15 Social Media Updates You Need to Know

It’s a new year and many of your favorite social networks have been rolling out new updates to their platforms. For better or worse, these changes are here to stay, so we have compiled the basics of each important update and have explained how they impact your social media marketing efforts.

Facebook

• Allows users to “Reply” to comments directly
Prior to this update, users could only respond to comments with another comment, making the conversation difficult to follow. Now, on business pages, there is a “Reply” option, where you can reply directly to a comment left on your page As a business owner, this option is quite helpful, as it allows you to create a clearer, more personal conversation with your followers.

Note: To take advantage of this new feature, go to your Facebook Business Page and click “Turn On Replies,” at the top of your page.

• A revamped News Feed
As social media interaction trends show preference of images and video over text-based posts, Facebook has redesigned their News Feed to highlight more images to accommodate user preferences. Stories and news will now be a more visual experience, so be sure you include videos and images along with your posts or updates.

• Mobile consistency
Unlike the old Facebook News Feed, the new feed will display identically across every platform.

Google+

• Communities that let you interact with similar users
With Google+ Communities, you can connect with others who share similar interests, occupations, or concerns. Communities keep you informed and engaged with the latest trends.

• Larger cover images and a revamped profile appearance
Google recently launched larger cover images (2120 X 1192 pixels) that allow users less restriction when selecting a photo to showcase.  Additionally, they have introduced a new profile layout with a streamlined appearance and clearly defined sub-sections.

• Allows GIFs to be profile images
A GIF is a file format (like .JPEG or .DOCX) that allows multiple images to be saved as a single item.  This creates a short video clip that appears similar to a flipbook.  To view a sample of a profile using a GIF image, see the profile of one of the head Google engineers, Matt Steiner.

Instagram

• New “Mayfair” Filter
Instagram recently added a new filter, “Mayfair” to their selection. This filter adds a warm, pinkish glow to the center of an image, with a subtle darkening of the outer edges.  It is ideal for pictures taken in ample lighting and looks great on scenery or portrait photos.

LinkedIn

• Larger headlines and profile photos
Your profile should highlight you.  In the past, LinkedIn headlines and images were small, suggesting a lack of importance.  Now, the font and image sizes grab more attention.  Profile images can now be as large as 500 by 500 pixels.

• Hidden contact information
It used to be easy for any user to see another’s contact information and website.  Now, LinkedIn hides this information, requiring your connections to expand the “Contact Info” section to view it.

Pinterest

• Larger pins
Pinterest has recently realized that all we care about are the images; that being so, they have increased the size of pins to allow users to view more of the pinned image.

• A “Pins from the Same Source” section
Now, users pinning images from your website can view all pins stemming from your website as they interact with any single pin, which can help increase your website traffic.

• An improved interface with streamlined navigation
As Pinterest has become increasingly popular among mobile users, the company has decided to make their webpage emulate its mobile app.  Now users get the same experience across different platforms, eliminating confusion and difficult navigation.

Twitter

• Vine, a new video sharing app
Twitter Vine is currently available on Apple devices, but should be available on others in the near future.  It allows users to share 6-second video clips that act as brief glimpses into their daily functions, perfect for sharing snippets of your procedures or processes.

• Search upgrades with auto-complete functionality
Twitter has adopted one of the most loved aspects of Google search.  As you type in your search query, Twitter now suggests completions of your entry, highlighting popular terms that other users are searching.  Knowing popular search terms and phrases can help you post related Tweets to increase your exposure.

• Allows users to input line breaks
If you’ve ever wanted to split your 140-character tweet across multiple lines, now you can!  Rather than one solid block of text, you can break up your messaging for greater clarity.

These are just some of the latest updates from popular social networking sites.  We hope you find this information useful as you continue in your social media marketing efforts.

If you need more help getting started with social media marketing, check out our Ultimate Social Media Guide series and download the free whitepapers here.