It isn't our favourite, but liking is here to stay

Last week, Twitter made the decision to replace its favourite button with the ability to like tweets. If this feature sounds familiar, it's probably because Facebook has been using it for years. This sudden change may come as a shock to the system for avid social media users, but it's not the first time that something like this has happened. In 2013, Facebook added a panel showing trending hash tags to its homepage. It seems like social media platforms are slowly blending into one and to prove it, here are three examples of social media features that are now spread across a multitude of platforms.

By Jessica Phillips


Likes 

To appeal to new users, Twitter has recently switched its favourite feature for a  like feature, which is symbolised by a heart. Twitter officials have defended the decision by stating that newcomers often found the favourite feature confusing and were unsure what they should use it for. The heart is a more universal symbol that resonates across languages and cultures. It allows users to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people.

It's likely that companies that use Twitter for business will get more likes than they did favourites because liking something has a much lower barrier than making it your favourite. However, this move by Twitter could create less retweets, which generate the most social reach for many businesses.

Video

It's hard to ignore the surge in video across all social media channels. Recently, Facebook introduced an auto-play feature, making it impossible to avoid the viral videos that fill our news feeds. Image-sharing platform, Instagram introduced a 15-second video feature, responding to the micro-video craze established by Vine. Twitter rolled out 30-second videos for tweets and began offering promoted video ads and even Pinterest unveiled Cinematic Pins, a GIF-like video feature.

Video sharing has even created micro celebrities, including Cian Twomey, an Irish Facebook user who rose to fame after posting videos of himself impersonating his girlfriend. Cian's Facebook page now has over 3 million likes, making him a verified user.

Photo tagging

Anyone who has been tagged in an unflattering photo on Facebook will be unhappy to find out that Twitter has also adopted this feature.

Rather than listing the names of the people in the tweet, users can now tag them in the photo. Thankfully, anyone tagged in a photo can amend or delete the tag themselves. The photo will only appear in the original tweeter's stream, unless tagged users choose to retweet. One thing worth knowing about this feature is that the default setting for private accounts is to not allow any tagging. To change this, go to account settings, then security and tagging.

Like it or not, social media channels are slowly converging on a single set of standards. To ensure that your business stays on top of the changes, get in touch with Stone Junction on 01785 225416 to find out more about our social media services.

Jessica Phillips

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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