This week, social media is like a Bravo TV show  — one day a billionaire tycoon wants to own you; the next, you're caught up in a sex scandal.

SnapChat: Scandals & Acquisitions

This week, SnapChat's founders turned down Facebook's $3 billion offer to buy the photo messaging application. Maybe it was because Google offered $4 billion? More altruistic observers argue that not every social media platform wants to be the next Facebook or Twitter. Still, Facebook may have dodged a bullet. The app is now involved in a sexting scandal that serves to highlight the dangers of the app, especially for young users. That could scare investors away. 

A Photo Speaks Louder than 140 Characters

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You may have noticed that Twitter added inline images to tweets so they display automatically in user timelines. Many brands have been experimenting with this option to ensure the images display correctly, as well as to capitalize on key messaging opportunities.

And rightly so, according to Buffer, which analyzed the last 100 tweets that included links sent from its profile on Twitter. It compared the engagement data between tweets with images and those without. What it found: tweets with images received 18 percent more clicks than those without. But it wasn't just clicks. The tweets with images also generated 89 percent more favorites and 150 percent more retweets. 

Track Links Shared on Twitter

Speaking of Twitter, new search functionality can look for and return results for any URL that has been shared on the microblogging service. Moreover, the search algorithm is sophisticated enough to look inside many of those shortened URLs — your bit.ly and ow.lys, for example. Why does this matter? Well, for one, it can help you track interest and figure out who is sharing your content, as well as learn about the content of your competitors. Of course, you can also use Twitter's analytics to view activity on links shared by you. But this search allows you to see the activity from others who may have shared the same link. How does it work?

  1. Sign in to Twitter.com (optional, but if you want to save your search, you'll need to be logged in)
  2. Enter the full or partial URL that you wish to search for into the search box at the top of the page
  3. Add any other search operators as required via Advanced Search
  4. Click the search magnifying glass

When your results display, you'll notice they'll show in reverse-chronological order with Top Tweets — which Twitter’s algorithm determined have the most value —  at the top. You can also choose to leave the search open and it will continue to update throughout the day.