Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus: New Features & Updates You Need to Know

New Updates

In the past few weeks, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have all announced numerous updates as the so-called “social media wars” heat up. Having trouble keeping up with all the updates? Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been happening on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ lately.

Twitter

  • Automatic Twitter Link Shortening: The site began automatically shortening all links with 20 or more characters to its native t.co link shortener, which could impact other shortening services like bit.ly.
  • Twitter Image Sharing: All users can now upload photos directly to Twitter.com using a camera icon under their “What’s Happening” box. After clicking the box, you can select an image and preview it before you send it out, and the picture itself is displayed under the URL pic.twitter.com.
  • Tweet To Box on Profile Pages: Twitter profile pages are getting a new addition in the form of a “Tweet to” box to enable you to directly tweet someone from their Twitter profile page instead of having to tweet from the home page.

  • Merging @mentions and Retweets Tabs to Create @username Tab: Twitter announced it will be creating a @username tab for each account which will not only display mentions of your user name but also new follower alerts, native Twitter re-tweets, and a notification when someone favorites one of your tweets. This feature may not be enabled on all accounts.
  • Creating Activity Tab: The site is also creating an activity tab to display favorites, retweets, and follow activity of the people you follow on Twitter so you can more easily discover new people and ideas, though the feature may not yet be displayed on all accounts.

Facebook

  • “Posted About” Status Update Groupings: Facebook has started grouping status updates about similar topics, then linking the grouping to a Facebook page about the topic. For example, if four of your Facebook connections post about Google, your feed would show their updates together with a summary that linked to Google’s Facebook page.
  • Updated Chat Sidebar: Facebook’s new chat sidebar, which is positioned from the top to the bottom of your browser window, is now sorted by people you interact with most listed at the top of your “people online” list.
  • Displaying Old Status Updates: For users who have been using the site for some time, Facebook may begin showing you your old status updates from the same day years ago while you are browsing your photo albums.
  • Mobile App Updates: For the mobile version of Facebook, the site launched the ability to report bullying or harassment and to change your password.
  • Launch of Messenger Phone App: Facebook launched a new standalone messaging and communications app for iPhone and Android, which you can use to send text messages to anyone in your phone’s contact list as well as your Facebook friends. You will be able to see these messages from the Messenger app as well as your web-based version of Facebook.

Google+

  • Google+ Posts Surface in Social Search: As reported in eWeek, Google’s Social Search is integrating Google+ posts into Search Engine Results Pages for users who are logged into their Google account, personalizing the search experience. That means content that your Google+ contacts have shared will enhance your search experience.
  • Google+ Gets Games: In a much-hyped move, the site added games, directly challenging the Facebook game ecosystem by offering game developers lower fees in a move to appeal to game developers and build their user base
  • Google Books Integration: Now, users who use Google Books can +1 and share their books on Google+, adding a social experience into the Google Books project.

The big players in the social media space continue to enhance their features in order to attract more users – and keep them active on their sites. What do you think of some of these latest features and enhancements? How are you using these sites – for personal networking and for promoting your business online? Share your thoughts in a comment!

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