The year sure flew by and per usual, a lot happened in the world of social media! Although we have been gathering hundreds of articles all year long, we were still able to narrow down our favorite social media news stories and events to a top 10 list. See what they are below!
- Twitter Gets a Makeover to Look Like Facebook
In February, Twitter underwent a major redesign, taking us away from the background images of the past and toward the Facebook-inspired cover photos of the future. At first they began rolling the change out to celebrities and popular accounts but by the end of May, everyone was automatically switched to the new layout.
If you haven’t taken the time to look at your Twitter profile in awhile, do so now. Make sure that you have a cover photo and that it is optimized for the appropriate dimensions.
- Facebook Introduces New Gender Identity Options
In the past, Facebook users were only able to select their gender as “female” or “male”, however, in February a “custom gender” feature was added. This change set forth Facebook’s support of the LGBT community.
- Facebook Begins Combating Click-Bait Posts
In an effort to promote better content on the social media platform, Facebook tweaked its algorithm in April to give less prominence to “spammy” posts. This includes “click-bait” posts that don’t provide much information other than a as well as “like-bait” posts that ask users to like, comment, and share.
- LinkedIn Hits 300 Million Users
LinkedIn reached 300 million users in April, boasting an average of 6.6 million new users per month for the 15 months prior. At the same time, LinkedIn was proudly announcing their impressive mobile traffic rates and plans to continue mobile growth going forward.
- Instagram Ads Show Promising Results
Instagram started rolling out advertising at the end of 2013 to select users. By May of 2014, Instagram ads were getting instant recall. Brands like Taco Bell, Hollister, and Ben & Jerry’s were seeing great results! For example, Taco Bell’s Instagram ads sometimes got engagement 400% higher compared to its organic posts. At this time, Instagram advertising is still only an option for certain brands, but stay tuned for how that may change in 2015!
- Twitter Introduces Twitter Cards
Twitter began rolling out a creative new way to share content in Q2 of 2014 – Twitter Cards. Twitter cards allow users to share multimedia in interactive ways without sacrificing their 140 characters. Web developers and advertisers found this new form of tweeting especially beneficial. We’re hoping Twitter cards will become more user-friendly in the New Year!
- New Pinterest Analytics Tool
New Pinterest Analytics features rolled out in the summer of 2014, allowing businesses on the social platform to measure the success of their pins beyond just the “re-pins”, “likes”, and “comments”. The newest analytics features allow users to track impressions, clicks, and more. If you’re on Pinterest, make sure you are utilizing the new analytics in 2015.
- Facebook Bans Like-Gating
Many marketers relied on the “like-gate” to grow their followers on Facebook. Like-gating refers to the strategy of requiring users to like your Facebook page in order to access certain content or participate in an event. In the fall, Facebook announced that it would no longer support like-gating as of November 5th. This was a big change for many marketers who are now looking for new ways grow their followers. If you’re one of the marketers left in the dark, consider action-gating in 2015. With action-gating you can require fans to provide email address or feedback in order to access special content or participate in events.
- Social Media turns “Alex from Target” into Internet Superstar
Social media saw a teenage Target employee become an overnight celebrity in November, after the “Alex from Target” meme went viral. As you’ll recall, a customer snapped a photo of a young man working at Target, created a meme, and shared it on Twitter. Within no time, the meme went viral and “Alex from Target” was a trending topic. This story just shows the viral nature of social media and how something so simple can go viral so quickly.
- Facebook Adds “Donate Now” Button to Help Fight Ebola
This year we saw an outbreak of Ebola in West African countries as well as several cases in the United States and elsewhere. In response, Facebook launched a “Donate Now” button to users’ news feeds to help raise money in the fight against Ebola. This button allowed users to donate to 3 nonprofits – the International Medical Corps, the American Red Cross and Save the Children.