The 5 biggest social media fails of 2022

If at first you don’t succeed…

Social media fails happen to the world’s biggest brands and the smallest content creators alike, and 2022 was no exception. 

Finding success on social media requires a little bit of trial and error from time to time. However, sometimes the errors land people and brands in more hot water than they’d typically prefer. 

Let’s take a look at the biggest social media fails of 2022. 

1. Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover 

It’s impossible to talk about social media fails without talking about the story that has dominated the social media news cycle for the better part of four months now: Elon Musk purchasing Twitter for $44 billion. 

If spending $44 billion on a social media platform wasn’t a big enough fail for Musk, things haven’t gotten much better in recent months. #RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter trended for days, and Twitter alternatives began popping up all over the place

It’s safe to say it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Musk since his takeover of Twitter. With mass layoffs, accounts being banned and unbanned, and advertisers leaving the platform in droves. Elon Musk even went as far as to put his position as Twitter CEO to the people when he asked his followers to vote on his future.  

While Musk did say he would “abide by the results of this poll,” Musk remains Twitter CEO more than a month since Twitter users voted 57.5% in favour of Musk stepping down from the role.

2. Instagram’s Update Backflip 

If there’s one thing social media users hate, it’s change. When Instagram rolled out a complete redesign of its platform, including a host of controversial changes like algorithm-selected posts and a full-screen feed, the backlash came thick and fast.  

Kylie Jenner responds to Instagram's social media fail

Even Kylie Jenner got in on the action, sharing a photo pleading with Instagram to change things back to how they once were. When the fourth most-followed account on your platform asks you to make a change, you must listen. And that’s precisely what Instagram did. 

In just a few weeks, Instagram quickly changed things back to the app people know and love, with Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, stating,  “I’m glad we took a risk — if we’re not failing every once in a while, we’re not thinking big enough or bold enough.”

3. Volkswagenitalia Raised a Few Eyebrows  

When Volkswagen Italia launched its Instagram handle @volkswagenitalia, it caused quite a hilarious stir online.  

Whether the handle was an oversight or a brilliant piece of marketing, we may never know. However, the car manufacturer isn’t backing down, as the handle remains unchanged. 

Who doesn’t love a bit of juvenile humour? 

4. Tampax

Many brands like taking calculated risks on social media, especially on Twitter. However, sometimes those risks don’t appear to have been calculated at all. 

Towards the end of 2022, Tampax Tweeted: “You’re in their DMs. We’re in them. We are not the same.” If there’s one thing that Twitter users love, it’s outrage, and outraged they were. #BoycottTampax quickly started trending, and the brand removed the Tweet and issued an apology shortly after. 

social media fails

It’s safe to say that it wasn’t the best day for Tampax’s social media manager. 

5. RyanAir 

While RyanAir may have a less-than-glowing reputation for transporting passengers, they’ve been pretty successful on social media in recent years. 

However, after Jaden Sancho failed to make England’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a controversial Tweet found the low-cost airline in hot water online. 

Sure, RyanAir has definitely had more controversial Tweets in the past. However, the jab at Sancho really struck a nerve with people online, and it’s easy to see why this one was a social media fail. Steven Barlett took to LinkedIn to share his thought’s on RyanAir having “absolutely no class”. 

Want more cautionary tales? Check out our top social media fails of 2021!