Social media is one of the fastest changing landscapes in the tech world today. 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 some of the ways the various social media giants have changed in 2022.
Meta initially announced its corporate name change from Facebook in 2021, but 2022 has seen an intense platform push for the metaverse. Several advertisers joined the metaverse in 2022, and Meta developed and launched high-tech VR headsets for users, according to CNN.
However, this interest has not yet translated into popular usage. Most Facebook users aren’t in the metaverse yet or don’t even own a VR headset. According to Forbes, the improved 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 putting Twitter Blue on hiatus to putting it back on sale by changing the price, the social media platform’s financial future 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 video-sharing app Vine in 2022, though no evidence of that 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. Diggers, winding, winding
In 2022, Instagram has evolved from a photo-sharing app to an all-encompassing social media app. The main purpose of the app has been to promote Instagram Reels and support creators who create and publish Reels by showing their content to more people in the algorithmic home feed.
Scrolls are Instagram’s answer to the growing popularity of TikTok. TikTok isn’t 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 encourages you to instantly post a photo of what you’re doing at that moment.
4. Setting up BeReal
Speaking to BeReal, the French social media app grew to over 10 million downloads in 2022, growing from a small new platform to a ubiquitous concept that Instagram and TikTok are both copying. Instagram created candid stories, while TikTok launched TikTok Now. BeReal’s longevity remains to be seen, but the fun and authentic platform has definitely made a mark in 2022.
BeReal hasn’t just popularized the single photo a day. The app proved that audiences want more authentic content and less of the photoshopped perfect 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 worldwide. Many of the observed changes are probably not 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.