We’re back with our regular weekly round up of the latest social media tools and platforms that a causing a stir around the web. Our apologies for missing last week (holidays are something we take seriously in Europe!), so you will have two different lists this week! Stay tuned for Part 1 on Friday.

You’ll notice some changes in the format this year, most significantly, a new bit called ‘Track Changes’ which aims to highlight the countless updates and upgrades made to the tools and platforms already in existence – we think this will be an easy way of staying on top of the ever changing social and digital media world.

So, here we go, the first 2012 edition of Platform Five and the debut of Track Changes…let’s get to it!

This week’s five most useful new social media tools

1. Take a detour around your IT department and create your own landing pages with Unbounce.com – This is billed as a fast and easy way to building, optimizing and testing landing pages for the web. By taking the implementation headaches out of the equation this could become digital marketing’s new best friend.

2. Get your Twitter deals served up in one place thanks to Tweetalicious.com – This might take some getting used to! Tweetalicious combines your Twitter account / profile with your shopping preferences to give you a mashed up Twitter dashboard that incorporates your regular tweets as well as shopping bargains and deals. Although it feels a little weird at first, the ‘deal me’ function is very addictive!

3. Find available domain names more efficiently with NameStation.com – Last year we profiled a few tools that have been designed to make domain name searching an easier process and this one is worth having in your toolkit too. NameStation helps you create domain name ideas and conduct searches for available domains, but also helps you find short web.2.0 domains too. The domain name contest function is also worth a try.

4. Manage all of your social media streams with edintity.com – This is another attempt to aggregate all of the content relating to a single brand or user in the one place. The services supports Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, Tumblr and many more.

5. Watermark your web images with WaterMarquee.com – This is an easy-to-use tool available in basic and pro versions which allows you to add watermarks to your images, giving them the IP protection they deserve. The best bit? It works from within your web browser. Nice.

This week’s social media track changes

The key changes worth being aware of from the last seven days include:

1. Instagram, the world’s favourite mobile phone photo app, announced it has partnered up with Facebook to deliver some additional functionality outside of its own app for the very first time. Read Mashable’s story here.

2. WordPress has given its users more storage space in 2012 which is great news if you host your blog / site on WordPress.com. Read our full story here.

3. Twitter has made it easier for you to embed tweets into web pages via an announcement on the Twitter blog this week. Essentially, this piece of code, brings a Twitter.com experience to any page on the web. Cool.

We’re still testing out the new format so if you have any feedback let us know!