This week in social media (December 9-13, 2013)

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Cendrine Marrouat

Social Media Slant Founder Cendrine Marrouat is a social media journalist, blogger, coach, curator, and author living in Canada. In 2012, she released The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips, a comprehensive resource that provides bloggers of all levels with essential information and precise guidance to attract quality traffic to their blogs. She is currently working on an eBook on social media strategies.
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Here is a quick roundup of some of the latest happenings in the social media world.

Facebook

Videos posted by individuals and musicians are now in auto-play mode on Facebook Mobile. However, sound will only be unmuted after users click on them.

The new Like and Share buttons are available globally. Facebook has also added flexible width for Embedded Posts.

Marketers and advertisers can now measure offline sales. This new feature, which is part of Custom Audiences, works as follows:

  • Marketers upload hashed data, including emails, phone numbers and addresses, as well as encrypted transaction information
  • Facebook matches the retailer’s hashed data to hashed data from our own databases
  • We then provide a report that compares, on an aggregate basis, the purchase behavior of customers who saw an ad on Facebook with customers who did not

(Source: Facebook for Business)

After weeks of rumors, it is official. Instagram has its own private messaging system: Instagram Direct.

Special note:

Unhappy about the pay-to-play approach taken by Facebook? Sign Robert Caruso’s online petition at Change.org.

Google

Google started testing “+Post” ads. Brands will have the opportunity to turn the public updates on their Google+ Pages into ads for display in the Google Display Network. However, these will not run on the social network.

+Post ads will allow advertisers to start conversations right from the ad – consumers can reshare a video, leave a comment or a question for the brand, or even join a live Hangout. These conversations create a valuable community around a brand where people can talk with each other and with the brand itself.

(Source: Eran Arkin)

This week, Google also:

  • Introduced Open Gallery, a platform allowing museums, artists, archives, and galleries to create online exhibitions.
  • Redesigned its Google+ Settings and Google Account pages.
  • Rolled out the Control Room for Hangouts on Air, which allows hosts to manage participants by adjusting their audio levels and hide / revealing their video.
  • Announced improvements for Google+ Sign-in and Gmail. The service will soon show images in messages by default across all devices.
  • Added a drop-down calendar to “Highlights” in Photos and a new menu tab (Google+). With “Explore,” users can browse content by category. The desktop version includes the following:

1. A summary view that highlights posts across multiple categories.
2. A starter set of topics (like Music, Sports and Photography) that you can click on to explore further. What’s Hot is also listed here, instead of in the navigation bar.
3. The ability to search for specific topics, and read what others are saying about them.
4. The option to “go deeper” on relevant sub-topics (like #HolidayBaking) when you select or search for a topic (like #FoodAndDrink).
5. An easy way to follow the people and/or join the communities that are talking about the stuff you’re into.

(Source: Steve Farrell)

Want to see what trended on YouTube in 2013? Watch this video put together by 60 top creators:

And speaking of YouTube, all verified channels that are in good standing can now live stream videos.

LinkedIn

If you use the LinkedIn Inbox, did you notice the redesign?

  • A cleaner and more streamlined  design with larger pictures to make it easier to follow and manage your professional conversations.

  • A  centralized navigation on the left side of the inbox and within each message to help you quickly move between your messages and invitations.

  • A  preview of each message when browsing through your inbox to make it easier for you to scan your messages and prioritize which to open first.

(Source: LinkedIn Blog)

This week, the company also announced the winners of this year’s Best LinkedIn Company Pages contest and released the list of 10 most overused profile buzzwords:

Finally, the LinkedIn Network RSS Feed feature will not longer be supported after December 19, 2013.

Twitter

This week, Twitter announced that blocked users could continue following and reading those who had banned them. The decision was so unpopular that the company immediately reverted it.

Businesses using Twitter have access a new feature. Broad Match Keywords allows advertisers to target more users by automatically including related terms:

In your current keyword targeted campaigns, you may see plus signs appear in front of your keywords. These plus signs are being applied to ensure that your campaign continues to deliver as you originally intended. You can remove the plus signs to use broad match and get more reach.

Feeling like attaching pictures to your direct messages? If you use a mobile device, you can. The Twitter team is also making it easier to access DMs with a new tab in the navigation bar. Additionally, a few more features are included in the new mobile apps, including swiping between timelines and in-app notifications.

Twitter for Mac also got new features.

Twitter has partnered with Pitney Bowes to improve Tweet geotargeting for its mobile platform. Note that locations will only display if users have opted-in to the feature.

WordPress

WordPress 3.8 is available. This version is called “Parker” and comes with a new design for the admin dashboard, admin color schemes, a streamlined widgets screen, and more.

The team also added two new free themes to the repository: Spirit and Spun.

Yahoo

If you wonder when the Yahoo Mail outage, which started on Monday, will be over, here is the latest news:

You can also read CEO Marissa Mayer’s update.

More social media news

Online photography community 500px launched 500pxArt.com. The platform replaces Market and offers 28 printing options and international currency / shipping support. Photographers will receive 70% of sales price.

Buffer introduced its Buffer for Business platform.

Feedly launched its beta channel to streamline the user feedback process for new features.

Reuters is now on Flipboard.

Are you a RebelMouse user? If so, you can now run RebelMouse on your site or blog for free. All you need to do is visit your Sites tab, click the “Use a Custom Domain Name” button, and follow instructions. For an example of what you can do, see my RebelMouse page

Reddit started opening its self-serve advertising platform to crowdfunding projects. 250 teams will be featured on the front page of the site until the end of December.

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