A look back at social media in 2011

January-05-12

Another year has come and gone, and 2011 was a big year for social media. You don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a look back at some of the important events that involved social media in the past year and see just how some networks like Facebook or Twitter influenced the news and other factors of our day to day lives.

1.The Arab Spring of 2011:
In early 2011, images of revolution in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries were all over the news. But how did it all start? People wanted Mubarak’s resignation for a long time and they were protesting their discontent with the Egyptian leader all over Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. The Internet access had to be shut down by the government in order to quell the rebellion that was brewing. However, trying to crack down on social media did not do the government any good. People who could no longer protest in front of their computers took to the streets in order to manifest their anger. A lot of experts agree that social media aided the rebellion because people could easily tweet when and where the manifestations were taking place.

2.Social media fails:
Social media has been around for a few years now, yet, it’s surprising to see how little people know about it...or at least, how to use it correctly. Probably the most memorable fail in the social media world of 2011 happened when Anthony Weiner, a former U.S. Representative from New York’s congressional district “exposed” himself on his Twitter account. Mister Wiener apparently claimed that his account had been hacked and that someone else had posted a picture of a man’s unmentionables for the world to see. In order to avoid this and other mishaps in 2012, it might be a good idea to hire a social media manager or to have a communications plan in case something unexpected happens. Not tweeting your privates might help also.

3.The Foursquare and American Express partnership:
In March, American Express and Foursquare announced a partnership in which users were encouraged to sync their credit card with their Foursquare account. By checking in at various stores, AmEx users would get a credit on their next card statement. Discounts have existed before, but by linking the two accounts together, it has become much easier for credit card users to obtain them without having to deal with extra paperwork or some unfriendly store personnel.

4.The rise (and fall?) of Google +:
Google + made some pretty big waves in the social media world when it was initially launched in July of this year. Only three months after its launch, 50 million users were registered on the network. Social media gurus claimed that Google + would overthrow Facebook in the long run. A few weeks later, Forbes published “A Eulogy for Google Plus” claiming the platform had failed. Will Google + make a comeback in 2012? It’s hard to tell, after all, it’s hard for people to leave a platform they have been using for years. After all, why would anyone leave their accumulated Facebook friends and faves to start the process all over again on Google? Google will have to break new ground if it's going to steal users, or convince them to maintain two social media accounts.

5.Social media and television:

Television and social media came together for the first time in 2011. The USA Networks launched social games and CBS celebrated its first Tweet Week. Hashtags are clearly shown on the screen when a program is airing and Facebook pages for new shows are created before they are released in order to create some buzz. Social media and television is all the rage now because it appears to work. The younger generations seem to be enjoying it and according to a study by NM Incite and Nielsen, there is a correlation to be found between social media buzz and television ratings.

Of course, it would be impossible to talk about all the events that concerned social media in the last year. But how will social media evolve and improve in 2012? Be sure to read our next article where I will write about what the world can expect from social media in 2012.


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