Over the past couple months, we have seen a significant amount of change in the world of social media: from the birth of Google+ to the constant transformation of Facebook. It’s a testament to the fact that the world of social media will never stop evolving. To help keep you current on some of the things that are going on, I have made a list of five tips and tricks that I think you should add to your social repertoire. Here goes:
1. Google+ Hangouts Directly from YouTube – If you haven’t heard, Google+ is the new social media platform that Google just rolled out last month to compete with Facebook. It is still in limited field-testing, so a finite number of users have been allowed to sign up. However, if you are one of the lucky ones that is already Google Plus-ing, here is a cool tip: If you are watching a video on YouTube (another Google product), you can start a Google+ hangout directly from the Share menu. (For those new to Google+, a hangout is an informal, impromptu video chat session. It’s a way of saying, “Hey I’m online and ready to chat with whoever else is out there.”) This allows you to watch and comment on videos with up to nine of your friends in real time – as if you were sitting in the same room. You can play, pause and stop the video you are watching and the action will be mirrored on your friends’ screens.
2. Uploading Photos Directly to Twitter – Last week, Twitter announced a new, long-awaited feature. You can now upload photos to your Twitter feed directly from your Twitter profile instead of having to rely on third party applications like Twitpic and TweetDeck. All you have to do is click on the camera to add an image to your Tweet. If you are a current Twitter user, you should see this notification next time you log in to your account:
3. How To Customize Your Facebook Status Update Settings – We’ve all been there. The office gossip asks to be your friend on Facebook. You don’t want to say Yes because you don’t want everyone from work knowing your innermost secrets. But, you can’t say No because it will cause tension with your co-worker. So, you begrudgingly confirm the friend request and begin the practice of meticulously monitoring and censoring all of your Facebook activity.
Shouldn’t there be a better way? There is! You can customize who sees certain information on Facebook. Just go to Privacy Setting under the Account menu.
Under Sharing on Facebook, click on Customize Settings (refer to screenshot above). From this screen, you can control how and with whom every piece of information is shared on Facebook: things you share, things others share and your contact information. For each item, you can select to share with: everyone, friends of friend and networks, friends and networks, friends of friends, friends or you may customize a list (see below).
The custom list is where your power lies. This is where you can choose to share information with friends but then you can list anyone that you want to exclude from the list under the Hide This From section (see below). So all of your friends except for the office gossip will see your posts. Who ever thought Custom Privacy would be such a beautiful concept?
4. How To Customize Your Facebook News Feed Settings – On a related note, say that the office gossip posts twenty times a day about things that you could care less. You can’t remove her (or him) as a friend because, as stated previously, you don’t want to ruffle any office feathers. But, you can’t stand having your News Feed cluttered with meaningless information. Here’s what you do: Click on the “x” next to the post in question.
This will bring up a menu where you can specify one of the following: Hide this post, Hide all by [person's name], Hide all by [application's name], or Mark as Spam. If you choose to Hide all by [office gossip] you will no longer see any posts by this person. You will be happier and that person will be none the wiser. Everyone wins!
5. “On This Day…” Facebook Gets Nostalgic – I have saved the best for last today. There is a rumor floating around that Facebook has started rolling out an update to user profiles. Whenever you are on a Like page or another Facebook page other than your own, you will see a section on the right called On This Day. The section will show what the currently logged in user posted on the same day in a previous year (provided that you actually posted something). This feature could potentially be quite hilarious or severely humbling depending on the nature of your posts. Has anyone experienced this new feature yet?
So, there you have it: The Fab 5. I hope this has been informative, entertaining and/or insightful. Please comment below – I would love to hear what you think about all of these features.