So what events have shaped the social media landscape this year? We put our pretty little heads together and here’s what we came up with…
Facebook & The Open Graph
It’s a term you may have heard but probably haven’t looked into – basically the Open Graph refers to the way Facebook integrates with the rest of the web, and it’s own content. The clever folks at Facebook HQ have now added a new idea called “gestures” – where rather than just things being “like”able, developers can use whatever words they want to describe how a person is interacting with something.
There are already apps that do this – once you’ve allowed them permission. The Guardian app will share what you have “read” on your profile and in peoples news feeds. Music app Spotify can publish what you have “listened” to. We’re in the early stages of these social apps, but expect to see a lot more of these in the coming months!
Net Natives did some quality work in the latter part of this year for the European Parliament – we produced an app where users could “vote for” and “submit” photo entries in order to have the chance to win a holiday – check it out HERE
We predict there will be a big place for these in education – for collaborative learning for example. Users will be able to share what they are working on, what they are learning/have learned, and who they are studying with.
Timeline – and will brands get it?
The Facebook profile has changed a LOT since it’s inception. What was once just a few words and a photo has evolved almost beyond comprehension, and the best is yet to come.
Facebook recently revealed “Timeline” – a complete overhaul of the profile design. The “wall” is now like a scrapbook of your whole life – you can even navigate it by year! And it has a space for a lovely big picture at the top… nice.
There is no confirmation yet – but we’re pretty hopeful that Facebook will integrate the Timeline into it’s brand pages. This will mean you can tell the story of your college’s history in a way never before possible. Showcase your awards, alumni, and events for the world to see.
We wrote an in-depth article on implications of Timeline for Colleges that you can check out HERE
Google + Launches Brand Pages
Google+, the internet giants own social network, just unveiled their dedicated brand pages, enabling your business to build a presence on their network. Whilst it has been criticised for being a bit rushed, there are a few interesting features that we really liked.
- Circles – user made custom lists to view and share with. You could create circles for adult learners, staff and subject groups, and use these to find or provide the right content to the right users.
- Hangouts – basically casual video chat but fully integrated to the platform. This could be great for small seminars & tutorials, Q&A’s, interviews etc.
- Great search integration – search a business name preceeded by a + sign on normal Google search engine and their Google+ page will come right up.
More on Google+ HERE
Twitter Launch Brand Pages too!
So finally Twitter have announced that they are going to be doing something a bit different for brands… they have just announced the upcoming launch of “Brand Pages”, following in the footsteps of Google+ who recently announced theirs.
In this video you can see a couple of clips of the new brand pages, and also see some of the other changes to the user experience.
Brands basically get a big header image, and the ability to promote a tweet to the top, acting sort of like a welcome message and enabling them to control the first thing their users see.
But the question on everyone’s lips is “Will I need to set up a new profile, or does Twitter let us convert the current one?”. There was a lot of disgruntled users having to start afresh when Facebook introduced pages and wanted businesses moving away from groups, for example.
Brand pages will be beta tested on a few big brands first so you can expect to start seeing them fairly soon.
LinkedIn continues to grow
LinkedIn recently went public with an IPO and this is a clear indication of the growth of the platform as an employer engagement tool. We will be releasing a white paper on LinkedIn in Jan/Feb 2012 so EMAIL US if you’d like to get hold of it when it comes out!
So Here’s to a Great Year…
What will 2012 bring for social media? Will a new platform emerge? Will Google+ continue to ruffle Facebook’s feathers? Will Twitter go crazy for advertising?
Get on our LinkedIn group Education Futurology and stay right up to date!