Each week, Social Circles brings you the biggest news from behind the social networks. Keep up to date with the latest trends, breaking news, and expert analysis from across the web.

This week’s wrap-up includes Facebook’s new competition for LinkedIn, Uber giving passengers the opportunity to play DJ, and a major shake-up at reddit’s head offices.

5. Against Promotional Ads on Facebook

Responding to user complaints about overly promotional (read: spammy) posts from brands, Facebook has announced that they will start to reduce the number of these posts that a user sees in her/his news feed beginning next year. Complaints targeted three types of posts, in particular:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Of course, this will have no bearing on actual ads themselves, but will simply limit organic promotional posts that a user sees. Of course, the implication for social media managers is to simply integrate the promotional aspect into more creative posts, and therefore fall outside of the violations listed above. (Via Venture Beat)

4. Google Enters Messaging App Market

Better late than never, I guess? Google is joining the long list of stand-alone messaging apps, after launching Google Messenger in the Play Store this week. It provides all the services of any standard messaged based service, allowing users to have conversations and easily share photos and videos. Of course, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger already have an early jump on the market (not to mention Snapchat, Skype, and other similar services) but Google could become a legitimate competitor depending on how they integrate the service with other Google products. The app will come pre-installed on all new Android devices. (Via Digital Trends)

3. Spotify and Uber Unite for Passenger Playlists

Uber is once again proving they’re ready to directly challenge taxis by pleasing customers, this time hitting cabbies right in their stereo. The popular (and controversial) ride-sharing company announced a partnership with music streaming app Spotify to give passengers total control of the car’s stereo systems on trips. Basically, passengers will be able to stream their Spotify playlist throughout the car’s speakers for the duration of the trip. No formal announcement has been made, but reporters have been invited to a conference call with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and an unnamed special guest. (Via The Daily Dot)

2. reddit Undergoes Corporate Shake-Up

One of reddit’s original co-founders has returned to take over the position as Executive Chairperson. Alexis Ohanian, who helped found the popular social news site in 2005, will take over for Yishan Wong, who resigned after two and a half years with the company. Wong helped grow the site from 35 million unique visitors when he started to a whopping 174 million currently. The move was reportedly prompted by a disagreement about new office space in San Francisco with the board, however in an exit memo, Wong says that he was “completely worn out” from his time in the position, and offered good wishes to the reddit team going forward. Ellen Pao will take over as interim CEO. (Via Forbes)

1. Facebook Going Professional

Watch out LinkedIn, the Zuckerberg giant has its sights set squarely on professional networking. Facebook plans to launch a new “Facebook at Work” feature that will double as a professional networking service (like LinkedIn) and an internal collaboration site, allowing co-workers to share documents and hold discussions. Reportedly, data between the personal side will not be shared with the professional side. It is already supposedly in a pilot stage at Facebook’s London office. This news was originally reported by the Financial Times, and has yet to be confirmed by Facebook. If true, it could be a huge game-changer to the professional networking scene. Also, as more older workers become comfortable using the site, it could further impact the already declining rates of users aged 13-24, and increase growth among older demographics. (Via Mashable)

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