online news

What’s New in Search and Social Media? — April / May 2012

online news

There is so much going on in the search engine and social media industries these days. And we missed you last month. So let’s take a look at not only what’s happened all throughout May, but also some search and social media news from April.

Out biggest newsmaker over the last couple of months has been Facebook. Let’s find out why.

1. Facebook’s IPO

The big news in the social media world has been Facebook’s initial public offering. Well, that and the disappointing post-IPO price drops. The stock’s price dropped more than 25% from its initial $38 share price in just a couple of weeks.

Facebook and Morgan Stanley, which handled the company’s IPO, are even being sued by some investors who claim they withheld important information about future revenue potential that would have affected investors’ buy / sell decisions. In Morgan Stanley’s case, the claim is that they gave more accurate information to one set of clients than to the public.

Did you buy any shares in Facebook? Why or why not? If so, how do you feel about the post-IPO price changes and lawsuits?

[source | source]

2. Facebook Acquires Instagram

Facebook also made news when it purchased Instagram for a billion dollars. Mark Zuckerberg noted at the time that they intend to keep Instagram as a standalone app rather than simply integrating it with Facebook.

If anything, the purchase seems a little bit confusing given that the company also recently launched their own Facebook Camera — an app designed to make Facebook photo sharing faster and easier. Then again, it cuts down on their competition.


3. Google Implements Penguin Updates

One of the biggest updates in the SEO world was the recent Penguin update from Google. Also known as the webspam update, it has ignited a lot of conversations about negative SEO lately (with claims that people are being penalized based on spammy incoming links, some of which they might not have had any control over).

Just like with the Panda updates, we’re seeing some sites go up and others down in the rankings. So far so good for my own — mostly staying put or increasing a bit. How about yours? Have you had to clean up any spammy links on (or to) your sites? How did you go about it?


4. Google Plus Launches Hangouts on Air Feature

You’re probably familiar with Google Plus Hangouts. But the live group video chat feature was limited to groups of 9 users. Now Google is rolling out its Hangouts on Air feature to all users. It means you can go beyond private group chats and make those chats viewable to members of the public — like a discussion panel where your blog readers or customers can watch. Even better, you can record your broadcasts to show them again later. It looks like a great potential educational tool (such as archived courses or lectures).

5. Yahoo! Gets a New CEO (Again)

Yahoo! seems to always be making big executive changes. And this is no different. Scott Thompson — known for allegedly claiming the false credential of a computer science degree — stepped down. He’s being replaced by former News Corp executive, Ross Levinsohn, who will serve as interim CEO.


6. Bitly Changes

One of the most recent changes affecting social media is the design change for Bitly — the popular link shortening service used on social media sites. Pushing its brand as more of a social bookmarking service (as if we really need another one), they’ve complicated what was once a beautiful site for its simplicity by requiring numerous clicks for a process that used to be as simple as copy / paste.

What’s worse is that while members are subjected to this longer process when logged in, non-members can still use simpler functionality from the homepage. Yep. They’ve given us an incentive not to become a registered Bitly member. And the initial response was that people pointing out this new complication were simply a “vocal minority” — a pretty arrogant statement to dismiss previously loyal and happy users.

If you’re like me and you run your custom URL shortener through them, you’re out of luck. There doesn’t seem to be a way around the new save bitmark process to manually shorten a link on-site. Fortunately (in my case at least) most links don’t have to be shortened manually.


Feel free to share your thoughts on any of these stories (or tell us what caught your attention in recent weeks) in the comments below.

Written by
Jennifer Mattern
Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Wise people should have realized that the Facebook IPO was a “pump and dump” because their revenue generation model is weak and making money is obviously not the primary purpose of that site.

    Bloggers are getting requests to remove not only links in comments but also links in guest posts because of reports Google is generating. Strange happenings when links in the actual content of a post aren’t considered valid any more – and if big G hates comment links so much why don’t they just ignore them?

    Yahoo! seems content to be a non-contender. When they killed the ppc by making a mess of the migration of accounts (intentional, perhaps?) and then killed MyBlogLog I gave up on them ever getting it together.

    Not sure what’s up with but their RSS syndication service Twitterfeed has been CRAWLING for the past few weeks. Slow isn’t even the word for it as it can take minutes to load a page or get logged in. I hope they haven’t broken it for good.

  • This was a huge mistake on’s part because people DO still need a fast way to shorten a link and doing this will open the door to competitors – or at the very least encourage their users to log out and see if they can shorten their links that way.