5 Major Social Media Updates You Should Know Right Now
Aside from engaging users and coming up with great content for the community, a big part of every social media marketer’s job description is keeping tabs on what the social networks themselves are up to.
Yes, it’s important to gain more fans and followers and research new tools, but it’s equally as important to follow each social platform’s blogs and updates to ensure that you don’t miss any new features or policies. Make it a point to read the official blogs of Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks that you might be a part of. Add them into your RSS feeds or Like / follow their official accounts on the social media space so you never miss an update.
With that said, every major social network announced big changes over the last few days, so if you haven’t been keeping an eye your social media updates lately, read on below to see what you’ve missed:
Facebook is Replacing “Subscribe” with “Follow” – A while back, Facebook added the subscribe button to users’ profiles, a feature that enabled people to get updates from other individuals without having actually add them as a friend. Primarily used by political figures, journalists, bloggers, and entrepreneurs, the function allows people to see public updates from the individuals that they’re subscribed to on their News Feed. The subscribe button proved to be very useful, as it paved the way for “one way sharing” on Facebook, wherein a person doesn’t need to be a friend of another individual for them to see the subscribee’s updates on their news feed.
Last week, the social network made a slight modification to the button by replacing the word “subscribe” with “follow.” According to Facebook, the actual functionality will remain the same, and the change is simply implemented for wording and clarification purposes.
The Verge published the following statement from Facebook:
Starting today we are updating the term "Subscribe" to become "Follow" across the site as we found it is a term that resonates better with people on the service. Nothing is changing about how the feature works.
Yes, compared to the term “subscribe”, the word “follow” does have a more social ring to it, and the change (which would be rolling out to profiles soon) could encourage more users to take advantage of the feature. In any case, if you yourself are a subscriber or subscribee, take note of the lingo change nonetheless and ensure that your subscribers followers are aware of it as well.
Google Unveils Google+ Communities – Heads up, Google+ users, if you’re looking to connect with like-minded individuals, or are trying to bring people of the same interests together, now’s your chance. The search giant recently unveiled Google+ communities, which is a way for its users to create and join groups based on common interests or even locations.
The feature, which started rolling out last week, lets Google+ users create and join public or private groups. Users that are part of a particular community are able to create discussions, start hangouts, and share any plus 1 buttons across the web.
Google+ Communities certainly has a lot of potential and can give people an avenue to share and have relevant discussions. It could also be a good way to target your posts on Google+. For instance, if you already have a lot of friends on the social network, but only wish to share posts with a certain group of like-minded people, you can now effectively do so with the help of these communities.
According to the official Google Blog, the current Communities feature is “only a preview, and mobile’s coming soon.”
Pinterest Cracks Down on Spammers – Looks like the Internet’s favorite image-based social site had just about enough of spammers. In an official blog post last week, the site announced that it has started removing spammy, fake, or suspicious Pinterest accounts for good. Apparently, the Pinterest spam team “has been hard at work investigating reports and building systems that detect, remove and prevent spam”, and the crackdown is a response to all the reports and incidents that they examined.
On top of the removal of such accounts, the site will also be implementing “new measures that will help keep bad accounts from being created in the first place.”
Some Pinterest users may notice a few followers dropping off from their list. According to Pinterest, “For more than 99% of accounts, it will be a loss of less than 10 followers. However, spammers tend to focus their attacks, and most of the bad accounts are following a relatively small number of legitimate accounts.”
Do note that while you may start seeing less spam on Pinterest, this will most likely be not the end for spammers. After all, filtering out spam is a continuous process, which is why Pinterest members should be diligent in helping stop spam by using the site’s blocking and reporting functions.
YouTube Gets a Facelift – Another update from the Google family, the web’s largest online video destination started sporting a new look last week. YouTube now has a cleaner interface that’s meant to let people focus on what matters most: the videos.
YouTube updated its layout to position videos at the top of the page. It also moved the title and social actions to the bottom, allowing the actual video to get more real estate above the fold. What’s more, playlists are now on top as well, making it easier for users to check out other videos while watching.
YouTube also introduced a new guide for its users, which will make it easier for people to access their favorite channels. According to the site, this new guide “puts the channels you love at the top of the list and always shows you how many new videos are waiting for you.”
Instagram Prevents Its Images from Showing Up On Twitter – Perhaps the most unfortunate of all the recent social updates, Instagram announced last week that it started pulling its images from Twitter. The New York Times broke the news last Wednesday, reporting that the popular photo sharing app “disabled the ability for Twitter to properly display Instagram photos on its Web site and in its applications.”
Twitter confirmed this on its status page, writing:
Instagram has disabled photo integration with Twitter. As a result, photos are no longer appearing in Tweets or user photo galleries.
While tweeting links to Instagram photos is still possible, you can no longer view the photos on Twitter, as was previously the case.
Truly a sad day for social media, this move doesn’t just curtail openness and sharing in the social sphere, it also blatantly shows how tech companies are pushing their own agendas at the expense of users. It looks like Instagram and Twitter are in some sort of social image war, and their many users are the war’s casualties.
Image credit: krivers82 on Flickr