The social media landscape is constantly evolving, and 2023 is sure to bring forth much more upheaval, particularly following a year like 2022. Any shift on a social media platform may be seismic since it is so fundamental to modern life, and this past year was marked by change. As Mark Zuckerberg committed to the Metaverse and Twitter crumbled under Elon Musk, TikTok’s star continued to soar as Meta struggled to stay relevant.


According to John Wihbey, associate professor of media innovation and technology at Northeastern, TikTok continued to be among the largest social media hits of 2022 and is projected to do so again in 2023. However, the platform, which is run by a Chinese corporation by the name of ByteDance, may be impacted by events on the global political scene. As part of its enormous spending plan, Congress is considering banning TikTok on U.S. government-issued phones, and the app has already been outlawed in more than 15 states. The platform can encounter even greater legal obstacles as U.S.-China ties develop further.


The biggest social media mystery going into 2023 is still Twitter. Elon Musk became the platform’s CEO after paying $44 billion for it, and during that period, he fired staff members and implemented controversial modifications to Twitter’s policies, some of which were based on the results of unofficial Twitter polls. Does Musk’s announcement that he would be leaving his position as CEO and seeking a replacement suggest that his replacement will be able to turn the ship around?


Will Mastodon grow to become a global superpower? No,” asserts Northeastern assistant professor of journalism, art, and design Rahul Bhargava. “Will it develop into a workable substitute? In fact, I believe it might, which is fantastic. We require additional social media platforms as well as substitutes. We cannot allow three capitalist American corporations to control this crucial communication infrastructure. Mastodon might not be the next big thing, but according to Bart, it’s very feasible that a brand-new platform will emerge to fill the void left by Twitter in the market. Platforms quickly rise and fall in popularity as they gain or lose traction in the exponential growth game that is social media success.


Facebook, according to Bhargava, is doomed to failure by Meta’s strategy there. If Facebook doesn’t create anything that is used by numerous billions of people, they will no longer be successful, claims Bhargava. There are only a finite number of items that multiple billion people could use. Due in part to lack of faith that the metaverse, Zuckerberg’s concept of an immersive, VR-driven social experience, will be that billion-user notion, the company’s worth plunged in 2022, plunging almost 70% in less than a year. Bart anticipates that Meta will begin incorporating some metaverse components into Facebook and Instagram in 2023, but the platform’s success in the following year will depend on Facebook’s capacity to “emulate the competitors.”

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