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LinkedIn hits the 300 million member mark

linkedin300LinkedIn is celebrating this weekend but it’s not about Easter eggs and chocolate – they’re celebrating a milestone. As of right now, 300 million people have joined LinkedIn. That’s not as good as a 5 foot, solid chocolate bunny but it’s still a pretty nice treat.

Here are a few interesting stats from their celebratory infographic:

Membership:

– Five years ago, LinkedIn members were mostly male, but in 2013 it’s almost an even split between men and women.

– More than half of LinkedIn’s members live outside the US.

– Five years ago, the UK was number two for membership but now India and Brazil take second and third slots.

What this means for you:

Facebook app update helps you meet your FB friends in person!

Facebook just added a new feature to their app that will help you connect with your friends in a whole new way – in person. It’s a radical move. So much for what happens on the internet stays on the internet. Now I’ll have the option of actually speaking to a person whom I follow face-to-face.

The service is called Nearby Friends and you do have to opt-in to use it but when you do it looks like this:

nearby-friends-press-1You can also choose which friends see you and vice versa by choosing a subsection of your friends list or just individuals. Even still, Facebook may have to do some of their usual culling so users don’t get overwhelmed by all the pings. Imagine you’re a high school student and you’ve opted in to all your school friends. Yikes! This is every teacher’s nightmare. (Cell phones OFF in the classroom, please!)

Google opens +Post ads to all (ish) including new Hangout ad option

Modern online marketing is all about blending in so you can stand out. They may sound like mutually exclusive terms but oddly, they’re not.

Google demonstrates this point nicely with their recently released +Post Ads. These adds look like the normal, social media update we’re using to seeing across sites such as Google+ and Facebook.

Google Plus Post Ad

The fact that the highlighted box is showing up on a non-social media site makes it noticeable in a good way. It’s non-threatening because we recognize it as a friendly form of conversation. The icons in the upper right clearly state that it’s an ad, but it doesn’t feel like one. So we click and it get even less “ad” like.

Facebook adds new language-based targeting for Hispanic users

2013-03_Latinos-Technology-1868% of Hispanic internet users have accounts on Facebook or Twitter and when you look at just the young users (18-29) that number pops up to 84%. But communicating with this powerful group involves some decision making because not all Hispanics use the same language when reading and writing posts on Facebook.

A study from the Pew Research Center shows that the majority fall into the Only/Mostly English category but around 40% use either all Spanish or a combination of Spanish and English on social media.

In order to reach the right audience with the right message, Facebook has now divided their language-based message targeting into three language preferences: Spanish-dominant, Bilingual and English-dominant.

Hispanic targeting

Twitter adds notifications, Pinterest adds buttons and Facebook gets more transparent

Twitter notificationsI thought we’d cap off another week with a round-up of new features on our favorite social media channels.

Twitter

Real-time notifications are coming soon to Twitter.com. When you log on, you’ll get a pop-up noting replies and anyone who favorited or reTweeted one of your Tweets. Other options include a notification when someone DM’s you (very wise) and when you get new followers.

The notification box is interactive, so you can respond appropriately without having to find the message in your stream.

If you’re using a Twitter mobile app, you already have this capability but adding it to the website is a way of driving traffic to the site.

Millennials trust UGC more than they trust you

Review trustIf you’re marketing to Millennials, I have good news and bad news.

The good news is, Millennials are more likely to trust and be influenced by user generated content than content you the marketer has created. This is good because that’s content you don’t have to create – your community will create it for you. Yeah!

The bad news is, Millennials are more likely to trust and be influenced by user generated content than content you the marketer has created. This is bad because you don’t have control over user generated content. That means potential customers could be getting a completely wrong impression about your company and products.

While Facebook gives in to the dark side, Twitter strikes back

Twitter Strikes BackThe battle between the top two social media forces continues with this cleverly themed infographic from the folks at ShareThis.

Their recently released “Consumer Sharing Trends Report” shows that Twitter isn’t going down without a fight. They’ve rallied the troops, patched up their tools and now they’re in this to win this. And with Facebook taking another step toward the dark side, the move couldn’t have come at a better time.

ShareThis analyzed consumer sharing behavior from Q1 2014 across all of the major social media networks. They noted the who, the what and the how and came up with some interesting numbers. The figures on this chart represent growth. I’m assuming growth over the last year but the chart doesn’t spell it out so I could be wrong. (Help me out ShareThis.)