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The week in social: Pinpoint, Elevate, and Instagram on Tinder

Facebook chat helps you remember your friends’ birthdays

It’s a well known fact that friends use Facebook to help remember each other’s birthdays. Now, Facebook is making that hint a little more obvious with the introduction of a new icon. When users have Facebook chat open, a cake icon will appear next to users whose birthday it is. Although a small feature, it goes a long way to making Facebook the main network where users will wish each other happy birthday. Other ways that Facebook has prioritized user birthdays have included putting birthdays at the top of the mobile news feed, and adding upcoming birthdays to the right-hand corner of the main desktop news feed.

Read more on Social Times.

Instagram updates usage guidelines for inappropriate content

Based on feedback from users abou lewd content, the photo sharing app Instagram has updated its terms of use, or “Community Guidelines” with stricter, and more specific wording around nudity and harassment. Rules now state that users cannot encourage any sort of violence or attacks or people based on race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or a number of other characteristics. In terms of nudity, photographs featuring intercourse, genitals and more will be removed, however certain types of nudity will be allowed including breastfeeding and mastectomy scarring, as an answer to what the Instgram community finds tasteful or tolerable in photo feeds.

More information on Engadget.

Foursquare launches Pinpoint advertising

Earlier this week, Foursquare unveiled a new advertising serviced called Pinpoint, that allows advertisers to target users based on locations they have previously visited. The interesting part of this announcement is that the ads will be available across a wider system of approved applications, not just Foursquare itself. Launch partners for this new system of advertising include Samsung, FedEx, and AT&T. Advertisers will be able to use psychographic audience segments and also deep custom audiences to help strengthen the relevancy of their targets.

Read more on VentureBeat.

Tinder officially integrates with Instagram for photo feeds

Tinder released an update earlier this week that integrates with Instagram, letting users scroll through the Instagram feeds of users they are potentially interested in matching. Because many users link to, or provide their Instagram account names as part of their Twitter profiles, this integration was a natural fit. Users who click through to see an Instagram profile can see the most recent 34 pictures. The update also includes common connections, and lets users see an expanded list of Facebook interests, where before only common interests were displayed.

Read more on TechCrunch.

LinkedIn launches Elevate platform to promote brand content

LinkedIn has created a new platform that helps companies promote content through their employees, pushing it out specifically via LinkedIn and Twitter. The tool is available on the desktop, and mobile operating systems iOS and Android. The main functionality of the platform is that specific pieces of content can be shared from a company to employees to share with their individuals networks, based on the premise that content is more well received when it comes from an individual than an entity such as a brand. The app provides analytics to see how shared content is performing and uses insights to suggest the best times to share and post.

More information on The Next Web.

Meerkat seeking beta testers for Android application

Until now, the boom of live streaming mobile apps have been focused on iOS, but that is potentially set to change, specifically with Meerkat. The application is now having an open call for Meerkat Android beta testers, and while there is no additional information surrounding the release, this is an indication that an Android app will be appearing in the near future. Meerkat’s future in general is uncertain since Twitter stopped supporting it recently and offered its own alternate, Periscope.

Read more on Social Times.

Facebook testing sidebar status

Facebook is testing a new method of showing the status of friends to users through chat. Whenever a user opens up a sidebar on the mobile application in test markets Taiwan and Australia, they are shown the latest status that the user posted to their account under them name and their online status, the colored circle that says if they are active, away, etc. The open status will remain under the name for 12 hours, or until a new status is posted, whichever comes first. Users who have this feature active can also pin specific friends to the top if they want to have easier access to their statuses. This is similar to how with instant messaging services users would post “away messages”, with a specific example being AOL Instant Messenger.

Read more on Mashable.

Sprinklr expands into Japan

Social posting, monitoring, and reporting tool, Sprinklr, has expanded further into the Asian market by announcing a joint venture to create Sprinklr Japan KK, which will be located and headquartered in Tokyo. The moves comes as the company seeks to offer a solution for Japanese enterprises similar to what it offers other companies around the world, and the joint venture is an effort between Sprinklr, PIPED BITS Co., Ltd., Recruit Strategic Partners Co., Ltd., and Suneight Investment Co., Ltd. Sprinklr recently announced an additional round of funding it has received of $46 million, to bring it to a total valuation of approximately $1 billion USD.

More information on Business Wire.

Twitter debuts Star Wars emoji

As a follow up to all of the buzz surrounding the brand new Star Wars movie and its recently released trailers, Twitter is now offering users the ability to display emoji of popular characters from the series by entering hashtag commands. The first set of emoji debuted earlier this week, including C-3PO, the Stormtrooper, and the new droid BB8. Although it remains to be seen if there will be others, due to the overwhelming amount of social conversation generated by the recent trailer, it is likely that other popular characters will soon be featured. In order to use the emoji, a user just has to enter a hashtag and the character name into a tweet.

Read more on Twitter Blog.

Twitter debuts brand new homepage

In an effort to attract new users, and non-logged in users, Twitter debuted a brand new homepage format this past Wednesday. The new homepage look has been in testing since February, but it was officially rolled out to all users, as announced by a blog post from the company. The homepage shows snippets of popular real time content, and also allows users to search for any subject. The purpose of the layout is to portray Twitter has a useful, real-time information service. The update has been rolled out for English-language desktop users first, and will expand over time.

Read more on Mashable.