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

By Affinitive

The holiday weekend is here! When we weren’t scrabbling about doing last minute shopping, admiring Facebook’s new headquarters , and arguing which 90s heartthrob deserves a much coveted spot as our Timeline banner photo, we’ve been mulling over whether this list of stereotypes based on favorite books and albums of 2011 have any truth behind them. We’re logging off for the long weekend with these in mind:

Facebook to Host Ads in Newsfeeds
Those semi-discrete “Sponsored Story” ads on the right of your screen are about to get more facetime. As of January, Facebook will start featuring “Sponsored Story” ads directly in newsfeeds, aiming to increase visibility, especially for mobile users, although mobile advertising won’t be rolling out until March. Not only will these ads feature directly on one’s newsfeed, Sponsored Stories will be the same size as other updates and posts. In the meantime, you can read the “Facebook Wants You to Know How it Makes Money” disclaimer on the top of your user page. Other changes that are quietly being tested and rolled out: Suggested Events, which pulls in data from previous check-ins, your friends’ events, and pages you’ve liked to suggest you get out there more.

You Can No Has Cheezburger: Go Daddy and SOPA
Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh (of the I Can Has Cheezburger, FAIL blog fame) has thrown down the gauntlet at Go Daddy, the web’s largest hosting and domain registration provider for its support of SOPA. The CEO  tweeted challenging Go Daddy to recant its support of the controversial bill, or the Cheezburger franchise would be moving its 1,000 domains elsewhere. While Go Daddy has not issued any statements, Huh followed up with another tweet directing people to ask Google to pressure GD, which is a third-party registrar.  You can check out the complete list of companies who support SOPA here.

UPDATE: Go Daddy has since announced that it has withdrawn support of SOPA, with CEO Warren Adelman issuing a public statement reading:

“Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation – but we can clearly do better. It’s very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”

Facebook is #1 Search Term (Again)
Much to the dismay of Google + , it appears that “Facebook” and its variations remain the number one search term in the U.S. for the third year in a row, accounting for 3.1 percent of all searches, which is a 46 percent increase from 2010. This is not the be all end all list of all lists however, as Google and Yahoo released their own “most searched” lists.

Pinterest Piques Interest with 11 Million Weekly Visitors and a 4000% Traffic Increase
Social sharing platform Pinterest is booming. The image dominated, invite-only site started in March 2010 and has since been rapidly growing. Traffic has increased 40x in six months, accounting for 11 million visits within a week (ending December 17th). Further user demographics reveal a 58% female userbase and 59% userbase between the ages of 25-44. As Pinterest is solidly invite-only, if you want to scope out the platform for 2012, you had best request an invite, or finagle one from a friend.

Twitter, Journalism, and Social Change
The International Journal of Communication has released a report analyzing the flow of information and communication as seen in earlier uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia this year. In both Egypt and Tunisia, 70% of the accounts tweeting news were linked to individuals, as opposed to 30% of organizations, despite the larger number of followers and higher frequency of tweets. Individual bloggers, journalists, and activists were responsible for generating 43% of tweets regarding Egypt and 44% in Tunisia, as opposed to the 7% generated by media outlets. To download and analyze the full content of the report, you can check it out here.

Digg Digs into Facebook’s Open Graph
Like other news outlets, social sharing platform Digg has tapped into Facebook’s open graph to make the sharing of links instantaneous and seamless. In addition to the integration, Digg will launch a newsbar that sits atop its pages that allow users to turn off Facebook sharing or individually monitor the stories they want to publish on their Facebook newsfeeds. If you’re still a bit unsure of how to navigate the Facebook’s Timeline, you had better read up on this.

Memorable Tweets of 2011
From social change to social faux pas, Twitter usually manages to snag the moment just as it happens. Just 21 tweets can’t quite sum up 2011, but they certainly are very memorable as we took a look back on some PR slipups, major news events, and deaths. Notably missing from the list are reaction Tweets about the death of Kim Jong Il, so we’re adding this list to the blurb.

Did we miss a bit o’buzz? Let us know and join in on the conversation here!