This week in social media has shown us that even the smallest of updates can impact how we communicate. Let’s take a look at some of the recent developments several social networks had to offer.
Earlier this week, Twitter's self-service advertising platform, which was launched last March for select small businesses, was made generally available for U.S. users.
Twitter also released an update that lets Google and Apple users access the localized data that will tell them what people are talking about right now. Twitter for iOS now lets users invite friends directly from within the app. Perhaps, most significantly, Twitter modified how replies to retweeted tweets work -- now replies to retweeted Tweets include both the author and person who retweeted the Tweet. (Say that ten times fast!)
As if that wasn’t enough, Twitter has updated its short-form video sharing app Vine to support recording with the iPhone’s front-facing camera. It also lets users mention other users either in captions or comments. Here’s to a new era of Vine-selfies!
A new survey by Digitas and Curalate revealed that approximately 70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users. Yet, not all brands are capitalizing on this -- specifically those within the fashion retail and automotive industries, which showed that these brands are pinning only 18 percent of content.
One industry that is using the Pinterest community to their benefit was electronic brands. The survey found that 47% of electronic industry pins were made by brands and pictures of e-health devices proved to be very popular on the site.
Just as brands are learning to optimize their Pinterest strategies, the company has been unveiling some new features to help brands and personal users alike get the most of their pinning experience, including upgrades to the Recent Activity link and a suggested keyword search.
Ever since Facebook bought Instagram, changes to the social photo sharing site have been slow. This week, however, Instagram introduced some features that made it quite clear that the hand of Facebook was involved.
With Photos of You, Instagram provides users with a new way to share and discover stories. When a photo is uploaded, users can now tag people in the photo. Users can also access the new Photos of You section from within their profile, allowing them to browse all of the photos in which they’ve been added and have made visible.
For individuals, this means they can add relevant users to their photos, while businesses and brands can curate and share the photos that best showcase their brand as documented by their biggest fans.
Finally, Instagram unveiled a new and subtle logo redesign. Is that Facebook blue?
On Thursday, LinkedIn reported its first quarter earnings for 2013. The company reported revenue of $324.7 million, which beat analyst expectations of $317.08 million. Overall, LinkedIn has shown that it is one of the most profitable social web companies right now.
In the past few months, LinkedIn has launched a variety of products and new features, aligned with its recently re-designed consumer-facing mobile app and page for corporate recruiters. Last week, they launched the brand-new LinkedIn Contacts product, a separate mobile app that serves as an integrated contacts app for super-networkers.
This week, LinkedIn released a new update that lets users add media content to their profile pages. The new visual enhancements are designed to help users add all kinds of content to their profile pages in a feature called the Professional Portfolio.
Human Social Nature
While each of these social media updates serves to improve the social experience for each individual network, taken together, these update speak to the evolving and competitive nature that social networking has become. It’s not simply enough to allow users to communicate with others; the art of being social is about being able to integrate more and more functionality into a singular experience.