Last week we brought you news of Twitter’s re-design, which has since been rolled out to thousands of users. Twitter’s redesign also seems to have started a trend amongst social networks, which can only be promising for businesses looking to progress their social media marketing campaign throughout 2012.

No sooner had the dust settled on the unveiling of the “new” Twitter, than Facebook – who don’t like to be left behind – announced the roll out of their “new” timeline, which is available to everyone. But Facebook aren’t the only one’s introducing new features this week, LinkedIn have also jumped onto the bandwagon; and below we’ll unravel both of them (as though they were the large Christmas present under the tree that we cannot wait to get our hands onto!)

Facebook:

If you cast your minds back to September of this year, you may remember news of the Facebook F8 Conference, where Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team unveiled their plans for the website for the foreseeable future.

One of those plans was the introduction of a new timeline. Well two and a bit months down the line, the day has came for the timeline to be available to everyone (who opts in).

Previously I’ve been rather sceptical about the changes Facebook have made – and as many would agree rightly so – however, I decided this time to jump feet first into the deep end; after all I’m of the belief that Facebook wouldn’t launch the new timeline so close to Twitter’s new look if they weren’t confident.

I have to say, that by jumping in feet first, I haven’t been disappointed.

With the radical overhaul of the timeline we’ve grown up with, gone are the days of merely listing your interests and personal information; instead Facebook’s new timeline greets you with a detailed look of your Facebook life – allowing you to see exactly how much time you have really spent on the social network and also the information that you’ve shared / received.

This new timeline is like taking a walk down memory lane, as comments, status updates and images from the moment you joined Facebook up to the present day appear, in a traditional timeline fashion; whilst also giving you the ability to have a more detailed look at what you’ve been up to at any particular point (Word of warning: Make sure you have plenty of spare time as it can be addictive reliving the past).

For those who whilst reading this have winced at the thought of your Facebook past being available for all to see in a handy timeline; fear not at a new tool introduced with it, called “Activity Tool” gives you the option to finely tune what appears on your timeline – you can also view the timeline in the same view as your friends will see it, giving you the option to tune it to perfection; before either hitting “Publish Now” or waiting the seven days for it to go live itself.

Why not view for yourself how the new Facebook Timeline – and sign up for it today.

Unfortunately, at present the new Facebook Timeline is only available for individual accounts, meaning that brands, businesses and pages cannot take advantage of it this side of 2012.

But looking ahead to 2012 and further a-field, Facebook have said: “We are currently focused on Timeline for individuals and will consider how to make consistent experiences for Pages; but we have nothing to announce at this time.”

Facebook have never hidden that they want consistency throughout their platform, so hopefully before we know it brand pages and individual timelines will be consistent sooner rather than later.

LinkedIn:

Not wanting to be left behind by either Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn this week have also announced a change to their platform, although this change can be considered more minor than extreme.

Whilst the change may not be as radical as those introduced by Twitter and Facebook, it is a valuable change for businesses and brands using the platform, whilst also showing LinkedIn’s intentions to keep up with all the changes occurring within social media marketing.

It is hoped that the introduction of Polls within groups will bring about new ways in which users interact within groups, whilst enhancing the number of activities users can do on the site beyond networking and job seeking.

These three changes, combined with the changes introduced by Twitter last week, show that social media networking is moving forward within 2012 and beyond; I also think these changes highlight the importance that social media marketing can play in promoting a business, brand and service.

What do you think? Do you like the new Facebook timeline? Are you excited about how social media marketing is going to progress within 2012? Why not share your views below.

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