Random Presents: 2022 Social Media Wrapped

Written by: Allison Andres and Emily Carion

To say the least, this year was interesting. Especially for the social media world. Join us in taking a stroll down memory lane to remember all the crazy sh*t that went down this year. (Spoiler alert: So much crazy sh*t happened that we probably even forgot some of it.) From the dumpster fire that was Twitter to the year's best memes, we present to you: 2022 Social Media Wrapped.

These Events Were the *Moments*

BeReal Reaches Mainstream Popularity

Who knew we needed another social media app? Let's BeReal, we're not mad about this one. Since being released in 2019, BeReal has been installed over 53 million times worldwide, but we can thank 2022 for a majority of its growth. In fact, 74.5% of the app's total downloads occurred in 2022 alone. The app currently has over 10 million daily active users, and is most popular among users aged 18-24. What will BeReal look like in 2023? One thing's for certain, it's already made its impact on the way other platforms operate. Check out our blog post reviewing how BeReal has influenced other social media platforms.

TikTok Got Even Bigger (Surprise, Surprise)

TikTok reached 1 billion active monthly users worldwide in 2022. In Q1 alone, the app was downloaded more than 175 million times. More users are joining, older generations are becoming more active, and more influencers are emerging.

TikTok Adds Now Feature to Rival BeReal

TikTok wants to BeReal Literally. The recently added Now feature calls for TikTok users to post what they're doing at that moment, using the front and back camera, in order to see other users' posts sound familiar? It's no surprise that TikTok would want to jump in on the newest trends to beat out competitor apps, but this is a direct rip-off of BeReal. Have you used the TikTok Now feature yet? Let us know in the comments. 

Instagram Testing a Repost Feature

Testing 1.. 2.. 3.. Instagram began testing a new feature this year - the repost. Users are able to reshare posts directly in their feed, allowing users to share what resonates with them while ensuring credit to the original creator. Resharing has been prevalent in our Instagram Stories for quite some time now, so we weren't surprised when this came along. The feature is being tested to select users, and we expect to see more reposts in our IG feed in the coming year.

Instagram Rolls Out Paid Subscription Features for Creators

A later addition in the year was Instagram Subscriptions. This feature gives creators on the app the opportunity to charge their followers a fee to access exclusive content. This just might change the Instagram influencer game. Creators can offer exclusive posts, lives, stories, reels, badges, group chats, and broadcast channels to their subscribers. But not just anyone can utilize this feature; creators must have at least 10k followers and meet additional criteria. Instagram is truly taking the influencer economy to the next level. Let's see where this goes in 2023!

Aaaand Another One: Instagram Working on Feature to Add Song to Your Profile

This one still seems to be in the works, but Instagram is also reportedly testing a new feature that may bring back MySpace memories for a lot of you. Soon we might be able to add a song to our Instagram profiles!

Facebook Removes Preference Fields from Profiles

Facebook is continuing their tightening of advertising restrictions on the platform, finally removing religious, political and sexual preference fields from profiles. This is another step in their attempt to better protect users' data when it comes to targeted ads.

Twitter Adds New Feature to Mix GIFs, Video, Images in One Tweet

One of the most fun changes to happen on social platforms this year was the new feature on Twitter to mix different kinds of media in a single tweet. This led to some great memes (see below). Have you tried it out yet?

Twitter Spaces Gain Traction

Twitter Spaces was officially launched last year, but it has grown in popularity in 2022. These spaces are a way for users to have live audio conversations on the platform. Anyone can become a host, anyone can join a space, and up to 13 people can speak in a Space at a time. Think Instagram Live meets Reddit.

THE BIG ONE: Elon Musk Buys Twitter

We know this is the one you were all waiting for. On October 27, 2022, the mega-billionaire and founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, officially closed the deal on Twitter. Musk became the sole owner of the platform, taking the company private and immediately laying off half of the employees. In the week after the deal, Twitter lost more than 1.3 million users.

The Twitter Blue Disaster

Musk tried rolling out a new $8/month subscription called Twitter Blue that would be the only way to obtain the coveted verified blue checkmark. This sent the platform up into flames, with verified accounts changing their names to companies and individuals and tweeting false information. One pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly, was hit hard by this when a fake account tweeted, We are excited to announce insulin is free now. This caused an internal panic at the company, who pulled all their Twitter advertising, costing Musk millions of dollars. Just days after its launch, the Twitter Blue subscription was recalled.

Mastodon Emerges as Twitter Alternative

As Twitter lost users by the millions, one platform saw a major increase in new users: Mastodon. This platform has been around for years but is coming up as a potential alternative for Twitter. Mastodon is a decentralized network of servers where users can join niche communities based on their interests. Learn more about Mastodon in our deep-dive blog post here.

YouTube Invests in Its TikTok Alternative

YouTube Shorts were introduced last year but the platform has started pushing them extra-heavy in 2022. On the mobile YouTube app, the Discover tab was replaced with a Shorts tab, similar to TikTok's For You page. This is an indicator that short-form video is here to stay, and it's more important than ever for your brand to invest in it. Read more of our thoughts on Shorts here.

Last, But Not Least: YouTube Allows Users to Grab Handles

YouTube joined the majority and is now allowing users to create a handle for their YouTube channel. We're all familiar with handles as we see them on every other social media platform, so it was only a matter of time before YouTube came around. Have you claimed yours yet?

Buckle Up: What We Expect to See in 2023

Well, we have some good news and some bad. We've reached the end of the chaos that was 2022. But, here comes 2023! And with a new year, comes even more crazy sh*t. So to get ahead of the long list of things to come, here are some of our predictions for what lies ahead of us in 2023. 

Brands Say Goodbye to Twitter

We're already seeing individual users jump ship and take refuge elsewhere, like Mastodon, and we're seeing brands pull their Twitter advertising. Even with the chaos on the platform slowing down, we predict even more big brands will move away from the Twitter space. What new channels will pop up to host these disillusioned brands? We'll have to wait and see. One thing we do know for sure is that Twitter will get more interesting. We're not sure we can even start to predict the roller coaster that is Twitter and its new chief, Elon Musk. But more changes are likely coming, so strap in. 

Platforms Take Matters into Their Own Hands

In the advertising world we're all familiar with and depend on external scheduling sites such as Later.com, Agorapulse, Hootsuite, SproutSocial, or whatever it is you use. These are great for what we do, even if some crucial features just aren't there yet. And when it comes to these features, we know we're a little tired of making that reminder in our calendar to push out a native post. Hopefully some good news for everyone involved Going into 2023, we predict more and more platforms will offer creators and even the public a way to schedule their posts natively to their platform. (What a role model you are, Meta.) LinkedIn is already testing their own native scheduling feature and we're interested to see how individual users take advantage of this new world they'll be thrown into. More posts, more creators, more time efficiency for all! 

LinkedInfluencers on the Rise

We're already used to the Instagram influencers and the TikTok influencers. But in the new year, we expect influencers on LinkedIn“LinkedInfluencers if you will“to really pop off. Currently, LinkedIn has an invite-only influencer program limited to 500 users that consists of thought leaders in various industries. But we predict 2023 will be the year of the LinkedInfluencer. More thought leaders, an expansion on the influencer program, maybe even.. Pay-outs? Verification? So here's your chance to make sure your C-Suite is on social media, because this just might be their time to shine.

Avatar Integration

Ah, yes. The expected avatar integration in 2023 Think Snapchat Bitmojis in the Metaverse. We expect to see more and more ways we can utilize Meta's avatar function. *Cough, Cough* It's already an option to use an avatar as your Instagram profile photo. And we won't be surprised that those who utilize this feature will be favored by the algorithm. 

Memes Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon

Because, well, why would they? GIFs, however, are a different conversation. Memes are here to stay, and we don't suspect a day that they'll ever leave. Because Gen Z is the ultimate humor-driven generation (sorry, millennials). Memes on social media will stick around, stay as chaotic as Michigan weather, and might even make their way into other platforms (if Twitter finds its way in the trash bin). So if you're not a fan of memes, you may want to re-evaluate your sense of humor, please and thanks! 

Speaking of memes, check out our round-up of the year's best memes below.

The 2022 Meme Hall of Fame

These memes will live forever in our hearts and minds.