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social media researchWelcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news.

To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention.

What’s New This Week?

Instagram Unveils Clickable Carousel Ads: The new carousel ads on Instagram are “a new way for brands to share more images with people interested in their posts.”

instagram carousel ads

“Carousel ads give brands more flexibility in telling their stories by allowing people who view their ads to swipe left to see additional images and link to a website of the brand’s choice.”

Twitter Announces Embeddable Videos: “With the new embedded video widget, you can highlight Twitter-hosted video on your website.”

twitter video embeds

“Video embeds are available for videos captured and uploaded through Twitter’s applications for iOS and Android as well as Twitter Amplify partners.”

Twitter Introduces Friend-finding and Two-step Verification to Digits: Twitter made two updates to Digits: “adding friend-finding to help you grow your audience and introducing two-step verification.”

twitter friend finding two step verification

“With friend-finding, you can seamlessly create your own social graph with your users’ contact list.”

Facebook Adds Explore to Slingshot: Explore is a new feature on Facebook’s messaging app Slingshot. It’s “an easier way to discover other creative people around the world.”

explore added to slingshot

“Explore is a place to discover funny, inspiring and creative people from across the globe.”

Other social media news worth following:

Google+ Splits into Photos and Streams Products: This change is meant to be seen as “positive improvements” in both Google’s products and how they reach users.

“Google+ will soon be split into Photos and Streams.”

Google Releases a Preview of the New Google Contacts: “The new Google Contacts that makes it easier to keep track of the people you know and get the info you need, fast.”

google new contacts

“The new Google Contacts comes with a fresh look and feel, and conveniently pools together all your contacts, circles, and the people you talk to most in Gmail.”

Here are some cool social media tools worth checking out:
Kik Adds Native Video: Kik adds the ability to “create and share videos of up to 15 seconds, and watch videos in full-screen or in the chat window.”

kik native video

Native video is now available on Kik.

BriefMe: This news-ranking app shares the 10 most consumed and shared articles of the moment.

brief me

“Powered by the BriefMe Score, the app identifies the top 10 most consumed and shared news articles of the moment.”

Meerkat: This app allows you to stream live video from your phone to all of your Twitter followers.

meerkat app

Tweet live video to your Twitter followers with the Meerkat app.

Weekly Video Tip:

 How to Tag Another Facebook Page from Your Facebook Page

Some interesting studies to note:

New Research: Five Ways Brands Can Use the Internet of Things: A new report for Altimeter Group shares how consumer brands can embrace the Internet of Things to create value for their business and consumers across the following five use cases: reward, information and decision-making, facilitation, service, and innovation.

Relationship Impacts Customer Recommendations on Social Media: Social Media Link’s annual report, Social Recommendation Index, surveys 24,000 active social media active users on how online product and service recommendations impact purchase decisions.  93% of those surveyed say the most valuable reviews are those containing personal stories, both positive and negative. Relationship is also a huge factor in buying decisions with  77% of those surveyed saying that close friends and family impact purchase the most. Only 11% say that celebrities impacts their purchase.

Case Study: Product Videos are 174% More Likely to Convert: Leading toy manufacturer, Step2, partnered with a video marketing agency and retailers to showcase their products in action. Over time, they have found their video viewers are 174% more likely to convert than non-viewers.

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