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November has been a busy month for social media developments, as the networks prep for the upcoming Black Friday push. Pinterest has rolled out more rich pins, further enhancing its user experience, while social’s new sweetheart Snapchat turned down a $3B offer from Facebook, thrusting itself onto the public scene.

Pinterest Gets Fancy
With the announcement last month that Pinterest will begin offering advertising options for retailers this year, the pinboard giant is rolling out more “rich pin” options. Earlier this year, Pinterest announced rich pins for articles, products, recipes and movies, options for websites to spice up the meta data shown on pinned items with more information for the user. Last week, Pinterest rolled out “Place Pins,” interactive maps showing address and contact information for locations. Though still in its infancy, this may have big implications for the search capability on Pinterest--specifically for the aspirational traveler searching for their next big adventure. With Place Pins, Pinterest is also entering into the mobile local search space. The example Pinterest uses to showcase this is the instance of searching “Dining in Palo Alto” and receiving restaurants pinned by other users.

Some professionals in the digital world are pointing to the decelerating growth of social media networks as a sign of decay. Facebook disclosed in its earnings report in October that teens are leaving Facebook; meanwhile, the social media community grumbles with rumors that Twitter isn’t growing as quickly as the social network intended.

Even Forrester is jumping on the “down with Facebook” bandwagon, releasing a report that suggested Facebook is not a valuable marketing platform, even going as far as to write an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg about his platform’s shortcomings (though many people in the industry are now debating this article. Check out a recent Forbes piece examining why Forrester screwed up.)

While some are take these developments as a sign of decline, it seems more likely to me that we are experiencing a coming-of-age in the social media landscape. A decrease in growth rate in social networks isn’t so much a sign of impending doom, but rather an indication that platforms have hit a new level of maturity and market saturation.

Being able to search for information quickly and while on the go is such an integral part of our lives today that I doubt we realize how much we take it for granted. We have the ability to find quality and relevant information quickly so that we can make decisions fast. 

On Monday, Digitaria hosted an event called Zero Moment of Truth - The Constant Change Challenge. At this event, we announced our partnership with i-Cherry, a born-and-raised search agency within JWT. Based in South America, i-Cherry has more than 70 professionals working with both organic and paid search strategies since 1999. But the event was about much more than that.

The Affordable Care Act is nearly a month old and so far seems have made a positive impact on consumers’ ability to buy health coverage. Altogether, there are 17 states running their own exchanges, 7 states running in partnership with the federal government, and 27 states using the Federally facilitated marketplace. More states are on board to start their own exchanges in the year to come. 

“Women control 80% of consumer spending, yet don’t feel advertisers understand them.  Could it be because only 3% of advertising creative directors are women?”
 
On paper, the draw of the 3% conference is that it strives to be a rare marketing world event where women are not just ‘awarded’ (we’ve all been to that lunch; the chicken was cold) but is actually aimed at increasing the number of women in advertising leadership—especially creative leadership—in our industry and culture.
 
But its best recommendation may be may be the size. It allows for conversation with people truly instigating change.
 
Between the rise of the uber-conference (thanks, SXSW!) and the slight unlock on travel budgets many marketers have seen over the last few years, many marketing conferences are on the verge of swelling out of control. Most good conversations happen in noisy corners and at the hotel bar anyway, making an ad girl wonder – is most conference content really worth it, anyway?  Is it more about showing up, being seen, talking to a few people ... and then slipping away as the speakers start reading from their blog which you can catch up on tomorrow anyway?  Does the badge offer the value, or is it just the proximity to the people?

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