Social Media Developments from 2012
Social media networks continued to grow, expand and sometimes even explode during this past year. New apps were added, new functions created, new networks launched in a frenzy of competitive emulation.
But was it all really necessary? Aren’t people overloaded with social networking itself – let alone coping with change after change, new launches and other new shiny social baubles?
So what has changed globally about social networking? What made 2012 a landmark year?
Social Media Sites Development
Global Shifts and Changes
First let’s take a look at the most notable social media shifts and changes…
- Went public, opening at $38 per share
- Launched Timeline world-wide
- Bumped Orkut from the #1 spot in Brazil
- Still claims the top spot in global social media networking, with 845 million monthly users at last count
- Frightened Facebook more than the latter expected with a Google+ popularity gain
- Saw more people using Google+ Group video chats
- Shut down PicNik photo-editing
- Ferociously tightened up its terms and policies
- Parted ways with LinkedIn and (temporarily) Pheed
- Lost thousands of referrals over the LinkedIn separation
- The “best new social media site start-up in 2011” continued to grow, with a 75% female user base
- Added Pinterest business pages
- Caught on quickly with the rise in infographic and photo popularity
- Was acquired by Facebook for one billion dollars
Visual social media such as Pinterest and Instagram experienced a tsunamic rise in 2012, causing (or perhaps responding to) a major shift in social networking habits and the collective consciousness only partially explained by the corresponding rise in mobile device use.
In fact, Pinterest “referred more new business than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+, according to British firm, The SEO Company.
Meanwhile, the rocketing popularity of photo-sharing resulted in Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm (which weights photos more highly than any other type of media) becoming public knowledge.
With popularity so too comes problems: Email viruses purporting to come from Facebook rose noticeably too. But while other social networks grabbed a satisfactory share of the market and improved their platforms dramatically, Facebook was still the star of the show, as The SEO company clearly demonstrated, based on Mashable findings.
Let’s take a closer look at Facebook’s most notable developments during 2012…
- Facebook: Messenger for Windows
This was the year people found out that Facebook had officially released Messenger for Windows 7, allowing Windows 7 users to access Messenger without a browser (and thus pushing back competition from Google Gchat).
Using it is like chatting on Facebook, except you can do it from either your System tray or your home screen. (It was actually released late in 2011, but the world didn’t start adopting it en masse until 2012.)
- Facebook: Disappearing Cover Photos
Part of the new Timeline organization of personal newsfeeds involved a new header area, consisting of tabs, a Cover Photo (background photo) and a Profile photo (headshot or logo). Facebook was firm in its guidelines – no promotional items or text in the Cover photo. But it wasn’t long before people started ignoring that.
Recently people started reporting blank spaces in Facebook Eggshell Blue where their cover photos used to be. No explanation has yet been given, but a common thread is emerging in the type of photos removed:
- Any photo featuring a recognizable celebrity (even if that’s you standing grinning as said celebrity personally puts his or her arm around you)
- Any promotional content – logos, recognizable brand names, prices, calls to action, etc.)
- Popular background images from download sites
- Any copyright content – For example, movie shots, album covers or original artworks from well-known artists (or artists with a strong web presence).
So no more featuring your headshot against a backdrop of Hobbits trudging through the snow; or against your favorite band performing onstage; or cozied up to Royalty.
In fact, if you attempt to upload any “copyright” photo (i.e. belonging to someone else), Facebook becomes eerily smart and nmost likely slap you with a notice like this one when you try to re-upload it, according to at least one person who blogged about the phenomenon: