Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!
Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from July 2014:
Facebook separates Messenger app
In a move some in the industry are questioning, Facebook is separating its Messenger functionality from its mobile and tablet apps, thereby forcing users to download Messenger if they would like to continue receiving Facebook messages on their phones. While user research suggests that users like to use separate apps for separate activities, many have complained about using multiple apps to interact with friends on Facebook. Messenger remains a free app for those who like to use Facebook chat on mobile devices.
Google+ re-evaluates real names policy
When Google+ was launched three years ago, Google pushed heavily for the use of real names on its social network. The goal was to create a new social network built around real people, but it also caused those users who wanted to remain anonymous to avoid using the network. After the forced integration with YouTube comments, however, there was even more backlash from users who wished to keep their identities private. Google+ has begun rolling back this policy so that users can alter their names in order to keep a level of anonymity.
Twitter allows for more analysis
Twitter’s analytics service SocialRank has received a significant upgrade to allow brands to evaluate your followers on Twitter. Previously, the service allowed you to identify the most influential users who follow your business in order to help you create targeted strategies. Now, brands can drill down into their analytics to find out more about those following them as well as other users who show interest in their brand or activities. The limitation on searches, which was previously capped at 10, has now been removed so that brands have even more options.
Instagram releases Bolt
Instagram began taking on SnapChat with the release of Bolt, a standalone app for one-to-one video and photo messaging. While the initial phase of the app has only been released in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand, the plan is to release worldwide after initial testing concludes in these three markets. Facebook attempted this sort of app with Slingshot a few months back, and SnapChat currently reigns supreme for instant (and disappearing) photo and video sharing, so Bolt will face stiff competition.
- Social networks are pushing for single-use apps. With the expansion of features and activities for each social network, it’s becoming clear that most networks will opt for a single-use apps rather than one, giant multi-use app. It’s important to know what each app in the family can do so that you know which apps will allow you to reach and connect with your audience.
- Social users are not ready to eliminate anonymity. Google+ gave a valiant effort at attempting to enforce real identities for its social network, but the market is not yet ready to be fully identifiable. The backlash Google+ experienced when it required a Google+ account to write YouTube comments and Google+’s subsequent back-down on real name requirements shows that people still value their online privacy and are not ready for brands to know everything about them.
- At the same time, social networks are delving deeper into consumer information. With Twitter’s new and improved analytics, you’ll be able to see more than ever before about your followers and other potential influencers. While users are not ready to be fully public with all their information, social networks are continuing to look for ways to gather as much information as possible to better inform brands.