Facebook hit a new milestone in early 2023, reaching 2 billion daily users for the first time. In a constantly changing social media landscape, the world’s largest social network continues to hold its ground.
So, what’s trending on Facebook right now – and how is Facebook changing in 2023? We’ve rounded up the most important Facebook trends marketers need to watch this year.
Hint: AI Facebook trends are leading the way. If you’re not already thinking about how AI will affect your Facebook strategy, it’s time to start!
Download our Social Trends report to get data from over 10,000 marketers that you can use to plan a viral-worthy social strategy in 2023.
Reels were a hit right off the bat on Instagram. But it was initially unclear whether that success would translate when they launched on Facebook.
Now, enough time has passed that we can say the verdict is officially in. Reel plays on Facebook doubled in the last year, and reshares of Reels doubled in the six months leading up to Feb. 1, 2023. That’s on pace with the growth levels on Instagram.
Plus, Facebook has made it clear in earnings calls and other announcements that Reels are a major focus for the platform. That’s despite the fact they’re currently losing money on short-form Reels plays that take time away from the feed.
In addition to creating organic Reels content, you can currently advertise through creators’ Reels. You can also create your own interstitial Reels ads. As the platform strives to drive more revenue from Reels, watch for new opportunities to advertise through short-form Facebook video, too.
Source: Meta Business Help Center
- Start thinking about Reels as part of your Facebook strategy, rather than only an Instagram surface.
- Carve out some of your ad budget to test ads on Reels and to create your own paid Reels.
- Keep an eye out for updates on new opportunities to advertise with Reels. (This blog and the Hootsuite social channels are a great place to get the latest scoop.)
Facebook shut down live shopping in October to focus more on – you guessed it – Reels. Live shopping survived a little longer on sister platform Instagram. But as of March 16, online shopping during livestreams is no longer available on either Meta network.
Live social commerce just didn’t take off in North America the way it has in China. Since this is Meta’s “Year of Efficiency,” it was time to cut this feature loose.
Fortunately for businesses that have built up a customer base through Facebook, the platform isn’t getting out of social commerce altogether. You can still sell directly through the platform using your Facebook Shop.
eMarketer predicts the number of social commerce buyers on the social media platform to continue a slow growth pattern. Facebook is expected to be the leading platform for social commerce in the United States at least through 2025.
While live shopping is gone, you can also still broadcast live video on Facebook. And although the commerce features built into live shopping are no longer available, you can link out to external websites during the broadcast.
- Perform an audit of your Facebook Shop to make sure it’s set up to maximize sales. (Need inspiration? Check out these examples.)
- Review your Live Shopping sales reports to understand which products were a hit with Facebook audiences. Then consider ways to highlight these products in Reels, ads, or Facebook Live product demos.
The coveted blue check badge is now available to any adult on Facebook or Instagram who wants it and is willing to pay $11.99 to $14.99 per month. (As long as they live in a country where the feature is available – currently Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.)
For now, Meta Verified is only available to individuals, not brands. But Meta says they plan to open up the program to businesses in the long term, so brands should keep this program on their radar.
And while brands can’t apply for the program yet, there are still ways to benefit. For one thing, the program will make it easier to work with creators, since you’ll know you’ve got the right account for the real person. (We’ll talk more about working with creators in Trend 6.)
You can also use the program to get verification for key figures in your company. Consider verifying your founders or your spokespeople if they have accounts under their own names. Meta Verified also includes access to live customer support and impersonation protection. So subscriptions for your key players could help protect your company from some social media risks.
- If you live in a country where the program is available, encourage key figures within your business structure to subscribe to Meta Verified. Especially if they talk about business from their personal Facebook profiles.
- If you live outside the program’s current availability area, join the waitlist to be notified when you can sign up.
- Look for the blue checkmark when researching potential creators to partner with.
Even though ChatGPT exploded onto the scene just a few months ago, it has already been dramatically surpassed by its own successor, GPT-4. It’s brought AI content creation – a.k.a. generative AI – to the forefront of the public imagination, and Facebook is paying attention.
Facebook has been throwing resources at AI for a number of years. But in February Mark Zuckerberg announced a “a new top-level product group at Meta focused on generative AI to turbocharge our work in this area.”
He specifically mentions projects like:
- “creative and expressive tools”
- images, including ad formats
- and “video and multi-modal experiences.”
In 2023, Facebook users and marketers will also refine the ways they use third-party AI content creation tools. This will be far more sophisticated (and business-forward) than the wave of Lensa-generated uber-selfies that became a Facebook AI photo trend in late 2022.
We still firmly believe that AI is not ready to replace writers, photographers, or designers completely. But it is poised to make their work faster and easier – especially when it comes to iterating content for A/B testing.
AI will also make writing short-form copy – such as social media captions – much easier. Hootsuite has already created an AI caption generator for Instagram. And we’re working on equivalent tools for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
“There has been a shift the last couple years with people coming to Facebook more to be entertained, discover something new or see what’s going on in the world. These new reasons are why we are investing in AI-powered discovery. … We’re using AI to recommend all types of content beyond Reels: photos, text, groups, short- and long-form videos and more.”
Yes, AI is working on the advertising side too. Facebook has leaned into AI targeting since privacy and transparency changes in iOS 14.5 made it harder to target Facebook ads using third-party cookies. In fact, Zuckerberg says AI is “the foundation” of Facebook’s advertising business.
With its Advantage+ shopping campaigns, Facebook allows advertisers to target high-value customers using AI, based on just a few initial inputs.
Meanwhile, Advantage+ catalog ads (formerly called dynamic ads) use AI to offer the most relevant products from your catalog to the people most likely to buy them, even if they have not yet interacted with your business.
The initial results are promising. In a February earnings call, Zuckerberg said advertisers had seen over 20% higher conversions in the last quarter. They’ve also seen a declining cost per acquisition.
When we talk about social media content creators, Facebook may not be the first platform that comes to mind. Instead, you’re likely thinking of Instagram or TikTok.
But recently, Facebook has been making moves to improve the creator experience on its platform. In October, Facebook opened up professional mode for Facebook profiles to everyone. Professional mode includes a suite of monetization tools and opportunities, including:
- Reels Play (for U.S. creators only) to earn money from Reels
- Stars eligibility for Reels, Live Video, and Video on Demand
- In-stream ads
Source: Meta for Creators
Hootsuite’s Social Trends 2023 report predicts this is the year for small businesses to start working with creators. Why?
Larger brands are cutting their influencer marketing budgets. Facebook may be a particularly good network for smaller brands to work with creators. Those using this platform rather than Instagram or TikTok may (for now) have a smaller following. They may be open to creative compensation packages.
Zuckerberg’s post about generative AI also noted the company is working on “developing AI personas that can help people in a variety of ways.” And just a few days earlier, he announced that Meta was releasing its own AI large language model that, among other capabilities, shows promise in having conversations.
In Hootsuite’s 2023 Social Trends survey, only 26% of organizations using social media as a primary customer service channel use chatbots. This is a prime opportunity for brands to show leadership and get ahead of the trend.
Chatbots have been able to answer the most basic of customer service queries for some time now. But conversational AI is taking their capabilities to the next level, allowing them to engage in more sophisticated customer service chats that reduce the workload for your human customer service agents.
There’s no reason in 2023 for your customers to have to wait for office hours to find out where their packages are, how to resolve common service issues, or even to get customized product recommendations.
- Read up on the benefits of AI chatbots in general and Facebook chatbots in particular.
- If you’re not already using Facebook Messenger for customer service, aim to implement a Facebook customer service strategy this year.
- Investigate existing AI chatbot tools that integrate with Facebook, like Heyday.
While suggested content on Facebook used be just that – suggested content, the AI recommendation engine is now recommending Groups to join as well. Group recommendations can appear in many areas of the Facebook interface:
- Within other Groups
- When watching videos or events
Group recommendations are based on geographic and demographic information, as well as your activity and interests on Facebook.
For brands, this means it’s more important than ever to consider creating or participating in Groups to better connect with your community. Remember that Groups are not a place to focus on sales. Instead, they are an important vehicle for building community and brand loyalty by providing helpful resources and a chance for fans to interact with the people behind your brand.
- Educate yourself on the latest resources for Facebook Groups and Group Admins.
- Join relevant groups in your niche and look for opportunities to contribute in a helpful and non-salesy way.
- Consider creating your own Facebook Group to connect with your most loyal fans.
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