Everyone uses social networks to let the world know what they’ve been up to, but what about the networks themselves?  There’s a growing importance around social networks as they establish their platforms, APIs and mobile reach.  When it comes to emerging trends around search, the cloud and mobility, all your favorite socnets have had some important updates in recent weeks, shifting business strategies for the networks themselves, developers and advertisers alike.

So let’s start with Google+, Google’s latest dive into the social networking scene.  When it first launched, users were going gaga for an invite, so traffic to Google+ was quite high initially, but when you get into the site, you’ll soon figure out that there’s still a ways to go before this tool overtakes Facebook. While traffic is slowly dropping off, Google’s high level of integration has long-term potential, as indicated by mobile developer interest in a recent Appcelerator report.  Google’s already got a list of integration points and new feature adds lined up for the coming months, and as Google continues to redesign its Apps, it becomes clearer that Google intends to stick with Google+ for quite a while.

Another major area of potential integration for Google is the daily deals sector, as Google has just acquired DealMaps, a daily deal site, as part of their recent round of talent buys.  Many Google+ users are hoping that DealMaps will be incorporated into the new social service, much like Facebook has Groupon.  Daily deals programs are big right now, and this could be the reason for the DealMaps acquisition.  Google’s already added Offers to its Shopper mobile app, priming a perfect outlet for aggregate daily deals.

Twitter’s also making some major changes to its platform, specifically around its monetization capabilities.  To facilitate further updates, the microblog has reeled in an $800 million funding set to be used to buy back shares and expand the company.  They have raised $400 million from Digital Sky Technologies led by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.

“Twitter is one of the few companies that has truly changed the world,” Milner said in a statement released by Twitter. “Twitter’s astonishing growth is a testament to how important it is becoming to more people every day and why we couldn’t pass up the chance to be a bigger part of its future.”

They also added two new languages for translation, Dutch and Indonesian, as their 10th and 11th languages and will soon add Filipino and Malay translations.  The company is also looking for ways to up their revenue as they feel others are benefiting from advertising on their for free.  Twitter’s built up quite an ecosystem around its microblog and the company is looking to contain as much control over it as possible.  It’s turning off developers in the process, as Topify was the latest to feel slighted by Twitter’s never-ending platform and regulatory changes.

And as for Facebook, they’ve recently added the ‘I’m expecting’ option to help expectant parent/s easily spread the word to the world.  This option wasn’t easily embraced by users as many think of it as making a special announcement seem like just another status update, it takes away that special feeling of announcing you’re to have a baby.  But others say it’s okay because a lot of parents have already used Facebook to make such an announcement. But it’s still your account, whatever Facebook adds to its features, you always have the option to use or not use it.

Just as students have always passed notes in class and are now sending text messages instead, this is just another way to spread news and information about your life through social media,” Scott Campbell, an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan said. “People have announced baby news on Facebook for years.”

As Facebook is open to business ads, a recently conducted survey have shown that more advertisers, about 93%, are already utilizing Facebook and even more will do so in the near future as it proved to be a great ground for marketing strategies.  Competitors really have to step it up as Twitter has also embraced advertising with 78% already using the microblogging site to post ads.


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