10 Big, Recent Changes To Twitter, Facebook, And Linkedin You Should Know About

In search of a better social media strategy? Listen up: these changes will change the way you share.

Social media changes so fast that we often miss the small differences on each platform we use. Every now and then I find it really useful to do a roundup of what’s been changing on the big networks lately. Here are 10 changes I found that took place in the last couple of months, which could be useful for your social media strategy.

1. Twitter rolls out new design

A very recent update for Twitter’s web view is a new design that adds an inline Tweet composer:

While the compose button and composer pop-up remain, you can now add a new Tweet much faster from the left-hand-side menu. The update also includes a refreshed design for the navigation bar and a profile setting to choose accent colors.

2. Twitter emphasizes images even more

It wasn’t long ago that Twitter added inline image previews to its official apps, including the web view.

Now, Twitter is including more image focus in the latest redesign, as you can see above. On the left-hand side of Twitter’s new web view, your profile and header images are now visible.

When we did a test before, about how Twitter’s new image highlighting affected metrics, we found that retweets shot up by 150% and looking at our metrics today, they are still high:

3. Facebook changes its algorithm--again

Facebook has changed its ranking algorithm for the News Feed many times before. Yet another update came in December, as Facebook pushed for more “high quality content,” including a focus on news from media outlets.

From the Facebook announcement:

Why are we doing this? Our surveys show that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme.

The announcement goes on to talk about news articles versus memes even more specifically, saying that fewer “meme photos” hosted outside of Facebook will be shown in the News Feed. It also mentions a feature in the works to help you discover more interesting news:

Soon, after you click on a link to an article, you may see up to three related articles directly below the News Feed post to help you discover more content you may find interesting.

To keep posts from friends populating the News Feed, Facebook says it will bump up stories that have new comments more often than before.

Jay Baer has pointed out a few ways you can customize your own News Feed settings to have more control over what you see. For companies, however, it seems like this is a further push from Facebook to encourage more spending on ads.

4. Twitter adds photos to DMs

If you’re a fan of using Twitter’s direct messages, you’ll love this update. Twitter recently added the ability to send and receive images in DMs.

This update also added a tab for DMs into the navigation bar of Twitter’s official mobile apps, making DMs easier to use.

5. Twitter adds promoted accounts to mobile timelines

You’ve probably noticed promoted accounts in Twitter’s “Who to follow” sidebar section before. Now, advertisers can promote their accounts with a Tweet in Twitter’s mobile timelines.

The promotions work in the same way: advertisers only get charged for each person who follows their account. The accounts are displayed differently, though, with a full Tweet and a follow button inside the timeline in Twitter’s mobile apps:

6. Facebook and Twitter help advertisers measure conversions

Facebook made a recent change to help retailers get more out of their Facebook ads by measuring offline conversions. Especially if we’re looking at how colors affect conversions, Facebook’s tips seem to be guided by a very deep underlying understanding of human behavior.

This is actually a feature that’s been around for a while, but it was previously available only to customers who worked with a Facebook “measurement partner.” The network is now opening it up to all advertisers.

The way it works is retailers collect personal data about offline consumers, upload it in a hashed form, and Facebook matches it with internal hashed data about those same consumers. This lets Facebook work out whether any of those purchases were made by consumers who saw one of the retailer’s ads.

In December, Twitter opened up online conversion tracking to all advertisers. This lets Twitter ads customers track conversions and engagement on promoted Tweets:

7. Twitter offers tailored audiences to advertisers

To make Twitter ads more effective and appealing, a recent change from Twitter rolled out “tailored audiences” to all advertisers. This lets advertisers take advantage of browser cookies to serve up ads to users who have recently visited their website.

8. LinkedIn announces Showcase Pages for companies

Among the slew of ad-related updates is an update from LinkedIn to Company Pages. LinkedIn has long been making waves by making it easier for companies to get exposure and opening up it’s APIs for more great use cases. Companies can now create Showcase Pages on LinkedIn, to focus on a particular brand, business area or initiative.

LinkedIn users can follow Showcase Pages, which are focused on content updates, to keep on top of any new posts.

9. Facebook updates its Page Composer

A slightly older change, made in November 2013, is this one to Facebook’s Page Composer. The update includes making it easier to schedule posts for your Facebook Page, reducing the number of steps required from 12 to 4.

What's particularly interesting is a new push and an update to addition for scheduling Facebook posts. This is something Twitter had introduced earlier in the year too. It seems that scheduling your posts is becoming more and more of an encouraged behavior from both Twitter and Facebook.

It’s also easier to upload multiple photos at once now, with drag-and-drop, and a photo icon in the composer makes it easy to upload a photo or video when posting an update.

10. Twitter adds search filters on mobile

Finally, another update from November is the addition of search filters to Twitter’s mobile apps. The new options let you add a filter to any Twitter search, limiting results to photos only, videos, or just Tweets from people you follow.

You’ve probably noticed some more recent changes that I’ve missed--what are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.

How are you experiencing Facebook's, Twitter's, and LinkedIn’s latest changes? Would love your thoughts on this in the comments!

--Belle Beth Cooper is a content crafter at Buffer and cofounder of Hello Code. Follow her on Twitter at @BelleBCooper.

This post originally appeared on Buffer, and is reprinted with permission.

[Image: via Little Visuals]

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11 Comments

  • Jottar Web

    ​The organic reach for business and fan pages is an absolute shocker now on facebook and if everybody stood up to facebook and took their business elsewhere I'm they would have rethink things. Maybe its time to check out http://www.jottar.com who does not charge a cent for posts to reach their fans in the newsfeed.

  • A few troubling things that are going on right now. 1. Facebook's "Talking About This" numbers are drastically dropping on Pages. Facebook really need to just remove thismetric from showing because it is no longer a valid measure, it looks bad, and it's going to prompt people to revisit Google+. 2. LinkedIn no longer has a way for you to see another person's updates...unless you just happen to catch it in your newsfeed. I've written them about this and they simply confirmed the lack of this feature. People have been prompted to Share an update but no one can go back and see another person's content. The new "Showcase Page is "cute" but why would you have to create different Showcase pages when you already have a LinkedIn business page? They are going for anything quick without really building a solid social network...which again should make people look at Google+.

  • Sabrina, I too have noticed that LinkedIn no longer has a way to see another person's updates. I also emailed them about this. It's unfortunate LinkedIn is missing the importance of others being able to see a person's updates. The updates can provide information on how active a LinkedIn user is on social media and how they are participating. I think LinkedIn is really missing something here.

  • I think LinkedIn.com should verify profiles and verify companies. (e.g. Education). Wouldn't it be nice to know. Some people are honest that doesn't mean all are. I bet if you looked into these profiles you'd find that a lot of the information thats displayed on each profile is incorrect and/or simply made up. As a result who's liable? I could technically put I graduated from any college. Created whatever company. Anyone else concerned or see an issue with this? or is it just me?

  • One new thing I noticed was that LinkedIn is now showing users the reach of content and posts they share on the site. I think it's kinda cool to empower users to understand how many of their connections are seeing their updates.

  • The biggest change I've noticed using Facebook for personal purposes, is that the mobile app no longer respects certain privacy settings established in the desktop version. I have a Custom privacy setting allowing updates to be shown to my Friends excluding members of a certain list. This is honored when posting from my laptop, but on mobile I have limited options. My updates can go Public, Friends, Only Me, or I can choose one group to show them to (rather than one group to exclude them from). It's frustrating, to say the least. Not only does the mobile app not honour pre-established privacy settings, but it CHANGES them. If you accidentally post to Public from your phone, even when logging in on a computer, your settings are reverted to post everything to Public. Shady stuff, Facebook.

  • George Hershkovits

    Linkedin has the most interesting and diverse topics being discussed; they are a real refreshing source for the business world.....

  • @BelleBethCooper - Thank you for yet another thorough post on social media marketing and changes at the big 3. As a social media strategist for Agent-cy and blogger myself, I have been noticing upgrades across the board as you have. Including also, across all online business tools, including: Gmail for Business, Adwords, Dropbox, Basecamp, Salesforce and others that are all working to make the life of a business user easier and more visibly interesting.

    What is noticeable as well, is how deeper data display is making these tools more meaningful for B2B marketers. I recently did a few posts based on research, as a LinkedIn Trainer, on The Future of LinkedIn and, as well, a recap of the OTR Global study on LinkedIn Corp on my blog at jasminesandler.com if you want to pull some stats. Thanks again and I will reach out to you on Twitter should you want any client stats for your next post. - Jasmine Sandler