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Influencer Marketing
December 20, 2022
min read
Noam Yadin

Looking back at 2022 via memes

2022 was filled with Third-Party Cookie confusion, social media platform rivalries, influencer drama, and, according to our memes from the past year, a lot of annoyance surrounding YouTube ads. We decided to take a look at 2022’s highlights through the memes we created and posted in our newsletter each week. 

So, sit back, scroll through, laugh it out and get prepared for an even more eventful 2023. 

The commotion around cookies 

Remember when Google postponed its deadline for the phaseout of third-party cookies from mid-2022 to early 2023? Businesses, especially those dealing with marketing and advertisements, worked overtime trying to understand how to reach their target audience without the use of cookies (and we aren’t talking about chocolate chip cookies, unfortunately). 

Throughout the first quarter of 2022, ad-tech companies stayed up-to-date with all of Google’s new features, initiatives and, ultimately, pushed off deadlines. These included Google’s Sandbox, FLoC, Topics API and everything in between. 


Well, Google has once again pushed off the deadline to deprecate third-party cookies to mid-2024. These memes highlighted marketers’ fear of losing third-party cookies and adding cookie-less solutions to their marketing strategy. 

Recommended article: The ultimate third-party cookies explainer, as told by Mean Girls memes

Ads in YouTube videos and podcast episodes got the best of us

Content creators thrive from advertisements in their YouTube videos and podcast episodes, but it isn’t a win-win situation for viewers (especially when the ad does not align with the content at hand). Throughout 2022, we shared our annoyance with ads quite often via memes.

Social media rivalry 

This was the year when some of the biggest social media platforms truly went head-to-head. Pretty much every social platform focused on strengthening their short-form video feature, including TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and even Twitter. In some cases, one platform ‘took ideas’ from another platform (more on that later) while other platforms focused on standing out by strengthening the monetization aspect.

Instagram users complained about the Reels overload, which ultimately saturated the feeds of many and made it almost impossible to actually seem pictures of those you followed. It all came to a peak when Kylie Jenner - easily one of the most influential voices on social media who has over 360M followers (just on Instagram!) - posted to Instagram stories: “Make Instagram Instagram Again. (stop trying to be TikTok, I just want to see cute photos of my friends)”

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, took to Twitter to “address a few things”: “I’m hearing a lot of concerns about photos, and how we’re shifting to video. We’re going to continue to support photos, but I need to be honest: more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time. We’re going to have to lean into that shift while continuing to support photos”. 

While social platforms raced to strengthen their short-form video features, TikTok (who sat pretty comfortably as one of the top short-form video content platforms), decided to add a new feature which became popular this year - the BeReal concept. 

BeReal is currently in the No. 2 spot on Apple’s top chart for free apps and brought in about 56M downloads in 2022 so far. More importantly, both TikTok and Instagram have been working overtime creating their own copycat version of this concept. 

We are used to seeing other apps copying TikTok, but the short-form video content app surprised everyone by announcing its own BeReal feature - TikTok Now. So, why did TikTok decide to add this type of feature to its already thriving app?

Spotlight on sponsorships

We obviously live and breathe brand sponsorships, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a light laugh at obvious partnerships, and the role influencer marketing agencies handle the wonderful world of brand integrations with creators. 

Focusing on the creators

Just like social media platforms, influencer marketing agencies and brands, content creators also had quite a tumultuous year. Creators constantly needed to stay up-to-date on all the new features social media platforms introduced, come up with engaging, original, interesting content, and keep up with trends. Throughout 2022, there was also a much greater understanding of just how much power creators have which ultimately led many influencers to raise their prices (despite the ongoing fear of a recession). 

If you know, you know

…And everything in between. From brands heading into the holiday season to Twitter’s messy situation, it’s better to laugh at the situation than waste your time crying. 

ThoughtLeaders is committed to staying up-to-date with all things creator economy and we share everything you need to know via our weekly newsletter. Make sure to signup for our newsletter so you don’t miss any important updates or hilarious memes. 

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