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

By Affinitive

We’ve collectively taken a break from testing out cover photos on our new Facebook Timeline (find out how you can join in on the Timeline fun in the first story below) to round up the best bits o’ buzz that had us buzzing around the coffee maker this week. We’re logging off this weekend with these stories in mind:

How to Enable Facebook Timeline – Now

If you were like us, you also listened in on Facebook’s f8 conference yesterday. We’re intrigued by Facebook’s new Timeline feature , which masks its slight creepy omniscience about cataloging your every action in your Facebook lifespan with pretty aesthetics. While we could wait a few more days until Timeline goes public, we’d rather just access it right now, bugs and all. For those still unsure of what Facebook Timeline really is, never fear. Get brought up to speed with the video here.

Facebook Rolls Out “Gestures” (Or Is It “Verbs”?)

In addition to the hotly anticipated Timeline, Facebook also rolled out new “gestures” (though some are calling it “verbs”) that’ll allow users to verb any noun they please. Developers and partners will now be able to turn any verb into a button that users can utilize to better inform subscribers of actions, whether to announce they’ve just finished reading a book or watched a movie. No word yet on whether someone will develop the long awaited “dislike” button. While Timeline and Gestures are receiving the most press, they’re just a few of the changes coming to Facebook. To get the full summary on six major changes, visit here.

Google Launches Google Wallet

Google announced the official launch of “Google wallet,” which allows you to pay for real life products by simply tapping your NFC-enabled Android phone against a reader. However, in addition to only being available to Android users, there’s still another catch, as Google is exclusively releasing this to those in the Sprint Nexus S network, leaving other networks waiting. At the moment, you can only pay for the feature with either pre-paid Google cards or Citi Mastercards, but the company intends to provide support for Visa, Discover, and American Express.

Political Ads Hit Twitter

With an election right around the corner, we expect to be bombarded by campaign ads and endorsements throughout all sorts of mediums, including Twitter, which has started accepting political advertising. With candidates looking to increase online presence and utilize social media to further discourse, this is undoubtedly a smart move. For the most part, campaign tweets will function exactly like Promoted Products, save for the disclaimer icon that’ll reveal who paid for the endorsement. Mitt Romney’s committee has been the first to purchase one.

Rick Santorum Googles Himself, Is Not Amused

Speaking of politics, we like to search ourselves every now and then, but we’ve never seen a result that we didn’t like, unlike presidential hopeful Rick Santorum. In a rather bizarre mobius strip of Google and not knowing how the Internet works, the presidential hopeful contacted Google to complain about the search results for his name  – specifically, the first result which highlights the definition of his name as frothy byproduct from a certain orifice, linked to a website erected in 2003 by sex columnist and LGBT activist Dan Savage. Naturally, this will lead to people searching “Rick Santorum” to see what the fuss is about, driving his actual website and Wikipedia article even further below.

When Ghostwriters Go Rogue

We had a bit of a laugh at Social Marketing & Communications Strategist Mark Davidson, who forgot to change his Twitter password after firing one of his three ghostwriters. The spurned writer took to Davidson’s account with eight scathing messages about his employer’s lack of social media savvy. One in particular, “he can  barely type social media much less know what it is,” is stinging. Ouch!

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