For many of us, we live and breathe social media.

It is how we connect with family, friends and strangers across the globe. It is the way we find out what's happening around the world, within our communities and it is how we stay connected.

2023 has been a wild ride, and many of us are looking forward to 2024 — and all the excitement that the new year brings. But before we get ready to toast the year, let us take a look at some of the biggest social media moments of 2023.

So sit back and relax, as media update's Saads Abrahams takes us through the social media highlights of 2023.

Let's take a look at Twitter.

Twitter turned X

On Thursday, 27 October 2022, Elon Musk bought Twitter. Just as people adjusted to that news, in July, Musk decided to rebrand the beloved social media platform to X.

The name and logo change caused quite a stir. However, after a few months, people have gotten somewhat used to it, and are patiently waiting to see what Musk has planned for the platform in the new year. 


New limitations

Another change that Twitter turned X experienced in 2023 was limitations placed on the amount of content users can view in a day.

Next up is Instagram.

Downloadable Reels 

While Reels aren't new, users are now able to download Reels that are made by public accounts. If you have a private account, you would need to change your settings to allow your followers to be able to download your Reels.

The introduction of Threads 

Meta created their own type of Twitter called Threads. This is a text-based social media platform that is only available to people with Instagram accounts. 

The updates to the app include:
  • your feed only shows threads from accounts you are following
  • post translations
  • a follow button to easily follow your followers back, and
  • a web version of the mobile app.


Longer Reels 

A new and exciting update to Reels on Instagram is that users are now able to create Reels that can be as long as 10 minutes. This is absolutely great news for content creators everywhere!


Now let's take a look at TikTok.

Text-only posts

In July this year, TikTok released a new post feature — text posts. Users can add:  
  • stickers
  • sounds
  • hashtags
  • different background colours, and 
  • tags. 


The secret to going viral

The biggest social media tea to get spilled in 2023 was that the mystery of going viral on TikTok isn't such a mystery at all. 

According to an investigation done by Forbes, "TikTok and ByteDance employees regularly engage in 'heating'," a manual push that ensures specific videos "achieve a certain number of video views," according to six sources and documents reviewed by Forbes.

The introduction of TikTok Shop

TikTop Shop is a new feature where entertainment and e-commerce meet. It is a new way for businesses, brands and creators to authentically connect with possible buyers and sell directly through the app.


Last, but certainly not least: Facebook.

Pay to be verified

Yep, you read that right. Earlier in 2023, Meta released its new subscription-based serviceMeta Verified. This feature is available to Facebook and Instagram users and the perks of this service are:
  • receiving your blue verification tick
  • protection from impersonation
  • live chat support
  • an increased visibility and reach, and
  • "exclusive features to express yourself in unique ways."
2023 would not be complete without an honourable mention of the growth, implementation and integration of AI on almost all social media platforms in 2023. 

What was your favourite social media moment of 2023? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Want to stay up-to-date with the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletter

If you enjoyed this piece then take a look at What social media platforms you should use and why.
*Image courtesy of Canva