’s users. Initially, users rushed to the platform with 100 million users creating an account in the first few days. 

With no trending topics and no way to find people or content to follow though, many of those users have left and not come back. They now only have 13 million daily active users. They will no doubt improve the platform but Threads remains one to watch.

The Future

What do all these changes mean though and how can you practically adapt to them? 

These are really important steps you should take:

  • The number of followers you have is no longer important. You need to create content that is engaging and will perform well. Your content will only be seen based on the quality of the content
  • You will need to create content for each specific social media channel. You can no longer create content and put it across all channels, the algorithms and channels are too different to do this now
  • Authentic, filmed on an iPhone Reel/TikTok style content is the best performing at the moment. So, keep this in mind when creating content plans.

The social media landscape is changing rapidly, and no doubt will continue to do so. Be prepared to change and adapt if you want to keep creating successful communication in this space.

Tim Price

Tim Price is a co-founder of the Government Digital Leaders Network. Tim co-hosts a Digital Communications Podcast about new developments in the space and runs an APS social media Community of Practice which can be joined on APS Digital Profession.


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