In Review: 2012 - The Year of the Social Image
|2012 saw big developments for platforms sharing images|
The year 2012 in social media will be remembered for a lot of things, but the No. 1 thing? It was…
The Year of the Social Image
Pinterest: It’s rapid growth began late in 2011 and rocketed through 2012. In many months it experienced 400 percent growth month-over-month. The site that features images of cute cats and delicious cakes became a huge time-suck for millions. The final seal of approval? The White House joined Pinterest in December.
Instagram vs. Twitter: Facebook bought Instagram and it was probably only a matter of time until Facebook/Instagram wanted nothing to do with rival Twitter. In early December the relationship was over: Why Instagram pulled its photos from Twitter. Then Twitter launched its own set of photo filters
Facebook: The world’s largest social network introduced automatic photo syncing which was a worry for some (Facebook automatic photo sync: 3 reasons to say "No thanks") and no real cause for concern for others (Relax, Facebook’s Photo Sync is an opt-in feature).
Viral videos: We couldn’t get enough of some videos this year and YouTube was the beneficiary. From South Korean entertainer Psy and his 'Gangnam Style' to 'KONY 2012' it seemed video sharing just got more popular by the month. For a good wrap up of the year’s top viral videos see CNN's top viral videos list.
Snapchat: This mobile social network is where friends share images (snaps) that disappear forever (its icon is a ghost ... get it?) after just seconds. In a world of perfectly controlled social presences this idea sounds crazy, but it is catching on. It’s now used at least 30 million times a day according to Forbes: Snapchat: The Biggest No-Revenue Mobile App Since Instagram. But a growing concern in late 2012 was that although the images disappear from Snapchat there is no stopping anyone from grabbing a screenshot and sharing that … forever (See: “Snapchat Sluts Hit the Internet on New Website”).
Other 2012 social media developments
- The social network went public and quickly lost money for founder Mark Zuckerberg and lots of speculators: Zuckerberg loses half his personal fortune in market slide as shares go for $18.75.
- Facebook was the subject of a widely circulated, viral hoax that seemed to imply users could add copyright to material they posted to Facebook.
- The ubiquity of the social network became unquestioned in 2012. For example, 80 Percent of Social Network Users Prefer to Connect with Brands through Facebook, according to Kevin Jorgensen, on the Business 2 Community blog.
- The network surpassed 500 million users.
- It has the highest percentage on mobile with 50 percent of users accessing Twitter on a mobile device.
- It became an important player in conversations around the November elections: Election 2012 Breaks Records with 31.7 Million Political Tweets.
Hurricane Sandy proved how helpful social media can be: From self-organized clean-up crews organizing around social media sites to social media make helping personal it was clear that the super storm had created a deluge of social media responses. The good that came from this included government agencies realizing that they can now listen in real time to the needs of citizens and weather forecasters realizing that in social media they can find out what’s happening on the ground.
More generally it became clear that government agencies and entities of all sorts can no longer ignore social media, according to Elaine Pittman at the site Government Technology: 2012 was the year that using social media to reach citizens became business as usual.
The growth of social media continues to be staggering. For a good wrap up on social media in 2012 see Brian Honigan’s piece on the Huffington Post: 100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures From 2012.
So what big social media events and happenings are missing here? What other social media news from 2012 will you remember?
Mike is a strategist and teacher who helps businesses and students understand and get the most from social media. He currently is a Lecturer in the Department of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches advertising, public relations and journalism (all with a social media twist).
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