3 min read
min read
December 14, 2023

Social Media Round Up - The Biggest Winners (and Losers) of 2023

Social Media Round Up - The Biggest Winners (and Losers) of 2023

Table of contents

Social media is constantly evolving, with new social networks being born and updates being made to existing ones. 

To succeed in this ever-changing environment, marketers must keep up with social trends, platform updates, and users’ shifting behaviors and expectations.

Failing to do so limits your ability to connect with and influence your target audience, especially if you don’t leverage all the features available to you or the platforms your audience uses. 

As a freelance social media manager, marketer, and copywriter, I’ve spent years following trends, learning the ins and outs of different platforms, and watching them evolve.

In this guide, I look at the key changes happening across social media platforms in 2023. I also explain which platforms are best for which audiences and strategies so you can decide where to invest your time and money. 

Social media updates in 2023: The written word retakes center stage

In July 2023, owner Elon Musk Twitter rebranded Twitter as X in a bold and controversial move. Ad spending on Twitter was already down 60% before this move since Musk’s takeover, and both users and businesses seem wary of what the future holds. 

The same month, Meta launched Threads, a social channel that integrates with Instagram. Some consider Threads a direct rival to X, as it lets you create and share text-based posts just like on X. Piggybacking on the success of Instagram, Threads saw more than 100 million sign-ups in its first week, and early adopters enjoyed encouragingly high levels of engagement. 

TikTok also launched text-based posts in July 2023. This feature allows users to upload text alone rather than a video or photo. 

All three of these significant updates relate to the written word, which seems poised to make a resurgence in social media marketing. 

Major social media platforms in 2023 and how to use them


Threads is a new text-forward app from Meta, the owners of Facebook and Instagram, and is only available to users with an Instagram account. 

Posts are limited to 500 characters, with the option to upload photos, videos, and links. Users can like, share, repost, and comment.

To get started, you can access Threads via Instagram. Simply go to the menu in the top right-hand corner of your profile and click on the “@” symbol. Or, you can download Threads via the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android). 


  • Because Threads is linked to Instagram, it’s easy to get started and add all your Instagram followers. 
  • It offers all the advantages of advertising on Meta, including precise audience targeting, advanced analytics, and broad market reach. 
  • Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Threads all fall under the same umbrella, so creating a coherent brand identity is easy

What to watch out for: 

As an off-shoot of Instagram, Threads has gotten a nice head start. More than 100 million people downloaded Threads within the first five days. However, it’s difficult to know at this point how popular it will be in the future.

Mark Zuckerberg announces 100 million sign-ups to Threads in its first weekend. 

Threads has entered into a world of stiff competition. X and LinkedIn are text-forward giants where businesses and users still spend much of their time, and Meta has already recognized early issues with retention on Threads. 

Currently, X has roughly four times as many users as Threads, and Instagram has more than 20 times. This means you won’t be able to reach as many users through Threads, and your return on investment (ROI) on the platform might stay relatively low for a while.

None of this means you shouldn’t start using the platform, though. Start now, and you’ll be well-placed to engage larger audiences once Threads has grown. 

How to succeed on Threads:

  • With 500 characters per Threads post, brevity and impact are the most important factors.
    Pro Tip: Use Wordtune to craft concise, engaging content that’s true to your brand.   
  • Reuse and combine content from X (Twitter) and Instagram. This will help keep costs down as Threads gains traction. 
  • Test, test, test. We’re in the early days of Threads, so don’t be afraid to try out new formats, content, and audiences. Keep what works, and refine what doesn’t. 

X (formerly Twitter)

In July, Elon Musk rebranded Twitter as X — even replacing the famous blue bird symbol in the process.

Elon Musk’s post announcing the end of the Twitter brand. The post reads: “And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.”

So far, there hasn't been much change in X’s function from when it was Twitter. Users still create posts (formerly “tweets”) that others can interact with. 

However, some noteworthy adjustments were made when Musk became the owner.

For example, the verification process changed. Previously, the platform gave high-profile accounts a blue checkmark to prove their authenticity. But today, any user can verify their account and receive the blue checkmark by paying a monthly X Premium fee.

This subscription service offers blue-check verification and additional benefits, including: 

  • A 25,000-character post limit (non-paying members have a 280-character limit). 
  • Post editing: Premium subscribers have a one-hour window to edit published posts.
  • Prioritization: Replies from verified members will receive a boost that ranks them closer to the top of a post’s replies. For instance, if a verified member comments on a post, their comment will be one of the first that people see.
  • Quicker support: Verified members will receive a faster response if they require ad support.

Another significant change for all Twitter users is that you can now see how many people have viewed your posts. Marketers can use this information to quickly analyze the most successful posts and compare them with their competitors.


  • X remains a popular social platform, with around 450 million monthly users. 
  • It’s ideal for posting valuable short-form content and updates, including images and videos.
  • You can see how many people have viewed your posts. Use this information to quickly analyze what works and what doesn’t in your marketing strategies.

What to watch out for:

Many changes have happened since Musk’s takeover, and there’s been speculation about where the platform’s headed. This uncertainty has divided some people and can make it hard to keep up. Marketers must constantly check for updates and stay informed, which can take up time and resources. 

Also, you’ll have to pay for the Premium X subscription to get the most out of the app. With Musk floating the idea of making X fully subscription-based, this could see a big loss of users.

How to succeed on X:

  • Research content ideas: Use the Trending section on the Explore tab to identify key trends and find relevant topics.
  • Reach a wide audience using X without having a high following: Businesses accounts can pay for ads via the Professional Tools section. Select your demographic — location, gender, language, and age — to ensure your ad reaches your target audience.
  • Engage directly with your audience: Share, comment, and reply to posts to create rapport and relatability.


With over three billion downloads, TikTok is a social platform that has become a sensation among Gen Z users

The platform lets users make and share short-form videos with special effects, lip-syncing, voice filters, stickers, and captions. It’s extremely user-friendly, making video editing simple even if you’re a beginner. 

In 2023, TikTok introduced text posts. This option is available when you click to upload a video, and you can write up to 1,000 characters per post.

Advantages of TikTok:

  • Younger demographic: TikTok can help you reach a younger audience and create engaging, easily shareable content.
  • Easily reach your audience: With TikTok’s homepage feature, For You, users see content from accounts they follow and videos based on what they watch. This means your content can be put in front of viewers who like similar videos, even if they don’t follow your account.
  • Widely used platform: TikTok currently has over 1 billion active users worldwide. 

What to watch out for:

TikTok’s short-form videos, limited to 10 minutes, may not be suitable for longer forms of content, like tutorials or detailed demonstrations. 

Also, the platform’s demographic tends to be younger, with 70.2% of all adult TikTok users between 18 and 34 years old. Depending on the type of product, service, or information you want to share, it might not reach your target audience. 

Remember that this demographic tends to communicate in a certain way, too. So, it’s a good idea to tailor your writing style and tone accordingly.    

How to succeed on TikTok:

  • Use the Keyword Insights tool — perfect for content marketers. This shows you the top keywords and phrases from TikTok ads. See how the highest-performing ads use keywords to inform and optimize your campaigns. 
  • Post content that connects with viewers on a personal level. For example, create a video showing the behind-the-scenes of a company photoshoot, or post a short how-to video. This type of content feels unedited, genuine, and authentic — and can even help people like and value your brand.
  • Create user-generated content. This type of content typically performs well on TikTok. Collaborate with influencers, duet existing content, or create your own employee-driven videos to highlight your product, service, or brand.


BeReal is a photo-sharing app designed to capture “real” images instead of highly curated, filtered ones. While social media influencers often make their content — and their lives — look aesthetically beautiful, BeReal encourages users to embrace reality.

At a random time every day, the app sends a notification that encourages you to take and post an unedited photo. BeReal captures a picture from your phone’s front and back camera, showing you and your surroundings. You have two minutes to do this. 

The BeReal app’s download screen on the App Store.

You can retake a photo as many times as you like, and your friends (BeReal’s term for followers) will see how many times you’ve done so. The app will notify your friends when you post for the day. 

Rather than building a following, BeReal focuses on sharing content with friends only. 

In 2023, BeReal updated the number of photos you can post each day. You can now upload two additional photos if you upload your first photo within the allotted two minutes.

Advantages of BeReal:

  • Authentic and relatable: BeReal is focused on spontaneous content, capturing you exactly as you are in one moment of the day. This means you don’t have to plan your BeReal content. In fact, you can’t!
  • Large age demographic: BeReal mainly attracts users aged 16 to 44, though most are between 26 and 44. This gives social media marketers a wide audience to engage with — perfect for companies with a broad target audience.
  • Easy to use: BeReal is a simple platform that’s easy to learn how to use.

What to watch out for:

BeReal reached 100 million downloads worldwide this year. However, data shows that the app is losing users and downloads are declining, so its popularity might fade soon.

Uploading photos at random times isn’t always practical. The BeReal alert can go off at any time of day. This can infringe on the personal lives of your marketing team. It also limits what you can share. A good behind-the-scenes moment won’t always align with the BeReal notification.

BeReal's spontaneity may also not work for content marketers who plan their social media strategy in advance. Posts might need to be approved before they’re published, which isn’t always possible to do on such short notice.

How to succeed on BeReal:

  • Go behind the scenes: Post pictures behind the scenes of a photo shoot, share daily moments from the office, and give insight into how your brand works.
  • Demonstrate your brand values: For example, if you’re involved with a local charity or other organization, snapping photos while working with them can show your commitment to your community.
  • Have your team take: Choose an intern to post your BeReal one day and a marketing manager the next. Have fun with it, and lean into the spontaneous nature of the app.


Created in 2005, Reddit is a social forum where people discuss and share content. Content is categorized into Posts, Comments, and Communities. The site consists of thousands of small communities — called subreddits — each with their own interests, rules, and moderators.

After creating an account, you can join and create subreddit communities. You can comment, share, and upvote or downvote content. The more upvotes a post or comment receives, the more likely it is to feature on Reddit’s homepage, gaining greater visibility. 


  • Ideal for market research: There are thousands of subreddits on almost any topic. Using Reddit's search bar, you can find out what people are interested in discussing. Simply type in your keyword to find relevant posts and communities. 
  • Large community: Reddit is one of the most popular websites in the world, reaching over 430 million monthly active users.
  • Long-term organic traffic and SEO benefits: Well-received Reddit posts can continue to generate long-term organic traffic over time as they rank in search engine results.

What to watch out for:

It can take time to generate trust on Reddit. You’ll need to engage with your community, focusing on commenting on other posts to build rapport. The Reddit audience can be skeptical of overly promotional posts, so keep this in mind when crafting your text. 

Many subreddit moderators set different rules for what you can post, which you must adhere to. This can include bans on promoting products or marketing your business. Failing to comply will likely result in your removal. 

In addition, Reddit is mostly text-based, so you may find the platform unsuitable if you want to share videos and images. 

Also, while Reddit’s search bar is there to help you navigate its content, it doesn’t always return relevant results. For example, when searching for “Instagram marketing tips” on Reddit, I was shown lots of irrelevant news posts. 

Finally, Reddit faced backlash this year after announcing a payment charge for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). These allow third-party app developers to create tools to integrate with Reddit. Many of the tools subreddit moderators use to keep communities spam-free depend on third-party apps. Some moderators are still protesting this charge, which increases the chance of people leaving Reddit. 

How to succeed on Reddit:

  • Demonstrate your authority and credibility: Share detailed, valuable advice to show your expertise. For example, you could share recipes, product hacks, or how-to’s.
  • Create your own subreddit: Build a community to discuss products and services and ask for feedback. Beauty brand Sephora has a subreddit where employees answer questions, engage with customers, and provide product recommendations.
  • Get feedback: Reddit is a great place to get real-world user feedback on your product or service. Create a post asking for opinions on product updates, services — whatever you’re working on at the moment. Or, search for your product name and see what comes up. Engage with the posts and other Redditors, being receptive to both positive and negative feedback. (In other words, don’t get defensive.)


Lemon8 was launched in Japan in 2020, reaching the US and UK this year. Its creator, ByteDance, is TikTok’s parent company. The app was listed as one of the 10 most downloaded in March 2023

The platform targets young, creative people with aesthetic images and beauty, travel, food, and fashion tips. Users can search and browse these lifestyle topics to find inspiration, trends, and useful guides. 

Lemon8 lets you upload photos, videos, and long-form content such as blog posts — ideal for content marketers looking to boost their blog readership. While some platforms have word limits on captions, Lemon8 doesn’t. In fact, users must post a minimum of 150 words

Lemon8’s “For You” page, showing food and fashion content from different creators.


  • As an up-and-coming app, Lemon8 offers a good opportunity to get ahead and build a following before it becomes too competitive.
  • Longer captions offer you the opportunity to share more detailed content. For example, upload mini blog posts offering tips, write how-to’s, or create a call-to-action to visit your website.
  • In-app editing tools: Lemon8’s editing tools make it easy to create professional-looking content quickly.
  • User-generated and community-centered content gives the app a genuine feel — perfect for establishing strong relationships with potential customers. 

What to watch out for:

Because Lemon8 is new, it’s unclear whether the app will sustain its popularity. 

Lemon8 is filled with well-curated, glossy images that can take time to create. For this reason, you might want to balance Lemon8 with an app like BeReal that encourages more casual, personable content.

The app is also primarily image-based. In contrast to TikTok, Lemon8 doesn’t allow users to swipe and watch multiple videos simultaneously. This makes the platform less optimal for brands looking to promote video content.

How to succeed on Lemon8:

  • Use the For You page to engage with target audiences: Comment and like posts on your For You page to increase your visibility.
  • Build community: Since Lemon8 is a growing platform, you can connect and build a community with other users. Find your niche and pay attention to how other successful users post. What kind of images do they use? How long are their captions? 
  • Focus on images: Photos and carousels perform best on this social media app, so use video sparingly.

How to choose which platforms work for you

Before choosing which social media channels to invest in, consider the pros and cons of each, and remember you don’t need to stick with only one. Combining multiple platforms can boost your social media marketing strategy. For example, using TikTok alongside X can increase your reach and engagement.

To help you choose which platforms will work for you, ask yourself these questions.

  1. What’s your time commitment? Do you have time to learn new apps like Lemon8 or make and edit TikTok videos? 
  2. Where do you already have an audience? Brands with audiences on text-based apps like X may benefit from using Reddit and Threads, while brands with successful Instagram profiles might find similar audiences on Lemon8. If you don’t have a following on any social platform, research your competitors to see where your audience lives. 
  3. Which type of content works best for your brand? Can you convey your message through video, or would images be more effective?


Staying on top of social media changes is critical to marketing your brand through them successfully. 

From adapting to the latest platforms like Threads and Lemon8 to staying updated on the changes to X, there’s a lot to consider. However, by following our 2023 guide to social media platforms, you can increase brand awareness and engage with your target audience in no time.