This time of year marks one of my favorite events: the return of college football. Between fantasy football drafts and watching all the election season mudslinging, the world of social media didn’t bring us a whole lot to chew on in the month of August. (I suppose even the social media gurus have been wrapped up in all the excitement that has led to September’s arrival.) Regardless, here’s a rundown of some of the big stories from social media in August.

Google+ now allows for custom URLs (via Mashable) Select users and brands can now have custom URLs for their Google+ profile, but Google+ may start charging users for the privilege. The Google+ team will begin notifying users when they are able to change the pre-assigned URL strings to the custom name of their choice.

Facebook tests promoted posts for non-fans of brand pages (via Mashable) Facebook is now testing a feature that will let brands promote a post that can reach people who aren’t fans of the company’s page. The ads will appear as a typical post in news feeds but will be labeled as sponsored.

Twitter now lets advertisers reach their target audience according to interest (via Twitter advertising blog) Twitter has announced a new feature that will let advertisers deliver promoted tweets and promoted accounts to users who express interest in a certain topic. Marketers are also able to target a precise set of users who are using a specific @username in their tweets.

Japan considering using Twitter as its emergency communication system (via Mashable) When the massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan last year, many people turned to Twitter to help find loved ones or ask for assistance. Now the country is considering using Twitter for emergency communication purposes.

Facebook and CNN pair up for election season First, Facebook and CNN released an app that lets Facebook users display their stance on the issues right on their Facebook profiles. In addition, Facebook and CNN have created a tool that tracks how people are talking about the candidates on the social media platform. You can filter through the information according to gender, state, region, and time period.


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