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What's New in Social Media: December 2014 Edition

Robert Patterson

In order to keep up with the always-changing social media landscape, we provide our clients with a This Week in Social Media (TWISM) email newsletter. Each week, we highlight the biggest changes in social media and share these insights with our clients and team so we can always stay ahead of the always-changing social media world.

We’ve compiled the best of the best TWISMs to share with you in What's New in Social Media: December 2014 Edition. What do you need to know this month?

  • Brands no longer allowed to trade Facebook "likes" for incentives: Facebook is stopping marketers from using contest entries and other incentives as a way of boosting the number of "likes" for brand pages. Users should "like pages because they want to connect and hear from the businesses, not because of artificial incentives," Facebook's Harshdeep Singh says.
  • Snapchat partners with big brands and prepares for launch of Discover: Snapchat's new feature in the works is a section within the app that will serve users articles, music and video produced by prominent media companies like BuzzFeed, CNN, the Daily Mail, ESPN and more. True to Snapchat’s form, the media distributed through Discover will have a truncated shelf life: After a certain amount of time, it will no longer be available, thus encouraging users to check in routinely.
  • Facebook users can soon turn down brand messaging: Facebook is giving users more control over the posts they see in their news feeds. Users will soon see metrics on whose content was shown the most, and they will be allowed to "turn down" sources as a way of reducing posts.
  • Six months after launching "Guided Search", Pinterest says search volume per user has increased by 25%. The social network now sees itself as a "personalized search site that can blend search and discovery in new and compelling ways." Data shows that Pinterest is the 2nd highest referral for pages per visits, mainly because users click pins expecting to be taken to a website.  The lack of a newsfeed also means that pins stay relevant and searchable, unlike posts that become buried.  
  • Twitter just revealed big plans for next year: Twitter gave the public a look at its roadmap for the next year including an upcoming feature called "Instant Timeline" where new users will be able to pick from categories to be automatically shown a feed of interesting tweets and users. "Timeline Highlights" will roll out for current users, displaying popular tweets sent while the user was not on the site and will live above Twitter's traditional chronological list of tweets. 
  • Facebook said to be eyeing YouTube revenue model: Facebook may amp up its competition with Google by introducing ads that run alongside publishers' videos posted to the site, a move that would pit Facebook directly against YouTube and its revenue model. An Unruly study says Facebook already accounts for the majority of video shares on social networks.
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