SOCIAL MEDIA SNAP: Instagram video, Amazon birthdays & feminist Twitter accounts

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 in our Social Media Snap.  

I am just going to come right out and say it: there will be no mention of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby in this week’s Social Media Snap. If that’s what you were looking for, then you can just head right on over to E! Online and get your Kimye fix there. Clear? Good. I’m glad we got that sorted out. Now, if you’d like to find out what else happened this week outside of “celebutante” land, please read on.

Mark Zuckerberg and his band of merry men over at Facebook have been very busy this week. The social media titan kicked off this week by announcing on Wednesday that users can now place photos directly in comments. But that’s not all. Facebook then came out on Thursday to announce that Instagram will be adding video capabilities. Could this be a strategically planned response to Twitter’s Vine video app, perhaps? Well played, Zuckerberg. Between all of these new announcements and having to deal with the pesky NSA, it’s a surprise that Facebook employees can still find time for beer pong (though it probably helps that they don’t have any meetings).

Speaking of the NSA, this week Apple joined the list of tech companies receiving requests (and by requests I mean warrants) from the government agency to hand over user information. Facebook, Microsoft, and Google have already been approached (and by approached I mean subpoenaed) for user information over the last few weeks. Let the government conspiracy theories begin!

On Tuesday Amazon launched a new feature called Amazon Birthday Gifts. This new feature “allows a group of Facebook friends to go in on an Gift Card together. That gift isn’t posted to the recipients’ Facebook Timeline until their big day arrives.” Here’s the kicker, though. This new feature, which you use through Facebook, directly competes with Facebook’s own gift giving service. I guess Zuckerberg was just too preoccupied this week to pay attention to that minor detail.

I’m not a huge fan of beauty pageants. But even I will admit, they do have some entertainment value. After last Sunday’s Miss USA pageant the Miss Utah contestant, Marissa Powell, became an overnight social media sensation, but not for the reason she would have liked. When asked about pay inequality experienced by women in the workforce today Powell seriously flubbed her answer, rambling on about how men are leaders and the need to “create education better”. Feminist Taylor Swift would be so disappointed.

Which brings us to… @FeministTaylorSwift! I’m a fan of T-Swift’s music, but sometimes her lyrics can be a little… whiny, dramatic, boy-crazy, and insecure. Now there’s a new Twitter account, @FeministTaylorSwift, “that spins the pop star’s lyrics with a feminist slant while addressing issues of sexism, gender roles and female empowerment.” My favorite tweet, though, actually came from @FeministKanye: “@feministtaylorswift YO IMMA LET YOU FINISH CUZ AS A MAN I NEED TO STEP BACK AND LET YOU BE HEARD.” If you don’t find this as hilarious as I do, please watch this video from the 2009 MTV VMA’s so that you call fully appreciate this epic Twitter moment.

One of the main requirements of social media is the desire to be social, right? Apparently some don’t see it that way. A new “anti-social” social media site called “Hell Is Other People” attracted notice this week. This site allows users to track where their friends are through Foursquare check-ins so that they can avoid them. It will even pinpoint “safe zones” and “optimally distanced locations” where users can be sure they won’t run into anyone they know. Couldn’t they just, I don’t know, stay home?

What makes a good pin? Why are some pins more popular than others? Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? These questions (ok, maybe not that last one) are a few of many that several companies are trying to answer in order to better understand the logic behind popular content on Pinterest. One such company announced this week that they have scientifically determined what makes the perfect Pinterest picture. Qualities of the perfect Pinterest picture include no human faces, lots of red, and little background.

Happy weekend!