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

By Affinitive

We’re ushering in the new year with viral videos, tweets, and keeping an eye open for new startups, (give us a call, Kanye!) When we weren’t watching a literal interpretation of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – this time with Doctor Who! –   or getting free Timeline inspired business cards and laughing at the hapless teenagers featured in LookAtMyDriftwood,  we’ve been linking each other to these stories. We’re logging off for the weekend with these in mind:

@BarackObama joins Instagram
Social media savvy President Obama has furthered his online presence yet again this time by joining Instagram as @BarackObama. The president and his team are no strangers to utilizing various social media platforms (most recent forays being Tumblr and Flickr), although Instagram is their first mobile only platform. While it’s hard to figure out how the photo sharing nature of Instagram plays into the upcoming 2012 campaign, it’d be foolish to dismiss it completely either as more news organizations – such as the Washington Post and NBC World News – have opened accounts to share behind-the-scenes snapshots. Take a look at Obama’s first photo here and leave a tip on which filter would suit him best!

Facebook App Profile Pages to Disappear on February 1st
Page managers should be noticing banners on their application pages  kindly notifying them that:

“By February1, 2012, we are removing app profile pages. You can migrate likes and the vanity URL of this page to an existing Facebook page with the same name and product/app category.”

These banner notifications come six months after the initial announcement that Facebook would phase out its App directory  and it appears to be an effort to encourage both app developers and users for more search-friendly (and search reliant) apps. A Facebook Developer blog post credited the move to inconsistencies between app profile pages and regular pages concerning insights, APIs, and distribution channels. Admins will be able to transfer likes to new pages, but unfortunately this does not apply to content. You can read further on the matter here.

Google + Sees Member Growth
Google +’s growth in 2011 hasn’t been as fast as some had initially speculated or hoped. Although Plus  has yet to gain footing as a serious Facebook contender, December saw its strongest month, member growth-wise, with US visits reaching over 49 million, and up by 55% since November, according to Experian Hitwise.  According to analyst Paul Allen, Plus just passed the 62 million mark, compared to Facebook reaching 60 million four years after its debut. While Facebook still reigns with a whopping 800 million active members, Allen predicts that Plus will reach 400 million by the end of 2012.

Post Your Instagram Pics to Facebook
Candid photographers rejoice! Thanks to a small tweak on the mobile photo platform, users can share full sized Instagram photos in all their filtered glory directly onto Facebook, utilizing Timeline’s aesthetic value to the max. While all Instagram photos end up in a designated “Instagram Photo” album, they’re published onto Timeline with its original caption and a public URL. If you want to get a headstart and start sharing photos you’ve already uploaded, follow these instructions. For more old fashioned users who want the print experience, you can check out these services that’ll print your Instagram pics in various ways.

Groupon Introduces a New Merchant Center 
Groupon rolled out a new merchant center that’ll allow for more transparency concerning customer deals, available to all merchants. Features include real time percentages of customers who’d recommend the business and their comments, although data on satisfaction rates is a little scarce. The dash also includes the deal statistics that launched last month, and aggregates buyer demographics such as zip codes, genders, and ages. To read up further on Merchant Center’s features, you can read Techcrunch’s breakdown here.

Facebook’s Daily Deals, Revisited
When Facebook announced the end of its daily deals service back in August, it was a quiet concession to Groupon’s dominance in that area. It seems however, that the Daily Deals Agency is reattempting another go, launching a Facebook Marketplace Network  in over 40 U.S cities with over 500 sources of daily deals, offers, and steals – all sortable by category and location. Better luck this time!

Did we miss anything? Let us know here and join in on the buzz!

  • Alison Mars

    This all sounds really nice but I feel overwhelmed, I just cant keep up with all the changes happening every day. I have decided to stick to what I’m good at and let the people who know how to do social media marketing do it for me. I have a Facebook page but I’m actually quite happy to only look at it once or twice a month but the teams at Magicbuz monitor my businesses social marketing all day and they talk directly to millions of people online promoting for me and directing traffic to my web page. We have a great relationship.