Facebook Admits to News Feed Experiment Meant to Control Emotions

Mind and Heart

Recently, some social media users have been in an uproar after Facebook admitted to carrying out a secret experiment in which the news feeds of more than 600,000 users were filtered to see if those individuals would have differing emotions based upon what they saw on the screen. For example, it was determined if a person was exposed to more positive news from friends, he or she would be less likely to post something negative as a status update. The opposite was also found to be true.

“Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion”

On a smaller scale, most of us are already familiar with this phenomenon. Spending time with a friend who is in an abundantly good mood probably makes you feel similar, even if you were previously feeling a little down in the dumps.


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How to Guest Blog in Light of Google’s Restrictions

You Shall Not Pass

At the beginning of 2014, Google’s Matt Cutts made headlines by stating that guest blogging was dead. This caused a lot of stir in the online community. People naturally got defensive and protested this as unfair. After all, hasn’t almost everyone used guest blogging to help with SEO at some point or another?

In late March, Cutts followed through on his statement and shut down a popular guest blogging website called MyBlogGuest. This proved he was serious about his campaign against guest blogging for SEO. At the same time, though, it’s worth noting that many businesses have continued to guest blog and have benefitted from it.


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What Can We Learn From the Flowers Delivery V-Day Fiasco?


Valentine’s Day is one of the most important holidays of the year for many flower retailers. Unfortunately online merchants like 1-800-Flowers were stuck dealing with thousands of angry customers after many deliveries didn’t arrive on time this year due to bad weather.

Of course, there’s nothing that could have been done to control the weather, but let’s take a look to see what the companies did in terms of social media engagement with customers and how they might be able to improve in the future.


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Facebook’s Newest, Most Ingenious Campaign Yet

Facebook Look Back

If you’ve visited Facebook recently, chances are your news feed looks a little strange. Instead of your friends writing statuses, liking instagram photos and posting their most recent candy crush scores, they’re all sharing the same thing: a Facebook movie. Each of these movies is set to a touching and inspiring back-track that chronicles the life of Facebook members through their posts and photos from the beginning. So why is this seemingly simple concept so intriguing and downright ingenious?


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Build Your Pinterest Page with These 2014 Trends in Mind


Pinterest is a social online pinboard known for its eye-catching images, but over the past year, it’s become a search engine of sorts as well. After it received two sizable investments in 2013, the site rolled out a variety of features that have made it even more user-friendly. It’s no longer just a site to save images for travel and home decor inspiration or to create wishlists.


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Apple Buying Topsy


Apple Inc., a company that has yet to enter the realm of social media, may be preparing for a game change in the future. The famous technology brand acquired a social media analytics firm called Topsy Labs Inc. early in December.

Topsy is used to decipher and analyze conversations on Twitter by tracking specific terms, the influence of one user over another or the exposure of specific events and campaigns – all critical pieces of information for social media marketers, professionals and average users –  The information Topsy analyzes is then resold to customers looking for an advertising or marketing edge.


Why the Purchase?

With the announcement, many people are wondering about the reason or direction in which the traditionally tight-lipped technology giant may be heading. However, the company has offered no insight. “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time,” explained an Apple spokeswoman, “we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” she continued.

Whether the purchase will be used for a current Apple product or for something new, the possibilities are seemingly endless. One area that could use improvement is Apple’s current advertising offerings. One area of speculation is that by using the insight offered by Topsy, Apple could better predict the interests of their customers, leading to increased, targeted advertising opportunities. Such an advancement could be used through services like Apple’s iTunes Radio or to better iTunes content and information for advertisers in the little known iAd program.


Could Topsy Be an iAd Lifesaver?

Real time data, like that provided by Topsy, is something that can be impossible to gather without a program of this sort. iAd, Apple’s marketing product launched in 2010 to allow advertisers to purchase ad space on iPhones, iPads and even iPods, has not received the positive, sell-out response that other products have earned just by belonging to Apple.

Promoted as a way to “get your message out to the millions of people worldwide who use Apple products every day,” iAd has been slow in acquiring interest from advertisers. This is demonstrated by the numbers. Originally, advertisers were required to spend a minimum of $1 million for a single iAd campaign. The number has been lowered to $100,000.

With the use of the real-time data that predicts use models and interests and provides the potential for more targeted advertising, Topsy could breathe life back into the iAd technology.


Apple’s Social Media Presence

Apple has yet to become a major influence with a social media network or presence in general. One service, Apple’s Ping – a music-sharing service meant to serve as a new social networking model – failed to be a hit and closed in September of 2012.

All attempts have not been failures, however. Apple has enhanced its products and devices to allow users to share photos and messages with major social networks without opening the apps, a feature most smartphones provide.

It’s possible that Topsy could be advantageous for making another entry into social media or networking.



Founded in 2007 by Vipul Ved Prakesh, Topsy has raised over $32 million from investors. The service has revolutionized data collection by identifying the location of specific Tweets, user trends and more, sending it to the provider for Twitter data.

Apple acquired the firm for over $200 million.

Bio: Alicia is a content coordinator for a web design company. In her free time, she blogs at MarComLand.com and works on continuing her education.

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