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Social Media Platforms – How Have They Changed?

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Advice | 0 comments

Unless you’ve been hiding under a large rock, everybody reading this will be aware of what social media is, and what the leading social media platforms are.

In fact, some astonishing recent figures from April show that 62.3% of the entire world’s population now use social media. Even more surprisingly, the average daily usage is 2 hours and 23 minutes!

Judging by these figures, to say that your business should be utilising social media in some way is an understatement. Social media has become as essential for businesses as it has for, excuse the pun, social engagement.

But, to run successful social media channels, it is important to keep up with what is going on in general with social media and how platforms are evolving.

 

The Role of Social Media

In its early days, social media was a space for people to connect with one another – mainly on a friendly level. However, over time it has become a place synonymous with business. Seldom do you log into a social media app nowadays and not see an advert or a brand collaboration.

Its clear to see that as user numbers increased, this influenced communities of users from certain sectors to develop. A prime example would be the food and restaurant industry on Instagram, or any number of business communities on LinkedIn.

So, we know that – over time – the role of social media has changed and evolved. But how has social media and its platforms actually changed?

 

How have Social Media Channels Changed?

Since inception, each platform has changed drastically. In the last year alone, Instagram has rolled out reel remixing and story liking. Facebook released a whole load of published updates around content, live shopping feeds and reels. Twitter has allowed some editing capability and changed its character limit and LinkedIn has changed to prioritize content that offers insights, advice and expertise.

That is a lot of change in just a year. And we can expect changes to continue at this rate.

With so many changes, across platforms and social trends, it can be a little daunting. Some of the more important changes to remember are:

  • Mobile Friendly – In the early days of social media, people would regularly log into Facebook on their desktop, but not anymore. Mobile use now makes up 80% of all time spent on social media and the platforms all know this. Platforms are now all designed to suit mobile users. Most platforms even prefer content filmed/taken on a mobile phone, rather than a professional camera
  • Video is King – The rise of TikTok and reels demonstrates the level at which users enjoy video content. Often short-form video content. Most channels have introduced updated video options and algorithms to ensure that video content is what people make and what people see. Whether this is pre-recorded content, or things like Facebook Live
  • ECommerce – Facebook Marketplace, and more recently Instagram Shopping are prime examples of the evolution of social media. They also demonstrate the importance of effective social platforms to businesses who sell physical products. The key with social media is that it allows brands to increase brand awareness, and then sell directly to those users who have discovered them via in-app purchases

Through a combination of changing features, layouts and the pressure that new trends bring, it’s clear that the social platforms that we know and use today have changed sizeably since they were created.

However, a blog talking about the changes in social media wouldn’t be complete (or accurate) without a quick delve into algorithms!

 

Algorithms

A social media algorithm is a set of rules and signals that rank content on a platform. Algorithms order and organise content on each individuals social feed based on how much a user will interact and like that content. So, to reach the right audience, you have to follow the algorithm.

Algorithms are the reason that no two social feeds are the same. They create a positive user experience by making each individual feed best suited to its user and what they like.

The most common signals used are post frequency, user engagement metrics, content quality, and then some other platform-specific criteria. But all platforms undergo regular algorithm updates to stay up-to-date, so it is important to keep a look out for changes if you want your business’s content to be seen by the right people.

The best way to keep up with algorithm changes is to check official blogs and social channels, as well as newsrooms of social platforms. Industry experts and influencers can also be useful.

This great blog breaks down the main algorithms of each major social media platform, so you can learn more by following the link there.

 

You can learn more about our bespoke social media marketing and management services here

 

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