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New Developments in Social Media

Social media finds itself in the predicament that it is extremely popular, but due to that exact popularity and the fact that it can change momentarily, the founders of these networks are under a lot of pressure to develop these networks even further.
This is done to ensure that the visitors keep coming back to their popular networks. Let’s take a look at what the three biggest networks have done this year.
When Facebook switched its apps from HTML5 to native, it lost its ability to move fast. But its recent announcement of a big iOS7 style app redesign gives it its mojo back. It features a bottom-screen “tab bar” navigation, built with an advanced native mobile testing framework.
This new version is luckily not only for iOS 7, but is also rolling out to iOS 5 and 6 with a black tab bar that matches the old iOS style. The new tab bar will not be released for the iPad yet, as the drawer is seen as the best solution for the bigger screens. The new tab bar offers a “More” button on the far right next to the buttons for News Feed, Requests, Messages and Notifications.
The “More” button reveals app bookmarks just like previously, but now with the option to save your place in whatever product you browse. This is a nice add on after previously losing your place after opening your drawer to look at something else. It essentially opens tabs over the top of the feed. Facebook has also made the top title bar translucent and redesigned many of the icons to match the line and arc style of Apple’s new mobile operating system.
As for Twitter, it boasts with a brand new search experience that blends the most relevant content – Tweets, user accounts, images, news, related searches, and more – into a single stream of results, which is a major shift from how results were previously partitioned by type.
A typical search on Twitter scores items sorted by type and then picks the top-scoring results. In the blended search experience, it’s a little more complicated. The scores of different content types are computed by different services and are therefore not directly comparable for blending. The other challenge that is being faced is deciding which type of content to mix, because not all content types are always suitable for display.
To solve this, different types of contents are searched separately when a user enters a search, and returns a sequence of candidate results for each content type with a type-specific score for each. Once the results of the different types of contents are prepared, each type-specific score is converted into a uniscore – a universally compatible score and is used to blend content types as in a merge-sort, minus the penalization of content type transition.
Lastly we’ll look at YouTube, which has announced the launch of a new feature on its mobile app which enables viewers to watch videos even when offline. This update will be available in November and will let viewers add videos to their devices to store and watch for a short period without having to be connected to the Internet.
This is something to take note of, as downloading videos is currently against YouTube’s rules, despite the many third party apps designed for this purpose. YouTube has distinguished between their new feature and complete downloading of videos by requiring its viewers to be online for at least the first second of the video. Besides this, YouTube has also recently made it possible for users to browse video recommendations even while a video is already streaming, which will definitely encourage use of their mobile app.
In the ever-changing world of social media, it is important to make sure you are up to date with every single new release. Whether you use social media to play or to work, these updates can make a big difference to your online experience!
Written by Marleen Theunissen
Creative writer at ATKA SA