The State of Social Media, according to Sifted Summit 2022

Sifted Summit VC 2022 investors

Earlier this month, 1,500+ founders, developers, investors, and innovators across the European startup market journeyed to North Greenwich for the 2022 Sifted Summit. The two-day event showcased innovative new companies across a diverse range of technologies at its many stands, as well as offering incredible insight from a host of VCs, content creators, investors, and startup economy experts through roundtable discussions, heavily-attended panels and workshops.


One area of focus was the state of social media – which channels are thriving, what platforms are underused, which are past their prime, and which are already deceased.


RIP Facebook 

At a talk with Caspar Lee and Sasha Kaletsky of Creator Ventures, the merits of the creator economy and the various social media platforms were at the centre of discussion. As well as vocalising what many of us have been feeling for a while now (perhaps dependent on where you sit on the generation spectrum) – that Facebook is dead, and Instagram is well past its prime – they mused that the lifespan of the creator is still yet to be defined, as some are still going strong, despite changes in platform use and audience. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive average length of popularity or relevance for the content maker, just yet.

YouTube is still kicking

Despite challenges from Twitch, and other platforms getting in on livestream video, The Sidemen were still able to pull in a YouTube audience of 24m for their live football stream – and it led to an important point about longform video and engagement, which highlighted a key benefit for creators on YouTube over TikTok. While TikTok is more effective with micro creators,TikTok stars will need to create longer form content in order to give audiences a chance to get to know them and engage with them more. Short term video content and curation has lower retention rates than YouTube. with a lower audience. “People don’t go on TikTok to watch specific creators – they go on it for TikTok.”

LinkedIn deserves more love

Meanwhile, LinkedIn promotion remains effective and underappreciated. Dating app Thursday saw incredible results through LinkedIn, and Capsar and Sasha attribute the platform’s success with paid pomorition due to how much easier it is to find an audience, as its algorithm for content is based less on who follows, but more on likelihood of engagement through interests. When this approach is combined with the personal network that LinkedIn encourages its users to develop, it makes viral sharing far more likely.

Some of the interesting talks and exhibitors need to be experienced to be believed. From Herman Narula of Improbable in full callout mode: “The disaster that is Facebook’s influence on our culture is seen by many people a vision of the metaverse,” to our own attempts to win an HTC Pro Vive 2 for recreating the Snow Hill logo in Tilt Brush (probably not best done after the free SendBird sponsored coffee) – it was a packed 48 hours, and we’re already excited about next year.

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