Comparing platforms: What social media channels are right for you?
With so many different social media platforms, it can be hard to know which one meets your needs and which one is right for you. Each platform has its own purpose and its own strengths and weaknesses. Keep reading to learn about the difference between Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, what’s on the horizon for each platform and how Kent State leverages these channels.
Many individuals utilize Instagram to share their personal photos and videos with followers who can like and comment on the posts. With filters and other editing options within the platform, Instagram makes it easy to turn average photos into eye-catching content. Some individuals have entire accounts devoted to certain topics such as food, travel, makeup or even dogs! Many users also utilize the “stories” feature which allows individuals to showcase photos and videos for the allotted 24-hour time period.
What’s next for Instagram?
There are many new things happening on Instagram for users to keep an eye on. The platform is currently experimenting with removing the liking feature in certain countries including Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. In November, Instagram expanded this experiment to the United States in an effort to combat “social pressures that come from the app,” according to CEO Adam Mosseri. Instagram also launched IGTV in 2018, which gives users the chance to post and watch longer videos on the platform. IGTV videos can last up to 60 minutes. Since then, the platform has been placing a stronger emphasis on IGTV.
Kent State’s Instagram includes a variety of photos and stories every week featuring student and campus life. Every Friday, Kent State posts “Photo of the Week” to showcase exciting events, activities and programs taking place in the Kent State community. Follow @kentstate on Instagram to stay up to date.
If you’re looking to connect with friends, Facebook is the platform for you. Share photos, videos and written posts. One unique aspect of Facebook is the ability to type long statuses as opposed to short captions that are typically used on platforms like Twitter or Instagram. However, similar to Instagram, users can like and comment on their friends’ posts and even re-share other users' posts on their own Facebook profiles. Many companies and brands create Facebook pages to stay connected with audiences.
What’s next for Facebook?
2019 brought a new look for Facebook as the platform resigned its iconic blue logo, website and mobile app to be cleaner and more streamlined. But there are many other features for users to get excited about in 2020. One of the biggest aspects coming soon for Facebook is Calibra, a new digital wallet service. This service will serve as an aid for Libra, a new global currency system. Calibra will allow people to send Libra to nearly anyone in the world with a smartphone.
The Kent State Facebook account keeps its 91,000+ followers updated on everything from upcoming events to stories highlighting the news of the university to campus advisories. You can also find the Photo of the Week on this platform every Friday as well.
When it comes to Twitter, short, concise posts are the lifeline of the platform. Users have 280 characters to tweet out their thoughts, questions, concerns and more. Similar to the other social media platforms mentioned above, most users create personal accounts to share their thoughts with followers. Users can also share or “Retweet” other users’ tweets, with or without comments, on their own timeline. Since content is shared quickly and easily through Twitter, users can keep up with news in real time. According to Pew, 71% of Americans on Twitter are using the platform to receive their news. Many individuals also follow celebrities and influencers.
What’s next for Twitter?
Similar to Facebook, users on Twitter also saw a redesign on the platform in 2019. But as far as new features coming to the platform, Twitter aims to give users more control over what they see on the platform. In November, the company’s vice president of design and research, Dantley Davis, tweet five features he is looking forward to in the next year.
When you follow @kentstate on Twitter, you’ll find the latest updates about news and events around campus, the Photo of the Week, and responses to questions from our audience. We also use the platform heavily during an emergency to keep our followers informed as quickly as possible.
As the name suggests, Snapchat allows users to snap photos and chat with friends through the platform. One notable quality about Snapchat is that photos automatically disappear once the user clicks out of the snap. Messages between friends also automatically delete one the user clicks out of the chat unless it is saved first. Similar to Instagram, Snapchat includes the “stories” feature which allows individuals to share photos and videos with all of their friends for 24 hours.
What’s next for Snapchat?
Snapchat is working to improve the way users view news through a channel for people to watch 2020 debates. In addition to this, the platform is also expanding its filter options with a new “Cameo” feature. This feature, which is being tested in France but will eventually have a larger rollout in 2020, allows users to create face swapping memes.
Kent State uses Snapchat stories to give students an inside look at events and campus life. Be sure to add @kentstateu on Snapchat to find our exclusive “Flash Forward” series every Monday that provides updates about activities and events throughout that week.
In closing, it’s important to define your goals and develop a strategy before jumping into a particular social space. Each social platform is unique. Some platforms’ user bases are made up of a younger audience. Others attract an older demographic. And each platform is used in different ways. So, be sure to make developing a strategy the first step in your plan then evaluate which space is right for you.