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Twitter Makes Analytics Open to All Users, for Free

Twitter gives marketers a gift by opening its analytics, Facebook finally adds hashtags, Yelp recommends nearby places and more social-media news.
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This week's need-to-know social-media news.

The days of relying on third-party tools to provide you with analytics for your Twitter marketing efforts are over. Twitter has opened its analytics dashboard to all users, free of charge. Simply sign into the Twitter Ads dashboard from your Twitter account, and click on Analytics at the top-left of the page.

The Timeline tab displays a graph of your user activity for the past month -- the number of mentions, follows and unfollows you have received. Below this is a list of your recent tweets.

For each tweet, you'll see how many favorites, retweets and replies it earned. Better still, the Timeline view also shows the number of times someone has clicked on each link embedded in your tweets -- allowing precise measurement of responses to your marketing efforts.

Facebook implements clickable hashtags.
Better late than never: Facebook has finally brought clickable hashtags to its platform. Hashtags, which are used to organize conversations around a particular topic, are already in use on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. "Whether it's talking about a favorite television show, cheering on a hometown sports team or engaging with friends during a breaking news event -- people on Facebook connect with their friends about what's taking place all over the world," Facebook product manager Greg Lindley wrote in a company blog post. Lindley says Facebook will make use of the feature to give visibility to interesting conversations about public events and other topics. --

Like Foursquare, Yelp now recommends nearby places.
Local businesses take note: Yelp has launched neighborhood recommendations, allowing users to find places nearby to dine and drink. Long known for its detailed information on, and customer reviews of, local businesses, Yelp is now following in Foursquare's footsteps. "Imagine it's noon and you're hungry for lunch, but don't want the same old ham n' cheese from the corner deli," Yelp product manager Travis Brooks wrote in a company blog post. "A quick visit to the Nearby page might bring up a highly rated spot around the corner that is known for their banh mi and has been reviewed by one of your Yelp friends." The updated app, available now on iOS and soon on Android, makes suggestions based on your location, Yelp check-in and review history and other factors. --

Google+ gets new features and better Android app.
Android owners, rejoice: the updated Google+ app released this week has a new menu design and new features, including the ability to see a post's number of reshares. The platform in general is seeing improvements as well, such as notification syncing across all devices. That way, you won't have to click on the same notifications to dismiss them first in your mobile app and then in your web browser, or vice versa. Once will be enough. Another new feature is a notifications tray that separates new items from previously read items. That feature will be seen first on Android, and later on the Web version and iOS. --

In ad campaign, Jell-O creates a new meaning for a popular, yet profane, hashtag.
#FML is getting a makeover, thanks to Jello-O. The company is trying to change #FML's profane meaning -- it stands for a four-letter expletive plus "my life," and is generally used for talking about terrible situations -- to "Fun My Life." The innovative ad campaign, which ends today, puts everyone who tweets the hashtag into a pool, from which some of them will be drawn as winners of "Fun My Life" prize packs. So far, there have been nearly 275,000 #FML tweets in the past 29 days. --