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

By Affinitive

Happy Friday! It’s been a busy week here at Affinitive, from laying out the ground work to transition into Timeline for brand pagesours included! – to being baffled by the Feral Pigeon Twitter, to quietly cheering at the President’s underhanded political jab via his birth announcement on his Facebook Timeline.

We’re logging off for the weekend with these in mind:

Facebook, of course. 

It’d be silly to pretend otherwise that Facebook’s Timeline for brands wouldn’t affect us. This week’s social media news meter has been buzzing with update after update during Facebook’s announcement in regards to giving brands and companies the option to update to Timeline. In fact, brands and other business pages will now have until March 30th to get settled in before the change goes live.

So in addition to begging a design savvy coworker or Photoshop proficient intern to help figure out the dimensions of your new Cover Photo, what should you know before diving into an afternoon of changes and previewing? We’ve assembled a list of reading material you can browse through to get an idea how you should plan your next step:

  • The official Facebook Product Guide from Facebook itself. Study up on this handy doc that’s laid out new features, including admin panels, photo dimensions, pinning or highlighting posts, and more.
  • A “How-To” guide on how to start preparing your brand page for the big reveal, and how to activate when you’re ready.
  • How to run promotions, despite the new restrictions on default landing tabs.
  • And for the panicked traditionalist, never fear, just follow these steps and breathe.

This, paired with the rolling out of real time insights, is bound to keep many a Community Manager busy in the following weeks.

Twitter to Pair Interest Graph with Ads
While Facebook is a dominant contender in social media (possibly the contender), it’s impossible to ignore Twitter, which has managed to also rise in its own ways.  While Twitter’s 100 million active members are almost nothing when faced with Facebook’s 800 million+, by now it’s become common knowledge that the two platforms have different methods, and ad targeting is no exception to this, especially since it seems that Twitter also has its sights set on the interest graph 

Because Twitter does not have the user information that Facebook can easily glean from Open Graph, Twitter is trying to sidestep that issue by taking note of what who (or what) you follow and what you click on. While the details of how Twitter is building its interest graph and its algorithms is still a bit fuzzy, we figure you’ll know when they launch.

Pinterest Copyright Debacle can be Costly – to You
One lawyer decided to take a closer look at Pinterest’s Terms of Use section, and its language and policies concerning copyright ended with her deciding to do away with her photography boards altogether.  This section is taken directly from Pinterest:

“YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE, APPLICATION, SERVICES AND SITE CONTENT REMAINS WITH YOU.”

Pinterest members are solely responsible for what they pin and repin; they also need to attain explicit permission from the owner of the images they tack onto their boards. What’s more, if ever in a legal snafu over images, the user in question would be responsible for footing all legal fees accrued during the lawsuit, as seen here:

“You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold Cold Brew Labs, its officers, directors, employees and agents, harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, arising out of or in any way connected with (i) your access to or use of the Site, Application, Services or Site Content, (ii) your Member Content, or (iii) your violation of these Terms.”

One word: yikes.

Google, Privacy, and Your Data
By now we’ve seen the slightly creepy Google ads when waiting for the subway and have read through the links that walked you through deleting browsing history before its privacy policy took place. Mashable went in and took a close look throughout its privacy policy document to see what Google really means, and what it really wants. They found, after much comparison between older policies, is that the new changes mean two things mainly: a more insistent emphasis on cross platform and mobile sharing. You can read the rest of the summary at the link.

 

Windows 8 to Come in 9 Different Headaches
As if having the same OS on all the office computers wasn’t hard enough. It’s been spotted on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview that the OS, to be released later this year, is going to come in nine separate editions.  While the need to outperform (and more importantly, outsell) Apple’s OS X and Mountain Lion is certainly fueling the fire, we have our reservations. For those curious to try it out, you can download the final beta copy here.

 

Foursquare – People Want to Stalk, But Not Check In
Dennis Crowley, the CEO of Foursquare, has confirmed that there’s been a change in user behavior when it comes to Foursquare.

“People are using the app, but they’re not checking in. I asked myself: did we break something? But in fact, it’s because people are using Foursquare to look for where their friends are, to find things, and as a recommendation service. It’s almost like it doesn’t occur to them to check in.”
A shift in goals and behavior is normal as a brand progresses and settles into its niche. User behavior and staff growth is the least of Foursquare’s changes however, as Crowley hinted at a move towards monetization, more retail engagement, and most likely either a social or interest graph.

 

Tumblr on Banning Self Harm Blogs
Last week, blogging platform Tumblr caused some waves when it announced a new policy in regards to banning blogs that promoted self-harm, including eating disorders, suicide, and self-harm, amongst others. Tumblr returned to its blog to explain their language and to stress that this ban is meant for blogs that clearly trigger or encourage such behavior, but not for those dedicated to support, healing, documentation, and encouragement in healing – which becomes a gray area as sometimes it’s not immediately apparent what blog is dedicated to “thinspo” and what blogs are meant to help overcome.  Tumblr said in its statement that this will be determined on an individual blog-by-blog basis:
We will apply this policy on a blog-by-blog basis. There won’t be any wholesale suspension based on tags or text. We’re not under the illusion that it will be easy to draw the line between blogs that are intended to trigger self-harm and those that support sufferers and build community, but, thanks to the tireless efforts of our amazing Support team, we will do our best.
While Tumblr, as a  private company providing a free service, has the right to choose what content they will willingly host, it seems a bit odd that they take issue with a such a singular aspect of harm.  And of course, there’s always the question of corporate censorship.

 

Wheat Thins, Greed & Compliance on the Colbert Report
In a move that many a CM wished they could do, talk show host Stephen Colbert got down to the nitty gritty of the compliance surrounding his Wheat Thins sponsorship. We had a great laugh at Colbert’s careful dissection and attempted digestion per their compliance memo. You can watch what happens when he fails to adhere to compliance at the video.
Sidenote: we noticed that Wheat Thins did not capitalize on this marvelous content boon with no acknowledgement of the segment. For shame!

 

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