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Instagram's instabillion, Hillary Clinton's texts, and online pranks - a week in social media

Almost everyone will miss almost everything discussed on social media. So... here's what was hot over the last week, including topics such as Instagram's sudden riches and Hillary Clinton's alleged text messages

Various social media platforms show in imaginary blocks
Credit: Illustration by Winston Huff (@WinstonHHuff)

Another week has flown by in social-media land, which means, you -- and I -- have missed a lot of developments, new products, and so on. Most of them, of course, don't matter, but these Week in Review posts (March 27; March 19; March 12; March 5; February 26February 19) are meant to help you catch up with the ones that do. Wherever I can, I insert Twitter handles so you'll have some new folks to follow. Each week, you can help by posting links in the comments section or e-mailing me or tweeting with @sree or #sreetips.

First stop: Mashable's 43 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed by Matt Petronzio (@MattPetronzio) is where I go to catch up with the best of what that site posted during the week. Several among them are worth saving for later, including these:

Facebook buys Instagram for a billion dollars: News that Instagram, the photo-sharing site with 30 million users, was being bought by Facebook for about $1 billion became major news in new media as well as traditional media. From Mark Zuckerberg's post announcing the deal: "I'm excited to share the news that we've agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook. For years, we've focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests." Zuckerberg said that Instagram will remain an independent brand and that the ability to share and connect Instagram photos with other networks will stay in place. Instagram users upload about 5 million photos a day; Facebook users upload about 100 million photos a day. 

CNET's Molly Wood (@MollyWood) has a good roundup of commentary about the purchase, and has her own take about the real reason for the purchase. Om Malik (@Om) of GigaOm explains why Facebook paid more than twice the valuation for Instagram and wonders if founder Kevin Styrom sold too soon. Here's Mashable's collection of 20 witty reactions to the purchase.

Texts from Hillary: A Tumblr site by that name caught the Web's attention with its use of a real photo of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton using her BlackBerry mashed together with photos of celebrities and fake quotes. As Know Your Meme explains, it all started with a post featuring photos of President Obama and Secretary Clinton. "Hey Hil, Whatchu doing?" says the wording over Obama. "Running the world," comes the alleged reply from Clinton.

April Fool's Day online: I first wrote about April Fools pranks on the web back in 1999, but social media has taken the idea of fooling people with the most ridiculous things to a whole new level. Here's a fun roundup of all the hilarity -- or what passes for it these days -- at Digital Trends. Perhaps studying these carefully now will keep you from being fooled next year.

Infographics Week in Review: I am a big fan of smart infographics and the best of them get a lot of play on social media. Here are three I noticed this week:

YouTube Week in Review: I'm going to try to highlight some videos each week, looking through the YouTube Trends Blog. One popular video was by Google's Project Glass:

Another I like involves Tracy Jordan (@RealTracyJordan) trying to explain Twitter in 140 characters. When I tweeted about it, I said it was the funniest thing you'd see all day. Still true today. 

If you want to catch up with all the videos you've likely missed, the YouTube Charts page is your one-stop shop -- you can sort by most viewed/discussed/liked across categories and across time periods (week/month/all time).

My top three: Each week, I post screenshots of my tweets that got the most attention the previous week. I am hoping that, together, we can learn what works and what doesn't on Twitter. I use a free tool called Crowdbooster to identify these. By looking through these, you will also get some ideas of some new people to follow. 

The tweet with the most impressions (i.e., the total possible number of times someone could have seen a tweet--the sum of my followers and the followers of my retweeters) was about a journalism resource called Journalist's Resource:

Credit: Crowdbooster / Screenshot by Sree Sreenivasan/CNET

The tweet with the most retweets was about an eye-tracking study of Facebook business pages:

Credit: Crowdbooster / Screenshot by Sree Sreenivasan/CNET

Another tweet with some traction was a retweet of Melinda Gates talking about Nick Kristof's NYT column:

Credit: Crowdbooster / Screenshot by Sree Sreenivasan/CNET

READERS: What did I miss? Post your thoughts in the comments below, please, or e-mail me or tweet me at @sree or #sreetips on Twitter.