The year 2012 broke a lot of records for social media, perhaps the most prominent one being Facebook’s hitting the 1 billion user mark. This year, social media companies have also developed ways to earn money off their social networking sites. Furthermore, there has been a staggering increase in the number of social network users from developing nations that have created their accounts once they gained access to the internet.
2012 is a year wherein Twitter and Facebook are household names; a part of our everyday lives. Social networking has changed the way we play and work. It has also served an integral role in preserving huge events during the year, such as the United States presidential elections, the Hurricane Sandy disaster, and the London Olympics. News programs in major television networks have used social networks as sources of commentary and data during these live events.
2012 is truly the year of the mobile device for social media. Companies like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have seen this year that a lot of money has been made through mobile, and so they have taken steps geared toward that direction, making major purchases and renovating mobile apps.
Facebook, for example, has removed its unfavorable mobile apps and improved the slow ones, and has even purchased Instagram, a once mobile-only application for sharing and editing photos. Other social networks also made great strides to have a presence in the mobile world, including Zynga, LinkedIn and Twitter
Pinterest is one of the success stories of social media for 2012, showing that visuals have made their mark for this year. (Image: Jeni Baker (CC) via Flickr)
Pinterest’s population grew rapidly during the year 2012. It started off with 11.7 million visits during the first month, and it grew to 17.8 million by March. By September, it became 25.3 million site visits, a 42 percent increase. The pinboard-style social site has seen star users who gathered followers by the millions because of their incredible collection of pins in various categories. Even the police use Pinterest to display their achievements, put up lists of most wanted criminals and display guidelines to the general public.
Facebook started Facebook Gifts this year, a gifting service which allows users to send actual presents to their friends on Facebook without requiring their addresses, a move to make money, which is mostly still all about the ads associated with the service.
Aside from Facebook, there are other success stories when it comes to social shopping. For example, The Fancy, a website that works like Pinterest, lets users connect the stuff that they bookmark to online stores where they can purchase what they want.
This year, visuals have been given special consideration among the top social media firms. The best example is Instagram, who became so popular with 100 million users that Facebook decided to purchase it for an initial price (which was eventually lowered) of 1 billion dollars.
Furthermore, Tumblr and Pinterest became very popular this year, social sites that showcase visual collections that users like. Filtered photos started a rivalry as Twitter decided to improve its app to be able to capture photos and filter them.
Google+, Google’s social networking site, has been put closer to the centerpiece of its services by linking it to search results. Nevertheless, it has been called a ghost town by many critics because of the short time that users actually spend on their Google+ profiles on a monthly basis.
Bradley Horowitz, chief of Google+, has called Facebook the social network of the past. Currently, Google+ currently has 135 million active users.