Some argue that 2011 was a year of less monumental innovations, saying that social media networks grew deeper but nothing new really emerged. To them I say, um, what about Google+? There were also major changes rolled out by both Facebook and Twitter this year and some minor yet much needed improvements on LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Digg. Let’s take a look:
- Google+ rolling out in June 2011 by invitation only, expands to everyone in September and then successfully rolls out a long anticipated solution for brands which will be giving Facebook a run for their money.
- Facebook rolls out an abundant amount of changes this year at their f8 Conference including any verb can become a button, diminishing the value of “like”, changes to the news feed as you once new it, a timeline, and an overhaul of privacy — twice. In reaction to Google+ Circles, Facebook rebrands the list feature as “smart lists” and allows you to “subscribe to your friends” in an effort to bring you more relevant content.
- Twitter did minor upgrades through the year including adding a photo gallery and giving the end user ultimate control over their photos. And most recently a new interface. But perhaps the biggest change is Twitter brand pages pilot that will hopefully roll out to the masses in Q1 2012 and which hopes to give Google+ and Facebook a run for their money.
- LinkedIn IPO’d making many new millionaires in Silicon Valley. They also rolled out LinkedIn Today offering curated news from the web capitalizing off of their uber educated and savvy avid users, LinkedIn Ads got an overhaul and LinkedIn Groups gained insights to help people decide which group is best, and LinkedIn Skills identifying top-trending areas of expertise.But perhaps what people missed in the news is that LinkedIn expanded operations/offices into Brazil, India, Germany, Sweden, Singapore and Japan, and expanded their international footprint by adding languages in Turkish, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Korean, Bahasa Indonesia & Bahasa Malaysia.Perhaps slow and steady will win the social media race…
- Social bookmarking sites made some minor improvements which seemed like blips on the grand scale of things.
- Delicious added “stacks” to compete with the likes of new social media outlets like Pinterest.
- Digg rolled out Digg Newsrooms to compete with the likes of LinkedIn Today and Google.
- StumbleUpon rolled a new Explore Box, a new UI, new logo and streamlined Stumble bar. They also rolled out “Channels” which is a great way to discover content from your favorite brands or people (currently in beta). And they changed “Favorites” to “Likes” to make it more streamlined with other social networks. Also, StumbleUpon gets more shares than Facebook according to this chart from StatCounter.