Last year, as the world was slowly coming back online after months of social distancing, one of the biggest events was the release of BTS’s new album Map of the Soul: 7. Looking back at the year that was, what are the biggest global trends that the K-pop group can reflect on?

Biggest Global Trend Of 2022

The song “Map of the Soul: 7” represents a turning point for the seven-member boy band. For the first time since their début, the album doesn’t feature any new songs written by the group’s legendary leader, RM. Instead, the album marks the first collaboration between BTS and American songwriter and producer Mikkel Erikson (Mikkel Erikson). Co-writing and co-producing three songs with Erikson, the album also sees the return of some of BTS’s biggest hitmakers, including Max Martin, Ilya, and Oscar Holter. This is also the first album that BTS has released since their first world tour, which came to an end in March.

The Revival Of Ringtones And The Growing Popularity Of Self-expression

One of the biggest trends to arise as a result of the pandemic is the revival of ringtones. In 2022, we’re seeing a massive shift toward self-expression and individuality. While social distancing continues to be practiced around the world, there has been a rise in messaging apps that enable individuals to stay connected while also promoting their unique identities. Popular apps such as TikTok, Douyin, and WeChat have introduced new, creative ways for users to express themselves, with many individuals taking advantage of the opportunity to create their own unique soundtracks for their songs.

TikTok was one of the first social media platforms to pioneer this new approach, with many users flocking to the app to create their own quirky tunes for their latest uploads. As a result, the hashtag #MyPersonalTikTok has become a trending topic on the platform. In many cases, these personal soundtracks help to define the personality and identity of the individual behind the app. This has led to a massive rise in popularity for ringtones in general. Across the globe, there are currently over 300 million active monthly users on TikTok, with the platform reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people. This is a testament to the growing influence of the app and the individuality that it promotes.

Self-expression Through Fashion

While the world may be shifting to a digital future, there remains an important place for fashion. In 2022, we’re seeing a massive shift toward individualism and self-expression through fashion. As a result of social distancing, people are taking more interest in how they look and what they wear. The fashion industry has responded by shifting toward more simplistic and unique designs, with more individuals seeking to define themselves through their clothing.

Whether it’s through their music or their fashion, BTS are always going to be associated with uniqueness and individuality. This is what makes them so appealing to millennials and Gen Z around the world. For many, the group represents the antithesis to the hyper-masculinity that continues to pervade many aspects of modern life. This is most prominently displayed in their costumes, which are often inspired by women and girls from around the world.

The Influencers’ New Wave

Perhaps the biggest trend to arise in 2022 is the growing influence of the influencers. For years, social media platforms have enabled individuals to come together and connect through their shared passion for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. While platforms like TikTok have enabled influencers to gain unprecedented influence, traditional influencers such as YouTube’s own fashion vloggers are also paving the way for the future of content. As well as documenting their daily lives, many influencers are now focusing on showcasing the latest fashion trends and offering tips on how to achieve them.

Traditional models such as Gigi Hadid and Karen Elson are also leading a resurgence in ‘boudoir’ photography. Using fashion lenses and intimate lighting, influencers and celebrity photographers are once again bringing a sense of glamor and mystery to portraiture. As well as enabling individuals to connect with others through common passions, social media platforms like TikTok are also making previously isolated communities more accessible. In many cases, these communities have been previously dominated by men, but the introduction of tools that enable anyone to create content has led to a rise in women engaging with the hobby.