NFL season is officially over, so you likely have a little
more free time on your hands. With the last month spent Tebowing and smack
talking your friends about which team will go to the playoffs, you might have
missed a few things in the world of social media. Luckily for you, I stopped
watching NFL games when Tim Tebow got knocked out of the playoffs, so here’s my
recap of everything you need to know that happened in the world of social media
in January.

London Olympic
volunteers banned from mentioning the event on social media (via
Forbes) The 70,000 volunteers working on this summer’s Olympic games have
been banned from mentioning the Olympics in any capacity on their personal
social networks. Volunteers aren’t able to discuss their location, discuss the
Games, or retweet or distribute official London 2012 messages. Kind of odd
considering the 2012 games will have a heavy social media


Facebook files for
IPO (via the
Wall Street Journal) Facebook, Inc. filed for an initial
public offering last week that could value the company between $75 billion and
$100 billion, which could be one of the biggest stock market debuts ever seen.
Facebook will begin selling shares this spring and the company hopes to raise
up to $10 billion.

Politico joins forces
with Facebook to glean info on GOP presidential hopefuls (via
Mashable) Before the
South Carolina primary, Facebook agreed to track user posts to detect when
someone posts about a candidate and determine the sentiment about each
candidate. Facebook then shared the data exclusively with Politico, giving the
news outlet unprecedented access to Facebook users’ activities. The Facebook
sentiment analysis and commentary was placed on Politico’s website, as well as
their Facebook page.

Facebook Timeline
pushed to all users (via
TechCrunch) Facebook will now make all users switch over to the Timeline
layout this week. Users will have seven days to preview their new profiles
before the changes go live, so all users can review their profiles
using Timeline before the changes all go live.

Sponsored stories
appear in Facebook timeline (via
ReadWriteWeb) Similar to promoted tweets appearing on Twitter, Facebook will
now feature sponsored stories in users’ news feeds. Facebook said users will
only see featured stories from people and Pages they are already connected to.


Twitter begins
censoring tweets (via
Mashable) Twitter
has allowed itself the right to withhold content from certain countries while
keeping that same content available elsewhere in the world. When content is
deemed inappropriate by a particular government, the content can be withheld
locally while still being able to remain visible elsewhere.

Twitter acquires
Summify (via the
Huffington Post) Twitter purchased Summify, a service that collects all the
stories from your different social networks and provides users with a
streamlined summary of information. While Twitter hasn’t said exactly how
Summify will be incorporated, Summify will begin scaling down its operations
immediately and will close completely in the near future.


Google unveils Search
plus Your World, which features Google+ information (via the
Official Google Blog) Google has recently rolled out its
Search plus Your World feature, which will display personalized search results
on search engine results pages. When using Search plus Your World, posts and
profile information from Google+ will appear intermixed with the
non-personalized search results on Google. Some critics are crying foul,
complaining that this will not provide users with the best search results

New features for
Among some of the new features rolled out this month, Google+ users
are now able to use screen shares in Google+ hangouts; Google+ users can now
operate under pseudonyms and the social network is open to teens; and Google+ now features a meme
machine that makes it easy for users to add text to photos, instantly enabling
them to create the next great Internet meme.

hosts Google+ hangout to answer voter questions (via
CNN Politics) President Obama answered questions from video connections and
YouTube questions during the hangout, and the event featured five Americans in
cities throughout the country. The questions for the hangout were selected by
Google team members based on the top ratings for the questions submitted.


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