It’s safe to say that 2022 was a great year for TikTok. In the third quarter of the year, it was the most downloaded app in the world, with 571 million downloads and the overall number of downloads surpassing three billion. TikTok therefore became the first app besides Facebook to surpass this major milestone. On top of that, TikTok has the highest social media engagement rate per post, the estimated 2022 revenue of $6 billion and 1.534 billion users – and this is just a small portion of rather impressive stats about TikTok performance in 2022.
While it’s always a good idea to keep the stats in mind when making any sort of plan, especially for advertising, it’s perhaps even more important to consider the projected trends. TikTok being an extremely dynamic environment, it’s clear that 2023 will bring some fresh, exciting and all-new trends that brands should absolutely keep in mind and try to make the best use of.
Our in-house GrowMojo experts share some of their predictions for TikTok trends in 2023 so grab your pencils and take notes, folks!
1. More focus on Search
TikTok is planning even more investment in the search function, aiming to become the app people use to find out how to do something. We used to Google how to do this and that, and from now on we will rely on TikTok for even better insights, as the app offers visual how-tos that are far more immediate, engaging and informative.
The newest Search in Comments function is perhaps the best proof of this trend. The way it works is that each video has search terms in bold in the comments and a highlighted top term that is the most appeared term in the comments. For instance, you see a video in which a girl says she saw the Zara boots she bought last year, only 3x more expensive. The first term will be “Why have the prices in Zara increased?” Clicking on it will lead you to a selection of videos explaining this topic. So you get your answer right there, in-app, instead of having to close the app and go to Google.
This feature is based on AI which analyzes the interest and intent of the people watching the video and predicting the queries, almost like reading your mind.
In short, TikTok will be the go-to search app in 2023, and that’s a resource no brand can afford to ignore.
2. Need recommendations? Go to TikTok
Similarly to the search function, recommendations are going to become a hugely important part of the TikTok experience. User-generated content is the king when it comes to making purchase decisions, and the same goes for dining, travel and going out. Again, we used to go to Google for all these, but in 2023 we’re going to stay on TikTok to learn what are the best places to eat sushi, buy organic produce or have a weekend getaway.
People are already organically creating TikTok content highlighting their favorite products and services, so it’s perfectly logical that TikTok will aim to be the source for reviews and recommendations.
3. Creators, not influencers
TikTok is the ultimate influencer app, there’s no doubt about it. Time has shown that TikToks get better views when they include a famous face – just check out the most popular videos and you’ll see for yourself. However, in 2023, this won’t be true for all categories. This year will mark a shift from person to content. People won’t be coming to TikTok just to see a famous influencer going live. They will come to enjoy original, user-generated content that resonates with them. After all, that’s what TikTok is all about – unstaged, organic content from people just like you and me.
This is something that brands absolutely need to keep in mind when developing their TikTok strategies. Instead of reaching out and hiring some famous influencer to promote your product or service, you, as a brand, will have to create meaningful collaborations with creators and their content. Again, the focus will be on content, not so much the person behind it. Creators are already starting to make seriously good content, and in 2023 the focus will be on their content, not on their personality.
4. Quality not quantity
Back in the early days of TikTok, creators strived to put out as many videos as possible per day. This hyper-production was partially owed to the fact that in 2020 we certainly had a lot of time on our hands, due to the pandemic and the isolation at home. The 15 videos per day quota made sense in 2020, but today the situation is quite different. Not only does no one have the time anymore to put out so much content, but the vibe on the platform itself has changed. Today, the emphasis is on quality, not quantity. Top TikTok creators only put out a few videos per week and still do very well – because their content has value, it entertains, engages and informs.
In 2023, the quality over quantity rule will be even more pronounced. The algorithm understands that it’s time to prioritize quality so there’s no risk of being left behind if you’re not hyper-producing. As for the brands, there will be no more pressure on creative teams to throw out as many ideas as humanly possible, regardless of the quality. Useful and well thought-out content will have much better chances of going viral.
5. Improved local experience
As the platform continues to expand, it only makes sense that TikTok will invest in improving local experience for brands and creators alike. Right now, advertisers can only target local by region, state or DMAs (Designated Market Areas). At TikTok, they understand that advertisers are anxiously waiting for the ability to target by zip code or geo-targeting (with a radius from a point on the map). We expect that there will be some breakthroughs in this department in 2023, as the demand is quite high and the local advertising feature is not hard to implement. When it happens, it will make advertising on TikTok a much more viable option for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, especially local small businesses. Combined with the expansion of TikTok recommendations, local targeting will make TikTok the advertising platform of choice for many brands.
6. TikTok as a photo app? Why not!
With TikTok user numbers rising on a daily basis, it’s clear that it poses a serious threat to well-established visual platforms like Instagram. In fact, Instagram itself introduced certain features that are very TikTok-like, in an attempt to keep its users who prefer short video content. In general, we’re used to seeing photos on Instagram and videos on TikTok. But this will very likely change in 2023. We already have a brand new feature based on still photos: the photo slideshow or Photo Mode. Thanks to this feature you can create a collection of up to 35 photos along with music and captions, and have it rotate automatically in a slideshow. The concept is the same: you’re telling a story, but this time instead of video, you’re doing it with pictures. The cap of 35 is large enough to accommodate everything you have to share, be it memes, dramas, love stories or gossip. Combined with catchy music and sharp captions, it will provide a whole different experience.
7. TikTok as a go-to news source
With the irreversible crumbling of Twitter, following its acquisition by Elon Musk, a huge gap has opened when it comes to providing web users with quick and timely news. And it’s a gap that TikTok will most likely fill in 2023. Even now, a lot of users are creating instant TikToks to share newsworthy updates. Thanks to algorithms, hashtags and search functionality, this trend will definitely continue to grow. In 2023, TikTok users will be getting news and updates in their For You feeds, from the creators or news sources they’re already following, and will probably want to follow more such accounts in order to stay up to date. TikTok already has everything it needs to become a news source – it has the virality, it has a tremendous user base, reliable and verified accounts and incredible reach.
8. More adventures in AR
Back in spring 2022 TikTok released AR creation tools within its Effect House with Camera IQ support, initially available only for Mac computers. The software tools are created with the aim of providing users with more complex video creations solutions, allowing them to explore the possibilities of augmented reality in their TikToks, alongside simpler solutions like filters, masks and 3D effects. Camera IQ, as a platform, basically allows brands to use AR experiences created for other platforms and use them for TikTok effects. The first brands to launch AR effects were Smashbox and Cartoon Network. When a creator makes an effect and uses it in a TikTok, the results page for the effect features the creator’s name and a link to their profile. Obviously, this works for brands too and can do wonders to increase visibility. Thanks to Camera IQ solutions, AR creation is becoming easier than ever and although this is still in early stages it’s clear that in 2023 we will see more and more brands leveraging the potential of AR to drive engagement.
9. Security deal for better personalized experience
Most TikTok users are probably unaware of the difficulties that exist between the U.S. Government and the China-owned and operated internet giant, ByteDance, which owns TikTok. In short, TikTok is required to change some of its data security and governance rules in order to adhere to the United States law. In the center of the dispute are the concerns over the platform’s ability to protect the U.S. users’ data from Chinese authorities. In 2023, a deal will most likely be reached to keep all data on U.S. citizens only within the U.S. and not available to the Chinese. Obviously, this is a huge political issue that has been going on for a couple of years but the current administration seems determined to settle it in a way that will benefit the TikTok users in the United States and protect their data. If this happens, it will allow for increased personalized experience for users, as so far a lot of personalization was unavailable due to limitations.
10. TikTok expanding to health-related services
In summer 2022, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, announced the acquisition of a high-end healthcare organization Amcare Healthcare, through the company’s healthcare division Xiaohe Health. While it’s not uncommon for tech giants to tap into healthcare – just think of Amazon and One Medical, and Apple’s Health app, it’s unclear how directly this acquisition will affect TikTok and its business. However, we can assume that this likely means TikTok will be able to provide more health-related services in the form of short TikTok videos to users. This would be completely in line with the platform moving towards more useful, actionable and searched-for content, and not just merely entertainment, as we discussed in previous items of this list. It’s definitely still too early to predict anything based on the acquisition, but brands that work in health-related services should keep a keen eye out on repeated developments in 2023 and be among the first to join in.
Wrapping It Up
In 2023, the companies will realize that TikTok is the source of so many new trends. We saw it in 2022 and we will definitely see it in 2023, with even more innovation and boundary-pushing trends from the social media giant. This will be the year the advertisers will finally realize that not marketing and advertising on TikTok is nothing but a competitive disadvantage. If you’re looking for a way to start advertising on TikTok but you’re not sure where to start, check out our ultimate guide to TikTok advertising and contact our team of experts to work out a solution perfectly tailored for your business.