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  • Writer's pictureMadeleine Milne

Community - Predictions for 2023

Is community the social media of the 2020s?

Is 2023 the tipping point? No longer the niche warm and fuzzy, slightly worthy-sounding solution - conjuring up images of tea, cakes and an upright piano in a village hall - Community is going mainstream, with more and more companies realising that connecting with their customers directly, authentically and sustainably is no luxury - it’s a necessity.

Buy vs Build

The wider commitment to community will inevitably prompt more big acquisitions, like those we saw in 2022. It’s the old buy v build trade-off. Brands in a hurry will prefer to snap up ready-made communities, even for fancy prices, rather than lose time and momentum starting from scratch.

Niching Down

May seem paradoxical, but at the same time as many large communities will grow at pace, there will be a flourishing in micro-communities which address a very specific niche and are all the more impactful because they are more intimate. Not so strange when you think about it - we all use supermarkets, but also enjoy local specialist boutiques.

Not all budgets will budge

Despite community being embraced by more and more brands, many companies remain to be convinced that they should push the boat out very far on community, despite the demonstrable impact that a larger spend can have. This also reflects the times we live in and the general pressure on budgets. So providers of community solutions will still have to hustle, to be agile and creative, and to recognise that the battle to persuade is still to be won.

Taking back control

Consumers are gradually becoming aware of the personal information they are sharing with services, apps and websites (GDPR in 2018 and Apple app tracking last year.) Is 2023 the year when consumers decide they aren’t willing to be the “product” for advertising giants and the like anymore? Will we see personal data lockers or personal privacy clauses? Perhaps people will be more happy to pay for access to things in the knowledge they are more in control? Even if there isn’t a specific product around this, the pattern of consumers just handing over their personal information for access to a service is on the way out.

AI UX will become more prevalent

We saw the beginning of this in 2022 but this year we expect to see more ambitious and nuanced AI user experience solutions being rolled out across the industry, and playing an increasing supporting role in community activity. Great news for low budgets / small teams.

Consolidation of platforms

We saw a huge increase in the number of community platforms coming to market in 2022, with many offering pretty similar solutions. If there is some consolidation, let’s hope that doesn’t stifle creativity and development from the remaining players.

The need to belong is still very much a “thing”

We should never forget that we’re talking about humans here. There may not - let’s hope - be more lockdowns, but no-one has yet found a vaccine for loneliness. Online communities have broken down the geographical and physical barriers we lived in pre-Covid and people like it. They answer a need - a need to belong, to connect with other like-minded people and feel heard. People want it and they want more of it.

Those are just some of our predictions for the coming year. We would love to hear yours. Please post them below or email us at


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