December 31st, 2013 2 Comments

84 Noteworthy SEO and Social Media Updates of 2013

84 Noteworthy SEO and Social Media Updates of 2013

2013 was an exciting year for digital marketing – it witnessed the rapid rise of Google+, Facebook matured and cemented its position as the number 1 social media platform, Twitter went public and honed in on advertising, YouTube hit a billion unique users a month milestone, LinkedIn’s deeper integration with Slideshare reinforced its business social media lead. 2014 was arguably the year for mobile social media: Vine, Instagram and SnapChat collectively have a userbase of over 250 million users. For SEO, Google’s Hummingbird and In-depth search updates were arguably the most significant Google Algorithm updates over the last five years. Here is a summary of all major Google SEO and Social Media updates in 2013. Use the links below to jump straight into a section and let us know if we missed any updates! Have a Happy New Year in 2014!

Google – SEO

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1. Panda #24 #25

January & March 2013

Google rolled out its penultimate and final Panda updates, stating that future updates would be integrated into the indexing process, updating constantly.  Matt Cutts confirmed the update but stated that it and future updates would be more difficult to detect, while Google announced that it was unlikely to announce or confirm future updates.  About 1.2% of searches in English were affected in each case.

2. Penguin 2.0

May 2013

Google dropped what Matt Cutts said was internally calling Penguin 2.0 in May.  The Penguin 2.0 update was aimed at culling web link spam at a ‘deeper’ backlink profile analysis on a page-by-page basis rather than just at the home page level (as previous updates). This update affected 2.3% of search queries.

3. Penguin 2.1

October 2013

Penguin 2.1 was an update to the major overhaul that was Penguin 2.0.  Matt Cutts tweeted that the changes would affect about 1% of searches, mainly by crawling pages at a deeper level.

4. Knowledge Graph ‘In-Depth’ Articles

August 2013

Google announced that it would highlight in-depth articles related to search terms, on the basis that about 10% of searchers are looking for more in-depth analysis of the subjects of their searches.  The highlighted ‘in-depth’ material is shown in a box in the normal search results.

5. Hummingbird 1.0 – Google’s New Search Algorithm

August 2013

Hummingbird, Google’s biggest algorithm update since it’s 2009 ‘Caffeine’ update provoked vigorous debate: was it a bump for long-tail searching, as many thought initially, or was it something else?  Evidence suggests that Hummingbird was actually designed to affect search queries (about 90% of them, according to Google) – not search results.  Hummingbird makes provision for conversational search (which I would argue intends to bring Google search and mobile Google services like Google Now up on par with Apple’s Siri). Hummingbird has effectively changed how Google understands every query. What I find most intriguing is Google’s shift from a focus of indexing content with the Caffeine update to how users search with Hummingbird.

6. All Keywords Encrypted

September 2013

Since 2011, some Google searches had been encrypted, which meant no keyword data was available to site owners: keyword data from Google analytics and other analytics packages simply read ‘not provided’ for all encrypted search traffic to websites.  Although Google’s initial claim in 2011 was that ‘even at full roll-out, [the percentage of not-provided visits] would still be in the single-digit percentages of all searches on Google.com, the SEO community witnessed close to 100 percent encrypted keyword data from Google search on September 23rd. The news was so shocking that Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz Moz, shot an impromptu Whiteboard Tuesday (rather than the usual Whiteboard Friday) to address the change.

 

Facebook 2013 Updates

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1. Facebook Graph Search

January 2013

The graph is defined by Tom Stocky and Lars Rasmussen of Facebook as a ‘map… [of people’s] relationships with the people and things they care about.’  Graph search allows Facebook users to search this map of connections, appearing as a larger search bar at the top of each page.  Stocky and Rasmussen are at pains to point out that web search and graph search are very different experiences, and that graph search is much more customizable.  In a series of updates in the months after its launch Graph Search was made available to everyone who uses Facebook in US English by August 2013.

2. Verified Facebook Pages and Profiles

May 2013 

Verified Pages and Profiles allows Facebook to verify that the person running the account of a famous person – a celebrity, politician,  a major brand or a journalist or other public figure – is really who they purport to be.  Facebook points out that if you can’t verify your page with Verified Pages, you can try authenticating your identity in other ways, like linking your Facebook profile or Page to your official website.  Otherwise you have to wait for Facebook to come to you, if they feel you’re important enough to merit having your identity verified; just like Twitter’s verified accounts feature.

3. Facebook Hashtags

June 2013

Starting on June 12, Facebook introduced clickable hashtags – a move already made by other social networks like Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram.  Hashtags allow contextualization of posts, and let other interested parties find the conversation.  Hashtags are searchable from the search bar, and hashtags that originate from other services are clickable too, meaning conversations can span across social networks.  Additionally, posts can be composed directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

4. EdgeRank Discontinued & Higher Quality Content Rewarded

August 2013

EdgeRank had not been used as a term internally in Facebook for at least two years, according to a company insider quoted by Jordan Kasteler, amongst many others.  Instead Facebook began using a new algorithm based on machine learning, and the basis of its News Feed construction was replaced entirely.  With EdgeRank went a whole system of understanding how content would be handled on Facebook; affinity, weight, time decay and all the rest vanished without trace and the algorithm on which Facebook based its News Feeds entered a phase of rapid evolution.

5. Embedded Facebook Posts

August 2013

Facebook made it possible to embed Facebook posts on websites just like YouTube videos or tweets.  Users can interact directly with the embedded content – they can do ‘Facebook things’ like sharing or liking the post, liking or following the author or viewing the author’s Timeline – all without leaving the page the post is embedded on. You embed Facebook posts by cicking on the grey arrow in the top right hand corner of the post, and selecting ‘embed post’ from the drop-down menu.  Copy the code that appears, paste it on your site and you’re away.

6. Facebook Link Post Image Dimension Update

September 2013 

Facebook altered the rules on link thumbnail image dimensions, in such a way that the images became far more prominent – which in turn made the News Feed, and Facebook as a whole, far more image-oriented. A consistent 1:1.91 aspect ratio was introduced, resulting in images that scaled well across Facebook’s News Feed, Mobile and Sidebar presentations.  Facebook also introduced a snare for the unwary: if images weren’t large enough, they were resized downwards.  A News Feed image that isn’t at least 400×209 pixels will be cut to 154×154 or even 90×90 pixels, for instance. Different sizing rules apply for Mobile and Sidebar images but the aspect ratio remains the same.

7. Facebook Quality Content Update, Memes Devalued, Related Articles and Story Bumping based on comments

December 2013

Based on research that indicated that traffic from Facebook to media sites had jumped by 170% in the previous year, Facebook reoriented itself away from what it calls ‘meme photos’ and toward ‘high quality articles.’  These typically come from large established media organizations and as a result, many Facebook marketers expect to suffer as a result of what is widely seen as part of an ongoing effort to monetize the site.

8. Auto Playing Facebook Video Ads

December 2013

Facebook began rolling out video ads that will play automatically, in mid-December this year.  The ads will play automatically but their sound will be muted unless a user clicks on them, according to the company’s Facebook for Business page.  Ads on mobile devices will be downloaded in advance when the user connects to wi-fi. Alys Woodward, an analyst with research firm IDC, said that ‘It sounds as if they are doing it in a reasonably sensitive way but if they get this stuff wrong people may stop being active and posting new content.’  The first ads will be for upcoming movie release Divergence.

Twitter

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1. Twitter Advertising Rolls out Globally

January 2013

Twitter advertising begun rolling out to advertisers and agencies in the US, UK, Ireland, Japan, Brazil as well as all across the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Twitter has increasingly become an international and multilingual platform, and as part of that movement, the company announced that it would be making its Twitter Ads service international.  Promoted Accounts began to appear in Timelines at around the same time.

2. Twitter Ads Opens to all U.S. Users as Self Service

April 2013

As of April 30, Twitter said it was responding to feedback from businesses that had participated in its invitation-only period by opening its self-service Twitter Ads to all comers. The sign-up process took place through the business.twitter.com page, and Twitter said it hoped to ‘extend… the reach of our advertising for small businesses.’

3. Twitter Ads – Keyword Targeting in Timeline

April 2013

Keyword targeting in timelines allows functions by allowing advertisers to reach Twitter users based on the keywords in their recent tweets and the tweets with which those users recently engaged.  That means it allows for a more focussed campaign: a user who tweets about a subject will receive ads about that subject, an obvious boon for both marketers and consumers.

4. Lead Generation Cards on Twitter Ads

May 2013

In another attempt to make the platform more marketer-friendly, Twitter introduced Lead Generation Cards.  These are ore-filled with a user’s contact details including name, @username and email address, and become visible when a tweet is expanded.  The user simply clicks a button to send this information directly and securely to the brand.  This update made it far easier to turn followers into a more engaged audience and ultimately to drive sales.

5. Twitter  Lists Expands

May 2013

Twitter expanded its list feature by allowing users have up to 1,000 lists with a maximum of 5,000 accounts in each one. Previously Twitter users were only allowed up to 20 lists with only 500 accounts in each one.

6. Scheduled Tweets Support for Twitter Ads

October 2013

Scheduled tweets was a feature announced in mid-October that allowed any marketer using Twitter’ s Ad Products to schedule tweets, both organic and Promoted, for specific times and dates up to a year in advance.  This made it possible to publish seasonal content without having staff on call at unsocial times like Christmas, for instance!

7. Images and Videos in Twitter Stream

October 2013

Towards the end of October, Twitter introduced a further update that made images visible without a user having to click them.  While that partly reflects a more visual internet generally and is part of the move toward a more animated, more visual web that’s being facilitated by tech improvements, it also, in the words of Chris Taylor of Mashable, makes Twitter ‘look a lot more like Facebook.’  Twitter’s VP of product, Michael Sippey, said, ‘these rich Tweets can bring your followers closer to what’s happening, and make them feel like they are right there with you.’

8. Twitter Small Medium Business Advertising opens in the UK, Ireland and Canada

November 2013

Twitter extended its self-serve ad platform to allow small and medium businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada to take advantage of it.  Following the introduction in April of the service for US SMBs, Twitter rolled out a proven service to other English-speaking areas.  The service charges only when people follow your Promoted Account, reply, favourite or click on your Promoted Tweets, and Twitter promises that ‘you will never be charged for your organic Twitter activity.’

9. Broad Match Keyword Targeting for Twitter Ads

December 2013

Following the introduction of keyword targeting in timelines, Twitter added negative keyword matching and sentiment filtering which allowed more precise targeting.  In December this year, though, Twitter introduced broad match for keywords; broad match takes account of the fact that Twitter users have conversations on the same topics using synonyms, partial synonyms, disparate spellings and both generic and subject specific slang.  In web search this is part of the area covered by ‘latent keywording’, but Twitter has made this process automatic for its business users.  As a result businesses won’t miss out on matches because of typos, textspeak, slang or synonym use.

Google+

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1. Sign-in with Google+ Introduced

February 2013

From February 2013, it’s been possible to sign in to apps outside of Google with your Google+ account.  Not only does it help to tie users into using their Google+ account – as Facebook’s ubiquitous sign-in option did for Facebook – but it helps cut down on social spam and improve security.

2. Google Reader Shut Down…more focus on Google+

March 2013 

Google Reader had, in Google’s words, ‘a loyal following [but] over the years [its] usage has declined.’  Assailed by other services offering similar functions, Google Reader became part of a paring operation on Google’s part in which the company began to abandon a strategy of offering a great number of services on a great number of platforms and replaced this with an approach in which it offered a single holistic service which would work on multiple platforms: Google+.

3. Google+ Integrated with Blogger.com comments

April 2013 

As Google shifted its attentions to Google+, it began the process of integrating its services with the platform by integrating Google+ with Blogger comment.  Blogger readers could leave comments using their Google+ account, and share that comment on Google+.  The move was a step on the way to establishing Google+ as the entry point to web services – the single log-in point that remains Google’s goal for Google+.

4. Google+ Supports Full Size Photo Uploads from Desktops

April 2013

By opening the Settings panel and selecting the ‘upload my photos at full size’ tickbox, Google+ users could now upload full size photos directly from their desktop.  While for some this doesn’t matter too much, for photographers it’s a vital alteration since that initial step of getting images online can now be done without compression for free – up to a point, though that point does keep expanding.

5. Google+ Advanced Photo Editing

May 2013

Google announced that it would allow users to upload 15Gb of high-resolution photos, up from 5Gb, and an unlimited number of ordinary resolution photos.  It also announced a suite of photo editing options including an automatic feature, Auto Highlight, for detecting blurred images or duplicates, Auto Enhance for altering image effects like skin tone and an Auto Awesome automatic Gif-maker.

6. Google+ Three Column-Wide Grid Introduced to Desktops

May 2013

Google+ was redesigned with a three-column view, the left-hand navigation removed except when a user hovers over the home icon and a card-based system for displaying content.  Each piece of content get its own card, which can be flipped to display similar content.  In addition to automatically creating and pairing hashtags so each new piece of content gets it sown hashtag and Google looks for similar material by hashtag, there’s also intelligent hashtags, where Google will recognize images and hashtag them by the image contents rather than description.

7. Google Glass integrates with +1s, comments, mentions and shares 

May 2013

Google Glass owners got a software update called “XE5″ that included Google+ integration. The ability to sign-into Google+, comment, receive incoming hangout requests and +1 posts became standard features of Google Glass.

8. Sign-in with Google+ automatically integrated with Authorship

September 2013

Google bundled its Authorship with Google+ sign-in, meaning that when you’re signed in to Google+ author attribution is carried out automatically.

9. Embedded Google+ Posts

September 2013 

With embedded Google+ posts, site owners can add public Google+ posts to their web pages as sources or backup or an opinion – just the way you’d use any other embedded post.  Text, photo and media posts are all supported and the embeds are fully interactive, so you can access Google+ through them to +1, comment, follow the author and so on.

10. Auto Awesome Photos and Movies

October 2013

Auto Awesome is Google’s quick-fix image editing system for creating fun new versions of your photos and videos.  You can build Gifs automatically, attach individual pictures into seamless panoramas or merge them into group shots.  Other features allow you to easily manipulate light and shadow to get better image quality, or erase moving objects like people in front of static elements like buildings.

11. 540 Million Active Google+ Users

October 2013

For years, Google’s figures on the number of Google+ users were counterbalanced by internet memes about the network that focussed on tumbleweed.  But not any more: Google+ had 540m active users as of October 2013.  Authorship, Google Hangouts and a slew of other updates were behind the jump, according to Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra, and the number was expected to grow.

12. YouTube commenting

November 2013

Google began integrating YouTube with Google+ to a greater extent, meaning that comments were now based on relevance rather than on chronological order.  The new system allows comments from all and lets you keep your YouTube name if you like, but uses Google+ as its identity database.

LinkedIn

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1. Deep LinkedIn integration with Slideshare

January 2013

Slideshare was LinkedIn’s new acquisition when this update made it possible to step seamlessly between one platform and the other.  You can log into Slideshare with LinkedIn, follow your LinkedIn network on Slideshare, share Slideshare content on LinkedIn and enrich your Slideshare profile with your LinkedIn profile.

2. LinkedIn Contacts updated

April 2013 

LinkedIn Contacts was able to pull together your email accounts, address books and calendars under the auspices of your LinkedIn account, meaning that it functions, in the words of LinkedIn staffer Sanchin Rekhi, like a ‘personal assistant,’ whilst also allowing you to ‘pull up that last conversation you had with someone before you head out to meet them.’

3. LinkedIn Tagging and Mentions Introduced

May 2013

LinkedIn caught up to other social platforms like Facebook and Google+ by introducing tagging.  Now you can input a name to mention a member or company by selecting from a drop-down menu that appears when you begin typing that name.  In your own post that name will be highlighted in grey; other members can simply click on it to be taken to that member or company’s profile.

4. LinkedIn Company pages able to publish Targeted Status Updates

June 2013

Targeted Status Updates were rolled out to the then 2m companies with LinkedIn Company Pages.  The appeal for both companies and their followers is in access to industry insights, company news and to a peer community, as well as to a larger interested audience.

5. LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

July 2013

Sponsored Updates come to you from companies who have paid for your attention, and they are clearly marked ‘Sponsored.’   You can ‘Like,’ ‘Comment,’ and ‘Share’ them as well as having the option to ‘Follow’ the company.

6. LinkedIn University Pages Launched

August 2013

LinkedIn University Pages allow users to explore what different universities have to offer, to check out the notable alumni of various institutions and to build their networks by linking up with current, former and future classmates and turn personal relationships into lifelong professional links.

7. LinkedIn Groups Revamped

August 2013

LinkedIn groups got a redesign that made it both easier to use and smoother looking.  The new-look Groups was rolled out on August 22nd to English-speaking LinkedIn users, revamping one of LinkedIn’s most –used and most successful features.

8. LinkedIn withdraws Hashtags

August 2013

LinkedIn retired hashtags on the same day Signal was withdrawn from service, on July 29.   That’s LinkedIn bucking a trend that saw Facebook introduce hashtags to keep pace with Twitter!  LinkedIn has stuck by its decision and hashtags are now no different from normal text.

9. Sponsored Jobs on Home Page

September 2013

LinkedIn increased the visibility of recruiters’ jobs by inserting paid-for job listings onto the homepage.  Sponsored jobs appeared on LinkedIn’s mobile display too.  Sponsored jobs increased the reach of job adverts by a factor of ten, making both active and passive candidates more likely to respond to ads which were shown as users browsed through news and other content.

10. LinkedIn Skills Discontinued

October 2013 

LinkedIn retired its Skills page without prior warning, disposing of one of its most popular products and incensing some users.  Skills offered the definition of the skill you were researching, 20 similar or related skills and a snapshot of 5 key LinkedIn groups having members with that skill, alongside other features.

11. ‘LinkedIn Intro’ for Mail

October 2013

LinkedIn Intro pulls in any publicly available information from a LinkedIn profile and adds it to the Apple Mail app, so that if a sender has a LinkedIn account, you’ll see their job title, company and you can tap to expand and see more information.

12. Major LinkedIn Mobile Revamp

October 2013

LinkedIn revamped its experience to make the service more mobile friendly as more and more of its users migrated onto partial or majority mobile use.

13. LinkedIn Pulse replaces LinkedIn Today

November 2013

Pulse and LinkedIn were integrated to offer a more relevant news experience, with content tailored to your professional interests on both platforms by referring to each.  LinkedIn Pulse replaced LinkedIn Today and was aimed at becoming the main vehicle for social news across both platforms.

14. LinkedIn Company Showcase Pages

December 2013

Company Showcase Pages are like sub-pages of a company’s main page on LinkedIn.  They’re particularly useful for specific company communities if your business has different aspects, or for branches of your business in different locations.

Pinterest

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1. Test Rollout of New Pinterest Layout

January 2013

Pinterest rolled out a new look with more intuitive navigation, bigger pins with more information attached including pins from the same board and other boards the same pin was pinned to, as well as some updates behind the scenes.  The result got mixed reviews when it was first rolled out but has been increasingly popular since.

2. Pinterest Web Analytics

March 2013

The rollout of Pinterest Web Analytics enabled Pinterest business pages the opportunity to find out which pieces of content people are pinning.  What are people pinning? Is the question Pinterest Web Analytics was designed to answer.  If you have a verified website it’s particularly useful since you can track pin traffic from your website, including bow many people have seen your pins and how many have visited your site because of them.3.

3. Full Rollout of New Pinterest Layout

April 2013

After testing its new look on a small selection of its users, Pinterest rolled out its updated layout across the board in April.  In some cases, updating meant a return to popular features Pinterest had experimented with retiring, like See It Now, while other aspects of user experience, like Recent Activity, saw upgrades.

4. Pin It Button for Browser Rollout

April 2013 

Pinterest found a way to avoid reliance on Pin It buttons on websites: by building one into each major browser instead!  The Pin It button for all major browsers allows users to pin from websites even when they’re not on Pinterest; you can pin directly from anywhere on the web right to your Pinterest boards.

5. Video Pins

May 2013 

The logical next step for Pinterest was always to move from images to video pins.  In May, video pins arrived, and users could pin directly from Dailymotion, TED, YouTube, Vimeo, and other hosting sites.

6. Send Pins to Friends

May 2013

Pinterest’s ‘Send Pin To…’ feature lets you send a pin directly to a friend or family member, making the site both more social and more focussed.  The personal touch offered by the ‘Send Pin To…’ feature can be used from web or mobile, and you can send pins to fellow pinners, Facebook friends or email contacts.

7. Related Pins!

October 2013

Related Pins are picked out for you by Pinterest based on your previous activity on the site.  Although the process is largely automated, you do have some control: clicking the ‘I’ info icon on any related Pin in your feed will show you why it’s there, and let you give it a thumbs up or down.

8. Pinterest Place Pins

November 2013

Pinterest created an opportunity to build a board around a place.  Pinterest’s blog said the feature would ‘combine the beautiful imagery of a travel magazine with the utility of a map online,’ and the board can be created with friends as well as shared with them; while its inspiration was the number of Pinterest users using the service to plan and celebrate their vacations, the feature has become a tool for travel journals, gastronomic tours and more.

Instagram

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1. Instagram brings its Feed to the Web

February 2013

Instagram made a similar transition to other social channels but in the opposite direction; born on mobile devices, the channel made the leap to the web in February.  The Instagram Feed experience on the web was carefully designed to be as similar to the original mobile experience as possible.

2. Instagram Photo Maps Introduced

April 2013

Instagram Photo Maps creates a visual history of where you’ve taken some of your favourite photos.  Instagram took its inspiration from parent company Facebook’s Timeline feature, creating a story about the identity and activities of its users.

3. Video on Instagram

June 2013

Instagram caught up with both the increasing ability of phones to capture watchable quality video, and other social channels’ moves to provide links to video if they don’t actually host it themselves.  Video on Instagram offers the use of the ‘Instagram camera,’ letting users take up to 15 seconds of video which is seamlessly uploaded to the site.

4. Instagram Web Embeds Introduced

July 2013

From July, Instagram offered its users an Embed function; by clicking on the share button, copying the text that results and pasting it to your blog, web page or article, the photo or video will be displayed as an embed, marked by your Instagram username.

5. Instagram Ads Announced

November 2013

Instagram announced that it would be showing adverts built into the Instagram user experience.  Photos or videos are marked as adverts by the ‘Sponsored’ label, displayed where the time stamp would normally be.

6. Instagram for Windows Phone Launched

November 2013

Instagram for Windows Phone followed the launch of Instagram for Android, in 2012.  As Instagram’s user community quintupled in size, so the market share of Windows Phone users grew too.  Instagram for Windows Phone was the logical solution, making sure that Instagram didn’t exclude users of a growing platform.

7. Instagram Direct

December 2013

Instagram Direct allows users to control who sees their content.  When you open Instagram, the icon in the top right corner of the news feed is the entry to the ‘Direct’ portion of Instagram, allowing access to your inbox and permitting you to share content with Followers or to send it to specific people, using the ‘Direct’ function.

Vine

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1. Vine’s debut on iOS

January 24th 2013

Vine appeared on in January of 2013, and was rapidly adopted by heavy users – despite low adoption rates it became the most-used video-sharing app on the market.  As the app grew in popularity, it became the most downloaded free app on the App Store.

2. Vine Goes Mainstream – Released on Android

June 2013 

Vine went mainstream with the release of its Android version in June, making’ biggest success of the year a multi-platform phenomenon.  Vine’s early months might have contributed to its success but the app’s move onto Android signified a new confidence.

3. Vine Sessions & Time Travel

October 2013

Vine Sessions lets you work on posts, save them and come back to them later, before posting them.  Up to 10 Sessions can run together at any one time, and Time Travel works along with Sessions, letting your remove, reorganise or replace any shot within a post before you share it.

4. “Revine” button, an “On The Rise” tab

July 2013

After Vine was bought by Twitter, it became Instagram’s opposite number, and the arms race was on; after Facebook added video support to Instagram, Vine added the capacity to ‘revine’ other people’s posts as part of a redesign that also included ‘protected’ posts shared privately and ‘channels’ that highlight posts based on themes.  The ‘On the Rise’ tab shows hashtags that are the fastest-rising, though not necessarily those with the most posts.

YouTube

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1. YouTube now hits a billion unique users a month milestone

March 2013

Youtube compared its monthly viewership to ten Super Bowl audiences, and points out that nearly half of everybody who goes on the internet visits YouTube; That level of ubiquity, combined with the fact that Google owns the channel, speaks to the key issue about the size of YouTube’s demographic: it’s larger than every country in the world except India and China.

2. YouTube Pro Launched

July 2013

YouTube Pro is designed to help channel-owning hobbyists turn their exposure into a full-time job, with advice on attracting and managing advertisers, recording content series, management and more.  YouTube also ran several live events to promote YouTube’s Pro channel.

3. Video Response Axed

September 2013

Google announced the demise of its video response feature on YouTube on September 12, citing a clickthrough rate of 0.0004% and promising that it would be replaced by alternatives to improve engagement, such as including video links in comments.

4. Ylvis – The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) Most popular video of the Year

This year’s Gangnam Style-style video hit facilitated by YouTube comes courtesy of a comedy duo from Norway called Ylvis.  Thri ‘What Does the Fox Say?’ received 40m views in its first two weeks and as of December 27 2013, had received 306m views, making it the most popular video of the year.  It’s still impossible to state with any certainty what the fox says.

5. YouTube adopts Google+ commenting

November 2013

Google+ integrated into YouTube to the extent that their commenting systems were merged.  YouTube prefers to use your Google+ name and uses Google+ as its identity database, while Google+ lets you share video directly from YouTube.

6. 1st YouTube Music Award

November 2013

Cementing the primacy of YouTube specifically and the online world in general, the first YouTube Music Awards took place on Sunday, November 3.  The ceremony featured acts that came of age during the YouTube era, like Lady Gaga, as well as those belonging to the days of traditional music TV like Eminem as well as M.I.A, Avicii and others.  Show directors told the Mashable blog that music videos would be created during the show, which was forecast to last several hours.

7. YouTube Ad Rewind

December 2013

It’s a testament to Ylvis’ success that YouTube headed up its Ad Rewind with the question, ‘What does 2013 Say?’  Miley Cyrus and her Wrecking Ball, a Korean Gentlemen known as Psy and a variety of performers doing the Harlem Shake put in appearances as well as a five-minute mashup of the year’s key moments.

Slideshare

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1. Send Tracker Introduced

February 2013

SlideShare’s Send Tracker, a content analytics tool for SlideShare Pro, allow users to send content to a potential customer, and to see when they opened it, how they engaged with it and which parts resonated most.  You can send new or existing content from your Slideshare account to a prospect via email, and real-time alerts let you know when the recipient has opened and clicked your email. 

2. Slideshare Integrates with Pulse

May 2013

SlideShare can be viewed on Pulse, joining hundreds of publishers and viewable on web or mobile.  Pulse and Slideshare share a parent company, LinkedIn, and Pulse can be used to view the SlideShare homepage.

3. Richer RSS Feeds

June 2013

SlideShare’s RSS feeds have just became richer, with each content item now including a full image f the first slide.  This allows developers to create even more visual apps than before, and shows that RSS isn’t quite ready to lie down yet.

4. Slideshare Launches Infographic Player

July 2013

SlideShare’s Infographics Player was introduced to optimize the viewing experience of infographics, recognizing the increasing importance of this type of content.  Slideshare’s Infographic player automatically detects infographics upon upload and displays each one for best viewing.  Infographics should be saved and uploaded in a one-page PDF format to take advantage of this feature.

5. Slideshare Integrates with Flipboard

July 2013

SlideShare can be searched for on Flipboard, or found under the ‘Business’ section.  SlideShare’s Featured and Top Presentations of the Day can then be viewed through Flipboard, and you can easily share SlideShares via Flipboard, and add your favourite presentations to your custom Flipboard magazines.

6. Slideshare Integrates with Dropbox

July 2013

In July, introduced support to directly upload a presentation to SlideShare from Dropbox, by going to the upload page on SlideShare and clicking on Upload from Dropbox.  SlideShare Pro users can upload files privately, and use features like Send Tracker too.

SnapChat

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1. Video for Android Snapchat

February 2013

Snapchat finally rolled out support for Video for android devices after a four month beta rollout on Android devices.

2. Snapchat Rolls out its Timeline with Snapchat Stories

October 2013

Snapchat rolled out an option to create Snapchat Stories, a new type of sharing that allows its users build chains of shared content that can be viewed an unlimited number of times over a 24-hour period. The Stories are shared to all Snapchat friends at once, and each piece of content cummulatively added over the full course of a day before disappearing.

3. Snapchat Rejects $3 Billion Acquisition Offer from Facebook

November 2013

The Wall Street Journal reported Snapchat’s rejection of an all cash $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook by its 23-year-old co-founder and CEO, Evan Spiegel. Snapchat did not completely rule out the possibility of an acquisition; the article reported that Snapchat may consider an acquisition or some investment in early 2014 with the hope that Snapchat’s subscriber and message numbers grow enough to justify an even larger valuation.

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