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Google Launches An Instagram Account

Instagram is so hot that no one can resist joining in. Not even Google. The search giant, in a joint-celebration over the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube (??), has today launched its own Instagram account.

So far there is one video post, showing today’s time-sinking Google Doodle. In other words, Google’s first Instagram is kind of, sort of (though not technically), a regram. Come on, Google. Get original!

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11 Twitter "Tips" and "Tricks" That Don't Actually Work

dead-twitter-birdOne of the hardest parts about learning something new is that you have little ability to distinguish fact from fluff. You want to soak up as much information as possible without having to fact check every blog post you read on something new.

Unfortunately, in the social media marketing space, you'll find lots "get rich quick" type schemes -- but some of those "tips" and "tricks" people peddle won't actually work. We've already debunked some of the biggest "tips" and "tricks" folks will tell you about Facebook, so we figured we'd move onto another social network and do some more. If you're looking to get the inside scoop on what works on Twitter -- and what really, really doesn't -- keep on reading. Here are the most egregiously inaccurate suggestions for building your business on Twitter. 

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Ask Pinterest Anything? Site Tests Q&A Feature

Jelly, Quora, Yahoo (sometimes to absurd ends), and others have looked to question-and-answer services as a way to boost user engagement and advance conversations. Now another player could be entering the fray: Pinterest has confirmed to us it is testing out a new Q&A feature, too.

“We’re always gathering feedback from Pinners to make Pins more useful,” a spokesperson tells us. “We’re currently testing the ability to ask and answer questions in a more structured way on Pins, with a small group of Pinners. We don’t have any additional details to share at this time, but we’ll keep you posted.”

The feature was first pointed out to us by Tom Waddington — a UK-based developer and designer who has been known to spot other upcoming social network developments by looking behind the scenes.

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Social bulletin board Pinterest raises $200M with a $5B valuation (updated)

Social bulletin board Pinterest raisesUpdated with confirmation of the deal at 3:56 p.m. Pacific.

Pinterest has brought in a fat new wad of cash as it slowly gets into a position to bring in ad revenue.

The social network for “pinning” pictures, videos, and other media raised $200 million in venture funding, according to a report today from ReadWrite that Pinterest later confirmed.

The company now carries a $5 billion valuation, according to a statement a spokesman emailed to VentureBeat.

The new money comes from previous investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity, FirstMark Capital, SV Angel, and Valiant Capital Partners.

The company announced a $225 million round in October at a $3.8 billion valuation. To date, Pinterest has raised $764 million.

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4 Traits of the Modern Social Communicator

modern social communicator on social mediaVery rarely do we like being told what to do, especially when it comes to doing our job. But most of us do appreciate sound advice. In fact, we prefer that useful information is shared with us.

With this in mind, the thoughts below are offered to those who are in a period of early discovery or are beginning to find their footing in the field of communications within our #SocialMedia-saturated era. I propose to flesh out four distinct traits, based on personal experience, which I feel characterize (if not epitomize) the modern social communicator.

By 'communicator', I refer to any professional assuming a communications/marketing role or holding any accountability for thoughtfully and effectively communicating on behalf of someone or something else.

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