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#SocialSkim: Instagram Challenges Twitter, Facebook's Year in Review, Top Video Ads, More!

by Angela Natividad  |  
December 12, 2014

'Tis the season for best-ofs and top-tens. We've got Facebook's Year in Review (plus the skinny on its new “Google-killing” search feature), trends for 2015, Instagram's challenge to Twitter in the usership arms race, and the 10 most-shared video ads of 2014. Skim for some holiday cheer.

The world just can't get enough of Minions. Topping this week's Viral Video Charts is a holiday message from AMC Theatres, which used the Minions, beloved characters from Despicable Me, to punt free popcorn when you buy a $30 gift card. Just in time: the holiday season is when families hit the cinema more often than couples do. And at nearly 4 million shares on this Facebook post, looks like AMC knows it. Time to go to the movies?

The 10 most-shared video ads of 2014.
The built-in optimism and competitiveness surrounding sports are always an easy bet: Unruly finds that Activia's World Cup-themed "La La La", featuring Shakira, was the most-shared video of the year, with nearly 6 million on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs since its May launch—meaning it's also the most-shared video of all time. To think that a digestion-aiding yogurt managed to seize that title! Also, the speed of sharing doubled, with 42% of shares happening in the first three days of a campaign launch on average, up from 25% in 2013.

Facebook's year in review. Facebook's released its Top 10 lists for topics, places, athletes, entertainment, and more. The biggest topic of the year? Ebola (surprise!), followed by the Ice Bucket Challenge. Speaking of the latter, it's got its own category: George W. Bush's video was the most-shared, at close to 600,000 since August.

Can better Facebook search help brands?
Facebook's released two major updates: It's bringing Trending topics to mobile, which includes articles on the topic, posts from people involved, updates from your network, and real-time reactions. The second is a more robust Search feature that lets you find older posts more easily. The latter sounds innocuous, but it's getting the most attention: Time magazine thinks stronger search on Facebook will kill Google Plus. And Razorfish's Matt Heindl, talking to Digiday, says better search will give good brand content an organic boost, because searchers may find content they didn't see the first time around. Ephemeral's no longer the name of the game.

So is a Google Plus company page still worth it? Yes, says analytics firm Rival IQ, which provides six reasons it makes sense (despite popular opinion). A few: a growing and engaged audience, clout in organic search results, and prime real estate when somebody runs a search for your company (updates from your G+ company page—like that below—will appear on the search results page). Also, now you can pin posts to the top of your page—making it easier to promote special content for a longer period of time!

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Angela Natividad is a social media strategist, copywriter, and journalist based in Paris. A Bay Area native and lover of vending machine candies, she co-founded and is a frequent guest on marketing podcast The Beancast. You can follow her on Twitter at @luckthelady.

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