The past week has been quite abuzz with redesigns and development across the web’s most vital social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have all launched new features and are rolling them out simultaneously. Here’s a summary of what has been going on across your favorite social media sites:
Last Tuesday Facebook began rolling out Facebook Timeline, a new layout that Mark Zuckerberg describes as “the story of your life”. Facebook Timeline was released to developers back in September, but due to a law suit from Timelines.com, Facebook has been held up in court and unable to release the new layout to the general population of users. The new layout rollout began in New Zealand, and will soon be appearing throughout the rest of the world. Users will have a 7-day review period where they will be able to keep their new layout private or opt to update to Timeline.
If history repeats itself, it is very possible that this new layout will cause uproar amongst the social community. In the past, layout changes have resulted in groups demanding the “old Facebook” back, and some people to even deactivate their accounts. Yet, realistically, can anyone even remember what the previous Facebook layout looks like at this point?
Twitter Brand Pages & Redesign
Twitter has (finally) launched brand pages, following in the footsteps of both Facebook and Google+. These brand pages have been temporarily rolled out exclusively to a handful of companies such as Dell, Coca-Cola, American Express and Nike, but will eventually be available for free to all companies. The Twitter brand pages contain features such as a header, the ability to lock a tweet at the top of their time line, and separate @ replies and mentions from the tweets which the company’s messaging. This will hopefully improve brand relations with Twitter and encourage them to utilize Twitter’s advertising platforms, thus monetizing Twitter to the potential it has failed to reach in the past. These brand pages are only visible to those who have the new Twitter layout.
Twitter has also released a new design for users that simplifies and streamlines Twitter, making it more attractive and increasing usability. Twitter expects that this redesign will attract new users and make it easier for them to use. Twitter’s new layout is being rolled out randomly across twitter users.
Google+ announced on December 8th that they will be launching a new product called Schemer. Schemer can best be described as Google+’s location based social networking with a mischievous mustache. It allows you to scheme with your friends and plan activities that you would like to do, such as “go skydiving” or “visit every Starbucks in Manhattan”. It also allows you to say whether you’ve done things or if you would like to do them. Schemer will even suggest new schemes to you based on your interests and schemes you’ve done in the past. Schemer is partnered with dozens of “accomplices” such as Bravo, Idealist, National Geographic, Rolling Stone and Zagat. Schemer is said to be an attack on Foursquare, the same way that Google+ was meant to be an attack on Facebook. Right now the website is still in beta, but you can request an invite from Schemer.com.