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Social Media Updates This Week: Pinterest’s Place Boards, LinkedIn’s Showcase Pages, and Instagram’s Direct Messages

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Here are some changes in the social media sphere that you should know about:

Pinterest has moved in on the location-based social trend and expanding its influence in travel. Earlier this week, the site released its newest feature, Place Boards. The update is supposed to act as a combination of a travel magazine and an interactive map for users to share their travel fantasies or weekend getaway plans with followers. Users will be able to collaborate with friends and other users in order to get the best information on where to go, what to do when you get there, and other aspects of the vacation process. Pinterest has teamed up with some of the biggest names in travel, such as The Travel Channel and The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, in order to kick start use of the feature.

Pinterest made this move to focus more on travel after the company filed a lawsuit against personal travel planning startup “Pintrip.” Although the site focused more on the functionality of trip planning, Pinterest has taken a stance against companies that use names that sound too much like its own, and has even outlined rules on the matter. For Pinterest, it is all about maintaining their brand image, and too many copycats would lead to dangerous brand dilution.

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LinkedIn already has company pages- but what about the company’s products? This week, the networking site added a new feature for companies that enables users to follow the specific brands and products they care about most. These new pages are called “Showcase Pages” and can allow for increased interaction between a company and their target market. The pages are all about content, and offer users detailed descriptions of developments within their favorite product lines. Users can follow these pages in the same way that they follow different businesses and people on the site and get any updates sent directly to their personal feeds.

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Instagram announced plans earlier this week to unveil a direct messaging feature. Rumored to be launching sometime before the end of the year, the new feature is expected to allow users to send their photos directly to friends or groups of friends instead of having to post them publically on their feed. The app is planning to release the newest update right around the holidays when people will be receiving smartphones- a great way to attract new users.

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