Social Media: Last month is so last year. What’s new now?

Social media. It’s not in a dictionary. If it was, the definition would never make it from the first draft to the printing presses (wait, do people still buy printed versions?). Facebook is ever evolving, and trying keep up with the constant iterations that the developers over there are putting out can seem endless. Twitter too; you can count on a few advancements on occasion, even though the standard 140character thought-stream structure remains standard. If you want to stay ahead of the game, check out these features that have come about recently.


You’ve heard that “Content is King”…right? Well, content isn’t just text anymore. Photos and video are dominating the content scene, and now Twitter is making it even easier to share and view. Instead of users being forced to use third-party applications like Yfrog or Twitpic, Twitter is now launching their own in-application photo feature (via a partnership with Photobucket). A new photo-focused section will feature most popular videos and pictures, and all images will be able to be viewed directly within Twitter.


As if all the information Facebook has stored about you wasn’t enough, now they even know your face (through facial recognition technology). Tagging photos, an arduous process, now zips along with the new setting enabled. Facebook analyzes your photos and then suggests your friends to be tagged in each. Scary, right? Presumably to make your life easier, this setting was enabled on default when it rolled out, so if it freaks you out too much, you’ll have to go into your settings and manually disable it.


Messages broadcast by Fan Pages were once confined only to their faithful followers. With the introduction of Sponsored Stories, those walls of confinement are blown to bits! By paying for Sponsored Stories, a brand can elevate its posts from its News Feed (seen only by fans) to the right sidebar under “Sponsored,” where friends of fans will also be able to see it. So get some more exposure for your contests and promotions, and get your latest Wall Post up on the Sponsored list!


Brangelina? FacePal? PayBook? It’s not quite there yet, but the merging of services between Facebook and PayPal is promising as the next big relationship. When monetizing apps within Facebook, developers use Facebook Credits. Previously, this app required layers of credentialing and authorization that completely blocked many developers, including 22 whole countries. With the adoption of PayPal and it’s secure and time-tested authorization and payout procedures, developers across the world can now participate and get paid for their hard work on the Facebook platform.


An ever-present presence to most, Google is slowly creeping into Facebook’s social sharing empire. With the introduction of Google +1, the Goliathan company is hoping to cut into the Facebook “Like” and Twitter “Tweet” functions commonly used by social media mavens. As the most widely used search engine, this sponsored button would allow users to give their “stamp of approval” to sites that they find to be relevant or that they enjoy, and this approval would be seen by their friends and other users signed into the system. It’s still in it’s early stages, so if this catches on remains to be seen. We all remember Google Buzz…or do we?

Further Reading:

*Post originally written by Abby Tolotti

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