This past year was full of changes for the social media giant. Don’t know about you, but we found the ever-shifting Facebook landscape a bit dizzying in 2013. That’s why we wanted to have a little stroll down memory lane today and take a look at all of the major changes we covered throughout the year:

Stop 1: Link Preview Size
Facebook started the year by implementing some changes to the size of the previews shown when users share links on their timelines. This took the preview links from a stingy 95×95 pixels to a roomier 154×154 pixels. Much appreciated by marketers who want their links to catch the eyes of users scanning their news feeds. (Read full article) 

Stop 2: Graph Search
Also in January, Facebook announced the beta release of Graph Search. This new capability in the Facebook search function takes advantage of the social network’s massive data store of people and places to add insight to search results. Facebook said that it will allow people to “find information through the filter of their friends.” (Read full article)

Stop 3: News Feed Redesign
The redesign and functionality changes Facebook introduced in March, 2013 was certainly one of the more important updates of the year. The new design aimed to give users a “richer, simpler, more beautiful news feed.” And that it did. Increasing the size of image previews, re-vamping photo album posts, and adding cover photo/profile pic previews to posts made for a much more visually appealing new feed experience. (Read full article)

Stop 4: Cover Photo Guidelines
Also in March, Facebook quietly updated its much-maligned limitations on cover photo content. What was once a four-pronged approach to restricting what people could display in their cover photos magically changed to a friendlier paragraph overnight. Most notably, this guide created the “20% rule” wherein users can put what they like in their photo as long as it’s less than 20% text. (Read full article)

Stop 5: Mobile Page Layout
The following month, we saw major changes to the layout of business Facebook pages on mobile devices. Updates included a simpler look, prioritized information, up-front ways to connect with businesses, and easier page management. There were different views for “admin” and “public” as well. (Read full article)

Stop 6: Hashtags on Facebook
Much to some people’s delight (and some people’s dismay), the content organization hashtags finally made their way to Facebook in June, 2013. This allowed people to stop simply using hashtags to express a thought/feeling (#Bestboyfriendever) and actually use them to organize posts around a topic, much like Twitter does. This can be done in a status update or in the feed of the topic itself when it’s found through a search. (Read full article)

Stop 7: New Contest Rules
In one of the more surprising Facebook changes of the year, Facebook relaxed its previously strict contest guidelines in August, 2013. Prior to the change it was necessary to run contests through a third party app in order to adhere to Facebook’s terms of service. And while that is no longer required, 3rd party apps are still a great way to manage and brand your contests for maximum engagement (wink wink, check out Pagemodo Contests). It’s logical that Facebook made this move, since many users were ignoring the requirements around not using functions such as likes and comments as voting mechanisms anyway. (Read full article)

Stop 8: Facebook Ad Changes
Historically one of the more intimidating areas of social media marketing, Facebook ads underwent some major changes in September. These included a reduction in the variety of ads, an increase in the size of ad images, and the inclusion of ads in Sponsored Stories automatically. It’s hard to sum this one up with words, so we created a handy Facebook Ads Infographic you should check out. And bookmark. And share with your friends.

Stop 9: Post Editing
Though smaller than some of the year’s other changes, this was one of my personal favorites. No longer having to delete all the likes, comments, and views of a post when you realize that you spelled something wrong or stated the wrong time for something is a great advance. Facebook post editing was a big win for small business owners and obsessive-compulsive copywriters alike. (Read full article)

Thanks for talking a walk with us! We look forward to sharing more year-end recaps from the ever-changing world of social media over the next few weeks.

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the Online Content Specialist and resident blogger at Pagemodo. Loves social media, branding, whales. Get more from Sarah on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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