This Week in Social (Week of August 19)

This Week in Social is a weekly digest of some of the biggest stories in social media marketing news. These stories are the show notes for the Brave Ad World Podcast. Each story is discussed at a deeper level on the podcast.

Twitter Aids Content Discovery with Related Headlines (Read more at Poynter)

Twitter has added a “related headlines” section for any tweets that have been embedded on a website in the form of a permalink. When the permalink is clicked a list of websites where the tweet has been embedded appears, making discovering additional stories and context easier.

Twitter’s taking steps to help people use it as a tool for content discovery and to get a bigger picture of what it is they are reading. This is a good thing, but publishers may think twice about embedding tweets in articles because they have the potential to send readers away. Competitors will not be displayed in the feature, so CNN won’t have to worry about sending readers away to MSNBC, for example. However, people will still see where else they can go to get context. The move is consistent with Twitter’s efforts to be part of the fabric of news.

Instagram Cracks Down on Use of Name (Read more at TechCrunch)

Instagram is getting more protective over the use of its name by developers using the API. It reached out to Luxogram to tell it that it cannot use “insta” or “gram” in its name, and developers like the team behind Luxogram have 48 hours to respond and provide a “reasonable period” to change their names. Previously, Instagram allowed developers to use either “insta” or “gram” in their names, but it has backtracked on that.

This appears to be a first move by Instagram, similar to Twitter, which spent much of last year slowly restricting access to its platform and name. The developer community has been a big partner for Instagram, so what this means in terms of having a ‘chilling effect’ remains to be seen, but that’s the risk of building something reliant on another platform.

Vine Reaches 40 Million Users (Read more at AllThingsD)

Twitter’s 6-second video platform Vine reached the 40 million user mark this week after launching in January. The platform was sitting at 13 million only in June. It’s important to note that 40 million registered is a different than 40 million daily users, and 40 million is still a far cry from Facebook-owned Instagram. The growth is still very impressive.

Vine has grown into a very unique and fascinating community with celebrities of the caliber you’d see on YouTube. The platform has shown that it can compete with Instagram video and shouldn’t be counted out. There’s clearly room for two short video platforms, and if platforms like SnapChat have anything to say, there may be room for more.

Facebook Embedded Posts Available to All Users (Read more at VentureBeat)

Facebook introduced embedded posts at the end of July for Pages, but now users can embed public posts from their profiles as well on sites like blogs. The embedded posts support photos, videos, hashtags and any other content you share on Facebook, and others can like directly through the embedded posts.

Users will, however, need to go to Facebook to view the text of posts over 150 words or if they want to comment.

The feature is enabled when you click the arrow in the right corner, click “embed,” copy the code and add it to your website.

This feature is consistent with Facebook’s moves to be readily available and fully part of your online experience even when you leave Facebook.com. This also puts Facebook in more in the realm of real-time news and information. Facebook becomes a part of the story, not just a way to hear about it. Twitter took a similar approach, having embedded tweets for some time. It’s worth noting that this also gives Facebook what is essentially free advertising on websites with content embedded.

Yahoo in Talks with Foursquare Over Data (Read more at BuzzFeed)

According to BuzzFeed, Yahoo and Foursquare are in talks to partner over using Foursquare’s location data. Nothing is solid at this point, but this isn’t the first time Foursquare has talked with other tech companies. It spoke with Apple some time ago over using its data for iPhone Maps and is already fully integrated into platforms like Instagram and Evernote.

The service’s data has proven to be quite valuable with 4 billion check-ins in addition to data collected through third parties with Foursquare data integration. All of that data allows Foursquare to look at popularity, the impact of weather and other factors that affect visiting a location. That paired with detailed user recommendations and a recommendation engine that doesn’t rely on users submitting reviews but can use check-in data instead, allows Foursquare to infer a lot about location.

Foursquare has been criticized for not being able to show a profit, but the data it sits on is nothing to scoff at. Data is its ace in the hole, and a partnership with Yahoo could be a big opportunity to bring in revenue. We know Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is open to making big investments. This could be next.

Facebook Offers Pages Access to Shutterstock Images (Read more at USA Today)

Visual content has proven to be a challenge for some brands on Facebook even though Facebook emphasizes it in the News Feed. Facebook is taking steps to alleviate that by announcing an agreement with the image library Shuterstock that makes millions of free images available for use in ads on Facebook, allowing multiple image uploads and improving its iOS and Android Page Manager app to allow admins to upload multiple photos for a single post.

The upgrade to images for ads allows advertisers to now select multiple images and simultaneously launch multiple ads with multiple images, test what works and optimize their campaigns based on performance.

According to Facebook spokesman Tim Rathschmidt, Facebook wants to be an end-to-end solution from targeting to ad creative to performance measurement.

The biggest beneficiary of this is small businesses, which have to create their own images, acquire them or find a way to get them for free. Now, those businesses have access to tools that big brands didn’t have to consider in the past as much. The announcement is also important from a mobile perspective as admins now have more tools to use visual content away from the desk through their mobile devices.

News Quick Hits

  • YouTube has rolled out a major update to its Android app. It now supports playlist search and watch capabilities, works on streaming devices like Chromecast and has picture-in-picture functionality. (Read more at GIGAOM)
  • An article from Wired points out that Google+ appears to be focusing on small businesses with API domains that allow companies to build enterprise communication and collaboration tools over the Google+ platform. (Read more at Wired)
  • A hacker obtained Twitter login information and passwords for 15,000 accounts after hacking a third-party platform using Twitter authentication. Twitter promptly recommended users change their passwords, but this also speaks to the importance of checking and managing applications that have access to social media accounts. (Read more at Mashable)
  • iTunes Radio is schedule to launch on September 10 with brands like McDonalds, Pepsi and Nissan as advertisers. Ads, which reportedly cost around $1 million, will take the form of audio, video and display, take up the screen of the device in use and run every 15 minutes with video ads running once per hour. Users can bypass the ads by subscribing to iTunes Match. (Read more at AdAge)
  • Pandora revenue is up 55% over last year to $157.4 million. The company also announced plans to discontinue a 40-hour cap and to let users listen to music on mobile devices for as long as they please starting September 1. This comes amid competition from Apple. (Read more at CNET)