The major players in social media have rolled out a lot of changes this year. Here’s the CliffsNotes version:
Facebook Live goes mainstream.
Once available only to users with verified accounts, Facebook Live is now open to everyone. The live-streaming service rivals apps like Periscope and Meerkat, which have lost steam since launching in 2015.
Twitter makes the 140-word limit more reasonable.
Twitter announced in May it will stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit. It will also get rid of the need for “.@” (a tag used to ensure tweets go out to all followers instead of only one person). No word yet on when the changes will go into effect, but they’re planned to launch within the next few months.
Instagram gets an overhaul.
In addition to Instagram’s rebranding, the app changed how it displays content. Instead of showing up in chronological order, photos and videos appear based on an algorithm that displays content from people you interact with the most. The most controversial addition has been the rollout of its Stories, a feature remarkably similar to Snapchat.
Snapchat surpasses Twitter in daily users.
Due in part to allowing advertisers to purchase ads that play between users’ stories, Snapchat is growing faster than ever. The company has grown its user base by 35 percent in the last five months to 150 million daily users, exceeding Twitter’s estimated 136 million.