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In this end of year, social media networks keep innovating and differentiating to attract users and tempt advertisers to bet on their platforms. The "battle for the teens" we talked of last month keep raging, with Facebook admitting losses.
As always, a few trends emerge from the mass of data we have compiled this month to make them more actionable.
Google+ keeps improving a lot and becomes quite a good place for collaborative work and your office place. Seriously, stop thinking of followers or fans on Google+, it's just not about that. In addition to the quite cool Circles, Hangouts, Communities already there, Google+ adds this month Restricted Communities to make it your internal social network for employees. Hangouts too are becoming increasingly easy to use within a corporation.
With Streak, a CRM tool integrated to Gmail (and Google Apps if you use them as a business), and Drive (Google's cloud, which integrates the best to date shared document system with Google Docs), Google becomes a one-stop-shop for the connected workplace. Yes, this is social media too, far from the Likes and campaigns we also practice, but ROI in terms of productivity, ease of use and price is very clear.
This month also shows that money helps, if we had any doubt. Pinterest, after more than $200m of funding, is expanding both geographically (Nordic countries) and in terms of features. With "Place Pins", they transform visual curation and bookmarks into inspirational maps. The best thing? With a "booking" button to be integrated soon, it will confirm its position as a key driver for traffic and conversation.
Advertising keeps maturating slowly but surely: Instagram ads reaches 3-5% conversion rates, Twitter intertwines TV and Twitter ads with great results, and even good old Facebook now allows for micro-targeted ads. How about a (social) offer for women actively buying women's accessories, or for auto intenders of the last Subaru? This is all possible now!
We wish you a fruitful last month of 2013, and meet you again with The Patch early January. We will *not* make any predictions, forecast or bullshit for 2014, but we'll probably wrap-up the best of last year.