Redesign and features
Google announced a massive from-the-ground-up redesign of Google+ at its annual I/O developer’s conference in San Francisco this year, and there were a lot of changes. In fact, the update includes the addition of 41 new features. For example, the related hashtags feature will automatically apply a hashtag to a post after analyzing its contents for better organization. Auto Enhance, too, will analyze any picture you upload and will enhance it by adjusting saturation levels, color, brightness, and contrast to make it appear better for viewers. Other updates include a chat bar, which keeps track of trending topics, easier Hangout video chatting, and a Hangout page, which will let users quickly access popular hangouts.
Facebook introduced several new messaging features in April. ‘Stickers’ are the large emoticons that can be used in messages. They’re functionally similar to emoticons, and different types of stickers are available for download. Also new on Facebook messenger are Chat Heads – a little bubble displaying your friend’s profile picture along with recent messages. This allows you to click on the bubble and reply to the message without leaving the page you’re on. If you use an Android device loaded with Facebook Home, Chat Heads can pop up anywhere on your phone. However, for iPhone users, Chat Heads are limited to their Facebook application.
Facebook has also added a variety of emoticons to status updates. When you write a status, there will be a little smiley face symbol (similar to the one for stickers in Messenger) that lets you choose what you’re feeling, reading, eating, or watching, among other things. When you pick one, it will add an emoticon to go along with your choice.
LinkedIn now lets users upload pictures, documents, presentations, and other file types to any post. Similar to Facebook, users can now like and comment on a post or document, although some posts can turn this ability off. The integration of documents or posts helps LinkedIn’s profiles move away from a simple resume format and towards that of a more interactive digital portfolio. If you’re using LinkedIn as a tool for setting goals for your career, the addition of these multimedia posts should help improve your professional presence online.
Like most other social networks, LinkedIn now offers an extra security feature in addition to your password. When you sign in with your username and password, they’ll send a random access code to your phone. It may be cumbersome and inconvenient for some, but such a feature will decrease the likelihood of your account being hacked.
Twitter has also updated its service to offer the two-step security feature. It’s particularly useful for high-profile account holders with singular access to an account. While this is new to these two sites, it’s been available on Google and Facebook for some time.
After being acquired by Twitter, the popular Twitter management app introduced some new features in June. The web-based application can let users manage columns, lists, and multiple accounts. The new Interactions column is similar to the service’s older Mentions feature, but instead of only including your mentions, it keeps track of when you’ve been favorited, retweeted, followed, or added to a list. Media updates will also allow you to more easily view pictures and videos within the app.
The new Twitter for Android fits the screen more nicely, makes hashtag suggestions as you type, and lets users move between tabs by swiping their screen.
Instagram’s biggest new update is its “Photos of You” feature, which allows you to tag people (or brands) in photos in the same way you can add hashtags. Unlike Facebook, however, only the person who uploads the picture can add tags. For those who don’t take kindly to being tagged, there is an option to untag yourself by selecting your name in the picture. Concerned a potential employer might see you doing something sketchy? Don’t worry – you can also hide a photo from your profile.
- License: Creative Commons image source