Summer 2023 Wrap-Up: Hot Days, Hot Tech News

Overview: It’s just about time to leave summer 2023 behind. But before we do, we’re taking a look at some of the most notable developments in tech news.

As we prepare to bid farewell to August, we can’t help but think: This summer went by in the blink of an eye (an eye decked out with fashionable sunglasses, of course)! And yet, when we think back on the summer of 2023, it occurs to us that there were a ton of notable developments in technology — not to mention marketing.


It seems like technology is always advancing at a rapidly accelerating rate, and summer 2023 was no exception. Here are a few stories that caught our attention in between outdoor barbecues and trips to the water park.

Social Media Shake-Ups 

We’ve been following developments at the company formerly known as Twitter with great interest. Over the summer months, the platform’s shaky status quo continued as a series of changes were made to its policies.

These changes have included a limit on the number of tweets users can read per day, ending access to TweetDeck for unverified users, and the purging of inactive accounts. And of course, the rebranding of the platform from Twitter to X.

>> Related Reading: Elon Musk’s Twitter (Now X): Everything You Need to Know

This has not done much to boost the public’s confidence in the company, and it remains to be seen whether X will ever be able to regain the stature that Twitter once had among brands, media institutions, government agencies, and individual users.

On July 5th, as Twitter (as it was then still called) was showing signs of slipping, Meta (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram) launched a new app called Threads… which is remarkably similar to Twitter. Anyone with an existing Instagram account could sign up almost immediately, which perhaps explains the massive number of new users within the app’s first week.

But the number of active users on Threads has already dropped considerably. In fact, on August 3, CNN reported that “Threads’ daily active user count is down 82% from launch as of July 31.” With a crowded field of other social media platforms vying for the piece of the pie — including Bluesky, Mastodon, Spoutible, and the audio-based Clubhouse — it’s hard to predict what the future holds in this area of tech news.


Unfortunately, some of the biggest announcements from tech companies in summer 2023 were about layoffs. Microsoft, Spotify, Meta, Niantic, Discord, and others announced layoffs ranging from just a few employees to large percentages of company workforces.

>> Related Reading: A Comprehensive List of 2023 Tech Layoffs

Growing Privacy Concerns 

Most of us use tech for many hours a day, every day, from mobile devices to a vast range of apps. Tech makes life easier — but the summer of 2023 saw new questions arise in the conversation around the consequences of tech on our privacy.

In June, Microsoft and Amazon agreed to pay fines after the FTC found they had improperly collected data on minors who used their online services. The companies were also ordered to put new safety protections in place.

The launch of Meta’s Threads platform in July was also accompanied by questions about the privacy policy that users were required to sign off on. As the Guardian pointed out, users of Threads are giving Meta permission to access “sensitive data such as health and fitness information, financial information, location and browsing history.”

In August, Zoom raised eyebrows when it updated its terms of service. New language declared that Zoom users would give the app an unlimited license to information collected in meetings, for purposes that would include using that information to train artificial intelligence.

A Zoom spokesperson responded to the alarmed reaction by assuring the public that users can opt out of this data collection — but for many, the incident was yet another reminder that our online communications may be less private than we think they are.

>> Related Reading: Zoom Addresses Privacy Concerns Raised by AI Data Collection

AI Expands Its Reach 

Perhaps you’ve noticed this, but there’s been a lot of talk about AI in the tech world this year, and it didn’t slow down in the summer. Mostly, the summer of 2023 saw more and more people using artificial intelligence on a regular basis — with the most common usage being the use of language models like ChatGPT for writing emails, creating chatbot responses, generating content, and so on.

>> Related Reading: The State of AI in 2023

New Tech Releases Announced 

While many of us were going on vacation and relaxing at the pool, tech companies were busy announcing and releasing new products. In June, Apple generated some buzz when it announced its upcoming “spatial computer,” the Apple Vision Pro. (For more on this, we highly recommend you check out our video roundtable on the subject!)

In July, Samsung announced a slew of upcoming products, including the Galaxy Z Flip 5 foldable smartphone (with a bigger screen than the previous generation), new Galaxy smart watches, and new Galaxy Tab S9 tablets with AMOLED displays.


The digital marketing world saw its own share of changes and developments in the summer of 2023. Here are a few things that caught our eye as we fired up our snow cone makers.

Renewed Focus on Helpful Content 

In the summer of 2023, businesses continued their effort to make the most of online marketing by seeking to understand what Google’s search engine “likes” and doesn’t “like.” That’s nothing new — the preceding sentence would have been right at home in a wrap-up article for any season of the past several years.

But among the marketing discoveries of this summer was this: With the increasing ubiquity of online content written by AI language models, Google is actually prioritizing content that is genuinely helpful to users, with the company encouraging creators to produce content that’s primarily designed to provide value to its audience rather than content that’s designed to manipulate SEO.

In a tweet (or… an X?), Google even encouraged creators not to delete old content from their websites, because that content can still help with Google rankings as long as it’s helpful and well-crafted.

Short-Form vs. Long-Form Video 

In August, the website Digiday reported that brands and content creators have been increasingly leaning toward short-form video content. TikToks, YouTube shorts, and social media reels can be watched quickly and easily, and many businesses are seeking to deliver their messages in short bursts.

On the other hand, longer videos mean the viewer is spending more time engaging with a single creator or brand. Long-form YouTube videos are as popular as ever, and TikTok videos can now be as long as 10 minutes — as sure a sign as any that viewers’ attention spans can handle longer videos. Thus, as 2023 continues, businesses and brands are still seeking the right balance between long-form and short-form content.

Notable Campaigns 

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention a few memorable marketing campaigns from summer 2023. In August, the sandwich artists at Subway launched the “Name Challenge” via a new website and posts on all their social media outlets.

The challenge is simple but silly: Anyone who commits to legally change their first name to “Subway” would be entered in a sweepstakes. The winner, upon changing their name, would receive free Subway sandwiches for life. This marketing campaign earned Subway a ton of publicity as incredulous people shared the story.

But perhaps the most successful viral marketing event of summer 2023 was largely perpetuated by “extremely online” pop culture fans rather than marketing agencies. When moviegoers realized that Barbie and Oppenheimer would be released in theaters on the same day in July, a huge meme-driven phenomenon was born. The simultaneous debut of two very different but equally high-profile films inspired social media users to turn “Barbenheimer” into an event.

Encouraged by the slew of posts and memes, many people saw both movies on opening weekend — or on the same day! For their part, the studios behind the films (Warner Bros. and Universal) heavily promoted them to ensure no one would forget about either one when July 21st rolled around.

As a (seemingly) organic publicity event, the success of “Barbenheimer” will be hard to duplicate. But we’re sure the studios are going to try!

So How Was Your Summer? 

As you can see, a lot happened in these past few months! And now we have a question for you: How was your summer? Did your business have any notable ups or downs? Did you launch any new products? Did you hit your sales goals? Did you try any new marketing techniques?

As a business owner, you may find it difficult to keep up the multitasking that’s required to grow your business while maintaining day-to-day operations — including website maintenance. If this resonates with you, we hope you’ll consider handing the technical stuff from your website’s back end over to our website wizards at MyUnlimitedWP. With our team of experts on hand to take care of your website, every day will feel like summer! Contact us to learn more!

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