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Instagram Rolls Out Facebook-like Pages, Facebook Rolls Out Instagram-like Photos … and Other Hot Topics

When Facebook bought Instagram earlier this year, people weren’t exactly sure how things were going to go.

It was an Instagramers worst fear that its beloved app would just become another part of Facebook and it was unclear to anyone on Facebook, what influence (if any) Instagram would have on the social giant.

And while the future of that relationship may still be up in the air, one thing is for sure—these two social media tools make a great team, and two new updates that rolled out this week prove it!

Also, Pinterest is giving its users a little more privacy with its brand new “Secret Boards,” and Foursquare is now offering its own version of online reviews.

Read about these top stories and more in this week’s marketing news roundup.

1. Instagram finally rolls out profile pages

While other social networks continue to get more and more mobile, one popular mobile app is finally coming to the web. Announced this week, Instagram has begun rolling out brand new web-based profile pages for users to showcase their photos online.

Until now, users have only been able to access Instagram via a mobile device. With this update, users will have a complete profile page and a website URL.

Bottom Line: This is an important step forward for Instagram. What began as a cool photo-sharing app has quickly become one of the fastest growing social networks and today, more than half of the nation’s top brands are using it to market their products and services.

If you’re on Instagram already, these pages will open your content up to a whole new audience and should encourage you to do more with your photos on your pages and across your social networks.

2. Facebook updates iOS app; introduces photo filters

Facebook introduced a new update for iPhone and iPad users this week, which will now allow them to add unique filters to photos, right from their Facebook app.

When uploading a photo to Facebook, you will now see a new “magic wand” icon at the bottom of the screen which will allow you to choose from a number of “Instagram-like” filters.

In addition to filters, Facebook has also introduced multi-photo uploading capabilities, which will enable users to upload photos as a complete series, rather than one at a time.

Bottom Line: This new photo filter comes just a few days after it was reported that Twitter was considering introducing similiar functionality. Call it the Instagram-effect if you will, but one thing is for sure: people aren’t satisfied with only being able to post and see traditional photos.

For small business owners who have been reluctant to use a photo-sharing app like Instagram, this is a great way to get introduced to filters and how they can be used to add a new dimension to your photos. And for businesses that may already be using Instagram for their Facebook marketing, this should completely simplify the process.

3. Shhh… Pinterest introduces “Secret Boards”

Pinterest has introduced brand new “Secret Boards,” a feature that will let users control the privacy settings of individual boards to hide them from other Pinterest users.

Because “Secret Boards” are still in the testing phase, users will only be able to create up to three private boards, and will only be able to apply these privacy settings to new boards—not those which have already been created.

The person that creates the board will be the only one who will see the board or its content, and these Secret Boards will not appear in any Pinterest searches.

Bottom Line: “Secret Boards” should prove to be extremely helpful for brands and consumers. Both can use them to organize content and do valuable research for their own use, which they may not want visible to the public.

4. News Feed, EdgeRank, and page posts: what’s really going on with Facebook?

A lot of businesses have had questions over the last month or so about changes in Facebook Edgerank and the impact it’s had on Page engagement. This week, a number of experts tried to share their best explanation for what’s really going on with Facebook and what brands need to know.

InsideFacebook spoke with News Feed product manager Will Cathcart to understand what was actually going on.

If your business has any of these News Feed or Edge Rank questions, this story is well worth the read:

Why are my posts getting less reach than before?

Why doesn’t Facebook just get rid of EdgeRank and show people all posts?

Is Facebook purposely limiting reach on page posts so that we have to buy ads?

Bottom Line: The biggest takeaway from all of this week’s reports on Facebook’s Edgerank is this—as more and more brands continue to fight for News Feed real estate, the harder it’s going to get for brands to get their content in front of their target audience.

The best way to improve the reach of your Facebook posts is to generate more engagement from your existing fans. The more engagement a Facebook user has with a brand’s content the more real estate a brand’s post will have in their News Feed.

Focus on creating the type of content that drives engagement like photos, videos, and other forms of dynamic content. Pay attention to how customers are interacting with your content—what’s getting the most “likes,” comments, or shares? That’s the stuff that’s going to help you get more exposure on Facebook.

Facebook Ads and Promoted Posts can also help cut through the Facebook traffic. Find out if Ads might be right for your small business.

5. Foursquare introduces online reviews with new 10-point ratings

Foursquare made an update to its popular “Explore” tab this week, which could provide some insight into the future of the mobile app. That update—a 10-point rating scale for businesses.

Unlike online review sites like Yelp, Foursquare’s rating scale is not based solely on direct 1-5 star reviews. Instead, Foursquare will consider a number of factors like tips, likes, dislikes, overall popularity, and customer loyalty.

Bottom Line: With nearly 3 billion check-ins from over 25 million people worldwide, Foursquare is well positioned to generating ratings its users will trust. What’s unclear, however, is how many people who are not currently using the Foursquare app will be more inclined to search for these new automated reviews.

As a business owner, it may be worth your time to at least check out and see what Foursquare users are saying about your business. Time will tell if these ratings will hold any weight.

What stories caught your attention this week? Share them in the comments below!

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