The latest in social media (April 2014)

Wondering if you missed any big announcement in the social media universe in April? The answer lies below.


Facebook partnered with Storyful to create FB Newswire. The new service, which is available on Facebook and Twitter, aggregates newsworthy content (photos, videos, and status updates) shared publicly on Facebook that members of the media can then use in their reporting.

The company also introduced Audience Network. The goal of the mobile ad network is to help developers create relevant and well formatted ads to show their mobile audiences. The programme is currently in Beta and you need to apply to be able to use it. 

Are you a business or agency owner? If so, check out Business Manager, which allows you to manage your Facebook Pages, ad accounts, and payment methods in one place.

Facebook is stamping on spammy activity by Pages. Like-baiting stories, frequently circulated content, and links leading to websites with ads will get less exposure in News Feed.

The vast majority of publishers on Facebook are not posting feed spam so they should not be negatively impacted by these changes, and, if anything, may see a very small increase in News Feed distribution.

A smaller set of publishers who are frequently and intentionally creating feed spam will see their distribution decrease over the next few months.  We’re making these changes to ensure that feed spam content does not drown out the content that people really want to see on Facebook from the friends and Pages they care about.

(Source: Facebook Newsroom)

Better privacy controls are coming to Facebook! The company announced that users would soon be able to log into apps without sharing any personal information. With the new Facebook Login, users will also decide what kind of data they want to give apps access to by unchecking categories of information, one by one. And a redesigned app control dashboard is on the way.

All screenshots courtesy of Facebook Newsroom

Pages administrators are getting new customization options, while Group management is now easier with the “Groups You Admin” tab in the left sidebar of your Home page.

Smartphone users will soon have to use the Messenger app if they want to continue being able to chat with others. The Facebook Android app has also been redesigned.

Version 1.1 of Paper is available.

For those living in the U.S. and interested in being notified when their Facebook friends are in the neighbourhood, there is a new mobile feature (Android and iPhone) for that. Nearby Friends is optional but must be turned on on each person’s phone to work: “Your friends will only be able to see that you’re nearby if you share this info with them and vice versa.” Users can also choose to share a precise location for a set period of time and allow their friends to see when they are travelling. 

Photo credit: Facebook Newsroom

Finally, Facebook released its second Government Requests Report.

Have you checked the Explore tab on Instagram? You will find more personalized content there.


Two of Google’s services celebrated a birthday: Gmail turned 10 and YouTube turned 9.

Gmail users can now attach their Auto Backup pictures (and albums) to messages directly from their mobile devices.  

YouTube released its new Creator Playbook, a 100-page guide to “help brands develop ads that will resonate with 21st century consumers.” The guide offers tips and best practices to facilitate  audience building.

YouTube videos now feature five line-introductions instead of two by default and can include a three-second introduction video. Here is how things work:

  • Upload the three-second intro video you’d like to use to your channel as an unlisted video.
  • On your channel’s  InVideo Programming page, click “Add a channel branding intro” and select the intro from a list of eligible videos.
  • Select which videos you want the intro to appear on. You can choose whether to add it to all of your videos, or just the ones you’ve uploaded after a certain date. You can always remove or change the intro later.

(Source: The Official YouTube Partners & Creators Blog)

Finally, you can see how your playlists are performing from within your Analytics dashboard. Data includes number of video views, estimated minutes watched, average view duration, and top locations. 

Looking for printed text in photos? You can find it with Google Keep now!

The new People section in the Google Play Store lets you follow the activity of Circled Google+ users.

If you own a Google+ Page, do you know that you can set a target audience for your content? Check out the new Audience tab in your settings. Limited visibility applies to posts (except for those posted in a space managed by someone you’ve restricted) and some information in your About section. Read this this page for more details.

Google+ notifications are now more detailed:

 For instance, instead of saying “10+ +1’s, Mentions” the notification might now read, “Mentioned, Reshared, Commented on, +1’d” followed by the title (first sentence) of the post.

(Source: The Social Media Hat)

Google+ Pages with a minimum of 1,000 followers have access to +Posts ads to promote their products and services. 

The Camera and Hangouts for Android apps have been updated

Google Drive is improving! Google launched mobile apps for easier online and offline creation and editing of Docs and Sheets — with Slides on the way.

Google Trends now allows you to subscribe to any search topic, Hot Searches for any country, or any U.S. monthly Top Chart. You can choose to receive email notifications weekly or monthly.

Finally, Google updated its TOS to clarify its email scanning process. The company states that its “automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”


LinkedIn introduced three new SlideShare products: the SlideShare Android app, a redesigned mobile web experience, and a mobile preview feature for uploads on desktop.

The company also announced that it would close its Polls in Groups feature on May 15 and launched photo sharing on LinkedIn for Android, iPhone, and the mobile web.


Pinterest introduced Guided Search. Only available on mobile devices, the new feature offers descriptive guides to help users “sift through all the good ideas from other Pinners. Scroll through the guides and tap any that look interesting to steer your search in the right direction.”

Good news for people using Tumblr, Blogger,, or Wix. You can now add the Pin It button to your posts on those platforms.

The Help center has also been redesigned.


Twitter’s Advanced Search now includes a date-range field. And Lists and Custom Timelines are indexed in search results.

The redesigned web profiles are here:

  • Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.
  • Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your Tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.
  • Filtered Tweets: Now you can choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles. Select from these options: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.

(Source: Twitter Blog)

If you use, you may also have noticed real-time (interactive) notifications popping up on your screen whenever someone replies to, favorites, retweets, or DM you, or when you have new followers.  To choose which notifications you want, visit your Settings and click the “Web notifications” tab.

There is a new type of Twitter Card: Website Card. With it, a brand can display an image and a quick summary about their website, with a direct click through to that site. For more information, visit the Twitter Help Center. The company is also testing a new signup process to keep users engaged.

Emoji tweeted from phones are visible on the web.

Users can now send Vine videos and text messages to friends and people who don’t use Vine.


The new WordPress for Android and WordPress for iOS apps are available.

WordPress 3.9  (“Smith”) features improved visual (including image) editing, gallery display in the editor, audio and video playlists, and live widget and header preview. The theme browser has also been updated.

The company also released its first transparency report.


“Traffic moving between Yahoo data centers is fully encrypted as of March 31.”

Yahoo wants to become your go-to resource for travelling advice. The company launched Yahoo Travel, “an immersive digital magazine that makes those daydreams to getaways near and far a reality, with all the inspiration and information you need right at your fingertips.”

Flickr 3.0 for iPhone and Android is out!

More social media news

Buffer for iOS 7 is available.

CHNL‘s new features include customized headers and an uploader, which allows you to share documents, PDFs, and images directly to your channel.

Coursera has an Android app.

Disqus launched Sponsored Comments for businesses. 

Dropbox has a new iOS and Android app that users can use to store photos in their Dropbox accounts. It also syncs across devices.

FlowReader is mobile friendly.

ICANN launched its new WHOIS lookup tool.

The Klout for iOS app is available. Klout also shuttered its Cinch app

Livefyre launched Sidenotes and LiveReviews. The first tool gives publishers the ability to add in-line comment threads to their sites, while the second syncs with the commenting platform and allows users to rate and review products, services, and articles in real time. They can also interact with others, embed visual content, and share reviews on social networks.

RebelMouse released its apps for iOS and Android.

Facebook conversation starter tool is now on iOS and Android.

Spotify has a new look.

Statigram has changed name is now called Iconosquare.

Storify unveiled its new look for stories. Cover images (which can be any image element in stories, including GIFs), titles and description are now more prominently displayed at the top. There is also an “As seen on” area that shows where published stories have been embedded.

Viber‘s updated iOS7 and Blackberry 10 apps are available.

Yelp launched in Japan.

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