2022 YEAR IN REVIEW & TOP STORIES
The year of quiet quitting
The hashtag #quitquitting on TikTok has 384 million views at the time of this writing. The concept of quiet quitting exploded after content creator Zaiad Khan, an engineer, posted a TikTok video in July about quiet quitting. It means you don't quit your job but you do quit the idea of going above and beyond at work. Quit quitting rejects the hustle culture mentality that your work is your life. According to a recent survey by Gallup, about half of the U.S. workforce is already quiet quitting. A survey by Adobe found that 45% of younger workers in the U.S. want to quit their corporate jobs to become content creators.
Quiet quitting like many things is not equal. The Washington Post reports that women and people of colour can't afford to quit because they are already at a significant disadvantage in the workplace. They are seen as troublemakers if they try to establish boundaries, have higher burnout rates, and are punished more harshly for mistakes. For more on quiet quitting, click here.
UK Parliament investigates online racial pay gap
The influencer marketing industry is estimated to grow from $6bn in 2020 to $24.1bn by 2025. But the distribution of wealth is not equal. The UK government investigated influencer pay standards involving inconsistent pay rates and evidence of a racial pay gap between brands and content creators. Another study called "Time to Face the Influencer Pay Gap" found that in the influencer industry in the U.S., the pay gap between white influencers, and those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, was 29%. Between white and Black influencers, the pay gap was as high as 35%. For more, read our past issue.
Don't call me an influencer: The rise of the 'content creator'
With a war in Europe, a global pandemic, and skyrocketing prices, young people know the world isn’t perfect. They don’t want to view it through rose-colored glasses and prefer to see real people who are not perfect. The pandemic resulted in a shift from influencers talking about what they have based on product placement to creators who share relevant information that informs and helps people. Kim Kardashian was lambasted online after she said that women were unsuccessful because they were lazy and didn’t work hard. For more, read our past issue.
LGBTQ+ TikTok creators want brands to reach out early
LGBTQ+ TikTok creators spoke out in June about how brands tend to reach out last minute before a big event. June is Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month. February is Black History Month. Underrepresented and marginalized creators feel that the "last-minute" approach makes them "feel like an afterthought". BIPOC creators could learn from LGBTQ+ TikTok creators. For more, read our past issue.
TikTok became the official TIFF partner for first time
TikTok hit 1 billion users in September 2021 five years after it launched, much sooner than other platforms. Hollywood and Netflix believe TikTok is their biggest competitor. In light of TikTok's popularity with young people, the platform partnered with the Toronto International Film Festival as the official sponsor in 2022. Short-form entertainment as a category is being recognized to identify the next generation of filmmakers. TikTok passed Netflix as the second-most popular video service (behind YouTube) for American customers under the age of 35. For more, click here.
Gen Z expects brands to be fun, transparent and caring
Gen Z expects brands to be fun, authentic, and good. They prioritize authenticity and social issues such as racial justice, gender equality, and climate change. They also expect brands to speak out on behalf of their customers. In a time of increasing racial injustice, gender equality, war, and economic inequity, this period is being called the new era of "corporate political responsibility". Consumers led by Gen Z will continue to hold companies accountable by communicating their values and purpose. For more, read our past issue.
The future of social networks will be smaller, less centralized, and more local
We may have witnessed the end of the tech bro era of social media in 2022. Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook to Meta, laid off 13% of its workforce, and re-focussed itself around virtual reality. Instagram had an identity crisis after it changed its algorithm, copied TikTok features, and shifted towards video. Worried about retaining and attracting users, it instead angered them. Elon Musk cut 50% of Twitter's workforce after taking the helm and tweeted that he's determined the destroy "the woke mind virus", a catch-all term for any type of politics associated with vulnerable or marginalized people. Navneet Alang writes in the Toronto Star that the future of social networks will be smaller, less centralized, and more local and independent. For more, click here.
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My name is Flavian DeLima and I'm the founder of Spinning Forward. Spinning Forward is an independent local news company that publishes a weekly newsletter about how Black, Indigenous, and people of color content creators navigate and succeed in the online economy in the Greater Toronto Area.
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Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes
Welcome to the last Spinning Forward newsletter of 2022. Thanks very much for reading, sharing tips, and offering feedback on future stories and creators to profile.
This was a topsy-turvy year. Last year’s economic boom is how 2022 began. Then Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The worldwide inflation surge led to the highest inflation rates in four decades. Canadians felt the high prices of just about everything in their wallets.
The pandemic subsided but stayed. People resumed their lives but continued reflecting on what they really wanted. The Great Resignation saw Canadians resign from their jobs en masse in the summer and fall. At the same time, the quiet quitting movement exploded on TikTok among young people who rejected the hustle culture.
The UK government investigated the influencer pay standards and the online racial pay gap between content creators of colour and brands. Young people on social media platforms shifted toward “real” creators who weren’t perfect, and who shared information that informed and helped them. TikTok became the official TIFF partner for the first time as the popularity of short-form entertainment continued.
After Roe v Wade was overturned, many creators spoke out and became activists on social media, especially TikTok. Gen Z expects brands to be fun, transparent, and caring and wants them to speak out on social issues quickly. They embrace authenticity. Not surprisingly, the app of the year in the Apple App Store was the social media app, BeReal.
2023 will be a challenging year. Most social media platforms have cut their workforce significantly and introduced hiring freezes. Other sectors may follow soon. A recession in Canada, whether smaller or bigger, is all but certain. Creators are looking at other sources of income as advertisers and sponsors tighten their belts. Yet, Adobe, in a survey, found that almost half of young people in the U.S. want to quit their corporate jobs to become content creators.
The great resignation, quiet quitting and the “lying flat” (popular in China) movements are changing the way people view their relationship to work. Yet, one thing is certain. More and more people are embracing the YOLO economy and the notion that ‘You Only Live Once’. We'll see how they act on these forces in 2023.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🎉 🎊 🥳
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Publisher and Editor, Spinning Forward