Social news: Giving Tuesday, 'Star Wars' on Instagram, news on Facebook

From a selfie of Darth Vader to the “Unselfie” day that is Giving Tuesday, we’ve got your social-media news:

• If your wallet isn’t empty after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today’s Giving Tuesday. It’s a movement started by New York’s 92nd Street Y to inspire charitable giving, and it’s gotten a boost from social media. The #givingtuesday hashtag is trending on Twitter; #unselfie — which really are selfies of people declaring their support for a chosen charity or organization — has a few thousand posts on Instagram.

Some of the Bay Area companies involved in the cause: Google is hosting a Hangout-a-thon. Crowdfunding firm Indiegogo is pledging $1 for every $20 donated to selected campaigns. Razoo, which offers a platform for raising money online for charity, is offering $100,000 in prizes to the causes that raise the most money.

• OK, on to the selfie news. “Star Wars” officially joined Instagram — the dark side? — yesterday. Its first post was a selfie of none other than Darth Vader, complete with the caption “Another day at the office.” The creation of the Instagram account appears to be a tactic by Disney, which now owns the “Star Wars” franchise thanks to its purchase of Lucasfilm last year, to gear up for the 2015 release of “Star Wars: Episode VII.” The account has only three photos so far, but it already has more than 95,000 followers as of this post. Who needs to pay for ads?

• Finally, here’s a concept: actual news in your Facebook News Feed. The social network announced yesterday that it would be “paying closer attention to what makes for high-quality content” — which means links to news will take priority over the funny (or not so funny) memes in users’ feeds.

In making the change, the company says it took into consideration data that shows a 170 percent-plus increase in referral traffic from Facebook to media sites in the past year. Also, we wrote last month that a Pew Research report found that 47 percent of Facebook users get news from their feeds.

 

Photo: This isn’t the Instagram selfie. But it is an original Darth Vader costume on display in “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,” at the Tech Museum of Innovation in October. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (3844 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also helps take care of SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay (at) bayareanewsgroup (dot-com).