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Social Media change…what else is new!

The only constant in life is change, and this seems especially true in terms of social media. It seems as if every other day there is a new platform that is coming into vogue and those that have been around awhile are changing to keep up. Once you finally learn how to leverage networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, they change the next day.

Let’s take a look at some recent  social media changes:

Klout has altered its scoring system to include “moments.” Moments are posts that have generated activity. Through moments users can see what action was taken, who did it and what network it happened on. In similar fashion to Facebook, Klout is also including insights, which allows users to have a better idea of their influence by allowing them to view data quickly and simply.

social media change

LinkedIn has changed its user interface. The homepage now features a more modern design as well as incorporating more visuals in the updates stream. Additionally, updates and posts can now be organized and viewed by what is most relevant, not that which is most recent.

Twitter has taken its promotional tweets one step further with targeted tweets. Targeted tweets allow advertisers to send tweets to specific audiences without tweeting to all of a brand’s followers. Advertisers using targeted tweets can segment by location, devices and platforms.

Facebook is following in the footsteps of Twitter by testing promoted posts. Promoted posts allow ads to show in the news feeds of all members regardless if the user has liked the brand page or if they have friends who have liked the brand page.

The question remains, are these changes necessary and useful or just annoying?

As with any change, there are going to be positive and negative aspects.

The best instances of change come out of necessity. In the case of Klout, there were many critics voicing opinions about whether the score is truly accurate and even questioning how the score is determined.

Klout’s response was to try to develop a better user understanding through its new features. Whether it will silence the naysayers remains to be seen.

Facebook is also a good example of necessary social media change. One of its largest competitors was offering a way to reach more people, so they are testing a similar approach to stay relevant.

This particular case has huge potential for brands and advertisers. Facebook already offers ads, but they are small and cast off to the side of the page. Promoted posts will bring the content onto the news feeds of users, giving it more space and attention.

These changes have the potential to transform the way those specific platforms are used and to open new ways for marketers to engage with their audiences. These changes show that the platforms are listening to their users and work to serve a purpose.

Change for change’s sake is not necessarily good. Facebook is notorious for changing their user interface and often times the reasoning behind the change is not clear. LinkedIn is the most recent platform to alter its appearance and one could question why the now and if it was even necessary.

Changes, such as those mentioned, can seem superficial and can lead to “user rage.” With the speed of technology and the amount of platforms out there, users can easily become overwhelmed. It takes time, a precious commodity they don’t have, to learn and adjust to a new interface and many initially resent being forced to make the change. It goes against the  “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality.

Change has the potential to bring about great things, so long as it serves a purpose and people are willing to accept it. How do you feel about the recent changes in the social media landscape?