Social media changes so much in a week that it can be hard to keep up. Check back every Friday for our roundup of stories we think you should know about.
Pinterest is going places, literally. The network announced this week that users can now assign locations to their pins, which then become viewable on a map. This means we can use the hours we spend pinning to also plan vacations, map childhood memories and more. (Hopefully these maps don’t also end up on pinterestfail.com along with all those crafts and recipes that didn’t work out.) We think this new feature is especially exciting for company pages that want to create an engaging map of their locations or location-specific product offerings.
Politicians have been using social media to influence their constituencies for years, but a Kansas senator recently turned to the social masses for research. Before publicly discussing a complicated issue related to digital currencies, the senator asked a Reddit forum for their thoughts on the topic. The responses were a mixed bag of political criticisms and helpful insight and the senator was able to use the feedback to frame his questions for a U.S. Treasury representative.
Wondering if social media has a place in the health care industry? A recent MedCity News article lists 24 reasons it does, including online discussions, growing popularity of health care apps and the power of peer reviews in choosing a doctor.
Google’s latest effort will try to save you time and energy by involving robots in your social media responses. Rather than liking, retweeting and commenting on various networks, you could theoretically use this system to craft activities for your accounts based on your posting history. It would also be able to distinguish between audiences and adjust the tone accordingly, i.e. a LinkedIn update in a business group vs. a Facebook update among friends.
Smartphone and tablet advertisements are about to up their ante. In the next year apps will begin to roll out “engagement” ads, which are designed to get users to re-open apps they’ve downloaded onto their devices. The industry’s future is bright: startup company TapCommerce recently received $10.5 million in funding.