Social media is one of the fastest evolving landscapes in today’s technology world. The year 2022 has seen so many changes, good and bad, on our favorite platforms that it can be hard to remember.
Here’s a look back at some ways the various social media giants have changed in 2022.
Meta originally announced the company name change from Facebook in 2021, but 2022 has seen an intense platform push for the metaverse. Several advertisers have joined the metaverse in 2022, and Meta has been developing and launching high-tech VR headsets for users, according to CNN.
However, this interest has not yet translated into popular use. Most Facebook users aren’t in the metaverse yet or even own a VR headset. According to Forbes, the updated metaverse avatar that Mark Zuckerberg unveiled in 2022 was also hugely 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 has taken over Twitter
Elon Musk bought Twitter in October 2022 and it has been chaos on Twitter ever since. From Twitter Blue being paused to relisting with price changes, the financial future of the social media platform has never been more uncertain.
Musk also changed the way Twitter is run by laying off more than half of the company’s employees and restructuring the company. Lui has even hinted at a possible return of video-sharing app Vine in 2022, although no evidence of such a 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 a social media app that covers pretty much everything. The main focus 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.
Reels are Instagram’s answer to the growing popularity of TikTok. TikTok isn’t the only social media that Instagram has copied in 2022. Instagram has also tested Candid Stories in 2022, which is the same concept as the new social media app BeReal, where a notification at a random hour each day encourages you to immediately post a picture of what you are doing at that moment.
4. The rise of BeReal
Speaking of BeReal, the French social media app has soared to over 10 million downloads in 2022, going from a small new platform to a ubiquitous concept that 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 didn’t just popularize the single photo a 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 type of content we see everywhere on social media will likely last beyond 2022.
2022 has been a defining year for social media around the world. Many of the observed changes are probably not simple 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 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.