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Google HangoutsGoogle Hosting Hangout-a-Thon for #GivingTuesday (SocialTimes)
A charity project called #GivingTuesday aims to help people give to more charities easily during a busy time of year. At 9 a.m. ET today, in partnership with Mashable and 24 nonprofits and charity organizations, Google is hosting a 12-hour live stream via Hangouts where the partnered organizations plan to connect people interested in giving with worthy causes. Mashable The Hangout-a-thon is a phonathon for the connected generation of the 21st century. It will feature thought-provoking guests, who will share updates on some of the most disruptive nonprofits working today. The best part is, if you like what you hear, you can take action right on the spot by donating to the project through the Google+ Hangout. MediaPost Viewers can donate directly to the organizations doing the fundraising, or support them through an Android app that enables consumers to donate to different nonprofits throughout the holiday season. Downloading the app, One Today, provides insight into a variety of charities other than those participating in #GivingTuesday. TechCrunch Like a modern-day telethon, the “Hangout-a-thon” will feature celebrities, including Jennifer Garner, Chris Daughtry and Sophia Bush, plugging their favorite nonprofit or charity, says Google. In addition to the usual roundup of organizations doing good, Google notes that viewers will also get a “quick coding lesson” from Code.org, Girls Who Code and Code2040, who will also be there to inform viewers about the topic of digital literacy. eWeek Google+ Hangouts was launched in June 2011, originally as a video chat app that allowed up to 10 users to communicate together in an online session. Later Hangouts was expanded with a wide range of new features, as Google sought to promote the services.

A Facebook Tweak Gives Publishers a Traffic Boost (Digiday)
Facebook has altered its News Feed algorithm, which is turning out to be great news for online publishers: Major sites report more referrals from the social network in the past month than ever before. “We’ve made a few updates over the last few months to try and do a better job of showing people what they want to see in News Feed,” a Facebook spokesperson told Digiday. As a result, “Popular posts could see further increases in distribution.” AllFacebook Facebook detailed the changes to its News Feed algorithm, saying in a Newsroom post that average referral traffic to media sites has leapt by more than 170 percent in the past year. The social network also updated its Story Bumping feature to highlight stories with new comments. TechCrunch In related news, Facebook is tweaking how users can filter their News Feeds; it’s rolling out a button that allows you to “unfollow” other users. The functionality is pretty much identical to what users could already accomplish by hitting the “Hide All” button. What is changing is the specific wording.

Apple Taps Into Twitter, Buying Social Analytics Firm Topsy (WSJ)
Apple recently acquired social-media analytics firm Topsy Labs Inc. for more than $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Topsy specializes in analyzing the global conversation on Twitter. Its tools can decipher how often a term is tweeted, find an influential person on a specific subject or measure the exposure of an event or campaign.

Tumblr Adds ‘Sponsored Trending Blogs’ Section for Brands (The Next Web)
Tumblr has introduced a new sponsored-content section in a bid to give brands an easier way to garner more attention and ultimately to generate more money from its platform. The new Sponsored Trending Blogs ad unit is the latest in a line of units introduced since Yahoo took over the blog network last year.

As Twitter Grows Up, Its Users Don’t (AllThingsD / Peter Kafka)
Facebook has a teen problem. Or maybe not. Depends on whom you ask. How about Twitter? No problem at all, says a Wall Street analyst. Kids love themselves some Twitter. If you have been on Twitter for a very long time, this may surprise you, since, in the old days, Twitter was for old people, which made its early years different from most social networks.

#Selfie Syndrome — Is Social Media Making Us All Narcissistic? [INFOGRAPHIC] (AllTwitter)
Sharing selfies is something that many of us like to do: Hundreds of millions of self-shots get sent and exchanged on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat each and every day. But what if this is all indicative of something more troubling? What if the selfie overload points to a growing narcissism in our culture?

What Pinterest’s Data Scientists Look for and How They Help Their Peers (VentureBeat)
There’s a lot of mystique surrounding data scientists — the sexiest job of the 21st century, according to the Harvard Business Review. But what do they actually do, what do they care about and how do they interact with other employees? To get answers, VentureBeat went directly to data scientists at Pinterest and asked them.

Your Facebook Posts Can Reveal if You’re a Psychopath (The Daily Dot)
Any social media user is aware of a certain dissonance in the feed. People attempt to project an idealized version of themselves, but they often reveal something of their own insecurity in the process. Researchers in Sweden have now confirmed that Facebook statuses provide a window into the author’s personality traits, including those associated with Antisocial Personality Disorder.

60 Minutes‘ Futuristic Drone Delivery Story Provokes Twitter Comedy (LostRemote)
On Sunday night, 60 Minutes aired a segment on Amazon’s futuristic drone delivery, and social media delivered some funny comments in the present. Twitter handle @AmazonDrone was created during the show and has been tweeting up a storm since the show’s airing — attracting more than 10,000 followers in the process.

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