Expect big changes in the visual-map department in the future for Foursquare.
One month into the New Year, and we know one description that won’t characterize social media for the remainder of 2013: shy. Social media will be in your face, and I mean visually.
It is no secret that social media sites with strong visuals see high retention and attention rates. It’s easy to comprehend, it takes little effort on the consumer’s side and you can make it as simple or as intricate as you like. Great social media sites specialize in bringing groups of people together that share similar interests. Here’s what you can expect from the five social media golden children you should watch out for in 2013.
• Facebook: There couldn’t be a social media list without mentioning the most popular social media site in the world (one billion users, anyone?). Facebook is constantly making changes — changes we don’t often realize have happened until we have to face them. (Most notable have been privacy-setting changes or the long, drawn-out arrival of the Timeline.) Earlier this month, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the site’s next major change: Graph Search, a new feature designed to turn Facebook from a place to hang out to a service for searching for information (watch out, Google!). This goes back to social media users wanting to highlight threads of commonality with other users. With Graph Search, you can find people who like the same odd-ball band as you, find local boutique recommendations and even connect with people who openly list themselves as single.
Right now, the Graph Search is in beta testing and there is no official release date. If you are in the U.S., you can sign up for beta testing now.
• Myspace: No need to get your camera out and take mirror pictures — this is a revamped and completely new Myspace. However, you can tell it’s taking lessons from its more successful counterparts. In the new reincarnation, you have to have a profile picture and cover photo (hello, Facebook), and the pictures scroll feels similar to Pinterest. The main users for Myspace will be music fans or those who want to get their name out in the music industry. Co-owner Justin Timberlake was featured on its main page when the site released its new look. (He said in a press release that he wants Myspace to be “a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect.”) So they’re not joking around when they say they want music to be the master. But, the question remains if Myspace will truly be able to compete with the current social media giants.
The new Myspace is available for everyone to take a look at now. I would suggest starting a new account so all of those old middle-school mirror pictures and selfies don’t come back to haunt you.
• Twitter: I wish I could talk about the future of Twitter in 140 characters or less, but I can’t. Twitter, although it doesn’t revolve as much around pictures, is unstoppable. When you’re not near a TV when breaking news happens — or even when you are — Twitter is where you turn. Twitter quietly introduced several enhancements to embedded tweets, including photos, videos and article summaries below the text of the tweet on your feed. One downside: Since Facebook bought Instagram, Twitter no longer displays Instagram pictures, instead directing you to Instagram’s site through an embedded link. But if you tweet a photo through Twitter directly, the picture will show up on the feed directly, as well.
If you haven’t jumped on board with Twitter yet, #youneedto.
• Foursquare: Out of all the social media channels, Foursquare is the most stalker-like one of them all. Users “check in” to places, are encouraged to leave tips for future customers and can add their favorite places to personalized lists. Some retailers — if they do it right — offer discounts to people who check in at their location (for example, $1 off an appetizer or a free sticker with your purchase). Expect big changes in the visual-map department in the future for Foursquare. I anticipate people will continue to use this as a phonebook-like reference, but also be able to connect more easily with friends who are close by or have similar interests. They’ve taken one step closer to this with the Explore tab released in late 2011. The integration with all social media channels can also continue to improve.
Foursquare is available now for everyone to start stalking your every move.
• Pinterest: There have been a lot of poser-like sites that try to emulate Pinterest, which makes sense because Pinterest has developed a unique visual formula that works. It’s simple and it doesn’t require much thought. Plus, it’s extremely user-friendly. Expect more retailers to take advantage of the visual aspect of Pinterest by listing items from their stores to targeted people within the website.
Keep dreaming your dream wedding, ladies, because Pinterest isn’t going away. It will however, continually be threatened by sites like SkinnyScoop who try to go one step further than Pinterest and help you turn those dream boards into action.
Powered by Facebook Comments