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Social Media Headlines: 4 Updates from March 2014

Here are 4 recent headlines from the world of social media…

Facebook Refresh News Feed

12 months on from the last update, Facebook are implementing the next redesign for its news feed. With new fonts, larger photos and larger buttons, it’s very much an evolution of the current news feed design.

They might seem trivial, but these updates are very important for Facebook. The news feed is the focal point for most user activity. It’s important to keep a fresh, clean user experience. This is very difficult to achieve because most users access the site multiple times every day.

We can all learn valuable lessons from the way that Facebook roll out redesigns. If you change too much, you risk alienating users who are familiar with your site. If you change too little, your design is in danger of becoming outdated and tired.

Pinterest Introduce Unlimited Secret Boards

The secret board was introduced in 2012 as a way for users to keep their activities private. This has proved particularly attractive for wedding and event planning, particularly when the details are to be hidden from loved ones.

Pinterest had previously limited users to 6 secret boards, but have now removed this cap altogether. Whilst the platform is inherently public, it’s a huge coup for the platform that users are so keen to use Pinterest for private planning. It’s also apparent that users with secret boards are equally active in a public context.

Flickr Tells Users What Camera You’re Using

Yahoo have introduced a series of updates to Flickr over the last 12 months. The most recent tweak means that you can now see what camera was used to take a particular image. These are accompanied by artistic, stencil outlines of the kind of camera and lens used, whether a top-of-the-range SLR or an iPhone.

Why does this matter?

Well, it’s certainly a very attractive piece of information for the keen photographers who use Flickr. You can now see the settings and equipment that your favourite photographers are using. If you want to recreate a particular kind of image, it’s just got a whole lot easier.

It’s also a real coup for the smartphone and compact camera manufacturers when images taken on their devices draw attention on Flickr. This may well have significant advertising and sponsorship implications; if a well-known photographer is using Canon equipment, for example, then Flickr users will be able to see this.

Twitter’s Growth Under the Spotlight

In recent months Twitter has come under real pressure to demonstrate continued growth, particularly with the high-profile buyout of Snapchat. It was announced last week that Twitter is now making £1 million a week in the UK, which goes some way to justifying the company’s $30 billion valuation. This comes in the same week as Ellen DeGeneres’ record-breaking Oscars selfie, which has now registered over 3.3 million retweets.

However, the company has never registered a profit, and it now appears that year-on-year growth is slowing. Growth reached 140% worldwide in 2011, but this seems to have fallen to 40% in the final quarter of 2013. Whilst existing users – an estimated 240 million – remain as loyal as ever, Twitter’s growth figures remain under the spotlight.