Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Facebook introduced a new feature this week called Save that lets people bookmark links, photos, and videos shared on the social network and check them out later. After users save a post on Facebook, they can pull up a new “Saved” tab to view their stockpile of time-delayed content. People will be able to save ads from their news feeds and posts from brands’ Facebook pages, like any other content on Facebook. Advertisers will not (yet) be able to target ads to people who save ads or page posts.
Reddit’s live thread feature has been rolled out to all users. Reddit live is the site’s first project that exists primarily outside of the subreddit system that the site uses to organize topics, links, and comments. The project had been in “semi-open beta” for a few months, and generated popular, long-running threads on Syria and Ukraine, as well as numerous smaller ones around topics like Twitch Plays Pokemon.
Expanding its native ad strategy, LinkedIn is now giving brands the ability to personalize and test content in the newsfeed without having to originate posts on their LinkedIn Company Page. Dubbed “Direct Sponsored Content,” the service represents an expansion of the company’s Sponsored Updates product.
Starting this week, users of Foursquare will no longer be able to check-in using the app. If you want to check-in, you will need to install and use the new app Swarm. The Foursquare app will move to focus primarily on local discovery and recommendations. But the transition won’t come without a challenge. Google this week announced a new “Explore” feature for Google Maps on Android and iOS which allows users to pull up venue information near their destination and provide personalized recommendations as it learns more about you.
Global Social Media
Latin America, particularly Brazil, is continuing rapid growth in its online economy. And the boom in e-commerce is good news for Amazon. Latin America as a whole remains the world’s second fastest growing e-commerce market – only trailing behind China. And Brazil is leading the way, thanks to high internet penetration rates, a booming market for affordable mobile devices and an increasingly digital culture. Amazon raked in $475 million in web sales in Latin America in 2013, a growth in retail of over 140 percent. The Brazilian-led Latin American market was the fastest growing foreign segment for Amazon in 2013 – outgrowing Amazon’s other e-commerce markets at a rate 3.7 times faster than China, seven times faster than North America, and 8.3 times faster than Europe.
Mercedes-Benz is using LinkedIn to promote its 2015 C-Class line. This week, the luxury car brand introduced a new contest “Drive to Perform,” in which a LinkedIn user will win a two-year lease of a Mercedes C300. Unlike typical giveaways, users will not enter the contest on their own behalf, but rather will nominate someone in their LinkedIn network. In the spirit of recommendations that users contribute to one another’s profiles, Mercedes is asking LinkedIn users to nominate colleagues by highlighting their professional accomplishments and attributes in short recommendations, along with how the nominees “personal qualities meet the sophistication of the Mercedes-Benz brand.” The brand will also weigh how popular and active nominees are on social networks.