2022 trends: Prime Time Platforms


Earlier this month, we launched our annual trends report – Think Forward 2022: Brave New Worlds. It features the five key trends that we expect to shape social media over the next 12 months. This post looks at the third trend covered in the report: Prime Time Platforms. For more, check out the full Think Forward report here.

It wasn’t so long ago that social and digital were being held accountable for the death of traditional media behaviours. On-demand streaming would pave the way for a world without synchronised viewing, while social would democratise commentary around major media moments, putting an end to cultural gatekeeping. 

But these old media tropes haven’t become redundant: they’ve just been reimagined (and in some cases, replatformed). Fortnite’s wildly successful events programme is evidence that broadcast entertainment is as compelling as ever, while live events in TikTok and on Twitch continue to draw audiences of millions. 

Meanwhile, people are increasingly engaging with social entertainment over other formats: a study commissioned by TikTok claims that since downloading the app, 35% of users say they’ve watched less TV and streaming services. As a result, made-for-social formats are starting to emerge.

More now than ever, social is the first screen, home to a whole new type of social-first media consumption. This isn’t just about social-first formats, though: it’s about how social is influencing traditional media. Social commentary has long been important: it’s how the term ‘second screening’ was born. But the commentators – and the platforms they’re on – have more influence than ever.

Lama’scarade is an IGTV mini-series from Netflix France, made in collaboration with its Instagram following.

The Behavioural Change

Landmark entertainment moments are happening in-feed.
From The Weeknd’s live performance in TikTok to Elon Musk’s room limit-breaking Clubhouse event, unmissable high profile events are happening in the spaces we scroll through on a daily basis.

Social commentary is taking centre stage.
In July 2021, Black creators on TikTok went on strike, refusing to create a dance to Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Thot Shit’. The strike – which was called in response to censorship of Black creators – was to raise awareness of the impact Black creators have on TikTok’s culture and success.


#blacktictok #wildnkrazykid #blacktiktokcommunity #blacktiktokstrike

♬ Who Want Smoke? – Nardo Wick

How can brands use it?

1. Brands should collaborate with commentators for clout.
Love Island has recently come under fire for not working closely enough with its commentators on Black British Twitter. The show increasingly plays second fiddle to the Twitter commentary – while the show’s ratings continue to slow, Twitter engagement is soaring – but it isn’t giving its key amplifiers a platform, and as a result, it’s hurting the brand.

2. Brands can show up in social-first entertainment spaces.
On Marbella Vice – one of Spain’s most famous multiplayer roleplay servers, hosted on Grand Theft Auto V and populated by a number of famous Spanish footballers and influencers – KFC Spain landed Colonel Sanders a supporting role.

Read more about Prime Time Platforms in Think Forward 2022: Brave New Worlds.