Social Media Roundup: Latest from Google+, Facebook, Twitter

Here’s a roundup of major social media headlines that have caught my eye recently:

Google+ Opens to Public

Google+, which launched in June by invitation-only and has approximately 25 million unique visitors per month, announced its public debut this week. The news included a new mobile push: Google+’s popular video chat service, Hangouts, will now work on mobile, and mobile users will also be able to give +mentions or +1 votes on comments (so far, these services are limited to Android users; iPhone functionality to come soon). Google+ also added a photo sharing capability to its Messenger service, which allows users to exchange instant messages and location information. The big test now will be Google+’s ability to attract new users in the face of Facebook’s established footing in the social networking space.

Facebook Redesigns News Feed

In advance of its much-anticipated f8 Developer Conference this week, Facebook introduced a revamped News Feed that highlights important stories in a format intended to serve as user’s own personal newspaper. The feed will feature the “top photos and statuses” in a single feed that will be compiled based in part on how frequently users visit Facebook. Additionally, Facebook introduced a Ticker – a feed in the top right-hand corner of the homepage that provides real-time updates similar to the old News Feed. Rumors are abound that Facebook will introduce additional, more significant updates to its site at the f8 conference.  The buzz from users hasn’t been very positive, but the transition to new services isn’t always smooth.

Facebook Wants Small Businesses

In an interview with USA Today, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg discussed a new plan to attract small businesses onto the popular social network: free $50 starting advertising credit for up to 200,000 small businesses. Sandberg said that of the nation’s 30 million small businesses, 9 million have established Facebook pages – which she believes are easier for small businesses to setup than websites. She stressed that Facebook provides an opportunity for small businesses to reach a wide audience and target advertising to specific demographics most likely to be interested in their products or services.

Twitter Gaining Users – And Attracting Strong Mobile Use

Earlier this month, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo held a business briefing to highlight the company’s ongoing success.. Highlights include:

  • Twitter now has more than 100 million active users – up about 82% since January alone – and anticipates adding 26 million more active users this quarter alone.
  • Of its current active users, about 55% are accessing the social network via their mobile device, up 40% since last quarter.
  • Twitter receives 400 million unique visitors a month
  • 40% of monthly active users do not tweet
  • 84% of state governors post on their Twitter accounts, two-thirds of NBA players, all major league sports, 99% of top 200 non-profits, 87% of Billboard’s top 100 musicians, and all top 50 TV programs

All this shows demonstrates the frenetic pace in social media. I anticipate much more to come.

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