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

  • Social Network Ad Spending to Hit $3.3 Billion this Year
  • Swipely Shares Your Buying Habits
  • Foursquare Grants New Privacy Settings
  • HootSuite Goes Freemium

Social Network Ad Spending to Hit US$ 3.3 Billion This Year

The Social Media Minute tracks the world of social media and it's phenomenal growth. Along with the rising popularity of social networks, we are interested to see how advertising dollars flow in and out of this new type of site. According to eMarketer, advertising in social networks will surpass US$ 3 billion this year. Also interesting, almost 40% of these dollars will go to Facebook alone.

These ad spending figures are up about 35% over 2009's amount. Who's the big loser in ad spending? This dishonor goes to MySpace who will see a 19% growth in ad dollars.

Social networking ad growth reflects the rising popularity of the social networks themselves. For example, Facebook recently hit 500 million users and Twitter's numbers are growing rapidly as well. With the rush of users to sites spending hours on end communicating with one another, advertisers are now looking to new ways of reaching audiences. Look for this trend to continue.

Swipely Shares Your Buying Habits

So the world of social media has changed in many ways.  Twitter brought us short status updates that broadcast what we are doing, Foursquare broadcasts our location to friends and followers.  Now, Swipely goes one step further and shows the online public what your latest credit card purchase is.

To power the purchase updates, Swipely users can either tie the service to their debit or credit card or forward purchase confirmation email receipts to the service. The idea is not new, as Blippy has offered it for a few months now. However, Swipely is unique because it doesn't share the price you paid, just the item name and description.

Granted the idea of building community around what you buy might be appealing, this is just another side of our lives that these social media sharing tools are opening up. It will be interesting to see if purchase sharing goes mainstream like Facebook or Twitter. I can see a need for product purchase reviews and information, but Swipely seems too invasive.

Foursquare Grants New Privacy Settings

Most people treat their location as very private data. However, some have dabbled with using services such as Foursquare and Gowalla that broadcast your location to anyone who has friend-ed you, or perhaps to everyone on Twitter. Foursquare has let you control your privacy in a crude way, however, there have been concerns.

A service exposed earlier this year called PleaseRobMe scours Foursquare and Gowalla to show which houses are empty based on users' check-ins. PleaseRobMe shows "all those empty homes out there" and after the publicity, location services were put under the microscope.

Foursquare has responded with more control for each Foursquare user and how your contact information is made available to others.

How about you? Do location based services scare you enough to have you avoid using them? Please sound off in the comment section below.

HootSuite Goes Freemium

HootSuite is in a special class of Twitter clients. Sure, there are choices such as Seesmic or TweetDeck that allow a person to manage and control their Twitter presence with ease. However, HootSuite is unique because it allows teams of more than one person to manage a single Twitter presence. That is, say a company has one or more people who manage a shared Twitter client, HootSuite allows these folks to play nicely.

HootSuite is used by many businesses large and small, and now the company is looking to monetize their previously free tool. Now, to use HootSuite on more than 5 social networks will require a monthly service charge ranging from US$ 5 to US$ 100 per month.

Many commenters in the blogosphere have railed against HootSuite for this move. However, these writing software has a cost to it. So, even though Twitter is free and those who use it expect all aspects of it to be cost-free, this is not possible. HootSuite is merely trying to recoup and even make some revenue off their investment.