In social media news this week, Google+ makes further updates to their offering and Facebook tests a new way for fundraisers to use their page and offers options when an offline relationship ends.
When Google+ began to strip out elements earlier in 2015 some thought it could even mean the end of Google+. In an announcement at the end of last week, however, it seems that Google have gone the other way and have redesigned rather than shut it down. With an increased emphasis on Communities and Connections Google+ have made it easier to post, search and connect. Google have also streamlined the design so that it appears the same on desktop, mobile and tablet.
When you log in to your account you will see the option across the screen to switch to “Meet the new Google+” so you can review it. You can then switch back to Classic Google+ if you want to.
Whilst some users have welcomed the changes the new design and concentration on Communities and Connections leaves businesses, particularly small businesses, with only limited functionality. In the new design you can no longer write a review (you have to go via google.com on a desktop or the maps app on your mobile), and you only have a restricted view of a business account. Whereas before you could choose between About, Posts, Photos and Videos those options no longer exist and only Posts are visible. If you revert to the classic view they appear but the option to revert is likely to only last for a short time.
Does this mean the end of businesses on Google+? Or will Google continue to listen and provide another alternative for businesses as it continues to make changes?
Social media platforms are increasingly used as a means of raising awareness of a cause and a way of raising funds. With a recent announcement from Facebook it could become easier for non profits to do both from their Facebook page. With the new Fundraisers, nonprofits will have a dedicated area where they can raise funds for a specific campaign. It will also allow supporters to donate, provide a running total for the campaign and allow organisations to build a story around a campaign separately from their main page.
Changes to the donate button are also included so that “Donate Now” buttons appear on posts, shared posts and the main page making it easy for supporters to donate from different places without having to leave Facebook.
The changes are being tested with 37 partner organisations but Facebook have said that they are committed to working with as many as possible in the future.
For some users, the public break up of a relationship on Facebook can be difficult. Do they stay friends? What about photos they have been tagged in together? Facebook are now testing options that make the transition from being in a relationship to single easier to manage.
With an initial test for US mobile users, when a relationship status is changed to indicate that they are no longer in a relationship, new options appear. These allow you to see less of a former partner on Facebook without having to take the step of unfriending them or blocking them. It is also possible to limit what they will see of your posts, and to untag yourself from past posts with that person.
The changes may not help with the offline pain of a breakup but they may make it easier to handle on Facebook.
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