SOCIAL MEDIA SNAP: Social hackers, Facebook reach & Pinterest e-commerce

This week the social media world was rocked when it was reported that hackers stole the usernames and passwords of two million Facebook, Gmail and Twitter accounts, among others. According to cybersecurity firm Trustwave, the hackers installed viruses on countless computers that captured the user’s login credentials and sent the information to a server in the Netherlands. The compromised websites, including Facebook, Google, Linkedin and Twitter, were notified and many have taken steps to reset passwords for the affected users.


In other, slightly less terrifying, news, Twitter announced this week that it is ready to launch retargeted ads. Twitter has been experimenting with the program, officially names Tailored Audiences, since July and has confirmed that they will soon be using retargeted promoted Tweets and promoted accounts site-wide.


Sad news for Facebook marketers this week: Facebook admitted that the “organic reach” of Facebook posts is declining and that marketers should seriously consider purchasing Facebook ads. Facebook sent an email to partners stating, "We expect organic distribution of an individual page's posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site." Whether or not this will be better, worse or even noticeable to Facebook users waits to be seen.


On the flip side, Facebook also did something good this week. We’ve mentioned in previous Social Media Snaps that many people use social media sites as their main source of news. On Monday, Facebook announced that the site would begin focusing on showing more, higher-quality news stories on users’ home pages. In an effort to make room for increased news content, Facebook will also start removing the “Click ‘like’ if you…” types of posts often used by spammers. It’s a win-win!


Here was something that surprised me this week: researchers found that 45 percent of smartphone users listed Facebook in their top three most visited apps while only 13 percent listed Twitter. In the race to be the most mobile friendly, it looks like Facebook came out on top this time.


Pinterest has been doing pretty well for itself these days. As of Thursday morning, Pinterest will now allow e-commerce partners, such as Zappos and Walmart, to use real-time Pinterest data on their sites, which will allow them to highlight their “most pinned” products. Publishers that use Pinterest to promote content can also use this information to pinpoint popular articles or topics.


And finally, in honor of the great Nelson Mandela, here are social media reactions to sad the news of his death on Thursday.


Happy weekend,