*SPOILER ALERT*: Social Media’s Gone Crazy

February 17th, 2014 in Social Media 2 minute read

We’re all used to seeing the occasional update/new feature/cheeky face-lift pop up every now and again, but recently you’ll probably have noticed a couple of pretty major changes hitting a desktop/phone screen/tablet near you…

Facebook Trending: In January Facebook launched a ‘Trending’ section on its web homepage’s sidebar. The descriptions are a bit more detailed than Twitter’s Trending list, and it isn’t just the most talked about topics that get bunged up there: oh no. It’s much sneakier than that. Facebook’s utilising its enormous wealth of “structured data” (it knows all your secrets!) to mix your interests with popular news, and tailor your Trending topics to you. Facebook QUOTE: “Topics are personalized based on things you’re interested in and what is trending across Facebook overall.” Why are they doing it? To help you join the conversations you’re interested in, that are happening right now.

Facebook Paper: Essentially a new, more visual interface that lets you browse through news articles from categories you chose, alongside status updates. It’s a new app (why you’d need two apps for the same social media channel is as of yet unclear) currently only available on iPhones, Paper seems like a more relaxed, aesthetically pleasing version of the frantic, screaming Facebook you’re used to – even the logo is different! You can still check what your friends are up to; who’s had what for tea and how many times Sophie’s been to the gym this week, but you can also read the latest article on astronautical engineering after. If that’s your thing…

Twitter Redesign: This is still in the testing stage, but Twitter is currently undergoing a major profile redesign that makes it look an awful lot like Facebook and Google+. The profile picture’s shifted to the left, there’s more space for the cover photo and it’s not all about the vertical timeline anymore. New features include a photo/video tab under the header photo, and a greater focus on image and content. The new look has only gone out to a random selection of users, so we’ll have to wait to see whether the make-over gets applied across the board.

Pinterest’s Interest Based Homepage: As of late January, Pinterest has rolled out an “Interests” page designed to highlight items that match your own personal tastes. Basically, Pinterest groups together things it thinks you might like based on the pins you’ve already collected: the more you use Pinterest the better your Interests homepage becomes. It’s not just the content that’s new: the new page has what’s been described as a “Flipboard-esque” feel – the pins vary in size depending on how popular that topic is with you. To try the new section, look for the “Preview! Explore Interests” link in the Pinterest category menu.

So that’s a little roundup of what social media’s been up to: by the time you read this something new will have no doubt popped up but that’s just the nature of the little scamp. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates soon.

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