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updated 12/31/2012 4:51:07 PM ET 2012-12-31T21:51:07

This week's need-to-know social-media news.

If you've spent much time around Millenials or reading the tech press lately, you've probably heard of Snapchat, a popular app that lets you send photos that automatically delete from the recipient's phone after a matter of seconds.

Seeing Snapchat's popularity, social networking giant Facebook hastily tried to copy it, releasing an app called Poke -- which users found to be an exact clone of Snapchat. But after rising to No. 1 in the iTunes app store, Poke has since sunk to No. 70. Snapchat is No. 4 among free apps. Facebook's creation was, in Om Malik's words, an act of "wanton xeroxing."

In postmortems around the web, people are now speculating about whether Facebook's lack of originality and apparent willingness to "rip-off a hot startup" in its product development signal deeper problems at the company. -- Business Insider and GigaOM

Analytics are coming to Google+.
Social media marketers have been pushing lately for analytics to be made available to businesses using Google+ and Pinterest. While it remains uncertain if or when Pinterest will introduce such tools, Google offers hope, informing enterprise users that Google+ will soon introduce analytics "to help you learn how social campaigns affect your bottom line." -- SocialTimes

Pinterest drives traffic to niche retailers.
Anyone familiar with Pinterest's majority-female user base won't be surprised by the results of a recent study showing that arts-and-crafts site Etsy gets twice as much traffic from the social pinboard as ecommerce giant Amazon. If you own a boutique fashion shop or ecommerce site for clothes and accessories, consider spending a significant amount of your social-media marketing energies on Pinterest. -- SocialTimes

Mark Zuckerberg's sister gets a privacy lesson on Twitter.
After a family photo Randi Zuckerberg posted to Facebook was shared publicly on Twitter, the sister of Facebook's founder berated the hapless woman who shared it. Apparently, thanks to Facebook's byzantine privacy settings, the photo was visible to the woman, who thought it was public, while Zuckerberg thought it was more private. The lesson: Be careful when tagging Facebook photos. The default privacy setting makes the photo visible not only to your friends and colleagues but also to the friends of anyone tagged. -- AllTwitter

Has-been Hollywood stars find new life on social media.
Move over Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber. Former TV-show host Sally Jesse Raphael and actor George Takei of Star Trek fame are only two of a growing army of past-their-prime celebrities who have reinvented themselves on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. That's right. Sally Jesse Raphael. Just goes to show that even seemingly tired brands can get a second wind with some creative use of social media. But audiences can be fickle, so make sure whoever is manning the controls for your business knows how to handle them. -- The New York Times

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