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The week in social: Place Pins, Instagram for Business, and Snap Channel

65% of US adults are on social media

A new study from the Pew Research Institute cites that the majority of US adults, those above 18 years of age, have at least some usage of social media. The report also shows that an increasing number of older American adults are using social media, with 35% currently, an increase from a low of 2% in 2005. Less surprisingly, 90% of young adults, those aged 18-29, use social media, and the percentage of social media use of all internet users has increased over time from under 25% in 2005, to about 75% in 2015.

Read more on Social Times.

Pinterest updates Place Pins

In an effort to help users get more out of each pin, Pinterest announced through a blog post earlier this week that they would be retroactively adding location data to all currently existing Place Pins, a number over 7 billion, and adding location information automatically to all new Place Pins. Data that is added to Pins with locations includes addresses, phone numbers, and a location preview on the map. On iOS, the feature will allow users to directly access Google Maps or Apple Maps to get directions.

Read more on Pinterest Blog.

Facebook testing new options for videos

Through a News Room post on Facebook, VP of Product Management Will Cathcart announced how Facebook is testing new options for videos. The post highlighted recent additions such as the 360 video format support announced in September, as well as Live Video through Mentions, which was announced back in August. New features currently being tested include a suggested videos menu, that lets users select a new video directly in the new feed after they are done watching one. Another feature in testing is multi-tasking, which will allow users to watch videos in a floating light-box, while they continue to browse on Facebook. Finally, for users who want to watch videos later, Facebook is introducing bookmarking to save videos of interest.

More information on Facebook Newsroom.

Instagram launches @InstagramForBusiness

To help inspire the brands, creative agencies, and small businesses that use Instagram to reach their fan-base, Instagram launched a new handle, @InstagramForBusiness, announced through an official blog post. The post tells the story of how one of the first brands to advertise on Instagram, Ben and Jerry’s has learned to use the platform to reach more fans as it developed its style of photography and illustration specifically for the network. Instagram will be using the account to tell stories from the three aforementioned types of businesses, and sees the account as a natural progression for companies to find new inspiration especially as Instagram Ads have just opened up worldwide for all advertisers.

More information on Instagram Business Blog.

Snapchat shuts down Snap Channel

The channel of content on its Discovery tab focused on original content created by Snapchat itself, called Snap Channel, has been shut down by the company after less than a year in production. There had been rumors that the service would be taken down for a short period and re-tooled, but it appears that with the departure of a major team member, head of program planning and development Mark Wiley, that the service is being shut down indefinitely. The team members working on the content have all been laid off, and Snapchat will focus on further developing the partnerships it has with original content creators on its Discovery tab.

More information on The Verge.

Facebook reportedly working on a standalone notifications app

Facebook is planning to launch a brand-new standalone app that will provide real-time notificationsfrom a host of partner publishers, according to multiple news outlets. The app, called Notify, would allow users to set push notifications to tell users when a publication of their choosing, referred to as stations, publishes a new story. The intent is for Facebook to act as an aggregator where the average user is less likely to check multiple news sites, or even dedicated apps, several times per day. The new app would come in direct competition to Twitter’s Moments, a way of viewing stories strictly related to a trending subject. The app is rumored to launch as soon as the end of this month.

Read more on The Verge.

Foursquare debuts Trending This Week

To help visitors to major cities know the best places to visit while they are in town, Foursquare is debuting Trending This Week, a list of the top ten locations trending with reviews, comments, and check-ins. Currently, the list is only available on the web, but Foursquare announced through a blog post that the feature would be available soon through the app. Currently, it only supports five major cities; New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and the list updates every Tuesday.

Read more on Foursquare Blog.

YouTube launching more local versions of website

Earlier this week YouTube announced the launch of several new local versions of its site, specifically aimed at users in the following countries; the Adriatics, Baltics, Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Citing that 80% of video views come from outside of the United States, YouTube is continuing its push to show more relevant videos and search results to its users. YouTube currently has local versions of its site in 85 different countries, and with the launch of new channels, creators from these countries will be able to enter into publisher partnerships with YouTube to help monetize their content.

More information on YouTube Blog.

Skype now allows users to join chats without an account

With a new update unveiled earlier this week, Skype users can now create chats that will have shareable links, allowing other users to join a web-based chat without needing to have, or log into a Skype account. The user creating the chat must do so from a desktop client or web, but other who join can start chatting on any platform, desktop or mobile. Current Skype users are also able to join the chats using their existing usernames. The feature is currently available in the US and UK, and will be rolling out to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.

Read more on Skype Blog.

Twitter adds new reporting tools to measure effectiveness of ads

Twitter has introduced new reports which it is calling conversion lift reports, which will allow advertisers to track how well their ads are performing in terms of converting towards a goal, whether that is website visits, app downloads, or another type of action. The reports work by analyzing audience who see the ads, and those that don’t and compares conversion results against these control groups and test groups. The results of the report then recommend optimizations the advertiser can make to their campaigns. Twitter stated in their blog post announcing the feature that all advertisers worldwide can use these reports for campaigns starting in the future, by request.

Read more on Twitter Blog.