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Change is the Only Constant in Social Media


It seems like every time you login into any of your Social Media platforms, there’s a new feature or a button or two is missing? One thing is for sure – things will never stay the same, everything digital is in Beta mode, constantly testing, measuring and adapting; striving to improve the user’s experience. In case you missed them, here are some of the latest changes from last month’s movers and shakers.


LinkedIn just rolled out a number of changes to its privacy policy and user agreement informing its 200 million+ members of the simplification of the legalese.

Sponsored Content
The newsfeed will now feature "sponsored content", an opportunity for LinkedIn’s advertising partners to promote targeted content that members can like, comment, and share.
While sex supposedly sells, LinkedIn isn’t buying.
The new terms of the user agreement, prohibits escorts and prostitutes from creating personal or Company profiles to promote their services, “even if it is legal where you are located.” However, Prostitution remains an available skill set.

Some more interesting facts about LinkedIn[i]:

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a little over a year since Facebook rocked the Social Media world by disbanding customisable Brand pages and introducing compulsory Timelines. Many organisations have embraced the totalitarian formatting and endured the countless changes to the page structure, features and most noticeably the visual emphasis.

Recent Facebook updates are primarily to the design and functionality of the News Feed. These changes include Rich Stories, which display photos and visual content much more prominently and vividly; Choice of Feeds, giving users more control over the topics of stories they see; and better Mobile Consistency, making your Facebook experience much more seamless across desktop and mobile devices.
Rich Stories

50% of the content on Facebook is visual (photos, videos), the new layout will continue to drive Facebook’s visual emphasis. Photos will be larger with richer colour and featured "front and centre," while photo albums have been given a facelift to tell a better story.
The space afforded to Video is becoming much larger and pictorial content shared via third-party apps such as Pinterest will be displayed more prominently.
Cover images were once subject to strict rules and regulations but recently Facebook has relaxed these, allowing brands to use this prime advertising real estate to sell to or engage with their community through clear calls-to-action as long as images do not include more than 20% text (Facebook Pages Terms. Date of Last Revision: May 14, 2013).
Choice of Feeds
Facebook has introduced new topic-based News Feeds which will give users much more control over the content they see and enable them to switch between different feeds using a switcher at the top of their homepage.
  • All Friends Feed: shows all posts from all friends.
  • Music Feed: displays what your favourite musicians are posting, what your friends are listening to, what concerts are coming up, etc.
  • Photos Feed: shows all the photos posted by your friends and the pages you follow.
  • Following Feed: similar to the current "Pages Feed," this displays all posts from the business pages and public figures you're a fan of, in chronological order.
Presently, 30% of the content in the News Feed is sponsored stories and promoted content from Facebook Pages as opposed to individual users. Had you noticed?
Now that Facebook is a publically listed company it has shareholders it must answer to. Facebook will no doubt continue to find new ways to integrate eCommerce into the social network.
You may have noticed the opportunity to buy your connections who are celebrating their birthday “gifts”.

Facebook Gifts, as the name suggests is a service that lets you send gifts to your Facebook friends through the social platform. The service which was exclusive for users in the US till now, has been launched in international markets like the UK, Canada and India.

Disclaimer: you can use the service to only send gifts to your friends in the US for now.

To send a gift, you can click on the ‘Give Gift’ button that appears at the top of your friend’s FB profile and select what kind of gifts you want to send from among various categories like food, wine and flowers to name a few. For now, you have to pay for the gift in USD using a credit card. Once you’ve made the payment the gift will be shipped in 1-2 working days.

With the changes to News Feed, there will inevitably be a shift in Facebook’s advertising offering. Users have expressed their dislike for bold ads in the middle of their feeds and 92% of us trusting peer recommendations and earned media over paid media[i] it is likely that any new advertising initiatives will lean toward a more organic integration with user content within the News Feed. The new topic-specific feeds will also allow advertisers to target their ideal audience segments and share promotions that are more relevant to the categorised feeds, and thus engage more qualified prospects.
It will be interesting to see how eCommerce and Facebook advertising are integrated with more “soft” initiatives such as developing communities and fostering relationships within brand pages. When a reader feels connected to a brand via Social Media, they are more likely to become a paying customer:
51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy from the brands that they follow or are a fan of.
60% of Facebook fans and 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend brands since becoming their fan or follower.[ii]
Consumer Mobility
The Facebook user experience will now be uniform across desktop, mobile and tablet. With Mobile now accounting for 10% of internet usage worldwide[iii], a figure which has more than doubled over the past 18 months and with 103% growth in website traffic from smartphones from 2011 – 2012[iv],it’s no wonder Facebook is streamlining the user experience across the various devices.
Some interesting facts about Facebook:

Google +
Google has been doing some housekeeping over the past few years and have shed quite a few of their less successful products.  Google’s influence on the digital marketing world is immeasurable and their influence touches just about every channel that we marketers work with on a daily basis.
The new Google+ now aligns your news feed into a number of columns that can be customised according to your screen size (so if you have a large screen, you can add more columns and use that white space) and videos stretch multiple columns.
When you make a post, Google+ now automatically adds hashtags to your post by reading the text and scanning images in the post – this feature is customisable, and can be turned off if desired.
Using advanced algorithms Google+ will now pick your best photos, and auto-enhance images, with features such as the ability to recognise faces, remove noise and sharpen images. The enhancements are reversible and can be turned on or off individually or globally for all your photos.
The new “highlight” feature selects your best shots based on both picture quality and the kinds of photos most people like.
The new "Auto Awesome" feature creates a new image which makes a motion photo of different photos from the same scene (much like a .gif).
"Pano" stitches together photos into a panoramic automatically and "Smile" will find the photo in which you were smiling and then combine that with another photo when you might not have been smiling.
Google has boosted its free cloud storage space for users from 5GB to 15GB, which allows users to keep the real resolution of your photos stored, unlike Facebook or Instagram, which shrinks the resolution.
Google Hangouts App
Google has released Hangouts for iPhone and iPad customers, a new application that puts one-on-one and group conversations on your iDevice, complete with photos, emoticons, and video calls.
The new Google Hangouts app makes the popular feature available on any device as well as the web. Photos and chats are easy to browse and save through the app, and one tap gives you a gallery of all of the photos you and your contacts have shared. You’ll see live animations as people are typing and posting, and messages are grouped together so a conversation flows naturally across all participants, instead of a disjointed group of back and forth messages.

The app also seamlessly includes video chats, and with a single tap you can start a group video chat with everyone in your conversation, regardless of the device they’re using. Hangouts will be available today for iOS and Android. All of the video chats, messages and photo sharing are free (apart from data charges) on all devices.

The app, available on iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices allows users to keep a unified chat experience in sync across not only the devices listed above, but also within Chrome, Google+ and Gmail.
The iOS app is available from the App Store for free, as is the Android version from the Play Store.

Some interesting facts about Google and Google+i:

Date of Google purchase of YouTube: November 13, 2006 (Tweet this fact)
Date of Gmail launch: April 1, 2004 (beta) (Tweet this fact)
Date of Google+ launch: June 28, 2011 (beta) (Tweet this fact)
Date of Google Chrome Launch: September 2, 2008 (Tweet this fact)
Date of the first Android-based phone release: September 2008 (Tweet this fact)
Number of Google+ Users: 343 million active users (Tweet this stat)

Stay tuned for more Social Media updates and how the changes impact how you do business.


[i] Source: Digital Marketing Ramblings
[ii] Source:
[iii] Source:
[iv] Source:






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