[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ocial media is here to stay. And if you’re one of the millions using social networking tools, you probably know why: They keep us more connected and informed than ever before.
As established social media giants continue to evolve, and new sites throw elbows in an effort to break into the market, 2011 saw some rising to the top, and others falling short of expectations.
According to BulldogReporter.com, the social network that came out on top last year was Twitter. Since 2010, Twitter users have doubled, due in part to Twitter’s role in disseminating quick updates to world events, like the earthquake in Japan and the British royal wedding. Innovations include a new, simpler design, with which Twitter hopes to lure those not yet Twittering.
Facebook’s 800 million users can’t be wrong. Even with some “revolutionary” updates in 2011, it’s experiencing a small decline in U.S. users, despite amazing gains in Latin American countries. Can Facebook stop the bleeding domestically, and keep the international momentum going?
Google+ has enchanted its nearly 44 million users since mid-2011 launch, showing promise with its new take on social searching. To prove itself, though, experts say Google+ has to keep the new-users numbers climbing at a feverish pace.
On the other hand, 2011 saw disappointing performances from Quora, the self-proclaimed easiest place online to write and share content on the Internet, and Diaspora, the open source social network project. Experts had high hopes for Quora at the beginning of 2011, but the network seems to have fizzled out, while Diaspora just seems to have entirely missed its launch date.
Start-up social media sites could learn a thing or two from their successful forefathers: There is no substitute for simplicity, and the site that comes out on top has to constantly evolve and implement innovations based on technology and users’ needs.
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Source: 2011’s Social Media Winners and Losers, by Sylvia Moschini; Bulldog Reporters Daily ‘Dog, Jan. 25, 2012.