Social media is one of the fastest changing landscapes in the world of technology today. The year 2022 has seen so many changes – good and bad – to our favorite platforms that it can be hard to remember.
Here’s a look back at a few ways the various social media giants have changed in 2022.
Meta originally announced its corporate name change from Facebook in 2021, but 2022 has seen an intense push on the platform for the metaverse. Several advertisers joined the metaverse in 2022, and Meta developed and launched high-tech VR headsets to users, according to CNN.
However, this interest has not yet translated into popular use. Most Facebook users aren’t in the metaverse yet or don’t even own a VR headset. According to Forbes, the upgraded metaverse avatar that Mark Zuckerberg unveiled in 2022 was also wildly unpopular. However, one prediction for 2023 regarding social media is that as Meta continues to promote the metaverse, consumers may eventually participate.
2. Elon Musk took over Twitter
Elon Musk bought Twitter in October 2022, and it’s been chaos on Twitter ever since. From Twitter Blue being put on hold to being put back up for sale by changing its price, the financial future of the social media platform has never been more uncertain.
Musk also changed the way Twitter was run by laying off more than half of the company’s employees and restructuring the company. He even hinted at a possible return of the video-sharing app Vine in 2022, although no evidence of this return has yet been seen.
Potential changes to Twitter’s community guidelines and policies have also been the subject of controversy in 2022, with Musk prioritizing “free speech” on the platform.
3. Winders, Winders, Winders
In 2022, Instagram has evolved from a photo-sharing app to an all-encompassing social media app. The main goal of the app has been to promote Instagram Reels and support creators who create and publish Reels by showing their content to more people on the algorithmic home feed.
Wheels are Instagram’s answer to TikTok’s growing popularity. TikTok is not the only social media Instagram has copied in 2022. Instagram also tested Candid Stories in 2022, which is the same concept as the new social media app BeReal, where a notification at a random time each day prompts you to immediately post a picture of what you are doing at that moment.
4. The emergence of BeReal
Speaking of BeReal, the French social media app soared to over 10 million downloads in 2022, growing from a small new platform to a ubiquitous concept that both Instagram and TikTok are copying. Instagram created Candid Stories, while TikTok launched TikTok Now. BeReal’s longevity remains to be seen, but the fun and authentic platform has certainly made its mark in 2022.
BeReal has not only popularized the individual photo per day. The app proved that audiences want more authentic content and less of the perfect photoshopped influencer content that other platforms are known for. Even if BeReal itself doesn’t last, the impact on the kind of content we see everywhere on social media is likely to last beyond 2022.
2022 has been a defining year for social media around the world. Many of the observed changes are likely to be more than just trends; these are transformations of our favorite platforms that will continue to evolve as we use social media differently.
Were the changes we saw in 2022 for the better or did they make things worse? Many of them were controversial or unpopular, but others will help us remember 2022 in a positive way. It will be exciting to see how these changes shape the future of the social media world.