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December 28, 2016

In the world of social media, 2016 should be called “The Year of the Update”. We saw a lot of changes to our beloved social media platforms that have impacted the way we use them. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and reflect on how many times we had to update our apps:

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and reflect on how many times we had to update our social networks, and just how they ended up performing. It’s report card time, baby. 

Facebook

Haha. Image via Mashable.

Without a doubt, Facebook has had one crazy year. With new features that allow users to react to posts, livestream basically everything and anything, and witness a 360-degree virtual reality tour, Facebook is constantly looking for new ways to have their platform stand out from the competition.

Final grade: B+

Even though Facebook had one heck of year rolling out new updates, I think they could have taken this opportunity to introduce a new page layout that complimented everything they have done. Not saying that anything is wrong with their current layout, but I think they could have had some fun with their overall design that would have matched their cool new features. Maybe next year.

Twitter

We saw a lot of changes with Twitter this year, including the death of Vine (RIP). But with that, we also saw a lot of positive updates! No longer do Twitter users need to worry about being limited to the 140 character count if we want to include a witty gif/meme/pic/video AND attach stickers. Also, Twitter really allowed their users to feel more interactive with themselves this year with an open verification process for anyone, the ability to retweet yourself, and Twitter LIVE. Thanks Twitter, we feel #loved.

Final grade: C

I’m a huge fan of Twitter, but it feels as they are lacking in properly introducing their new features. When I speak to my friends about the updates that Twitter have, including Stickers and Twitter Live, they usually have no idea of what I am talking about. Twitter needs to roll out the red carpet and ANNOUNCE what’s new and how we can use it to push our agenda(s).

Snapchat


Image: Snap Inc. 

Snapchat is a platform of few words, but a lot of engagement. That “puppy” lens really speaks to your followers about how you’re feeling. But along with an abundance of filters, Snapchat changed the game in 2016 by allowing users to make video & voice calls, use AND create geo-stickers/filters, and save their Snaps to Memories so you don’t need to worry about using up space on your phone. We all have our eyes on Snapchat and look forward to what else they have up their sleeves (ahem, Spectacles).

Final grade: A

Snapchat did an AMAZING job with keeping up with the competition this year. Not only did they show that they CAN compete, but they always have something up their sleeves. Their users aren’t going anywhere any time soon and they can expect more and more people/companies using Snapchat to their personal message across.

Instagram

One of the major changes we saw with Instagram this year was Instagram Stories. Similar to Snapchat (like, almost exactly the same) where you can post a video/pic that your followers can view for 24 hours, but Instagram installed a cool in-app feature that allows you to use Boomerang. Another major change we saw was the ability to send disappearing pics & videos in a personal message (watch out, Snapchat), and Instagram Live. We’re still waiting for the update that allows you to choose Valencia or X-Pro II when going live.

Final grade: B+

I’m a devoted Instagrammer who checks it at least once every 30 minutes. They only reason why they got a B+ is because they are playing defense with Snapchat and need to get on the offense. Now that they have shown that they can compete with Snapchat and want to rule the world of disappearing pics/videos, they need to get creative with ideas that have “Instagram” written all over them. Not “Instagram, inspired by Snapchat.”

By the time you’ve finished reading this, there have probably been more updates to your favorite social media platforms that will continue to reinvent the way we socialize and communicate with one another. The one thing we can say for sure about social media is that it’s inconsistent, and that means there are multiple, unique ways to stand out and capture people’s attention. We can’t wait to see what 2017 brings us. 

Anything we may have missed? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

About the Author

Jessie Singh

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