Social networks’ facelifts emphasize big visuals
“Goodbye clutter.” Facebook’s moniker for its redesigned News Feed also applies to Google+ and YouTube, all of which have received makeovers. The new designs organize written content into clean, user-friendly modules and play up images and videos.
Images have become Facebook’s hallmark, with 50 percent of the total news feed content consisting of photos and videos. As such, Facebook is displaying photos and videos much larger in the news feed and is letting users overlay text captions atop images.
The redesign creates a unified user experience across desktop, tablet and mobile devices. A collapsible left-hand menu simplifies navigation and allows users to filter the content they view into category-specific feeds.
The “All Friends” feed displays a full, unfiltered stream of all your friends’ status updates, photos, check-ins and links, in chronological order.
The “Most Recent” feed displays a filtered stream of your friends’ comments and likes on posts, pages and public figures they follow. It also displays the people they’ve recently friended.
The “Following” feed displays posts from Facebook brand pages you like, from public figures you follow, and from people whose personal updates you “follow.” It also displays posts from pages your friends like.
Facebook has created similar feeds for music, games and photos.
Facebook is encouraging users to share content by increasing the size of the image, title and article summary in stories shared in the news feed. Shared stories pull in thumbnails of the sharers’ profile image. Its redesign applies to personal timelines, but I predict we’ll soon see similar changes on Facebook brand pages.
Google+ has given attractive upgrades to personal profiles and brand pages. Cover photos are billboard-sized, at a whopping 2,120 by 1,192 pixels. You can overlay your cover photo with a call-to-action that touts your products and services.
The “About” page features five easy-to-edit modules: People, Story, Contact Information, Links and Community. When you edit each module on your profile and brand page, you’ll discover that you can add significantly more content than before. You can also add direct links to various web pages on which you publish content.
A handy change for brand pages is an at-a-glance view of all the pages you administer. You can switch from page to page with one click and you can see how many people follow each page and the date the last post was published.
Google+ profiles have a new “Reviews” tab that displays reviews you’ve published about other people’s pages. In your Profile Settings, you can check whether you want the Reviews tab to be visible to the public.
YouTube’s new “One Channel” design allows you to arrange videos and playlists into topical sections that highlight your content.
The channel art (cover photo) scales to display perfectly on a laptop, phone, tablet or TV. Since YouTube is owned by Google, it’s not surprising that the channel art image is 2,120 by 1,129 pixels.
To help you entice new subscribers, you can feature a trailer that plays only when non-subscribed viewers visit your channel.
As you explore each network’s changes, log in to your account and spruce up your profile. A fresh profile will help you showcase your brand in the most compelling manner.
For a more detailed, illustrated overview of the changes, go to www.bloggingbistro.com/?p=13429.
Laura Christianson owns Blogging Bistro (bloggingbistro.com), a Snohomish-based company that specializes in social media marketing, content writing and custom website creation. Contact her at 425-244-4242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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