This Week In Social: Instagram Cuts Off Twitter, Google Plus Communities, Facebook Follow Button

By Rob McNair

 Facebook Changes Subscribe Button To Follow

A little more than a year since Facebook introduced the ‘subscribe’ button it has decided to re-name it to the Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest-esque ‘follow’ button. Even though the move may be superficial and nothing actually changes about the functionality of the button, it does seem that they have conceded to accepting the fact ‘follow’ is better than ‘subscribe’.

According to Facebook, users were actually unsure as to what the ‘subscribe’ button actually did, so by changing it to ‘follow’ users should understand, that like Twitter, clicking this button is a one sided agreement. You’ll be able to see all the posts and updates from people like Robert Scoble in your news feed, but they won’t see anything that you post. While Twitter isn’t likely to take legal action against Facebook for the adoption of the term, it is worth noting that the social network is in legal trouble over a similar reason

Instagram Cuts Off Twitter

While updates with images taken with Instagram have long been a staple part of the Twitter, as of this week, the popular photo sharing service has disabled its Twitter integration. The integration previously allowed for Instagram images to expand in the Twitter stream and to be viewed in full.

Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram, confirmed the company’s decision to remove the Twitter integration was based on driving users to the Instagram website. Users will still be able to tweet a link to an Instagram photo but people will only be able to view it on the Instagram site. Earlier this year, you may remember Facebook acquired the photo sharing company and even though Twitter was an integral part of Instagrams success, it does seem as if Facebook is trying to distance the photo sharing service from its rival.

Facebook UK Insights Video

This week Facebook have published a new video on how British people spend their time on Facebook. According to the video there are 27 million Brits that use Facebook every month, and of these 19 million users access via their mobile. Make sure you watch the video for all the latest UK stats.

Google Plus Communities Feature

Google have launched a new feature, which is very similar to Facebook groups. In their official blog on Thursday they announced Google Communities, and stated, “Google+ Communities are “a gathering place for your passions” and “more permanent homes for all the stuff you love,” wrote Google Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra.

Any Google+ user can create a community, which includes features such a public/private membership, discussion categories, the ability to start hangouts and events with members of a community, along with the ability to share something with other community members any time you hit a +1 button on the site. At the moment there are a few official communities, which include Audi, Star Wars and Call of Duty. Although not yet on mobile devices they’ve confirmed that will happen very soon.

Google have been playing catch up with Facebook for quite a while now, although their user numbers are increasing; currently at 135 million people who are actually ‘active’ in the Google+ stream. Facebook groups have been around for years, but Google+ communities seems to have a few additional features such as hangouts with an entire community and the ability to share from any +1 button. Don’t forget to join our #mycleverchat community here.

Twitter Launches Regional Trends In 100 More Cities

On Wednesday Twitter launched Trends in 100 more cities around the world including Istanbul, Frankfurt, Guadalajara and Incheon. This is putting Twitter at the forefront of breaking news, with Trends now being in more than 200 locations. If you want to view the trends in different locations, click ‘Change’ in the trends section.

Twitter remains to be the place where people discuss natural disasters and emergencies. No doubt over the next few months they’ll continue to add even more Trends across the globe so it becomes easier for people to quickly see what others are talking about, globally and locally.


This post was written by Rob McNair

Rob has experience advising some of the worlds most iconic brands. He thrives on helping improving social media knowledge within organisations with the ultimate goal of making theirs brands more social, transparent and accountable.