fbpixel Tech in focus: 2023 trend projections. - MG Empower
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Written by - Joe McElligott

Tech in focus: 2023 trend projections.


AI is coming. You know it and we’re a month late telling you about it. Here’s a summary of what every 2023 trend outlining AI has said in a few lines: Copy, images, search, it’s all going to change. It’ll become easier and faster to find and create. Social media creators will automate posts, copy and even ideas – like Ryan Reynolds in his ChatGPT-generated ad for Mint Mobile. Brands will build better, more human, personal and detailed relations with other human beings because of AI. Corporate businesses will hire a ‘Head of AI’ who’s watched one too many sci-fi movies. Got it? Cool. Let’s move on.

Brands becoming more human is interesting. It’s been their golden goose since the turn of the millenia when the business world realised that greed, greyness and gullible audiences weren’t a thing anymore. Previously their ‘personality’ was wrapped up in visual identity, tone of voice and sexy websites. More recently, they turned to social media to give them a voice. First the polished Instagram, then the raw TikTok. Ryan Air set the tone with ‘look at us, we’re just like you’. Lotus (the car brand) is taking that to the edge. 


What will happen in 2023? Take that raw, unfiltered ‘real’ personality that TikTok has allowed to thrive, and place it into newer mediums. We see even deeper integrations of brands into zeitgeist culture makers of the day. Gaming seems like a big one, integrations into the ‘it’ games of the day like Roblox or Fortnite will only increase and become more substantial parts of games (from just character avatars to location sets, music and challenges).


Easier, more intuitive platforms. 


Augmented Reality (AR) will offer brands a chance to become more immediate and ‘physical’ (in the digital sense of the word). Brands will start to see the benefit of integrating themselves into screens and not just platforms – creating their own apps that offer either value or entertainment to customers will become more prevalent. Ikea’s AR integration into their own app not only drives value for the customer, but propels their brand and innovative credentials into the psyche of consumers. What’s stopping the likes of AirBnB, Disney and Netflix from integrating AR to make their apps more entertaining for the everyday consumer? Disney Characters working next to your kids anyone? Just try and tell me that won’t motivate them to do their homework. 


That said, cramming more and more things into apps can sometimes seem counterintuitive. Look at Instagram taking the opposite route, returning simplicity to its UX by removing the shopping icon. Even Google’s enduring success can largely be attributed to their no-nonsense clean aesthetics and UX. But that’s not to say apps can’t have more capabilities if their user journeys are carefully considered. After all, Instagram Shopping hasn’t gone, it’s just moved. 


Super App to the rescue?


The rise of the Super App has been gaining momentum over the past year and looks to finally break into the mainstream in 2023. For those not in the know, a Super App is an app that provides a set of core features with the addition of access to independently developed mini apps. It’s like a digital swiss army knife, prophecied by the tech word to crush the competition. 


Musk and Twitter feel like an outside contender, since the main barrier of realising a Super App is the payments features – a sector that Musk has considerable experience in. More realistic players feel like Meta or Amazon. Instagram is already well versed in the entertainment and shopping sectors, WhatsApp owns communication and Facebook owns community – what’s missing? Payments. Conversely, Amazon has nailed payments and (not-so-nailed but is at least trying) entertainment but lacks communication. My money says one of these players will find that final piece of the jigsaw in 2023 and build an app even more addictive than TikTok going into 2024.


Apps that make us feel better. 


Speaking of addiction (yes, that’s a good segue) 2023 might be the year we finally see a concerted effort that has a meaningful impact on the negative sides of social media, screen time and general phone misuse / dopamine hijacking / poor mental health. 2022 saw the rise of BeReal, a useful dent to try and make our socials ever so slightly less filtered. 2023 will see other apps and measures that look to fight the scorn of social media addiction and negative mental health outcomes. 


Apps like ‘Gas’ (the one that encourages users to compliment one another, just sold to Discord) will multiply as teens become more aware of the side effects of their screen time. I doubt screen time will decrease, but I’d wager it will be more considered with users choosing to spend it more consciously than abject mindless scrolling. 


TikTok turns monetisable.


No longer the awareness and impression mega machine, TikTok is rolling out various features that make in-app purchases – and the ability to leave the platform to purchase – easier. TikTok Shop first entered the eCommerce space in style with a partnership with Shopify in 2020 and has since grown into a booming business. 


That’s great news for influencers and UGC creators with a proclivity for sales and even better for the many brands who’ve already benefited from the raw, unfiltered #AD content loved so much by consumers. The true shift, however, will be in the way we measure performance in this new landscape: clicks and CPAs will be the new CPMs of TikTok influencer and media campaigns. 


Questions continue to abound in the world of tech.


Who will make the first Super App? Just how much will AI impact our lives? Is ChatGPT a handy yet overhyped tool or the actual forerunner of a fully-automated revolution where we’re permanently OOO because computers are doing all the work? 


The world of tech is exciting precisely because it is constantly evolving – in response to factors as diverse as scientific discovery, shifts in consumer behaviour and economic pressure. Never underestimate its power to change our lives. But equally, don’t hold your breath. The technological tides rise and fall so quickly that the next big thing more often that not turns out to be the next big dud. For now, I’m flowing with it and you should too (or just watch this space, we’ve got the hard bits covered). 


At MG Empower, we keep our fingers on the pulse of all things social, digital, experiential and beyond – and we can help your brand connect the dots. Connect with us here.

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