Need to Know: January 2014

Social media is constantly changing. We know that it can be hard to keep up, so each month we’re going to provide you with a quick round-up of the latest news in the space. We stay on top of all the changes so you don’t have to.

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Trending Topics: In an upcoming change to your News Feed, Facebook will start showing you trending topics, personalized to your interests. Facebook will determine which topics are trending with an algorithm intended to recognize “a sharp increase in popularity,” not necessarily a large volume of posts or articles about a particular subject.

Sponsored Stories: Facebook recently announced plans to retire “sponsored stories” starting in April. Sponsored stories show when a user’s Facebook friend interacts with a sponsored Page, app or event.

Video Ads: Although advertising came to Facebook a while ago, the company is now looking in to incorporating video ads to their normal arsenal. Better yet? The ads will auto play as you scroll past them in your News Feed.


Direct Messaging: In a move to compete with Snapchat, Instagram recently rolled out a new functionality, letting users direct message images and videos to individual users. Parents, be wary.


GIF Pins: GIFs have become and Internet staple, and Pinterest is starting to take serious note. The social networking site is beginning to experiment with adding GIF pins, giving users the ability to view and play GIFs directly through Pinterest.

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