It’s 2013, What’s New on the Social Media Scene

It’s a new year, which means lots of changes, face-lifts and tweaks to your favorite social media tools.  Let’s take a look at a few making changes that might impact your business:

Facebook and new privacy controls: According to their own communications, Facebook is playing with some new privacy options.  The changes are designed to help you and your customers better control the content they want to see.  The first change is the introduction of Privacy Shortcuts moving control from a centralized section of the application to the toolbar, right next to your name and settings buttons.  They’ve also made changes to permissions in apps; new apps are seeking to provide a more personal experience.  And finally, you can now control just who can find you and how they can find you throughout the application.  All of these changes are in the process of being rolled out now.

Facebook and message management:  Perhaps more interesting is Facebook’s latest test to charge $100 to keep messages out of their facebook privacy“other” inbox, and deliver it to the primary inbox.  Within your messages, Facebook offers an “Other” inbox that captures messages deemed as not urgent, so this feature would help make sure your message gets through.  Personally, if I have a message that needs to get through, I might actually go old-school and pick up the phone or send an actual email!

In a similar move, Facebook is also testing the notion of paid messages – $1 to reach a contact outside of your network.  Currently the option is being tested for individuals who like the level of control, but aren’t likely to sign on for a paid service.   It’s an interesting idea for businesses looking to build a brand beyond followers, leveraging the capability as a tool to send more direct messages.

Signs of Life at Yahoo:  Yahoo has introduced new search functionality to make it easier to find and share photos.  Yahoo! Image Search allows users to search thousands of photos from Flickr that are available for distribution under Creative Commons terms.  In this model, photos can be tagged as use with attribution and other reuse categories.  I guess that’s what happens when you get a new CEO from Google!

LinkedIn Hits a Critical Milestone: Last week, LinkedIn announced that they’d hit 200 million members worldwide.  The largest representation is in the United States, followed by India, the UK and Brazil.  From an industry perspective, the lion’s share of users work in the IT industry, following by financial services, higher education and computer software.  As a point of comparison:

  • Facebook has 1.01 billion users
  • Twitter has over 500 million users
  • Google+ has 400 million users
  • and if LinkedIn was a country, they’d have the 5th largest population in the world!

What’s your favorite new social media addition?

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