The Hub reflects: The year in Snapchat, Pinterest, and more

A month-by-month look at the social media horse race.

Many emerging platforms found great success in 2014, primed to be mentioned in the same breath as other content and social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Snapchat rolled out ads in 2014 and Tumblr and Pinterest added enhancements to theirs. No doubt 2015 will find the brands continuing to do their best to monetize - and keep happy - their growing user bases.

January 15
Snapchat apologizes again after users complain about being flooded by spam
It’s the second time in five days that Snapchat had to apologize to its users.

January 24
Pinterest adds animated GIFs to its platform
Users can begin to make their Pinterest boards look more like their Tumblr pages.

January 29
How Tumblr’s David Hayes helps brands create the right sponsored content for the platform
For many brands, Tumblr can be scary territory. The microblogging platform is known to be the place where many people gather around extremely specific topics and interests, and with its young user base, it isn’t exactly a place that welcomes a corporate presence.

February 11
Instagram releases a handbook of tips for digital marketers
Instagram came up with a very non-digital way to educate digital marketers about its platform. The photo-sharing service announced that it was publishing a handbook for marketers, containing tips, tools, and best practice examples for brands looking to advertise on it.

March 6
Video: How Sephora uses Pinterest to spot trends
Here’s the latest video in a series of brands talking about how they use Pinterest as part of their marketing strategy.

March 14
Video: The best practices for marketing on Pinterest
In its big push towards monetization, Pinterest has been courting brands and putting out several educational videos for how they can market themselves on its platform. Last spring, it invited a bunch of marketers over to its headquarters for a symposium on Pinterest marketing practices. 

April 17
Losing followers? Don’t worry, Instagram’s just taking out the spam
If you're managing your brand’s Instagram account and you noticed an alarming drop in followers, worry not, it's just Instagram taking out the trash. The platform announced that it was performing a massive purge of spam of fake accounts from its network.

April 23
Tumblr says it gets more social activity about TV shows than Twitter
Tumblr wants you to know that it is the social media platform for entertainment, and not Twitter. The Yahoo-owned blogging network recently commissioned a study by UK-based social media analytics firm Pulsar to analyze TV-related activity on Tumblr and Twitter within an 11-day period.

May 16
Pinterest raises $200m from investors, launches its first brand ads
Pinterest is freshly flush with cash after it raised $200 million from its existing investors. Participants in the Series F funding round included V Angel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity, Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital, and Valiant Capital Partners.

June 17
Tumblr’s native ads will now also be shared across Yahoo
Yahoo announced that sponsored content from Tumblr will also be shared across Yahoo's homepage and other properties. The move is the first outward-facing synergy between Yahoo and Tumblr, and it'll give marketers a "one-two punch" option for their Tumblr ads. 

August 26
Pinterest will now provide analytics to all businesses
Brands looking to use Pinterest as a marketing platform can take advantage of free analytics. Pinterest announced that the analytics features it had previously made available only to select brands will now be available for free to anyone with a Pinterest Business account. 

August 27
Instagram introduces the first functional (but clunky) e-commerce option for social media
Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest might be testing the idea, but Instagram is now the first social media network with a full-fledged e-commerce solution. You can now buy items directly from department stores such as Target and Nordstrom through their Instagram pages, using Curalate's Like2Buy tool.

October 3
COO Emily White says it’s still ‘early days’ for Snapchat as a marketing platform
Marketers looking for news on Snapchat's advertising tools will have to wait a little bit longer. At the Mobile Marketing Association's SM2 Innovation Summit in New York, Snapchat COO Emily White said it was still "early days" for Snapchat's marketing platform ambitions.

October 10
Snapchat confirms that it will start showing old-fashioned display ads that disappear
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel recently unveiled what Snapchat ads are going to look like, and it's pretty old fashioned. In what was probably the weirdest combination of three people on a stage, Spiegel was interviewed alongside former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg by Yahoo's Katie Couric.

November 25
Tumblr is the fastest-growing social network of 2014
That Tumblr acquisition is beginning to look better and better for Yahoo every year. A new report by the Global Web Index says Tumblr has the highest growth of active users among all the major social media networks since Q1 2014. 

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