A lot of changes have happened across many of the major social networks in the past week – from layout changes, to improved insights, and in the case of YouTube, a complete channel overhaul! It’s high time we analysed the changes of note, so you don’t have to. Here goes...
Facebook News Feed
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, chances are you’ve heard the big news out of Facebook, where the next of the “3 pillars” to take it’s place in Zuck’s big vision is the revamped news feed. The acquisition of Instagram is now starting to make more sense, as the news feed takes on a more visual and less cluttered arrangement, whilst filters allow users to further scrutinize what they view, via which sources – be they trusted news and page feeds, or content posted by family and friends. A chronological display is now available, for those who despair at the often-unpredictable edge-ranked view.
Facebook’s redesigned news feed can be requested right now, and will be activated and rolled out to more users from late March.
Google+ Header Changes
The profile header and avatar images afforded users on Google+ were always a pain to come to terms with. I mean, who really possesses images that “work” in that letterbox aspect ratio? The good news, then, is that taller header images are now available to Google+ users, allowing for more of the picture to be on view. A round profile picture, moved to the lower-left (more aligned with other networks, who shall remain nameless), completes the look. Google don’t tend to go for subtle changes, but early feedback would suggest that this is a small step in the right direction.
YouTube One Channel
At last, the awful YouTube channel layout has changed, and in a big way! The profile aspect of your YouTube “One Channel” is now much more customisable, allowing for greater creativity on what is, after all, a platform built for creative types to share their masterpieces. A profile completion “workflow” guides you through the process of adding the new and revised elements of your channel artwork, intro video and “sections”, which allow you to categorise and feature videos by content and type. And at each step of the way, there are handy tips and examples of how your channel will appear on a range of devices from mobile handsets and tablets, to large scale TV’s.
Bigger Pins & Web Analytics
Not to be left out by it’s older social siblings, Pinterest is quite literally muscling in on the act, by boosting the visual aspects of their already-visual offering. The new layout is available in preview, and features larger images – essentially the wasted border space around images has been reclaimed, so as to occupy the entire width of the upper pin area. Again, a subtle change that Pinterest hope will make for an improved visual experience. On top of that, there is now Pinterest’s own Web Analytics – launched earlier today – offering insights into what topics of content is best resonating with the community of Pinners. The are of emphasis most covered by Pinterest in recent developments is definitely the brand space, with the advent of brand pages, and now the tools and metrics becoming available, necessary to further leverage the traffic-generating power of the platform. How will the wider, non-commercial community respond?