Social media sites are in a constant battle over users, and some sites are hoping that changes to their platforms will attract more consumers.
Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram have all added small changes to their systems over the last couple of weeks. While some features are a welcome and needed change, others have left users with questions.
Facebook is in the process of rolling out a ‘promote’ button that allows users to pay to have their statuses and pages given better placement.
Nicole Hawkins, a sophomore studying photography, thinks that the promote button only makes sense for certain groups of people.
“I know Facebook was initially meant for social connecting, especially in the college sense, but now social media is a huge part of businesses, so for something like that, the promote feature could be really useful,” Hawkins, a California native, said. “But for normal people just connecting with friends, I can’t see it being useful.”
Pinterest has also added new features, the largest of which are the addition of ‘secret boards.’ These boards protect a user’s pins from going public and can be useful when a user isn’t ready to show a board or pin to the entire Pinterest world.
“I like looking at Pinterest, but sometimes I will hesitate to pin things, not because I want to be private about it, but I don’t want everyone to have to be flooded with all my pins,” Hawkins said. “For photos, I like to have an ideas board, but I don’t want everyone to have to see that I am going on a pinning frenzy. I would actually use it a lot.”
Susie Feuz, a sophomore from Connecticut, can also see uses for the new Pinterest feature.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Feuz said. “I know so many girls that would use it because they don’t want other girls stealing their wedding ideas.”
Instagram has also created a way for users to see their profiles without using the application on a smartphone or device. Websites have been created for all Instagram users so profiles can be seen online. The design is similar to Facebook with a profile picture and cover photo, but the cover photo is automatically updated with the latest posted Instagrams from the individual user.
Feuz was unimpressed with the website addition to Instagram.
“You can’t view your feed online, you can only see your profile, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me,” Feuz said.
Ashton Stauss-Hook, a sophomore studying accounting, feels unprotected with her Instagram profile online.
“When I first saw it, I thought it was a little bit creepy,” Strauss-Hook said. “Something about having it on the Internet makes me feel more nervous than just having it on my phone. I don’t think it was necessary.”
Because the profiles are now online, some students think that it is a great way to get more users.
“I think that it’s a very smart move,” Kristofor Joseph Anderson, a junior studying trumpet performance, said. “It’s a great way to appeal to more people and get more people to use it.”