Three Features the Social Media Community Is Spotlighting Now

To most of us, social media has become an inevitable part of our lives and businesses. As the social media options increase and evolve, more and more inventive functions are added to enhance user experience. Let’s take a look at the three newer features you can find on popular social media platforms.

LinkedIn ‘Follow’

Besides news, groups, and companies, users are able to ‘follow’ public figures with the introduction of this feature last October. As you might already know, LinkedIn has made the profiles of these 150 influential people available for users to ‘follow’ to see their updates and other activities. I think this is a great way to follow bright ideas and innovative insights without having to personally know the person. Besides, we may have a chance to connect with other professionals with common interests who also ‘follow’ the same influential thought leaders. However, you certainly can do the same thing on Twitter – the distinctive social network associated with the term ‘follow’ – where you’re not limited to 150 people. So unless you’re looking for an spontaneous job offer from these leaders (provided that you stand out from thousands of other followers) or determined to connect to your favorite public figures on all social media channels, LinkedIn ‘follow’ might just sound like Facebook’s and Twitter’s offerings.

Twitter’s Alleged Ability to Predict the Future

Remember seeing the little yet significant box on the left side of your Twitter page? You guessed it: the “Worldwide Trends” section which keeps you informed and gives you a variety of daily conversation topics. Now imagine what kinds of information you’d be able to detect if you had all the worldwide tweets and maybe blogs and news pooled together into one powerful data analysis software. Personally I don’t know whether I’d be thrilled if some stranger could predict my plans or habits by collecting and analyzing all my tweets, blog entries, or (the very little) things I’ve posted online. But this program is exactly what the Defense Department has envisioned to help examine social connections, community structures, and linked topics that may motivate extreme social behaviors in the future. Perhaps it could be a security measure if criminal or hacker groups are social media enthusiasts who diligently publicize their routines 24 times a day.

Facebook Graph Search

Announced on January 16, 2013, this new feature seems to make Facebook a stronger Google competitor by enabling users to search for people, places, interests, etc. based on the preferences from their social connections, i.e. a true personal search engine. To me this is the equivalent of spotting a close friend’s review on Yelp when trying to find out a nice place for dinner – it gives me extra confidence, trust, and willingness to make a reservation there simply because often my friends and I tend to have similar tastes in food. On the other hand, Graph Search could also become a “rewarding” target for cyber attackers as your every “Like” turns into public searchable data. Stay tuned for more updates on the performance of this brand new feature.

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