In 2012, the social media landscape got manicured. Many more prominent channels emerged and older ones became more refined as they worked to embrace where and how we engage, manage and otherwise share information. Still, even as the types of social media changed, the strategies used to engage fans, friends and followers stayed mostly the same. Here, we take a look at the social media channels that emerged and evolved throughout the year.
Facebook Goes Public
After Facebook bought Instagram for $US 1 billion dollars, we didn’t think the social media platform would need a standing ovation, but there we were on May 18 watching the Facebook IPO go live with shares starting at $US 38. From there, it was a bumpy road, but Facebook and the Zuck persevered, launching a multitude of apps and functionality that helped improve the way business could manage their pages, promote their content, as well as make it easier for users to share content across devices. While everyone had an opinion on the future of Facebook, it didn't seem to slow them down any — in October, Facebook welcomed its 1 billionth user into the fray.
Google Plus Gains Momentum
Google Plus was declared dead many times in 2011, but it came back fighting. In June, it marked its first birthday and showed that it was serious about positioning itself as a serious social media network contender. It added more functionality, hit 400 million users and added communities and more opportunities for brands to assert themselves. Through it all, however, we kept asking — what does it mean? Perhaps we’ll find out in 2013.
Pinterest Gets Popular
Pinterest started off 2012 with some copyright criticism and made some changes that helped show that it took its role as a visual content curator seriously. After that, it seem to hit its stride, securing funding and winning awards. Even CMSWire got in on the Pinterest action. Pinterest opened to the public in August and since then the platform added more functionality for brands, upgraded for mobile and improved its security.
Twitter Trims its Connections
Twitter had an interesting year. Never did its popularity wane, but over time it severed ties and partnerships in an effort to assert itself as an independent social media entity. From a functionality perspective, it provided some enhancement for brands, while releasing upgrades for its mobile apps.