Social Headlines This Week


It's been a busy week as usual, so just in case you've missed any of the big stories here's our round-up of what's happening in the weird and wonderful world of social media.  

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Made $3.5 billion Last Month

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Facebook and Zuckerberg had a pretty good month in November. The social platforms stock went up from $21.08 a share on the first day of trading in November to $28 a share at the end of the month and Zuckerberg who has roughly 504 million shares of Facebook earned about $3.48 billion as a result. This stock price recovery is mainly due to strong earnings at the end of October and the expiration of a lockup period for stock held by employees mid November. To date Zuckerberg's net worth is around $14.1 billion.

Mashable Launches New Website

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Tech and social media site Mashable, founded by Scottish entrepreneur Pete Cashmore, was revamped at the beginning of the week. Along with its mobile and tablet platforms the site hopes to launch itself into the future of news reporting. New features include redesign and new layout of content, mobile accessibility, microcontent sharing, advertising improvements and the feature we love the most, The Mashable Velocity Graph, which shows you how quickly each article is being shared on the social web.  

Kate Middleton Reveals Pregnancy Online


If you were checking Twitter Monday morning you'll surely have come across a series of rumours that Prince William and Kate Middleton were expecting their first child. A day later the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge confirmed these rumours via an online press release. "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby," the announcement said. "The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news." Within minutes of the announcement, the story began to trend online. The most popular hash tags used on Twitter to discuss the news were #KateIsPregnant and #RoyalBaby.

The Pope Is On Twitter

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Yes you read that right! Pope Benedict XVI launched an official Twitter account this week. His Twitter handle is @pontifex but frustratingly a Vatican official has said that he won't be tweeting until the 12th December and fairly infrequently from there on. Boo! The Pope follows 7 other accounts; all versions of the same account in different languages. We will without doubt be glued to @pontifex on the 12th December; our guess for first tweet is "Whassup Tweeps!!?"

We've Been Texting For 20 Years


On December 3rd 1992, Neil Papworth sent the very first text message. Papworth sent it from his PC to his friend Richard Jarvis' Orbitel 901 handset over the Vodafone GSM network, it read "Merry Christmas". It took 7 years from that festive message for texting to really take off. The breakthrough came about when rival networks started allowing customers to swap SMS while also introducing pay-as-you-go – which allowed everyone access to communication technology. We now send 8 trillion texts a year and around 15 million leave our mobile devices every minute. SMS legend Papworth said "I do get a kick out of being called a 'legend', once a year even if at the time the achievement was nothing remarkable, I was just doing my job."

Microsoft Opens Beta Version Of Socl 

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On Tuesday, Microsoft launched its beta version of new social network Socl. Looking more like Pinterest than Facebook, Socl is a search-meets-social networking website that has a scrolling front page that shows posts from all users. However until more people join the network it will be relatively unusable. It will also be interesting to see whether there's room for another network in the already saturated medium...let's not mention Google+

Trending Where You Are


Thursday saw Twitter announce 12 new UK cities to their location trending portfolio. Belfast, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Portsmouth and Sheffield were all included in the launch. Twitter also explained the premise of Trends in their new blog post 'Trends are automatically generated by an algorithm that identifies topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously, so you can see the 'most breaking' breaking news rather than just what’s most popular." Expect to see more cities announced over the coming months.

Instagram Drops Twitter, Cosy's Up To Facebook


Photo sharing website Instagram announced on Thursday that it will no longer support Twitter picture sharing and will instead restrict the capability to its new owner Facebook - making discovering what people had for lunch that much more difficult. Instagram's move will be seen by many as abandoning its initial philosophy of partnering openly with all social networks and will only serve to increase tensions between Twitter and Facebook - with the latter now likely a more attractive lure for potential advertisers. Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom has claimed that the move wasn't enforced by Facebook however, and was instead a technical decision taken to boost Instagram’s own traffic. Photos published on Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare will not be affected.

YouTube Changes Yet Again

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It's only been a year since the video sharing site had an upgrade but YouTube has launched a redesign yet again! So what's changed this time? Well for one thing the video title position has moved from above the videos and has been stuck below instead. YouTube make no bones about the fact that they want you to subscribe to videos - with the channel guide now following you around the site, suggesting shows you might want to subscribe to and videos based on your browsing history. Designer Josh Sassoon and engineer Alex Nicksay wrote in a blog post Thursday "Those of you who use YouTube most have learned the secret to making it even better—find the channels you love and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. Today, we’re taking the next step by bringing your subscription-filled Guide with you across both the site and all devices, as your best source of what to watch on YouTube." 

And finally....Internet Petition Asks White House To Build Death Star.

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If it's good enough for Darth Vader it's good enough for Barack Obama right? If the creatively named "Death Star Petition" is passed then the huge weapon could be seen in a galaxy not so far, far away and instead parked outside The White House. The petition was first seen on the 'We The People" platform, set up by the White House administration as a forum that promises official responses to petitions with at least 25,000 signatures. The petition currently has 6,200 signatures and a deadline of December 14th. If created it would reportedly cost 13,000 times the world's gross domestic product (GDP), or £541,261 trillion, to supply the steel for such a structure. May the force be with you...

Let us know your favourite social stories of the week or if you'd like one of your own social stories to make our headlines then get in touch and we'll feature you next week!

Post written by Content & Community Manager Steven Owens


Paul Shepherd

I've worked in digital communications for around 15 years, and specialised in social media for the past three. Passionate about new technologies, media, and the impact it has on businesses bottom line, I try to bring that passion to every campaign for every brand we work with.