21 Nov, 2017

Social Media Platforms Advance, As Technology Grows

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Social media has taken the world by storm, after major platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram emerged. These platforms are continuing to disrupt business operations by creating a new audience that is always plugged in, and constantly paying attention to the visual components that are found on tiny screens with a wifi signal.

We now see businesses starting to emerge marketing efforts into their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages in order to reach their customers. As time continues on, users from major cooperations to the United States government, to celebrities, are using social media outlets to express their opinions, interests, dislikes and everything in between.

“Almost nine in 10 companies in the United States are using social media for marketing purposes, reveals a new study. eMarketer surveyed organisations with 100 or more employees across the U.S. and found that 88 percent are using social media in some capacity for marketing purposes” AdWeek reports. 

These platforms started off with basic features, enabling users to carry out simple tasks, like posting one single photo or tweeting a few characters. The same goes for platforms like Instagram and Facebook. With Facebook being the owner of Instagram, both platforms were developed with the idea in mind that they would be primarily used for photo sharing, but in recent years, they both have become an outlet that offers way more than just photos.

Since social media has gained so much popularity, the people working behind the scenes for Facebook, or Twitter, are coming up with new features that modernize social media even more. These advancements vary depending on the platform, but what thing remains the same: they are advancing into the future.

Social Media Is Growing

Since technology is constantly expanding, with new digital tools released every year, it only makes sense that social media platforms have to shift in order to meet the requirements of the new software that is found on these devices. As technology grows, social media has to grow as well.

“In 2017 social media has become the crucial part of digital communications strategies. Social media delivers measurable results in sales, leads, and branding. It al so enables to reach a large number of people at a low cost.” Dreamgrow reports. 

As technology grows, our society grows. We are becoming more skilled when it comes to using technology properly, as well as the social media platforms that you may choose (or choose not) to participate in. Mobile apps are now a huge part of many industries, and social media outlets are found through trademarked apps.

“By 2020, mobile apps are forecast to generate around 189 billion U.S. dollars in revenues via app stores and in-app advertising….. As of March 2017, there were 2.8 million available apps at Google Play Store and 2.2 million apps available in the Apple’s App Store, the two leading app stores in the world.” Statisa reports. 

We have also learned how to use social media based on the digital requirements that are put on us. For example, when Twitter was first introduced to society, we all had to learn how to conduct a perfect thought in 140 characters or less. We conformed to this social media standard because that particular platform was interesting enough to sacrifice a few words of thought. We probably adapted to Twitter’s guidelines without really even thinking twice. It became second nature to write our thoughts down in such few characters, that our minds went on autopilot as we clicked the blue icon to share our thoughts.As social media users, we are heavily aware of what is appropriate for Facebook or Instagram, as opposed to Twitter, or LinkedIn, let’s say.

Although there are no rules that come along with these platforms, somewhere along the way, a hidden set of circumstances have been introduced, that users follow before hitting the share button. After all, that is the appeal to social media anyway, right? As we continue to share our thoughts, photos, videos, expressing our mood, emotions, a want, a dislike to our followers, whether they be large or small.

There is a certain kind of appeal when it comes to following your favorite brand, celebrity, athlete, or politician. A sense of freedom, one may say. A freedom of speech, another could say. Or maybe, a way to connect with friends and family, or maybe strangers. Either way, social media has made a major impact on us all, and for that, we must be familiar with the advancements that are being made, in order to stay up to date and involved in the outlets that are shaping our society today.

Twitter Word Count

As mentioned before, Twitter was first created with the idea in mind that a 140 character limit will allow people to speak their mind, but with limitations. It put all Twitter users into a uniformed setting, forced us to manipulate a few characters in order to reach the famous 140 number, and overall, became a trademark for the platform. The point of the character limit was to make information quick, efficient and right to the point.

The old character limit helped users tweet on an SMS message, while still allowing for their username to be present. As our digital devices expand away from SMS messages and incorporate apps and other digital components, Twitter is adapting to the new world of technology.

However many people disliked this feature, were met with a surprise when Twitter announced the character limit will be extending to a whopping 240 character limit. Apparently, during the test to determine if this was a good idea, people preferred longer tweets, to the shorter ones.

“The company says most people stuck with shorter Tweets during the test period (only 5% of Tweets were over 140 characters) and having more room to Tweet resulted in more likes, retweets, and @mentions. So, if you’re trying to build a following, use that additional space to your advantage.” Refinery 29 reports. 

Along with the ability for more words to reach more of an audience, Twitter also touched on the idea that 240 characters will help other languages communicate from an equal standpoint. Some languages like Korean and Chinese can express more information in one character than other languages like Spanish or English. Expanding the word count will allow every language to be expressed as equal as possible.

Although many people were delighted with this change, others had some complaints. The idea that Twitter is falling into the same format as other social media platforms like Facebook, was one concern. Since Twitter did make its famous name by delivering quick and to the point information, does this extended word count change the underline goal of the platform?

“Rosen and Ihara wrote that while some people who have been tweeting for years may harbor “an emotional attachment” to 140 characters, they saw more users tweeting when they had leftover space and didn’t have to squeeze their thoughts into the current character limit.” Refinery 29 reports. 

The answer can’t be answered right away. It will take more feedback from users, and sometimes, to receive a better understanding of how this is affecting everyone, from major cooperations to students. Twitter will continue to remain a major social media platform, influencing many business strategies and industries.

Facebook

“Facebook is still No. 1. Despite what you may have heard, everyone uses Facebook. Everyone. And they use it a lot. And because everyone uses Facebook, it’s a big deal for brands.” Hootsuite reports. 

When Facebook was first introduced to the world, it took people by surprise. Afterall, this was one of the first social media platforms that offered a seamless application, allowing users to communicate with others around the globe. It connected people and created a unique audience that is still using the platform today.

The statistics associated with Facebook are quite impressive.

“Worldwide, there are over 2.07 billion monthly active Facebook users for Q3 2017 (Facebook MAUs) which is a 16 percent increase year over year.” Zephoria reports

Facebook started as a simple platform, with very simple engagement tools. Now, as we approach the year 2018, nearly 11 years after it became public to use (to anyone 13 and over with an established email account) the iconic social media platform is rolling out new features that enhance engagement more than ever before.

The new feature, called creator app, comes as no surprise, especially since Facebook has made subtle improvements to its site and app, since 2006. As technology enhanced, Facebook grew with it. There are different tools on Facebook like instant messaging, Facebook stories, video uploads, and live video, that make it more than just a social media platform, but more like a place where users can grow a community, to engage and communicate with one another.

Business pages are distinct from personal pages on Facebook, and the new feature, creator app, takes either one of the pages and offers advanced enhancement tools that cater to video engagement.

“And after CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared on this month’s earnings call that “time well spent” via video is Facebook’s new objective, the Creator app could help it make Facebook video a lot less isolating than watching TV.”  Tech Crunch reports

The gist of the creator app allows users to put content on one single platform. This will allow users to focus on one social media app, instead of jumping back and forth between a few, like Instagram, for instance. The app offers a chat feature that enables users to communicate with one another, such as hold a conversation with fans, or respond to comments.

Along with the chat feature, creator app also offers many different features that bring videos to life. From filters, custom emojis, or live video, users are welcomed with an endless possibility when it comes to using Facebook as a space to create.

In order to make this possible, Facebook uses augmented reality to allow users to access Facebook Camera to create Stories, which you can share. The goal of the new creator app is to urge users to stay away from competitors like YouTube and even Snapchat. Creator app creates long-term relationships by urging users to use time wisely, which would be to use the app as opposed to other outlets.

As Facebook’s users continue to expand, the platform will move forward with innovations and new tools that make communication more effective, and collaboration among peers seamless. It will continue to connect us globally and give us a platform to express what is important to us.

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Social media is one source of evidence that proves that we are moving forward as a society when it comes to technology advancements, as we incorporate different tools into business operations in order to reach an audience and create customer engagement. Not only does social media platforms help us communicate, learn, express ourselves, it also has changed the way the workplace functions. Businesses are using social media more than ever, to connect to a digital consumer that is always plugged in, and on-the-go.

As technology grows, social media platforms will continue to grow. This includes moving traditional platforms toward more complicated interfaces, incorporating complex tools like video and live streaming, and the list can go on. In order to stay up to date with the new tools being integrated into these outlets, your first step is to stay up to date with technology, and there is no better way to do that than to interact and learn from your peers.

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