Biggest Social Media Changes of 2011

By Rosalyn Eishen |@rosalynchoo With another year passing by, the social media sites we know and love look dramatically different than they did on 1/1/2011.  2012 is nearly nigh and with it comes many changes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Also, this year a new social media site was born, Google +. Through the year, each site saw a transformation in looks, user-friendlyness, search functionality, and more.

Facebook- By now, most of us know about the most drastic change to Facebook in 2011, the timeline. But let’s not forget everything else that’s happened this year. Friend lists, top stories and news feed subscriptions are new this year, and have helped shape the way users interact with their Facebook friends. And don’t forget the new Facebook ticker in the top right corner of your home page - so you can Facebook while you Facebook.

YouTube- Since 2006 YouTube has been entertaining us with millions of hours of content on the video sharing site.  The new layout implemented late this year makes it easier for users to search videos, organize subscriptions, and find videos. The tabs on the side of the homepage help organize everything in an easy-to-use way.

Twitter- Twitter’s new layout late this year creates a cleaner look that’s easy to use. Brand pages also surfaced on the microblogging site that feature large customizable header images and highlight a top tweet with an embedded photo or video.

Twitter Brand Page example

Twitter’s new Activity Tab contains new buttons- home, me, discover, connect and tweet, which organizes the way you use Twitter into 5 easy categories.

LinkedIn- In addition to changing major aspects of their Privacy Policy this year, LinkedIn has done a lot of behind the scenes changes that many probably aren’t aware of.  Social Ads were implemented into the site with heavy criticism because of its use of users’ profile information. Company status updates were also unveiled, which made LinkedIn a bit more like Facebook and Twitter, but with better marketing opportunities.

Google +- With Google Plus’s birth in July, it’s the fastest growing site ever. So of course, we must include it.  Much of this growth is due to the fact that many people already had a Google profile, so it was easy to set something up on Google Plus. Even though more than 80% of its users are male, Google Plus is still something to make use of.  From Google Hangouts to Circles to Brand Pages the site has plenty of original features to get excited about.

So what will 2012 hold? We really don’t know, but we’re certain that it’s only going to get better.

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