We all know that social media outlets are about redesigning yourself. After all, who hasn’t met someone for the first time, after only knowing them through a social network? The first thought is usually, “you’re not what I was expecting!”
But what about when the social media sites themselves decide to embark upon a little image do-over? Their job is to keep giving users new and innovative ways to present themselves to others, and site redesigns are one way to do that. Here are five makeovers that have glammed up the social media sites we know and love.
Facebook’s latest redesign is all about letting people know more about you, more quickly, and in a more creative way. Your “vital facts” are still at the top—but they’re playing second fiddle to five pictures of you, that help sum up your “you-ness.” Smart move, Facebook—you’ve realized how important pictures are to your users, and you responded accordingly.
I’ll be honest, I’m still not a huge fan of this social network. Waiting five minutes to load someone’s profile, only to be accosted by a terrible song and several twinkling glitter GIFs was not my idea of a good time. The new interface has sleeker graphics and has helped bring the site into 2010, although it still seems noisy compared to other social networks.
Twitter got a nice little update in September of this year. Embedded photos and videos from select sites are more easily viewed, and the tweet timelines look cleaner and easier to read. I love being able to scroll over a username to see a little “mini-profile,” rather than having to navigate to their page.
It’s been four years since this site got a major update, but I’m still including it here. Why? The site’s redesign seemed to make it truly reflect the aesthetics of the makers who sell their goods there—it’s visually appealing, balanced without being overly-sleek, and photo-based to make the products the star of the show.
This Facebook-for-business got a major redesign in 2008. The design moved content up the page, to make it more easily navigable, got rid of the left-hand navigation bar, and created a more comprehensive top navigation bar. While the redesign didn’t exactly make the site more fun, it did make getting around more efficient—and what else would you expect from a business social network?
As I thought of a topic for this week’s blog, I was immediately drawn to an experience I recently had online between myself and my Mom on Facebook. She is still fairly new to Facebook, like so many others, but has made lots of connections since joining, and is beginning to use the network more frequently. (This makes perfect sense, since the fastest growing segment of Facebook is women aged 55 and older!) And the interaction that I had with her showed me the huge, growing potential of social networks.
I had posted a few photos of myself and friends on my FB page from the previous night, of us and the guys from Jackopierce, a great two-man band that we like to check out whenever they come to town. Shortly thereafter, my Mom posted a Comment on one of the photos, which I then instantly was alerted to and read. So I wrote back. And before we knew it, we were having a back and forth discussion on the Photo Comment section of Facebook! (She invited me over for dinner, which was delicious by the way…)
Now why do I bring this up? Because it is a perfect example of the utility of social media, and how it is fundamentally changing the way that people communicate. Did the designers of this Facebook function plan on people using the Comment section in this way? Maybe, but maybe not. But the fact is that each of these capabilities and options, not just in Facebook but also the unique features contained within Twitter, LinkedIn, various Google platforms, social bookmarking services, even MySpace and Friendster at the beginning of the social media revolution – are giving us all communication options that we’ve never had before.
And that’s the real story – the fact that interactive, instant communication is now becoming the norm, across all platforms.
It’s an exciting time to be in my business, as the many social as well as business applications and functions of these networks are just being discovered and utilized.
Who knows where they will go next, and what impact they will have on how business, marketing and promotions are done…not to mention how they are shaping our global society and culture?
If you would like more information on how you and your company can take advantage of the tremendous business opportunities within social media, please visit our Social Media Services page.
Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a host of other social media services, people are more connected than ever. But keeping up with all the posts, tweets, status updates and social bookmarks isn’t always easy, because they all come from different social media sites. So how do you connect the different services that keep you connected? How do you steer all of that stuff to one spot on the Web where it becomes a lot easier to manage?
New tools called social media aggregators have risen to address that challenge. Their goal: to provide you with one simple point of entry where you can keep track of the streams from any and all of the most popular social networking sites.
A bunch of social media aggregators (sometimes called “life-streaming” tools) have popped up in recent years, but some social media services don’t always do the job you need them to do. Here’s a look at the three that fulfill the promise of social media aggregation most completely, Streamy, Flock, and FriendFeed.