Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Twitter Loses Ability To Properly Display Instagram Photos
Instagram on Wednesday, disabled the ability for Twitter to properly display Instagram photos on its site and in its application. The move escalations tensions between to the two companies. Instagram’s chief executive, Kevin Systrom, confirmed that the company has in fact removed the ability to send pictures to Twitter, and plans to completely cut off embedding pictures on the microblog. Users will still be able to generate tweets on Twitter when they post a photo, but when someone clicks on the Instagram link in those tweets, they will be taken out of the Twitter app and directed to Instagram to view it. Other sites and services including Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare will not be affected. Update: TechCrunch noticed that Instagram has turned Twitter cards back on – though no word officially from either company about whether this is temporary. More here.
Google+ Communities: Google’s Answer to Facebook Groups
Google has launched a new feature in Google+ that will aid in meeting new people. The feature, called Google+ Communities, is Google’s attempt at competing against Facebook Groups. If there is something you are interested in or an expert about, Google+ wants to help give you a chance to connect with others who share your passion and interests. Google+ Communities can be open publicly or set to private. You also don’t need to visit the Community to post something – you can do so right from your Google+ home screen.
Pinterest Cracks Down on Spam Sites
Pinterest announced this week a major initiative to crack down on spam accounts lurking throughout the site. Pinterest has built a dedicated spam team to detect, remove and prevent spam, which has been a growing problem for the platform. To weed through the clutter, Pinterest has developed an intelligent algorithm that flags potential spam accounts through a scoring system. Though it’s a step in the right direction, the result of the crackdown is costing brands hundreds of thousands of followers. Brands including Harper’s Bazaar and Nordstrom have lost 200k and 600k Pinterest followers in a matter of hours. Non-brands are also taking a hit. User Joy Cho has lost about 2 million followers so far. More on this here.
New Updates to YouTube
YouTube is getting another upgrade. The video sharing channel is making a subtle but important change in positioning video titles, as well as making that channel guide follow you around the site, suggesting shows you might like to subscribe to and videos you should be interested in based on your browsing history. The move signals YouTube’s attempt to encourage followers to subscribe to more channels. Though YouTube hasn’t released how many of their 800 million users are subscribers, the company did say that number has “more than doubled” since last year’s redesign. In other YouTube news, the platform has recently inked a distribution deal with Virgin America. Air-travelers will now be able to watch YouTube shows on Virgin America flights beginning December 15. More here.
Twitter Updates Trending Topics
Twitter has expanded its Trending Topics feature to 100 more cities around the world, including Istanbul, Frankfurt, Guadalajara and Incheon. Now, users will be able to scan through and see what the most popular trends are in over 200 locations. In other Twitter global news, the microblog is set to open new offices in Paris, adding to the six additional premises it already has outside of the U.S. According to Twitter, France has been one of the fastest growing markets around the world. The country has seen a 150% user growth year over year and 350% growth in tweets on a daily basis. More on this here.
McDonald’s Releases First TV Ad With Twitter Hashtag
McDonald’s is testing the waters for a Twitter hashtag campaign again with its first TV ad directing users to join the conversation on Twitter. The effort, which began Monday, supports the brand’s Pro Bowl tie-in. For two weeks, McDonald’s will drop 20 trips to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii in a package of 20 piece McNuggets. The item will contain a paper certificate Willy Wonk-style announcing if you’ve won. The brand will also give away one ticket on Twitter and randomly award prizes to people who tweet with the #mcdprobowl hashtag from the ad. Prizes include: coupons for free McNuggets, a year’s supply of McNugget sauce and personalized tweets from NFL players to fans, among others.