Playground Buzz – The Most Intriguing Social Media News of the Week

By Affinitive

Happy Nerd New Year! Today is the last binary date of the 21st Century! When not busily buzzing at our desks, we’ve been taking breaks by thoroughly wiping down our keyboards (flu season is here – be vigilant!), naming all the Internet memes listed in le Internet Medley video, puzzling over Google’s new brand pages, and making memes of Oprah Running Away from Things. We’re logging off this weekend with these in mind:
   
Actor Ashton Kutcher, one of Twitter’s most famous celebrities at a whopping 8,268,436 followers, announced that he’ll be taking a hiatus from his account after some tweets incurred wrath and scrutiny. The tweets in question were in response to the firing of Penn State Football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the school’s child sex abuse scandal, reading:

“How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste”

“Heard Joe was fired, fully recant previous tweet!”

“Didn’t have full story. #admitwhenYoumakemistakes.”

All tweets were pulled afterwards and an apology was issued instead. Kutcher also announced that he has turned over content control of his Twitter feed to Katalyst Media. With Ashton gone, will Justin Bieber now reign completely – and solely – supreme in the Twitterverse?

Google + Brand Pages vs Facebook
Google + has finally launched brand pages for companies – ours included! – but just how do they compare to Facebook’s model? To be sure, both platforms have their individual pros and cons, but at the moment, we’re a bit perplexed by Google’s decision to prohibit contests and promotions on Google +. Points docked.

The Muppets Lose Out to Billy Crystal 
With Eddie Murphy pulling out of his Oscars hosting gig, the netizens on Twitter took to throwing out replacement suggestions and lobbied for their favorite choices. While Billy Crystal announced that he’ll be taking over hosting, we’re bummed that our favorite contenders, the Muppets, lost the bid, despite a strong a Twitter and Facebook campaign. It’s ok, Miss Piggy, at least you and Kermie got to host the WWE Monday Night Raw. 

FOX Invites Viewers to “Hang Out” with GOP Candidates
Fox New’s Special Report with Bret Baier has invited three (just three!) users to join in on a series of Google + Hangouts with GOP presidential candidates leading up to the election, the first to be held with Governor Mitt Romney on Nov. 15. To qualify, hopeful participants are invited to audition by leaving a comment on Special Report’s thread. Those who are not chosen can still have their questions answered (or not answered) by candidates. To assure you that we are bipartisan and objective, we’ve linked you to our social media savvy President’s Tumblr. You can also check out 10 on-air political oopsies, or even make your own Rick Perry meme.

Starbucks to “Surprise and Delight” with Augmented Reality App
Starbucks intends to kick off the holiday season with the introduction of an augmented reality app, Cup Magic on Tuesday. Simply point your phone’s camera at your red holiday cup or any of the additional 47 Starbucks objects to prompt any of the five animated characters you can interact with. Word has it that those who unlock all five characters are in the running for a yet unnamed prize (if it’s an endless supply of coffee, we’re so there). In addition to whiling away little moments here and there, you send ecards and holiday offers to friends and family through the app, spreading the holiday cheer.

Sh%*! 16% of Cellphones have WHAT?
Sure, we touch our phones a lot throughout the day and yes, our phones are always within arm’s reach, but we choked when we read that 16% of cellphones have poop on them. Yes, excrement. This handy (pun intended) Tech Germs infographic left us cringing (did you know that keyboards are five times dirtier than a toilet seat?) and reaching for the antibacterial wipes. And side eyeing everyone else.

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