This year brought with it countless changes around the web and social media was no exception. We reported on the updates across all social platforms as they occurred and now we’re taking a look back at the top social media advancements of 2013.
Facebook certainly leads the pack in terms of updates to their platform over the last year, with such a remarkable lead that we couldn’t possibly list all of their updates here. Below are just a few of the most noticeable changes they introduced in 2013.
- Facebook revised their Cover Photo Guidelines several times in 2013, first limiting the amount of text to no more than 20% of the whole photo in January, then lifting their restrictions on calls to action, and finally removing the initial 20% text limitation.
- January of 2013 also brought a whole new way to search on Facebook: Graph Search. Still, as promising as they made it sound, we haven’t seen much improvement in the search function.
- The platform updated their News Feed in 2013 with richer stories, i. e. links with larger supporting images, a choice of feeds, such as Photos, Friends or Music, and a greater consistency across mobile and desktop usage.
- May brought upgrades in the layout and settings of personal profiles.
- Facebook took the opportunity in 2013 to revamp features for page administrators several times, first rearranging and re-categorizing items in the admin panel, then rolling out their all new Page Insights.
- To improve the way Facebook posts are shared on other platforms, such as blogs and websites, the platform introduced Embeddable posts.
- The company also strengthened their ad review process to ensure that inappropriate ads are not placed next to certain Pages or Groups. In relation to ads, the platform also gave their ad reports a facelift to make them easier to review and use.
- Most recently, a Donate button for non-profits was added to make it easy for followers to get involved their favorite causes directly on Facebook.
Not to be left behind, Google+ unrolled a few changes of its own this year.
- First, Google’s social platform called for Bigger Cover Photos and added a tab for local reviews directly on Google+ pages, making it even more important to ensure that your Google Local and Google+ pages are connected.
- Then, in May, Google+ went Responsive, with a layout designed to respond to your browser size and adjust accordingly, providing as seamless functionality across mobile and desktop usage.
Though Twitter purchased Vine in October of 2012, it was not released to the Apple app store until January of this year, and really exploded in April, reaching the top of the US charts for free apps. This app allows users to create short, looping videos and it did not take long for brands to jump on the Vine bandwagon.
In response to the popularity of Vine, Instagram introduced their brand new video feature in June, trumping Vine in sociability, video length, quality, and flexibility. Instagram also mirrored another popular social app of 2013, Snapchat, with the recent introduction of Instagram Direct.
YouTube introduced its fair share of changes in 2013 as well. Here are the top updates.
- First, YouTube integrated with Google+ in such a way that joining Google+ became required in order to join YouTube. They have since further integrated so that the comments and tagging follow Google+ structure.
- YouTube also added several features to enhance their users’ channels, including cover photos, cover links, channel trailers, playlists and sections.
There was no shortage of updates on LinkedIn this year, especially for those that improved the platform for page administrators. These are our favorites.
- In May, LinkedIn rolled out several features for personal profiles and pages, including the ability to mention companies and people in profile updates, an overhaul of the mobile app, and the ability to feature a specific post on company pages.
- In order to allow companies to better understand their efforts and audiences on LinkedIn, the platform added Analytics this summer.
- Following Facebook’s lead again, LinkedIn finally launched Sponsored Posts in August.
- To allow younger users to benefit from the professional platform, LinkedIn also opened special profiles up to high school students.
- Just this month LinkedIn introduced Showcase pages, which give businesses the opportunity to spotlight one specific product line or location.
Pinterest really stepped up its game this year with features that enhance its platform for both users and companies alike.
- First, Pinterest introduced Rich Pins, which consist of three types: Product Pins, Recipe Pins and Movie Pins. Article pins were later added to support those who frequently pin blogs and other written pieces.
- Next, Promoted Pins made their debut, something that we saw coming and were all too excited to see come to fruition.
- Finally, November brought us Place Pins to help users better map their favorite cities and plan their next vacations while allowing businesses to show their support for the local community.
Last but not least, Twitter had a few advancements of its own this year.
- In July, Twitter finally jumped aboard the Analytics train, allowing companies to view their timeline activity and a breakdown of their followers by gender, location, interests and more.
- The social platform followed Facebook on another feature with their new visual layout, which features images directly in the feed, rather than the previous method of posting them as links that must then be clicked to view the image.
- Though the social platform ready had embedded tweets, they upgraded them following Facebook’s introduction of embeddable posts in order to put a greater emphasis on images in the tweets.
This year brought countless changes to social media, and we are sure that 2014 will bring even more additions and evolutions to these platforms. Stay tuned to our daily blogs to see what 2014 has in store for social media marketing!