Social Media Newsfeed: Facebook News Feed Ads | Hashtags Harmful?

By Tim Sohn 

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Facebook ExchangeFacebook Exchange Ads Being Tested on Desktop News Feeds (AllFacebook)
The lines between different ways to advertise on Facebook are beginning to blur, as the social network Tuesday announced what it called a “small alpha test” of running ads delivered by its Facebook Exchange real-time-bidding ad-purchase platform on the desktop version of its News Feed, while at the same time assuring users that the number of ads in their News Feeds would not increase. Facebook added that it would expand availability of this new ad format in the coming weeks. CNET “We wanted to give advertisers and agencies the opportunity to deliver highly relevant ads in News Feed, the most engaging place on the Web,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We also believe that ads delivered through FBX will create more relevant ads for people.” Reuters It ties together two of the most significant innovations that Facebook has made in the past year to its advertising business, which accounts for roughly 84 percent of the company’s revenue. Marketers last year welcomed the launch of Facebook Exchange as it provided a common online advertising technique long missing on the social network. Adweek For now, the FBX News Feed ads are limited to Page Post link ads. Those units would allow, for example, a clothing retailer to promote a specific dress to someone who had recently checked out the item on the retailer’s site and include a thumbnail image of the garment plus a brief description with a link back to the product’s landing page on the retailer’s e-commerce site. Inside Facebook The company is working with a small group of demand side platforms (DSPs) including TellApart, MediaMath and Nanigans. It has also said it will begin making the ads available for more DSPs and advertisers in the coming weeks.

Hashtags Considered #Harmful (Nieman Journalism Lab)
New York Times social media editor Daniel Victor says hashtags don’t attract an audience and “are aesthetically damaging.” There are many useful exceptions, but hashtags for big news stories are particularly vulnerable to mathematical futility. The Next Web Speaking of hashtags, Path has followed in the footsteps of Twitter and Flickr (and possibly Facebook?) with the addition of support for hashtags to its iOS app. The new feature links hashtagged comments to a search across moments, aka posts, but the resulting search will pull non-hashtagged posts as well.

Is Social Media the New Chocolate During Lent? (Mashable)
Hourly Facebook checks were standard for Lucy Church, and Lent became a time to make the change. Like many others, Church sacrificed Facebook-use for the religious season.

Serendip Taps Human Intuition Over Algorithms for Music Discovery (SocialTimes)
Serendip has redefined music discovery by adding the human touch, serving up music that’s recommended by your friends and other music connoisseurs that share your unique taste. SocialTimes had the opportunity to speak with Sagee Ben-Zedeff, founder and CEO of Serendip, to find out more about the service and how it works.

Anonymous Uses Twitter to Highlight Humanitarian Crisis in Burma (The Verge)
The formless hacktivist collective Anonymous, which often hits the news for hacking governments, big corporations and other websites to champion its causes, has taken to Twitter to highlight the mistreatment of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma. “Operation Rohingya” began on Sunday as an effort to bring the plight of the Rohingya people to attention of the mass media.

Twitter Focused on Building Global Town Square (and Dodging IPO Questions) (AllTwitter)
In an interview with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo spoke of user growth driving everything at Twitter. And when pressed about a potential IPO, he pulled a typical Costolo providing zero scoop intel.

Flipboard Launches Custom Curation Tools, Wants to Unleash Your Inner Magazine Editor (GigaOM)
Flipboard has carved out a niche as one of the leading news and content-consumption apps for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, with its digital magazine look and easy user interface. Now the company wants to turn all of those content consumers into publishers as well: a new version of the app was released Tuesday that gives users the tools to create their own topic-specific magazines.

New Tool: Pingage Helps You Test it Before You Pin It on Pinterest (SocialTimes)
Pingage has launched a new service for optimizing posts on Pinterest. With crafty users who like to post their ideas for everything from their dream weddings to their next tattoos, Pinterest recently beat out Yahoo!, Bing and Twitter to become the fourth-largest driver of traffic to other websites.

Facebook Touts Gaming Numbers at GDC, Lays Out New Plans (AllThingsD)
After a “dark time” of balancing unhappy users and unhappy developers, Facebook turned around its gaming unit in 2012, the company said Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Games will be increasingly woven into the “whole experience,” starting with games-focused sections of the new News Feeds and Timelines that the company has started rolling out to some users.