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/