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This week: More social media outages, LinkedIn revealed Showcase Pages and new insight into the value and lifespan of a Pinterest pin.


Twitter Pulls Direct Messaging Initiative

A few months ago, Twitter made a change that allowed anyone to send a direct message (DM) to another user, even users they did not follow. The default on each account was changed to allow non-followers to DM users.

Some people groaned, speculating it might prompt an increase in spam. But most agreed it would work itself out eventually. The masses were right, but not in the way that they thought.

This week, Twitter — out of the blue — shuttered the open direct message initiative. However, that's not because it's abandoning the initiative altogether. No, from the beginning it said it would be experimenting with new features and some users would get to test them on an on-going basis.

It seems the DM change was apart of an ongoing experiment. The fact Twitter pulled the plug on the short-lived functionality seems to suggest to something bigger. Could Twitter be considering using DMs to push into the personal messaging space, now dominated by WhatsApp and other text message replacement applications?


Last week, Facebook went down. This week, it was YouTube. On Monday, YouTube users were greeted with a cheeky message indicating service was down and would resume as soon as possible.

While the video network was only down for 30 minutes (which may as well be forever to some people), users were quick to spread the word about the outage. Perhaps it's that time of year when servers get overloaded or new updates slow things down. But we can't help but notice a trend, prompting the question: Which social network will go down next?


LinkedIn Introduces Showcase Pages

LinkedIn already has company pages, which allow businesses to post status updates and job openings. Now the social networking site is also allowing companies to give more granular updates about their product offerings and operations.

Learning Opportunities

Showcase Pages, as they're being called, will let LinkedIn members follow the specific brands and products they care most about, while also giving marketers the opportunity to promote the content that gets published to those pages as sponsored updates. According to the LinkedIn blog post

Showcase Pages are dedicated pages that allow companies to highlight different aspects of their business and build relationships with the right community. Whether it’s a brand, a business unit, or an initiative, following a Showcase Page will provide you the updates you are most interested in."

Company page administrators can create their own Showcase Pages, but not all users will see the new functionality right away. 

How Much is a Pinterest Pin Worth?

New research from Piquora shows Pinterest pins deliver two site visits and six page views on average, plus more than 10 re-pins. What is that worth? According to Piquora, the value of a pin is about 78 cents in sales. 

Of course, not all pins are created equally. It goes without saying that influence and fans help pin exposure. However, what is interesting is how long it takes pins to influence. Half of the purchases made came two and half months after the product image was pinned. This not only shows the life span of a pin, but also how long it can continue to influence prospective customers. 

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The real value of a pin may not show itself immediately.

Title image by robert_s (Shutterstock).