Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Facebook Lets Users Create Their Own “Year In Review”
Twitter and Google have both launched their year-end reports, and now Facebook has put a personal spin on 2012. Users can visit Facebook to see the 20 biggest moments of their year, including personal life events, and their most popular shared stories. They can also find out how many friends they’ve added and how many pages they’ve liked this year.
Amazon Integrates with Facebook to Launch Social Gifting Feature
Amazon just launched a new feature that lets you connect your Facebook account to the site in order to keep track of your friends’ birthday and anniversaries, as well as their shopping wish lists. Amazon is billing the new Friends and Family Gifting feature as a central hub for gift ideas throughout the year. Once you connect with Facebook, you’ll be able to see the wish lists that your connections have created on Amazon as well as information about things they have liked through Facebook.
Twitter Adds Photo Filters
Starting this week, Twitter users can edit and refine photos right from Twitter. The latest versions of Twitter for iPhone and Android will also allow you to enhance the images you tweet through a partnership with Aviary, which powers filters and effects. Eight filters are now available ranging from black & white to vintage.
Twitter Introduces Negative Keyword Targeting to Make Ads More Relevant
This week, Twitter began offering “negative keyword targeting” for Promoted Tweets, which will let advertisers buy a term but avoid having the ad shown in contextually irrelevant situations. For example – an advertiser that buys the term “bacon,” as in, the edible product, could make sure it doesn’t show up near conversations about actor Kevin Bacon. In that case “Kevin” would be a negative keyword.
Google Launches 18 New Google+ Features
Eighteen new features are now available for Google+ including new mobile, photo, event and Hangout updates aimed at making “sharing and communicating easier and more fun than ever.” The new Android feature allows on-the-go profile editing, along with improved posting tools. Google is also offering full-size backups of photos for free via its instant upload tool. Photo spheres are now available in the mobile stream. Google is also pushing live support for animated GIFs, birthday reminders in Google Now, and a dedicated lock screen widget. For Events, Google is now offering the option to send messages to specific guests and see who has opened your invitation. Hangouts can now be operated on very low bandwidth connections. For an overview of all of the updates click here.
Facebook Gifts Roll Out to All Users in the US
Just in time for gift giving season, Facebook has made its new e-commerce platform, Facebook Gifts, available to everyone in the U.S. With Gifts, you can send your friends real gifts through Facebook. With the official launch, users can give gifts from over 100 retail partners as well as virtual subscriptions from Hulu, Pandora, Rdio and more. Users can also give gifts to charity in their friends’ names.
Iran Launches Its Own Hyper-Censored YouTube
Early last year, reports appeared that Iran intended to build a “halal Internet,” using the Muslim term for what is morally “permissible.” In October, concrete evidence of this shadow Internet began showing up with secondary IP addresses being assigned to a large number of personal computers. A further piece of the plan has now come online. Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has launched “Mehr” a kind of hyper-censored YouTube, approved for virtuous Iranian use. Mehr means “affection” in Persian. Mehr aims to attract Persian speaking users and promote Iranian culture. Iran has long been a bellwether of Internet oppression. Its censorship and record of arresting social media users is only second to China. Iran has censored YouTube since 2009.
Yelp Launches In Turkey
Yelp announced this week that they have launched in Turkey. This marks the 20th country that Yelp has expanded its services to.
Old Navy Goes Social With BuzzFeed
Old Navy has launched a marketing partnership with social content channel BuzzFeed that includes a branded microsite, “Deck the Web,” and video content and tie-ins to the Old Navy Facebook Page, along with a promotion called the “Griswold Lightacular Challenge,” in honor of their seasonal advertising campaign. The “Deck the Web” microsite has an app that lets users add virtual “Holidays All The Way” ornaments to any website through a click-and-drag feature. The “Griswold Lightacular Challenge” allows users to upload photos of their holiday lights and general set-ups for a chance to “Out-Griswold the Griswolds.” The effort dangles either a $10,000 Clark Griswold award or one of two $2,500 Rusty and Audrey Griswold awards. Wrapped up with the online work is a 60-second video featuring JORDAN KNIGHT OF THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK.