Social Media Monthly: December 2016 Recap

I used to love winter. For a child, it’s all snowmen, hot cocoa and sledding. Mom has chicken noodle soup on the stove waiting for you when you come inside. What’s not to like? Now, in adulthood, all we get to look forward to are bad driving conditions, huge heating bills and the backs of your pant legs getting wet from walking through the snow. I always find myself wondering why on earth I choose to put up with these conditions. Yet, like a codependent lover, I’m drawn back to this cruel mitten’s frigid embrace. Being indoors all this time means that I have plenty of time to dig deep into the recesses of social media. Before we collectively set our sights on the warmer months ahead, let me take you back to last month with my Social Media Monthly, December 2016 edition!

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Twitter Adds Conversation Rankings and Direct Reply Count: Twitter has been moving away from the strictly chronological approach for a while now. In December, it continued that trend by ranking conversation replies in order of relevance. Ranking is based on factors such as whether or not the original tweet’s author has responded or if someone you follow has made a reply. This change comes coupled with a displayed direct-reply count. This shows how many direct replies have been sent to the original tweet, but not the entire number of replies in the conversation (i.e. if someone replied to a reply).

Facebook Creates Colored Backgrounds for Status Updates: Facebook continues to add features to make text-only updates more relevant. Earlier, there was the “Big Text” feature that blew short statuses up to 24-point font. Now, Facebook is allowing users to create colorized text statuses. There are numerous colors for users to choose from, including options that utilize stylish gradients that can spruce up an otherwise bland-looking update. To access this feature, simply select a preset design from a list below the text box as you’re writing your update.

An example of a Facebook status with a colorized background.

Pinterest Launches “Tried-and-True” Feature: Have you ever pursued an idea from Pinterest, only for it to turn out like crap? Fear not! Pinterest just came out with the “Tried-and-True” feature, which lets members of the community verify and endorse pins. This way, if you’re still pulling disasters out of your oven, you’ll know it’s not the recipe’s fault!

Instagram Adds More Comment Control and New “Liking” Feature: Instagram has recently added new features to help control and censor comments on posts. This should sound familiar, since I talked about its custom-keyword filtering in October. Comment control has now gone further with the ability to disable commenting on a post entirely. Users can simply select the option by tapping “Advanced Settings” and selecting “Turn Off Commenting” before posting.

Another addition from Instagram is the ability to “like” comments. Liking is done by pressing a heart icon that appears next to comments.

Facebook Announces Live 360: It finally happened—right in time to cap off the year! 2016’s biggest technological developments were, hands down, the explosion of virtual reality and the near-universal adoption of live video across social media platforms. Facebook has taken the two and smashed them together in one revolutionary media experience. Introducing Live 360. Facebook teamed up with National Geographic for the initial broadcast of this technology, which gave the audience a 360-degree view of the Mars Desert Research Station facility in Utah.

Facebook will be enabling this feature for more pages in the coming months and hopes to roll it out for all pages and profiles in 2017. This is, in my opinion, the most significant social media development throughout the entirety of 2016, which makes it the perfect topic for me to wrap up my last Social Media Monthly of the year.

That’s right, we made it! The last morsel of social media news for December has been consumed! That can only mean one thing: onward to the new year! You can count on me to be here next month to give you some inaugural news of 2017. Hopefully that will help distract you from the god-awful, soul-withering cold that’s loitering north of the Mason-Dixon Line. If you hail from Dixieland, you’ll be able to read it regardless! If this article made you feel warm and fuzzy inside, please take a moment to share it with the marketing and social media lovers that you know, and subscribe to our RSS feed. I’ll see you again in April when I cover the most important social media news from the first quarter of 2017!

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