Instagram For Android, Sarah Palin’s Twitter Comeback, and Top 5 Social Media Stories of the Week

No time or patience to go through thousands of tweets and Facebook updates to find the week’s most shareable social media stories? Look no further. From YouTube’s “Reply Girl” to Mitt Romney’s delayed official Spotify playlist, here are the Top 5 Social Media stories of the week:

5. Instagram for Android: The free photo “filtering and sharing” application will soon be available to users of Google’s mobile operating system, Android, as announced by Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s popular CEO at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) music, film and tech festival in Austin, Texas. The Polaroid-style mobile photo application, which launched in 2010, is already valued at $500 million and counts an estimated 27 million users to date – among them, President Barack Obama and singer Justin Bieber.        

4. YouTube’s “Reply Girl”: Once again, the democratic power of social media has transformed an anonymous person into the next viral celebrity. Alejandra Gaitan “The Reply Girl” has earned not only thousands of views but also her own share of online advertising dollars, by standing in front of her webcam and making Not Safe for Work (NSFW) reply videos to anything from car commercials to breaking news stories. The secret? Gaitan reportedly copies the original video’s tags into her own video before uploading it to YouTube, securing a spot on the original video’s page.

3. Mitt Romney’s Official Spotify Playlist: Following the steps of President Barack Obama, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has finally released his official Spotify playlist. Romney’s “On the Road” manages to combine tunes from Commodores, Johny Cash and Carrie Underwood in a rather bland mixed that - besides catching up with the Obama camp’s skillful use of social media – will try to offset the damage done by dozens of unofficial and mock Spotify playlists and Pinterest boards that attempt to paint Romney as an out of touch millionaire.

2. DoJ Threatens Apple: The Department of Justice has its crosshairs set on Apple and five large book publishers over their alleged 2010 attempt of forcing Amazon to raise the prices of its e-books, a method used to build its early lead in the e-books industry as well as to launch electronic reader Kindle. The Justice Department thinks the publishers and Apple violated federal antitrust laws by “acting in concert” to raise prices across the industry.  

1. Sarah Palin’s Unnecessary Twitter Comeback: After a brief period in which it was apparent former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin was destined to stall in Fox News with no presidential run or new reality television offers, the recent release of HBO’s docu-drama “Game Change,” in which actress Julianne Moore plays the rise and fall of the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee, has brought Mrs. Palin back to prominence, at least as a Twitter hashtag. The movie, based in the 2010 book “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime” by John Heilermann and Mark Halperin, prompted the release by The ReelzChannel televison network of pro-Palin documentary “The Undefeated,” in a controversial move described by critics as political but defended by the networks as a "strictly business consideration."

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