Social Media Newsfeed: Gmail Blocked in China | AmEx on Instagram

Chinese government blocks access to Gmail through Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook. American Express seeing social success with guest photographers. These stories, and more, in today's Morning Social Media Newsfeed.

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GmailLogo150China Adds New Barrier to Gmail (SocialTimes)
The Chinese government appears to have blocked the ability of people in China to gain access to Google’s email service through third-party email services like Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook, which many Chinese and foreigners had been relying on to use their Gmail accounts after an earlier blocking effort by officials, according to internet analysts and users in China. The blocking began on Friday and has ignited anger and frustration among many internet users in China. Forbes The Chinese Ministry of Public Security has spent more than a decade placing restrictions on internet usage in an effort known as the Golden Shield Project or, more informally, the Great Firewall of China. The project was created in the wake of China’s effort to open up its international relations, but it still carries many of traits of its formerly cloistered Communist beginnings, namely its effort to prevent criticism against the government. Reuters In Washington, the U.S. State Department expressed concern over China’s actions. “We encourage China to be transparent in its dealings with international companies and to consider the market signal it sends with such acts,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said.

AmEx Generated 10 Million Instagram Impressions in Two Weeks with Guest Photographers (Adweek)
For the past year, American Express has experimented with turning over its social accounts to influencers for short bursts of time to pick up followers and buzz. And it appears to be working — at least based on some results from a recent two-week Instagram campaign.

Pixe Social, CEA Team Up to Allow CES 2015 Attendees to Share Photos to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (AllFacebook)
Social marketing solutions developer Pixe Social announced a partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association on a photo-sharing solution for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the upcoming International Consumer Electronics Show, to be held in Las Vegas Jan. 6 through 9. Pixe Social said it will provide a roaming team at CES to encourage attendees to share their photos in real-time via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with images to be framed with a special #CES2015 visual theme and instantly posted to the Pixe Social Facebook page and Twitter and Instagram accounts with the #CES2015 hashtag.

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Twitter is Experimenting with Selling Ad Space in Your Following List (The Next Web)
It appears that Twitter is experimenting with selling ad space in users’ lists of accounts they follow, reports Marketing Land. Actor William Shatner made a noise about it a little while ago, tweeting that he noticed that MasterCard’s account began showing up on his own Following list, even though he didn’t actually follow the credit card company on Twitter.

Awesome Things Brands Did on Social Media in 2014 [Infographic] (AllTwitter)
Two-thousand-fourteen was one heck of a year for brands using social media. Innovative campaign followed innovative campaign from businesses of all shapes and sizes, across a huge range of industries, sectors and verticals.

Five Sites and Apps to Help You Unload Your Unwanted Christmas Gifts (VentureBeat)
Christmas is over, most of the family is gone, and life is getting back to normal. Besides a few pounds and the Christmas tree, we are also stuck with a few gifts we would rather get rid of. These websites and apps help you to get rid of the things you got for Christmas and do not see any use for.

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John Oliver’s Web Exclusive is All the New Year’s Advice You Need (LostRemote)
Thank goodness for John Oliver, who ventured out of his winter hiatus to tell us why New Year’s Eve is the worst in a web exclusive. In typical “Last Week Tonight” fashion, his advice is spot on.