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

  • Facebook Alters Privacy Functionality
  • ComScore: Social Media Site Traffic Up Sharply
  • StumbleUpon Delivers Most Referral Traffic
  • Location Wars: Facebookers Love Starbucks

Facebook Alters Privacy Functionality

Google+ is a new social service by Google that is a competitor to Facebook's wildly popular social network. On key differentiator that Google+ advocates were excited about was Circles, Google's utility to place your friends into groups and aim messages at that specific group. Facebook has a similar product in Groups, but the functionality is cumbersome and rarely used.

Now, Facebook has changed its Groups feature to make it easier to send messages, photos and updates to specific groups. For instance, Facebook has placed inline controls in every status message in a newsfeed, allowing you to  more easily broadcast the message to the appropriate group. Also, "Everyone" has been changed to "Public" to make the audience title more clear.

Did you notice the changes and how likely are you to use them? Personally I've enjoyed this upfront functionality in Google+ but I don't see existing Facebook users using this new capability en masse.

ComScore: Social Media Site Traffic Up Sharply

Social media is all about numbers. If a company offers a service, its health and and liveliness is measured by its ability to attract and maintain the loyalty of a regular user base. With that, Facebook and Twitter are healthy services according to new numbers released by comScore recently. In July 2011, Facebook drew 162 million unique visitors, up from 161 million users in June and 157 uniques in the month of May.

Twitter also drew in record traffic in July, bringing in 32.8 million unique US visitors in July, up from 30 million in June and 27 million uniques in May. Switching gears to Google+, this network is gaining users as explored on the Social Media Minute in prior articles. One standout network that lost visitor-ship is LinkedIn, which dipped to 32.5 million users in July, coming off a high of 33.9 million visitors in June.

It should be pointed out that Facebook has a huge lead on other networks, with five times the visitor traffic of its closest competitor, Twitter. With its worldwide adoption, Facebook is the bellwether social network at this point in time.

StumbleUpon Delivers Most Referral Traffic

Out of all the players in the social networking scene, StumbleUpon is driving the most traffic through to destination sites. More than Facebook or even Twitter, users of the content discovery network StumbleUpon are clicking their way across the web. Surpassing Facebook, StumbleUpon has been a quiet success story among other players that are constantly getting headlines.

Are you a StumbleUpon user? The service has a loyal and active group of people using the service.  Also, if you are a content producer, do you see a lot of inbound traffic from StumbleUpon?

Location Wars: Facebookers Love Starbucks

In the mobile marketing world, a huge buzzword is location-based services. The likes of Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook have jumped on this bandwagon with the ability to check-in to places, events, even TV shows. So, what location or businesses is the most frequently checked in to by users of the world's largest social network? Facebook users are most likely to check-in to a Starbucks.

Of course, this could be because Starbucks are on almost every street corner in America. The top list of popular places on Facebook include: Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chilli's and Applebee's. Looking at the list, it appears Facebook users feel most compelled to announce their location when eating as the entire top 10 list is at dining establishments.

Where do you check in and what prompts you to do so? In my Facebook newsfeed, most check-ins happen while people are traveling in a new city.