Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:

  • More Facebook Users "Liking" Items
  • Google+ Traffic Falls 60%
  • HootSuite Now Supports LinkedIn
  • Twitter to Shorten Every URL Using

More Facebook Users 'Liking' Items

The "Like" button from Facebook has been spreading all over the web. Whether it's on your favorite news website or product review, we have the option to "Like" items everywhere. The button is an action that shows that you read and wish to share an item with your Facebook friends, and results in the action being noted on your Facebook page for your friends/family to see.

It turns out that engagement is up with the Like Button, with more than 31% more "Likes" happening over last year. Of the recent boost in engagement, 84% of the activity involves Liking an item, whereas 15% of the engagement involves leaving a comment and only 1% are from shares.

Do you use the "Like" button as you browse the social web?  For many, Liking is an impulsive activity that requires little effort. Or do you think your Facebook friends "Liking" things on Facebook leads to clutter in the Facebook timeline that adds little value to the Facebook experience?

Google+ Traffic Falls 60%

Google+ made a huge splash over the summer, offering interesting features that competing products failed to deliver correctly. Also, since the service went public on September 20, traffic to the social service skyrocketed by 1200% in the days following. According to Chtikia, the social service had traffic drop off dramatically following this spike.

The data shows that traffic fell over 60% as it returned to normal after the huge peaks. With an active user base, Google+ is showing itself to be a robust social network, but these swings up and down in growth don't bode well for long-term health. The most recent unofficial Google+ population count pins the number somewhere near 43 million users.

Are you a Google+ user and are you happy with the service? Personally speaking, I saw (and displayed) a high degree of enthusiasm for the service, but that enthusiasm has waned as time has passed.

HootSuite Now Supports LinkedIn

HootSuite is a Twitter client that is used by professionals who manage Twitter on behalf of a brand or company. HootSuite is useful because it integrates Twitter, Facebook and other social services in one location, cutting much of the overhead of maintaining presences on various social networks. HootSuite users can now add LinkedIn to the "suite."

LinkedIn users who manage their own LinkedIn Company pages and Groups can now use HootSuite to send out company status updates and start group discussions around their content. Also, HR managers can post job openings and share professional expertise as well. HootSuite will add more LinkedIn facilities in the coming months, but this new integration is a plus to social media managers.

For those who manage Groups on LinkedIn, the HootSuite integration is available now. To gain access to the Company pages via HootSuire, you must apply for a private beta program.

Twitter to Shorten Every URL Using

Twitter has an automatic link shortener that takes long links, which normally start with http://, and makes them much shorter for Twitter, which limits messages to 140 characters. Now, Twitter has announced that it will reformat all links posted to its service with, regardless of length. It used to be that links over 20 characters were shortened.

URL shorteners were practically invented for Twitter. However, the services have made Twitter a hotbed for malware and other scams, because malicious links can be shielded from the unsuspecting general public. This is why Twitter instituted its own shortener, as it shows the full domain name so users know what they're clicking before they do so.

Have you ever clicked a or other shortened link, only to be taken to a questionable site online?  Sound off in the comments.