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The Drum

Mashtags, WhatsApp and an STD social network – the week in social media

It's social media, minus the irritating hashtags. Iona St Joseph cuts through the clutter to bring you a weekly update on the social stories you need to know. A trained journalist, Iona manages the social team at 10 Yetis' dedicated division, A Social Media Agency. You can follow her daily musings and opinions on Twitter @ionastjoseph.

Facebook Buys WhatsApp for $19bn

Mashtags: Yes, they're real

Facebook has made its largest acquisition in Facebook’s 10-year history by purchasing messaging service WhatsApp in an £11.4bn deal.

There has been a lot of debate recently about whether WhatsApp should be classed as a social network, but this deal seems to confirm that it is.

WhatsApp has over 450 million users, and over one million new registered users every day. Mark Zuckerberg obviously has big plans for the messaging service, as he said “WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.” He seems to have cashed in at the right time.

Despite the fact that the WhatsApp employees will move to work at Facebook, the service will continue to operate independently and retain its brand.

Brit Awards most tweeted about TV show in UK

This year’s Brit awards has smashed social media records by being the most tweeted about TV show in the UK, despite the fact that the TV audience slumped to its lowest since 2006.

The previous record holder was last year’s Comic Relief, which had 1.5m tweets, but the Brits ‘smashed it’ (as Tulisa would say on X Factor) with a whopping 4.17m tweets.

The digital age is well and truly here.

Mashtags – Birdseye’s misguided attempt to connect with young people

Everyone’s favourite frozen food provider Birdseye have made an attempt to bring its products into the 21st century with ‘Mashtags’, an update of the potato smiley we all loved in the 90s.

It has branched out from the simple smiley face, although (presumably due to the popularity of emoticons) these still feature in the Mashtag mix. They are accompanied by little potato hash signs, asterisks and @ symbols.

Combine a bag of Mashtags with some Alphabetti Spaghetti and you won’t even need to use Twitter any more.

Brit Awards and VO5

The Brit awards and VO5 have been the first two brands to team up to use Twitter’s Amplify programme. The partnership offered music fans exclusive video content from Wednesday night’s ceremony.

VO5 sponsored the Brits’ official Twitter player, and its brand featured in several pre and post roll clips during its video tweets.

The player was provided by Twitter’s newly launched Amplify, a new sponsored content service, which carried highlights from the awards ceremony.

Twitter lie detector

Researchers are hoping to develop a lie detector for Twitter in order to try and prevent rumours and made up news from doing the rounds on the social network.

An attempt to try and analyse the truthfulness of tweets in real-time is aiming to enable journalists and public officials to determine how truthful certain tweets are. The EU-funded international team is also aiming to identify Twitter accounts that have been set up solely to push out false information.

The project is aiming to group fake tweets into one of four categories, speculation, controversy, misinformation and disinformation.

STD social network

A new social network, which shares information about sexually transmitted diseases, has been launched in a bid to make dating less awkward.

In what would appear to be the last bastion of privacy, the company behind it claims to be attempting to execute the concept in a way that is discrete and, ultimately, promotes healthiness.

The app, Hula, enables sharing of positive test results and aims to make a certain conversation between prospective romantic partners “less awkward”.

Not entirely sure how discussing any kind of medical test result could make a situation less awkward, but hey, what do I know?

“Don’t be a Glasshole”

Google has published an etiquette guide for people who use Google Glass, which includes a list of dos and don’ts when you’re looking fly in your new specs.

Apparently it’s only a mere 10,000 people who have Google Glass, but they are expected to be on general sale by the end of this year.

The guide has been put together for people who choose to wear Glass out and about, and gives advice on how to use the device correctly, and how to react to inquisitive bystanders.

Being a “Glasshole” is a term used to describe those being “creepy or rude” whilst wearing Google Glass. The guide advises wearers to “respect others” and not to get tetchy when other people ask them questions.

So basically, it’s a guide on how to be a decent, well-mannered human being.