The new year is upon us, and it’s time to review the latest in social media as well as brainstorm new strategies for with my first newsletter of 2016.

Social networks change the dimensions and formats of images frequently, and it can be difficult to stay in-the-know on the proper sizes for creative elements.

As you start to plan your social media campaigns for 2016, it is critical to optimize social media profiles with the right image sizes if you want to stand out from the crowd. Check out Search Engine Journal’s 2016 Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet for an overview of the proper image dimensions for every channel.


Now, let’s look back and explore 10 updates our favorite social networks announced over the last few weeks.


  1. Facebook is just weeks away from learning, finally, to love. And be sad. And angry.

The social network, fresh from announcing blockbuster profits and continued growth to around 1.6 billion users, with 1.4 billion on mobile, said it would launch five new reaction buttons “in the next few weeks.”

Instead of simply liking things, users will be able to express “Love”, “Haha”, “Wow”, “Sad”, and “Angry”. On a desktop the feature will appear when hovering over ‘Like’, while mobile users will need to tap and hold. Facebook unveiled its new emojis, which it calls Reactions, in October, with limited rollouts in a few countries. The social network said the feature had changed since then, with “Yay” removed because it was not “universally understood.” Facebook said the new options had been honed for months to produce the right experience.


  1. Facebook’s infamous real-name policy — which requires everyone to use either a real name, or a name they’re known by — is now going to be more efficiently enforced. Users who report false names will be required to provide additional context, and individuals with special circumstances will be able to describe their situation in order to keep their name private. These features are currently being tested in the United States, with a global rollout pending.


  1. Facebook has released a new set of toolsdesigned to facilitate better communication between Page owners and their audiences. With the number of messages being sent to Pages doubling compared to this time last year, the new features help page owners become more responsive to their audience from any device. A more intuitive inbox and easier comment tracking are some of the highlights of the improved page features.


  1. The live video feature Facebook began testing with celebritieslast summer is now available to a small portion of U.S.-based iPhone users. According to Facebook, this new feature will allow users to share streaming videos they are seeing in real-time. To share a live video, click “Update Status” and then look for the “Live Video” icon, next to the photo, tag, and emoticon options on your iPhone. The icon appears as a person with two rings around their head.


  1. Instagram may finally be looking to solve one of its major user hang-ups — the inability to manage multiple accounts from a single dashboard, similar to the way you can on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently, in order to have two accounts with the photo-sharing platform, you must completely log out of one and login to another with an email address and password. This is cumbersome for brand managers, social media account managers, and anyone else who wants to have more than one account.


However, the new feature is only available for Android owners using Instagram’s beta version. Instagram has information on joining the beta program if you’re interested. We will keep you posted on news of a full launch for Android and iOS.


  1. Pinterest announced it will let U.S. business buy its “promoted pins” advertising product starting this month. This is the latest step by one of the technology world’s so-called unicorns to build an advertising business worthy of its $11 billion valuation. So far, the five-year-old company has focused on growing its user base and rolling out features. However, recent announcement such as this show Pinterest is looking to monetize the social network.


  1. Yahoo has updated its image search engine to include content from Flickr. You’ll have to be logged into your Yahoo account to pull in personalized Flickr results when searching for an image on Yahoo. This will include some of your own content, images from users you follow, and top public photos on the image service. The new feature is available only on desktop for U.S. users.


  1. Twitter revamped the way photos posted to its service will look, with a greater focus on a more media-heavy experience that is driving social engagement. Now, uncropped photos and larger multi-photo displays are possible, allowing images to be viewed as intended.


  1. YouTube has introduced a new permanent fixture to the iOS, Android, and desktop versions of its service — a “Trending” tab that will surface viral videos in real time. According to The Verge, YouTube’s Trending tab uses an algorithm based on comments, views, and external references. Instead of recommending popular videos on the homepage, this tab will be the new place to find popular/trending videos.


  1. The new Google+ is a place for interests, with an emphasis on its Communities and Collections. The new Google+ is much simpler and more mobile friendly. According to Google, it focuses on simple navigation and improved search. With such a shake up, it will be interesting to see how users engage and rate the new Google+ experience. Who knows? It could be the next big thing in social.