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

By Affinitive

 It’s Friday! Things have been abuzz in the office. When not quietly making memes of Hillary Clinton or Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, or commiserating with the folks who run the Facebook pages of the restaurants highlighted in the Old People Writing on a Restaurant’s Facebook Page Tumblr, we’ve been linking each other to these stories throughout the week.

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


At this point, if you haven’t already heard about the grand Instagram acquisition by Facebook (for $1 billion, no less!) then we don’t know what to tell you, other than maybe a serious cull of your RSS feeds and Google alerts is in order.  Envy and wistful wishing aside, this grandiose acquisition is definitely inspiring conversation about what made Instagram so successful, why it happened, and the hunt for the “next” Instagram.

We’ve rounded up some articles for your reading perusal here:

Maryland Passes Legislation Protecting Facebook Passwords… 
In our previous Social Media Playground roundup post, we mentioned the growing concern of users who have been asked by potential employers to submit their private Facebook passwords as part of the job screening process. Facebook openly shunned the practice, but official legislation that would make the practice illegal failed to pass the U.S House of Representatives. Despite this, the state of Maryland in a progressive move, has passed legislation that protects the Facebook passwords of private users from such requests. Hopefully other states will follow suit.

But Facebook is Still Somewhat Creepy
Despite the somewhat heartening news above, Facebook still remains a bit creepy in its never ending mining for information. Facebook has announced that it has upgraded its “download your information” feature, first introduced in October 2010. For those who’ve never heard of this, it is exactly what it sounds like – users can request their entire Facebook archived history, from likes, comments, photos, chats, messages – and more! The newest addition? Friend requests and IP Addresses. In addition to logging IP addresses, Facebook announced today that your email address and Timeline are now synced up. What joy.

Pinterest Rolls Out Vimeo Integration
While Pinterest has already rolled out a Youtube support feature, it’s now taken it a step further by allowing users to pin Vimeo videos. While the basic gist of pinning a Vimeo video is pretty much the same as YouTube, readers can read the exact announcement on the Pinterest blog. Now with companies like Amazon and eBay scrambling to add Pinterest buttons to their sharing buttons, when is Pinterest going to be bought out?

Pinspire Tampering with Users
In a huge SMM “no-no”, employees of Pinterest clone Pinspire have been charged with potentially one of the biggest reputation killers – tampering with user accounts. Techcrunch is reporting that Pinspire employees have been allegedly deleting, hiding and removing pins, ‘likes’, comments, re-pins, and “pinpoints,” the system Pinspire uses for giveaways and contests. In addition to the already damning allegations, Techcrunch has evidence of people with Pinspire email addresses astro-turfing blogs asking for coverage in return for cash payments and gifts of iPads. You can read the rest of the evidence and red flags that Techcrunch has detailed at the link.

There’s Only One Direction for UK Boy Band: UP
U.K boy band One Direction has been sweeping the charts and setting hearts aflame. It could be argued that the teen quintet rose to the top through hard work, boyish good looks, and pure talent, but adults know that there was a serious social-media campaign propelling them.

For those not familiar with the story, the five were grouped together by ever popular reality TV judge Simon Cowell after failing as individual competitors on British talent show X-Factor (like American Idol, except with accents!). Cowell’s label Syco, then teamed up with ad agency Archibald Ingall Stretton to create a “transmedia adventure.” The results? Over 50 days, the campaign doubled traffic to One Direction’s website, attracted 200,000 participants who then completed 20 separate challenges, created 12 Twitter trends, and racked up more than 2.5 million YouTube views and now a lot of headache for those who’d began to hope that Justin Bieber and his ilk would fade away. To read the full details of the story, check the link.

Tumblr Rolls  Out Monetized Model 
Social blog Tumblr has been slowly but surely implementing changes here and there for not just users, but an eventual model for brands. What started out as tinkering with the internal messaging systems for private users has rolled out into “highlighted” posts (highlighted meaning you’d pay for prominent spots on a user’s dashboard). CEO David Karp sat down for an interview regarding his plans for Tumblr, brands, tools for brands and users, and advertising:

Mr. Karp: [In regards to highlighted posts] [Not] a bunch of buttons to pay for things, but we want to offer a set of nuanced creative tools for users on Tumblr. And was the right starting point. And this is not the first user-oriented promotional paid feature. There are two in production — the highlight posts and the ability to purchase and sell themes, but before that we had the ability to put your blog’s avatar up on the dashboard.

We tested the ability to promote yourself in our directories. That was one of the most successful revenue-generating features, not only in driving traffic to our blogs but in acting as a filter on our network, and it’s something we want to get back to very soon.

Ad Age: Are brands using it, too?

Mr. Karp: They are. We designed it without brands in mind, trying to work it in such a way that it makes it clear that this isn’t the killer feature for you. We’re not expecting Vogue to spend a buck on every one of their posts to make it stand out. In fact, that would make the experience kind of crappy. In fact, one of my favorite use cases is Reuters, when they use it to highlight breaking news.

Read the rest of the interview at the link.

Mayor Cory Booker Saves Woman from Fire, Ignites Hashtag Trend
In a “feel good” story for today, Newark (of NJ for those not in our tri-state area) Mayor Cory Booker  became a local hero after he ran into a burning building and rescued a woman who was trapped inside. The politician thanked followers for their concerns and accolades through Twitter. Incidentally, #CoryBookStories is now a trending hashtag.

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