“Buy” Twitter, Facebook vs. Snapchat and #Brandfails | This Week in Social Media

Twitter Buy Button“Buy” more with Twitter

A new week, a new feature on Twitter. The social network announced this week it would be rolling out a “Buy” button that could be embedded into tweets and direct users to make purchases with just a few clicks. This could be a major new source of revenue for Twitter, which currently relies advertising for nearly all of its funding. Facebook began testing a similar feature earlier this summer.

The feature is not tied directly to Amazon or Google, however. Once the button is clicked, users will be asked to provide credit card and shipping information or, if already on file, will ask users to confirm the purchase for maximum efficiency. Goodbye life savings…

This message will self-destruct in 3…2..1…

Not to be outdone by the likes of Snapchat, Facebook is testing out a new mobile feature that will allow messages to be sent that would delete after a set amount of time. While it is only be tested in limited amount on iOS right now, it could lead to a new direction for the company, which has seen younger users flock to other networks, like Snapchat, as parents and grandparents have joined Facebook.

You stay classy, brands

If social media marketing has taught us anything, it’s that brands will do anything for attention – even if it’s tacky or (unknowingly) controversial.

Frozen pizza maker, DiGiorno, faced incredible backlash after its community manager sent out a tweet with a hashtag tied to the incident involving former Baltimore Ravens player, Ray Rice attacking his now-wife in an elevator. While the community manager apologized profusely and claimed they were not aware of the meaning of the hashtag they used, the damage had already been done.

While this isn’t necessarily an incident drawing the same kind of heat as DiGiorno, Mashable found a number of brands that sent out 9/11-related content to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. While some messages were simply showing support and genuinely heartfelt, others very clearly slapped their logo in patriotic imagery featuring quotes about the anniversary. The Internet reacted as it normally does with these kinds of situations, unrelenting criticism and cynicism

Being timely and clever can absolutely help brand awareness, however it’s important to take a step back and ensure that the message is the right one being sent as well as how it might be perceived.

Apple Under Fire, Twitter Text and Google Gifs | This Week in Social Media

Kate UptoniCloud hack(?) exposes stars

Apple is under fire after more than 100 celebrities were the victims of what appears to be an iCloud hack that resulted in nude photos they had stored being shared online. Many of the victimized stars spoke out about the hack, with some harshly criticizing Apple for perceived flaws in its security.

Apple maintains that there was no hack and blames the leaked photos on “a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions.” The FBI is currently investigating the matter.

Twitter adds more features, people complain

Twitter sent out two tweets this week about changes to the social network: a change in font, new buttons on profile pages and more color options for profiles. In typical internet fashion, people complained. However, the font change is actually going back to a sans-serif default font from the change to a Gotham Narrow font that people also complained about (notice a pattern?).

The new buttons make it easier to directly communicate with an account with  “Tweet” and “Message” buttons. These simply make it easier to mention or direct message an account.

Google gifs

Google is getting in on the fun when it comes to gifs. The search engine is working with Madden GIFerator in creating a live stream of memes using Madden NFL 15 gameplay footage. For example, if Detroit Lions wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, makes a fantastic catch at the beginning of a game you might see the meme below celebrate with the player’s nickname, Megatron.

Clickbait Crackdown, Twitter Analytics and Hyperlapse | This Week in Social Media

clickbaitCutting down on clickbait

We’ve all seen posts with an enticing photo and text reading something like: “You WON’T believe what happened after this picture was taken! Click HERE —–>.” Fortunately, Facebook has taken notice of these irritating clickbait-type posts and is looking to do something about it.

By seeing how long people view the articles they click on (and whether they share it), Facebook hopes to determine which types of posts are spammy and baiting users to click. This isn’t the first time Facebook has looked to crack down on this kind of practice. In April, the social network began targeting and removing “like baiting.”

Twitter analytics for all!

No longer reserved for just a few, Twitter has opened up its analytics dashboard to all users. Now, anyone can see just how well their content is performing. The analytics give users information on reach, impressions and engagement. While the majority of users may not find this helpful, smaller companies and bloggers will find the information of great use as they look to establish their own foothold in the Twittersphere. Analytics were previously only available to verified users and advertisers.

Video gets a bit more watchable

Instagram unveiled a new app this week designed to improve video quality for users: Hyperlapse. The app works to condense and speed up videos in order to stablize them. That means your panoramic video of last week’s barbeque will give viewers less of that “jolting” look and a much smoother viewing experience.

We know you’re reading this and just bursting with excitement at all of the cool videos you’ll be able to make, but keep in mind that this type of app and feature won’t benefit every video. To get a good idea of what Hyperlapse looks like in action, view the video below. Happy filming.


Instagram Ad Tools, Twitter Anger and Taking the Plunge! | This Week in Social Media

Instagram Account Insights650Instagram rolls out advertising tools

While Instagram introduced ads last year, it is now providing advertisers a better way to track how their money is spent. Three features designed to provide better analytics and data were announced this week:  Account Insights, Ad Insights and Ad Staging. Each will help determine how well a brand and its paid content are being engaged with and the reach of that content.

While the tools are currently only available to existing advertisers, Instagram is collecting feedback before making the new features available for all advertisers later this year.

Favorites = retweets?

A riddle for you: when is a favorite a retweet? Answer: quite often, apparently. Twitter has rolled out a change to its timelines that now shows users what their followers are retweeting AND favoriting. As if this wasn’t annoying enough for some (many) users, they are also seeing accounts people that they follow are following.

For one thing, it does away with quietly favoriting something to show appreciation and it also shows a continued blurring of the lines between the way Facebook and Twitter show popular content and the difference between the two social networks. While the company says it isn’t sharing a favorited tweet every time, if you follow several hundred (or thousand) accounts, it stands to reason that you’ll see an awful lot of favorited content. Yay.

Millions donated by taking the plunge

By now, you’ve undoubtedly seen or heard of people dumping cold water on their heads, but why are they doing it? People around the country are “taking the plunge” with the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. Here’s how it works: you decide (or are nominated by a friend) to dump a bucket of freezing cold water on yourself and donate $10 to ALS research OR forego the water and donate $100.

So far, nearly $42 million has been raised for what is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease and thousands of videos of people accepting the challenge have been uploaded. It isn’t just your friends; many celebrities have gotten in on the goodwill – including former president George W. Bush! If you’d like to donate, head to http://www.alsa.org/


Google and Yahoo Ally, Floods Flood Social Media, Goodbye Robin Williams

A more secure email by 2015?

Setting aside their competitive differences, Google and Yahoo are teaming up to provide a boost in their encryption services for email. The news came earlier this week that a source code would be released in the coming months with the hopes that the open community would help identify threats.

Yahoo stated the goal was “end-to-end encryption fully available by 2015.” Once implemented, it would make it nearly impossible for hackers, providers, or even the government, to read messages.

Flood imagery floods social media

From Detroit to Rhode Island, incredible images of intense flooding permeated nearly any social media network after storms dropped several inches of rain in just a few hours. In Detroit, some lower stretches of highway were submerged under as much as 13 feet of water and damage estimated in the billions of dollars.

Social media helps remember the life and works of Robin Williams

Robin WilliamsThis week, people around the world were shocked to learn that comedian and actor, Robin Williams, had died. For decades, Williams had inspired and entertained with his fast-paced improvised antics that could change at the drop of a hat and become a somber lesson about life.

Williams had been battling depression for some time, his publicist said, but his wife has also revealed the actor was in the beginning stages of Parkinson’s Disease

Williams’ passing led to a collective mourning on social media. From quotes of “O Captain! My Captain!” from Dead Poets Society to images of Williams’ genie in Aladdin, the outpouring was real and very heartfelt.
Goodbye Genie

Twitter Tinkering, the New Foursquare, Barnes and Noble Parters with Google | This Week in Social Media

Twitter TinkeringTwitter tinkering

Even though you don’t follow Donald Trump, Buzzfeed or Lebron James it doesn’t mean you won’t start seeing their tweets in your feed. That’s because Twitter is experimenting with a new algorithm designed to make popular content accounts you follow visible to you. Think of it as the same way viral content is spread and made more visible on Facebook.

This isn’t the same as sponsored posts or ads, these are genuine tweets that include the option to follow the accounts. While this may be helpful for those new to Twitter, those that are well-versed in the social network may find it irritating and even frustrating as you may not have any interest in seeing an account someone you follow is following. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do if you don’t like it – besides just ignoring irrelevant content for now.

Look out, Yelp, Foursquare isn’t playing around

That new and “improved” Foursquare we recently told you about is now live. Gone are the days of the Foursquare check-in. Now, the app is hoping to take a bite out of Yelp’s business. This video gives an overview of the changes and purpose of the new Foursquare. Suffice it to say, its essentially revamped itself to become more intuitive to search recommendations to help you find where and what you might be looking for. The new slogan even reads “find your place.” Only time will tell if the changes will be enough to unseat Yelp as users’ go-to app for ratings, reviews and recommendations.

Google, Barnes and Noble join forces

In an effort to take a bite out of Amazon’s business, Barnes and Noble has partnered with Google to provide same-day delivery to Manhattan, San Francisco and West Los Angeles from local Barnes and Noble stores. Google normally charges $4.99 for this type of delivery, but seems to have waived the fee – for now.

In the meantime, Amazon recently expanded its same-day delivery to six more major cities. There’s no telling just yet if the move will cut into Amazon’s business or help boost a struggling Barnes and Noble. For the rest of us outside of these metropolitan areas, the best thing to do is just bite the bullet and wait for our goods to arrive whenever they do, pay more for quicker shipping, or just wait until the service comes closer.

Google Pigeon Update, Snapchat’s worth, Bloom vs. Bieber = Social Gold | This Week in Social Media

Google-Pigeon-updateGoogle’s “Pigeon” update

Google recently rolled out what is being called its “Pigeon” update. While there aren’t a lot of details on what Pigeon entails, the update is meant to provide better and more relevant search results. While this is a non-penalty update, many webmasters are reporting it impacting their local rankings in search results.

There is a great explanation breaking down how Pigeon may impact your website, but there are three takeaways you may want to be aware of:

  • Local listing packs disappear for a large number of keywords
  • Rankings are expected to depend more on website authority
  • Yelp and other local directories are seeing a ranking boost

How much is Snapchat worth???

A new report out shows Snapchat may have been right to scoff at Facebook’s $3 billion offer. Alibaba Holdings Group is reportedly talking with the company about raising funding for a $10 billion valuation, putting it on the same price level as Dropbox and Airbnb.

Reps for both companies are staying quiet at this time, though Snapchat’s popularity continues to grow with more than 700 million snaps being sent and disappearing each day.

Orlando Bloom vs. Justin Bieber fight excites the masses on social

A tussle between Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber lit up social media this week after Bloom is reported to have taken a swing at the singer after a less than cordial greeting. While some say the fight is making Bloom relevant again, others are chastising Bieber for his behavior and praising Bloom for doing what so SO many have thought of doing, but few have actually done.

As usual, the brilliant (demented?) minds on the internet had a field day with the scrap. Mashable has a glorious roundup of some of the better quips.

Save Facebook Content, Snapchat Clones and Foursquare sans Check-ins | This Week in Social Media

Facebook SaveSave that Facebook content for later

We’ve all been there. We’re at work and we see an article we really want to check out, but can’t read it for whatever reason and don’t want to lose it. Facebook has come up with a solution for that: saving the content to read later.

The new feature allows you to essentially bookmark content from links and places to movies, TV, music and recipes so you won’t miss out on something and spend a lot of time scrolling through your newsfeed to find it. Just tap on the “v” in the upper right corner of any post and select the option to save it for later. The new function will only work on content that includes a link, place or entertainment source. See it in action here.

Are we on the brink of a Snapchat clone war?

This week, some Instagram users reported seeing banner ads promoting Bolt, a “one tap photo messaging” service. The banner was quickly taken down, but not before people could screengrab the image and share it around and speculate. Nothing more is known at this time other than the fact that it was promoted as a free download.

Foursquare removing check-ins…wait, what?

Foursquare wants to compete more with review service Yelp, which is why its shedding the checking-in function and moving closer to a search and discovery service. The new Foursquare will allow personalized local searches, meaning users will receive different results based on their preferences and past activity. The new Foursquare will debut in about two weeks.

Worry not, its secondary app, Swarm, will still allow you to tell everyone where you are at any given time so that they will be totes jelly of all of the cool stuff you’re doing.

Newsle, Nielsen and Facebook | This Week in Social Media

Facebook and NielsenNewsle purchased by LinkedIn

LinkedIn wants to provide you with more helpful and reliable content on your newsfeed, which is why the social network announced this week it had acquired Newsle, the online tool focused on providing valuable information about your contacts. Exact details have not been released just yet, but LinkedIn has said that Newsle will continue to operate as a standalone company.

We can only speculate right now, but a sensible use for Newsle would provide users with more updates from tagged companies or influencers a user is interested in following.

Nielsen and Facebook teaming up

Privacy advocates aren’t entirely happy with Facebook and Nielsen this week after the two companies announced a partnership to provide more accurate viewing habits through  our of smartphones and tablets.

How might this work, you ask? In a nutshell, Facebook would pull the data from your tablet or smartphone if you haven’t opted out of this sort of tracking through your privacy settings and provide them to Nielsen. While it may not be entirely respectful of users’ privacy, the companies promise that identities will be kept safe and anonymous. The tracking is expected to begin during the autumn television season.

Facebook for VIPs

It’s so hard being famous, you guys!!! That’s why Facebook is making it easier for celebrities (or their handlers) to sift through the noise online to easily interact and respond to people using an app on a mobile device. The goal here is to compete more with Twitter, which makes it much easy for celebrities to track mentions and respond to fans. The app is still in early testing with just a few celebs, but from what we can see so far it’s doing its job correctly!


Amazon Zocalo, Google Orkut, and Twitter Analytics | This Week In Social Media

ZocaloAmazon Zocalo

Move over, Google Docs, there’s a new player in town. Amazon announced its own document storage and sharing tool this week, Zocalo.

Like Docs, Zocalo allows users to store and sync documents across devices – but it also allows allows users to offer feedback on content and place comments in specific areas of a PDF or webpage (see the image to the right). However, the real difference that may attract more corporate networks is Zocalo’s ability to be set up with existing corporate credentials.

To use Zocalo, it will set you back only $5 per month for 200GB of storage, but customers with Amazon WorkSpaces get 50GB of free storage  - or pay $2 per month for the full 200GB. Zocalo is available now for limited preview.

Google kills Orkut

Google is killing off its first venture into social media…no, not Google+.

Orkut gained limited success in the U.S. since it launched in 2004, but gained much more popularity in Brazil and India where it was a top contender for Facebook as the dominant social platform for quite some time. However, fending off Facebook is like trying to hold back the ocean, with Orkut slowly losing popularity and users.

Google told user this week it would end Orkut in September, but wi Google has said it would preserve an archive of all Orkut communities that will be available from September 30

Twitter analytics are here

We knew it was only a matter of time, but Twitter has officially unveiled its own analytics measurement. Users can use the Twitter Analytics tool to track mentions, follows, and unfollows in 6-hour increments; view favorites, retweets, and replies for recent tweets; and display best (top 15% engagement) and good (top two-thirds engagement) tweets. In the “Followers” tab, users can access more detailed information on their followers’ locations, interests, and genders, as well as viewing the top accounts that their followers also follow. Data!