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Year in Review: The Top Social Media Trends of 2011

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Expectations are already high for the coming year in the realm of social media. Mashable is predicting the rise of augmented reality in social applications while Social Media Today is calling for increased social advertising. While excitement mounts about what is to come in 2012, here at Koroberi we’re taking a look at the note-worthy social media trends and events that happened in 2011:

  1. Spotify comes to the United States: The UK-based app Spotify opened its digital music streaming services to American users in July. Originally available via invitation, the site has three different subscription models and allows users access to a library of more than 15 million songs. Hitting 2.5 million subscribers in December, mere months after opening in the US, Spotify was a big hit in 2011.
  2. Facebook gets a makeover: Every time Facebook tweaks one of its features, Zuckerburg is faced with controversy and several million angry users. That didn’t stop the social media giant from launching the new Facebook “Timeline” layout, available to developers in September and fully launched in late Fall. The completely renovated Facebook profile now serves as “the story of your life,” making it one of the most noteworthy social media advances for 2011.
  3. Twitter Scandals: From Anthony Weiner’s lewd photo tweet to Newt Gingrich’s fake followers, 2011 was a year of political Twitter scandals. Though “Weinergate” eventually blew over and Gingrich was vindicated by Twitter analysis, here’s hoping that politicians become more adept on the Twitter scene in 2012.
  4. Planking goes viral: Planking isn’t a new trend for 2011, but the meme went viral this year as celebrities (and non-celebs too) posted photos and videos of awkward planking photos everywhere from Twitter to YouTube.
  5. The first Twitter Presidential Debate: Republicans took advantage of Twitter this summer in the inaugural presidential Twitter debate. With only 140 characters to tackle often controversial policy issues, this new medium for debate was a huge shift from the prime-time television debates that dominate election season. The results? According to an analysis of Twitter posts, Herman Cain received the most Retweets while @teambachmann received the most @mentions.
  6. Google + the new Facebook?: In late June, Google launched Google+, its answer to Facebook. While Google + isn’t short of users (62 million members and counting), many Google + profiles have been created and left inactive as users struggle to find its relevance among its already established competitors, Facebook and Twitter. But one thing is certain, Google + has definitely kept the Facebook beast on its toes as Zuckerburg introduced increased privacy settings and the social grouping feature to combat two of the site’s most innovative attributes.
  7. The Angry Birds phenomenon: The most popular app of 2011, Angry Birds has become a sensation taking over tablets and smartphones across the world. The wildly addictive game has become a global brand with t-shirts, stuffed animals and other merchandise flying off of store shelves faster than you can launch an angry bird at an evil pig with a slingshot. Angry Birds was the top paid app in Apple’s app store, but Words with Friends came in a close second in a recent poll.
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