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2011: A year in review

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As Christmas draws ever closer and our thoughts turn to the new year, we’d like to take a nostalgic moment to think about the year gone by, as it’s been quite a big one really. Here’s our round-up of significant social and technological events from 2011.

All things social

Where do I begin? Social media platforms have again had a triumphant year; from the launch of Google+ at the end of June to the growth of Tumblr, the way we communicate continues to evolve with the growth of the key social players.

Twitter reported that the announcement of Beyonce’s pregnancy hit a new record of tweets per second in August, but for me the biggest news story was the Japanese earthquake in March. It really demonstrated that social media is the first place that I (and a lot of people) hear of those big news stories.

As well as hitting new records Twitter redesigned their platform at the beginning of December and launched promoted tweets in the UK. Let’s not forget Facebook either; in September Mark Zuckerburg announced both the launch of Timeline and that the platform now has 800 million users. There is also talk that Facebook will float on the stock market in 2012, so the next 12 months could be interesting. LinkedIn also hit an important milestone this year, 100 million users.

The growth of the smartphone

The war between Android and iOS continues, with Gartner reporting that 52.5% of smartphones sold worldwide in the third part of the year were Android. Second was the Nokia Symbian at 16.9% followed by the iOS at 15%. While Apple may have sadly lost Steve Jobs in October this year, they also launched the iPad 2,  iPhone 4S (Siri in hand) and iOS 5. The iPhone 4 is also the most popular device for taking photos – beating all other smartphones and cameras, quite a statistic! Android launched their latest operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich and Google purchased Motorola Mobility for £7.7 billion in August. Apple also listed Instagram as the best iOS app of the year, no surprise really when you consider they have grown to 50 million users this year and plan to launch an Android version very soon.

Security breaches galore

This year we saw an unprecedented amount of security breaches – from the outage of the Sony PlayStation Network, to the phishing attack on Xbox users and security breach at Steam – to name but a few. There was also talk of a Facebook hack taking place in November but this never materialised. Security can never be taken for granted, and the Sign-Up.to team certainly shuddered when we saw the ‘worst passwords of 2011′ list.

Things to come…

In my next post I’ll talk more about what’s to come in 2012 but let’s not forget that Windows 8 was announced this year, as was Amazon’s Kindle Fire – a potential rival for Apple in the tablet market. There’s also the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics coming to London, so it’ll be interesting to see how the world of technology responds to those events.

What stories were important to you this year? I am certain that there are plenty more stories I could have covered here, but I hope this post has given you a nice little summary of the year gone by in technology. As always, please do get in touch with me via email or just leave a comment in the box below.

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