Here is a quick roundup of some of the latest happenings in the social media world.
Facebook added a new social plugin to its list on Wednesday. Called the Recommendations Bar, the plugin displays a small pop-up window at the bottom of articles, which features a "Like" button and personalized suggestions based on what a visitor's friends like and share from the site.
Apparently, Facebook is also testing the "Subscribe" option for Fan Pages. The potential new feature, which was discussed on Marketing Land and AllFacebook on Monday, would allow users to view updates from pages without having to like them.
Foursquare, the location-based social networking website for mobile devices, introduced Promoted Updates on Wednesday. Located in the app's Explore tab, the new feature helps users discover new businesses and money-saving specials in their area.
"Promoted updates are just like the local updates that you see in your friends tab, except that businesses can pay to promote them in our Explore results," says the Foursquare Blog. "The update can be a money-saving special, an update on a new fashion line, or a photo of their latest dish. It works similar to ads on Google; there, if you search for ‘laptops,’ you’ll see an ad for an electronics website next to the results. In foursquare, if you do the same search in Explore you might see a promoted special about a weekend deal at a nearby computer store."
Currently, only 20 companies are part of the programme, including Best Buy, Gap, jcpenney, Lowe’s, Old Navy, and Walgreens.
LinkedIn announced on Tuesday a tighter integration with the latest version of Microsoft Outlook.
The Outlook Social Connector, which will be installed by default in Outlook 2013, will only require that users sign in once with their Linkedin credentials to access profile information directly within their Inboxes. This information will also sync with People Cards.
"Not only will you be able to keep track of what your LinkedIn connections are discussing and sharing, you’ll have easy access to photos, contact information and LinkedIn profile details right at your fingertips – without ever leaving Office. You can also read more about Microsoft’s connected social experiences here," says LinkedIn Product Manager David Breger on the LinkedIn Blog.
LinkedIn also launched the College Pilot Program on Thursday. A partnership with several leading academic institutions, this new programme provides various tools and access to LinkedIn’s products to help students and alumni with career development.
"The College Pilot Program is a closed group at this time," says John Hill on the LinkedIn Blog. "However, we are always eager to hear from alumni, students, faculty or staff about ways LinkedIn can work with their schools. Schools who are interested in getting more information from Linkedin or for other partnership opportunities can email HigherEd@linkedin.com."
Pinterest officially expanded its category list on Wednesday to include "Animals", "Quotes", "Celebrities", "Tattoos" and "Weddings".
The names of seven categories have been tweaked to help decrease miscategorizations. For example, the "Prints & Posters" category has been renamed "Illustrations & Posters"; "Fitness" is now "Health & Fitness", while "Holidays" is "Holidays & Events"; and "Travel & Places" has been shortened to "Travel". For the complete list, click here.
The team behind the fast-growing visual publishing platform RebelMouse released on Wednesday a new feature that allows users to embed their pages on websites and blogs.
To use the feature, visit your dashboard and click the "Embed (Beta)" tab. Then, select the number of columns and copy and paste the HTML code where you want the page to appear.
"We have more plans for this feature coming soon, so keep an eye out for updates," says the team in an email sent to members of the platform.
Twitter went through its second outage in five weeks on Thursday.
"The cause of today’s outage came from within our data centers," says Mazen Rawashdeh, VP of Engineering, on the Twitter Blog. "Data centers are designed to be redundant: when one system fails (as everything does at one time or another), a parallel system takes over. What was noteworthy about today’s outage was the coincidental failure of two parallel systems at nearly the same time."
"I wish I could say that today’s outage could be explained by the Olympics or even a cascading bug. Instead, it was due to this infrastructural double-whammy. We are investing aggressively in our systems to avoid this situation in the future."
"On behalf of our infrastructure team, we apologize deeply for the interruption you had today."
The following day, the social network announced the launch of its event page for the 2012 Olympics. This page (#Olympics) displays real-time Tweets from everyone involved directly or indirectly in the events, including athletes, coaches, teams, families, NBC personalities, and fans.
Video-sharing platform Vimeo introduced two new Music Store updates on Tuesday.
Users can now add soundtracks to their videos with the Enhancer, without the need for any editing software. They can also choose tracks from the thousands of songs from the SmartSound library to create customized pieces.