#SocialSpeak: The Great Maturation of the Social Networks

December 17, 2017

It’s been a big week for social media; a week during which, for want of a better word, two of social media’s biggest players displayed a certain maturity that can only be accessed through the passage of cold, unskippable time. Instagram, for its part, introduced an update that might prove to be its most revolutionary since the app’s birth, while Twitter, in a move displaying its distinctly matured ability to adapt to its users’ habits, adopted an aspect of the Twitterverse that had previously been neglected.

Instagram’s radical update

Until Instagram’s latest update, the only three conceivable ways for consuming posts were: you could follow people and their posts would pop up in your feed, or you could search for posts including a specific hashtag, or you could explore an automatically curated feed full of posts courtesy of Instagram’s algorithm.

But with Instagram’s latest update, you can follow the hashtags themselves!

The effect of this update is twofold. For one, Instagram has done away with the need to manually search for a hashtag you’re interested in; now, once you’ve followed a hashtag, top posts containing this hashtag will be automatically curated and added to your feed. But perhaps more importantly, Instagram has introduced a much-needed update to its users’ experience, who now stand to be more engaged than ever on the platform, with posts from their favourite hashtags popping up on their feeds for an ever longer engagement experience.

Tweetstorms cometh!

Maturing often involves accepting parts of ourselves that we may not otherwise like. But in this instance, Twitter’s acceptance of its users’ rebellion over the 140-character (now 280) limit, might actually work to its advantage. The Blue Bird has officially endorsed the Tweetstorm: the long string of tweets, often a tirade or a long explication deployed during a heated Twitter fight, will in a matter of days become an option for any Twitter user, as the update becomes available for users worldwide.

To be sure, tweetstorms had always been a part of Twitter: @reply to your own tweet and it is possible to string together tweets in a chronological order. But Twitter’s new update, called Twitter Threads, makes it easier than ever: simply click the + button to add a new tweet to your tweet-thread.

And as social media platforms mature, so must our use of them become more refined. More than ever, it’s now important to carefully choose your hashtags: it might lead to your post being shown to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of users who don’t even follow your account.

While on Blue Bird territory, Twitter is slowly giving its users more responsibility than ever; it has already softened its once-rigid 140-character rule, and is now entertaining their need of blabber every once in a while (or engage in self-indulgent rants!). Our loquacious tendencies thank you, Twitter.

Dear online citizen, this isn’t your father’s social media landscape anymore.

For more social media updates, insights, trends and much more, be sure to check out #SocialSpeak every week!