SOCIAL MEDIA SNAP: Facebook and Google+ redesign, SXSW & social media fails


This week marks my second contribution to the Social Media Snap, and while it was never my intention to limit myself to writing about Facebook, it’s not like Mark Zuckerberg gave me a choice this time. 

Facebook users are used to change, and while we may not always embrace it, we generally accept the fact that it’s the price we pay for a free social network. So it makes sense that yesterday’s announcement about our newsfeed might not have seemed like a big deal. 

The fact of the matter is that most other changes Facebook makes are minor issues we witness on a daily basis, and as such don’t significantly affect the user experience. In actuality, this new newsfeed marks the first major overhaul since Timeline was introduced in 2011, and with a greater emphasis on imagery and extended search options, it won’t be surprising if Facebook users find themselves logged in for longer. Which presents a whole new set of opportunities.

It’s also worth pointing out that as users transition into the new format, they may notice that the word “Facebook” won’t appear anywhere on it, replaced instead by a small, lowercased “f”. I’m not sure why, but there is something fascinating about an insanely powerful company that understates its influence. It’s almost like putting a hidden camera in the belly of a teddy bear.

A day before Facebook confused us all, Google+ announced its own redesign. The jury is out on the timing of this, especially since one of these social networking sites is starting to look a lot like the other. All I know is if Michelle Obama can participate in a Hangout, it’s probably worth a second look. 

In actual social news, this morning marked the first day of SXSW 2013, a music/film/interactive event that has become the ultimate place for entrepreneurs, investors and start-ups to both showcase and discover the next big thing. While it might be true that the event hasn’t lived up to expectations in recent years, there are always attractions like 3-D printing or the world’s shortest job interview to keep things interesting. At least, until this guy shows up. No, seriously.

And finally, you know you’re living in the digital age when you have a list of the year’s top 10 worst social media fails before the year is even three months old. The good news for anyone who’s made the cut is that they still have nine whole months to turn it all around. 

Happy weekend,