The First Snapchat Ads Shot Entirely on Spectacles: Burger King and grocery chain Sainsbury’s are the first two Snap clients to use the glasses to shoot ads that appear on Snapchat. The creative difference between Spectacles’ clips and other footage lies in how the glasses capture video in a POV, circular fashion. Burger King’s ad appeared via the app in the U.S. for National Cheeseburger Day. Delicious! (LINK)

 

Chili’s Tries a New Social Voice: Restaurant chain Chili’s found itself tagged in a random comment about healthcare and jumped into the discussion with a wit and enthusiasm that has sparked a swarm of buzz and attention for the brand this week. Chili’s social media manager told BuzzFeed that the restaurant’s team was more than happy to take the time to help fans. “Life’s too short not to have fun with it,” he explained to BuzzFeed. “As you can see, we don’t take ourselves too seriously on social.” We’ll be watching to see how this new voice spills over into their proactive social content and engagement. (LINK)

 

The Beyoncé Army Takes to Instagram: Instagram, who this week is testing changing their number of grid tiles from three to four across, is blowing up with Beyoncé goodness this week. The music icon and social media star posted a series of images on Thursday highlighting 16 self-focused photos, each directly sourced from a past, impromptu, photo shoot with Jay-Z. The photos, published with no comment or detail, are currently are all gaining incredibly traction with over 3 million current likes as of Friday morning. Yes, Beyoncé is a big deal; but it is creative posts like this that help her maintain her iconic status in cultural relevance. (LINK)

 

Are Smokers the Nicest People Online? In a world of political issues, opinionated commenters and trolls, it turns out there are still communities who embody #WholesomeMemes everyday. Thanks to better education and Ad Council marketing campaigns, smokers are one of the most persecuted, under-appreciated interest groups in our society. So perhaps that’s all the more reason they are seeking each other out online through message boards, Reddit, YouTube, and websites like airportsmokers.com, where they offer each other advice, reviews, support and community. Who knew the key to warm-hearted acceptance online was the same as bumming a smoke off a friend? (LINK)

 

BONUS #HUMBLEBRAG: Did you catch South Park’s season debut? Cartman trolled us all by triggering our Amazon Echos throughout the episode – making them say foul things and adding unwanted items to their shopping lists. At Fallon, we’ve been obsessed with voice-control going mainstream and the evolution of conversation design for our clients. So we built our own Amazon Flash Briefing for the Fallon Social Pulse. Just say “Alexa, enable Fallon Social Pulse skill.” Then ask for your flash report, and you’ll get all this social goodness direct to your Echo every week! What a time to be alive, right? (LINK)

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Bitmoji Comes to Life with Snapchat World Lenses: Snapchat just took Bitmoji to a whole new level by allowing users to place their customized characters into the real world as 3D animated cartoons. It’s pretty fascinating to watch what was once essentially a sticker now doing things like riding a skateboard, doing yoga, hanging around the water cooler, etc. The update further solidifies Snapchat’s decision to acquire Bitmoji last year. You have to try it. Have to. (LINK)

 

Facebook ‘Snooze’ Button: Sick of a friend’s non-stop vacation photos or political rants? Bored of hearing about some business Page’s big launch? Now Facebook has a Snooze button that lets you temporarily unfollow friends, Pages or Groups for 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days. To initiate the feature, users can simply tap the drop-down arrow in the top right of someone’s post. Now instead of just an unfollow option, it looks like there may be a “Unfollow or Snooze” feature coming. (LINK)

 

Crayola Debuts New Crayon Color: Crayola announced the name of its new blue crayon Thursday, which colored our news feeds this week. Bluetiful was the top pick of fans during two months of online voting, beating out Dreams Come Blue, Blue Moon Bliss, Reach for the Stars and Star Spangled Blue. The crayon maker received nearly 90,000 name submissions before narrowing it down to five. Bluetiful will make its debut later this year. It’s replacing the recently retired color, dandelion. Nice strategy for staying culturaly relevant, Crayola. (LINK)

 

Geniuses Who Think Google’s Facebook Page is a Search Engine: A video has emerged online compiling mistaken posts on Google’s Facebook page. Surprising or not, many users have come to think that simply entering text on the wall of the brand-specific page will yield the results they desire from the actual search site. Unfortunately for them, their queries have simply provided an odd window for the rest of the world to watch what is going on inside their minds. The video even includes a custom soundtrack to further detail these strange posts, like “Can baking soda improve my face?” (LINK)

 

‘Monkey Selfie’ Legal Fight Finally Settled: A photographer has settled a two-year legal fight against an animal rights group over a “monkey selfie” picture. Naruto the macaque monkey took the image in the Indonesian jungle in 2011 when it picked up a camera owned by David Slater. U.S. judges had said copyright protection could not be applied to the monkey, but PETA said the animal should benefit. Slater said he put in a lot of effort to take the photo which was more than enough for him to claim copyright. Say “Bananas!” (LINK)

Scott Galloway is asking CMOs and CEOs 2-3 times a week, “What are the most likely scenarios that would result in a tripling of value in half a decade, and how might that impact capital allocation?” and then works backward to see how those scenarios would shake out.

He then lists out their answers/approaches by category — including how a Best Buy, Amazon, Nike, Samsung, Uber, etc. may approach.

My favorite quotes:

  • “Amazon has turned the media into their bitch”
  • “Starbucks is the ultimate arbiter [in viewing staff and footprint as an asset], spending more on employee benefits than it does on coffee beans.”
  • “Apple’s genius move wasn’t the iPhone, but investing where brand equity was moving, at purchase, and opening extraordinary temples of brand worship”
  • “$1–3B firms are in no man’s land. Not small enough to present the agility and growth rates of long-tail brands, but not big enough to allocate the requisite capital in the arms race that is digital.”
  • “Uber, WeWork, and other (massively) overvalued unicorns: Raise as much money as possible and buy old-economy assets (cars, buildings, etc.) to build analog moats around your businesses / valuations.”

Worth a read over the weekend.

UNO’s Color Blind Redesign: Mattel made headlines this week as they released a color blind friendly version of the classic card game, UNO. As we all know, UNO requires and relies on the identification of colors to play. This has been accomplished with the implementation of ColorADD, a symbol-based system where each color is represented by a unique icon. The rules remain the same, but with 350 million color blind people around the globe, this is definitely a game changer (pun intended!). (LINK)

 

The 3 A.M. Challenge: Remember telling your friends ghost stories in the middle of the night as a kid? Well, there’s a new trend that’s keeping kids awake, and it’s probably not what you think. YouTube creators have been uploading videos of themselves attempting to interact with the paranormal at 3 A.M. (the devil’s hour) and it’s catching on. These videos are getting millions of views from young thrill-seekers looking to get scared while their parents are asleep. Speaking of scary, are you up on the Dear David thread? Hope you’re not a fan of sleep! (LINK)

 

Instagram tests a feature that lets users share Stories directly to Facebook: Instagram Stories have been a massive hit for brands and individuals alike, but as you might have noticed, the same cannot be said for Facebook Stories. On a daily basis, most people post to their Instagram Stories, while Facebook’s own version is only seeing a fraction of the action. In hopes of remedying this engagement problem, Instagram is testing out a feature that would allow users to upload their stories from Instagram to Facebook. We think “stories” as a content vehicle are here to stay, but mainstream adoption has been slow. So we’re watching this test closely. (LINK)

 

Taylor Swift Tix: You know TFW you go to buy tickets on Ticketmaster at the moment they go on sale, only to see the show is sold out in a time that seems humanly impossible? It was probably because it wasn’t entirely humans, or fans for that matter. In an attempt to combat bots snatching up tickets before true fans can get their hands on them, Taylor Swift has teamed up with Ticketmaster to introduce a verified fan program that incentivizes people to buy merch, music, and share to get a better place in line. After reading comments and reactions, it appears as though some fans aren’t wild about the model. We can’t see this standing in the way of Swifties by any means. (LINK)

 

Smile-to-Like Social Engagement: A few months ago Facebook quietly filed patents that would secretly use your phone’s camera to track your emotional reactions to your newsfeed and then serve up similar content, and another that generate emoji reactions to posts you’re reading based on your facial expression. Although Facebook claims this may never be released to the public, this week we’re testing out Polygram, a new photo-based social network that gauges your facial expressions and tallies up responses based on smiles or frowns. Creepy and cool, right? Wait, are you smiling or frowning right now? This email software must be too dumb to tell. (LINK)

 

RIP Mosquito: This one hits close to home for us Minnesotans. A Twitter user had his account permanently deactivated for angrily gloating over the corpse of a mosquito he had killed. The user had tweeted the following in Japanese: “Bastard! Where do you get off biting me all over while I’m just trying to relax and watch TV? Die! (Actually you’re already dead).” Cyberbullying and online abuse is a huge problem for Twitter, who recently announced it would increase action against abusive accounts 10x over last year. We’re guessing their AI moderators flagged the account based on the combination of words like “bastard” and “die.” (LINK)

 

Netflix-branded Weed: This week the streaming giant partnered with a pop-up dispensary in West Hollywood, Calif. to promote its new series, Disjointed. The promotion featured 12 strains of marijuana based on 10 Netflix shows, including Disjointed, Orange Is the New Black and Mystery Science 3000. The dispensary sold over a hundred jars of the Netflix marijuana (or roughly a pound), and although Netflix didn’t actually touch the pot, the stunt created an international news cycle that filled our feeds with munchie-fueled jealousy. (LINK)

 

Meme of the Week: A man walks down a city street with his girlfriend, head turned backward, ogling a woman walking the other direction. This is the “distracted boyfriend” stock photo, an image that launched a thousand memes. The meme has been remixed to make statements on things like dogsJessie’s Girlsolar eclipse, and even some brands have gotten into it – like Penguin Random House. Wired tracked down the stock photographer to get his take on the history of the photo. Which came from a photo shoot looking to create “infidelity concept in relationships in a playful and fun way.” Because that’s a thing. (LINK)

Are We Talkin’ PSLs Now, or Nah? In an attempt to capitalize on the inevitable social buzz that accompanies peak pumpkin season, companies have been releasing their pumpkin offerings earlier and earlier each year. It’s a delicate move, because launching too early reeks of greed and launching too late, well, won’t have that intended “buzz-driving” effect. One thing’s for certain though, people are still digging pumpkin. Sales of pumpkin products, are still growing year-over-year (though the rate is beginning to taper). Happy Halloween? (LINK)

 

Hurricane #FAKENEWS:  We all know social media can be incredibly helpful during natural disasters for organizing aid efforts and letting friends and family in on your whereabouts. However, it’s also when madness ensues, boys cry “Wolf!” and #FAKENEWS imagery is spread. Next time you’re wondering if there really is a shark in the streets of Houston, save the image and take it to Tineye or Google Image Search. Either of those will confirm or debunk the image in question. (LINK)

 

Brandjacking the Eclipse: As expected, lots of brands were getting in on the eclipse action this week. Our favorites? Royal Caribbean got Bonnie Tyler to sing Total Eclipse of the Heart on a cruise ship — sparking its own trending topic and earning Tyler a No. 1 Spot on iTunes. Oh and NASA’s moon account “blocked” its sun counterpart on Twitter, trolling “HA HA HA I’ve blocked the Sun!” alongside a screenshot of the blocked page. So dumb, and pretty clever, too. (LINK)

 

Facebook on Your Face: Thanks to patent filings, we’re learning more about Facebook’s augmented reality project. In addition to being able to superimpose photos and videos on top of a live image of the real world, the glasses will also play audio when connected to a pair of headphones or speakers. And they’ll look like real glasses. Supposedly. This tech is a long way from mainstream, but at some point it looks like you’ll be browsing Facebook with your face. (LINK)

 

SocNet Horse Race Update of the Week: A new comScore report came out this week that found Snapchat is the third-most popular app among 18- to 24-year-olds in the U.S., two spots ahead of Instagram. YouTube and Facebook were ranked first and second, respectively. That comes just a few days after an eMarketer report predicted Snapchat will be bigger than Facebook and Instagram in the U.S. by the end of 2017 among 12- to 17-year-olds and 18- to 24-year-olds. Snap this week also announced a partnership with Barstool Sports for a behind-the-scenes show on American college football, and CNN is launching its own daily news program on Snapchat following the success of NBC News’ twice-daily show. (LINK)

 

Happy Birthday, Hashtag: Ten years ago this week an icon of the social media age was born: the hashtag. Designed as an organization tool for social conversation, now around 125 million hashtags are shared by Twitter’s 328 million users every day. For example, check out our #FallonBrainfood presentation with Twitter this week. And the most popular regularly occurring hashtag tradition is #FF, which stands for #FollowFriday and has been used more than half a billion times since it was first tweeted in January 2009. #TheWalkingDead is the most tweeted television show hashtag of all time and in the movies category, it’s no surprise à #StarWars.

 

 

 

Instagram Turns Photo Replies into Stickers: Building on a recent update, Instagram just released another new feature that makes photo replies more customizable, using the content being replied to from either a story or DM. The photo you’re replying to essentially becomes a sticker that you can superimpose over your own photo, adjust its size, doodle on, or add other stickers. Reply on, sticker junkies. (LINK)

 

Facebook Newsfeed Tweaks: Facebook has made it easier to view and read the content in the newsfeed. In addition to cracking down on video clickbait, the platform has become more user-friendly with welcome tweaks to the UI. The adjustments make conversations about a given piece of content stand out and Facebook hopes it will entice users to add their own thoughts to the discussion. Hashtag engagement, amirite? (LINK)

 

Crowd Surf on Snapchat: A new feature called Crowd Surf turned heads this week, as Snapchat tested out a feature that uses AI to stitch snaps together at events like concerts to create a unique video experience. While not widely available at this time, it was introduced at Lorde’s recent concert in San Francisco. The finished product is a seamless video from various phones and angles of those in attendance. Snapchat continues to drive innovations other socnets quickly steal, so we’re paying close attention to this one. (LINK)

 

Confessions from Wendy’s Former Social Media Manager: The community manager behind the success and controversy of Wendy’s Twitter account shares how she changed the brand voice in a single tweet. Earlier this year, Wendy’s responded to a troll who was calling out the line “Fresh, never frozen” and it garnered a lot of attention. The rollercoaster that Brown has been on over the past six months has brought some unwelcomed personal attention, and there are some takeaways here for any brand looking to use voice to drive cultural relevance with its followers. (LINK)

 

Silence Never Sounded So Good: There is a completely silent song making waves in the music world this week. Ever get into your car, plug in your phone to listen to that latest and greatest playlist you’ve been building, only to have that one song that always autoplays come on? This annoyance was used as inspiration for a 10-minute track that’s completely silent and has an alphabetic advantage in your music library. Who would have thought a music-less song would be topping the charts in 2017? Put that hit on repeat. (LINK)

Plandids Jump the Shark: It’s another buzzword!! This week it’s “plandid,” a portmanteau  of “planned” and “candid” — which is basically a post that looks like you didn’t know the pic was taken, but you’re still posing. It isn’t new, but is making the rounds in social this week. How do you take the best plandid? Shoot using burst mode; pick your favorite authentic pose, and post (deleting the other 30 burst pics is optional). We dare you to tag it #plandid. (LINK)

 

Facebook Watch: Facebook just announced a new short-form, professionally produced video feature called Watch. Facebook has already wrangled over 30 content partners from comedy to reality to live sports, and expects to grow into the hundreds and even thousands of shows down the road. The social aspect of seeing what your friends are watching and being able to view and interact with the comments from other fans is sure to make for an engaging experience. Launch is slated for August 28th and we’re excited to… um.. watch. (LINK)

 

#HEYTWITTER: An influential German Twitter reported hundreds of racist, sexist, abusive or otherwise hateful Tweets. Twitter didn’t delete them, so he sprayed them on the pavement outside the company’s offices in Germany. It made for a provocative video and furthered discussion about censorship and hate-speech online this week. (LINK)

 

Insta Stories Embraced by Brands: To celebrate the one year anniversary of Stories, Instagram released a host of stats about the feature. Of note, half of the 15 million businesses now active on the platform have also produced a Story in the last month, and one in five organic stories from those businesses gets a direct message. Oh, and Apple finally joined Instagram this week. So there’s that. The most popular face filters? Puppy ears, sleep mask, bunny ears, love with heart-shaped darts AND koala ears. (LINK)

 

Eclipse-Jacking: The solar eclipse on the 21st will be the first since social media became a thing. Which has us asking: if the moon blots out the sun and companies don’t try to brand-jack it, did the eclipse really happen? Krispy Kreme is making a chocolate glaze donut. Hertz ran an eclipse-themed rental campaign. Casper built a pop-up $500 tent rental city in Wyoming. Airbnb is hosting a geodesic dome and jet-viewing contest. But our favorite is  Chiquita’s Banana Sun: “For two glorious moments before and after the total(-ly overrated) solar eclipse, Chiquita will temporarily turn the sun into a giant banana. This phenomenon shall be known as the banana sun.” Stay cool, brands. (LINK)

Axios has a short, compelling piece called How tech ate the media and our minds from February that I’ve come back to a few times.

It highlights how “our brains have been literally swamped and reprogrammed” and the conundrum that even though we have all the information ever, “at least for now, the more we know, or can see, the less we trust.”

It’s short, but good. Here’s the summary…

There is more good information than at any point in humanity, but it’s harder than ever to find and trust. Almost every trend cited here is getting worse, not better.

And so much of the power to change it rests in the hands of the few, mainly Facebook but also Google, Twitter and Snapchat. Some publishers are putting the emphasis on quality content, which can help.

And others are moving fast to adapt serious news and information to better fit in these exploding off-platform ecosystems.

But ultimately, the burden will fall on individual consumers to exploit what should be the golden age of information by adjusting their own habits.

Source: How tech ate the media and our minds – Axios

Can’t Get More Culturally-Relevant Than This: Did you know that fidget spinners were disrupting classrooms over 4,000 years ago? No, not really. However, the comparisons have been drawn between an artifact and the modern version. We’re guessing bands weren’t putting their albums on spinners back then. Either way, it’s super wild if you ask us. LINK

 

Twitter Subscription: Earlier this week, Twitter revealed plans for testing a subscription-based version of the platform. Not to be confused with their promoted tweets tool, this new feature enables users to receive better visibility of their content in the feeds of their followers along with a higher frequency of their profile appearing in searches – all of which is decided by Twitter. This is an interesting move that appears to be targeted at small to medium-sized businesses and influencers looking to get better reach and engagement. But I’m not sure we’re shelling out $99 bucks for Twitter just yet. LINK

 

Instagram Stories Surpass Snapchat: As it turns a year old, it was announced that Instagram Stories now enjoy more daily users than Snapchat’s. We’ve all been watching the line become blurred between the two platforms, and with it came a significant portion of Snapchat’s user base. Ultimately, it all came down to the convenience of using the features of Snapchat in Instagram where the majority of people of all ages spend their time. LINK

 

#Humblebrag: Our own Director of Innovation, Marty Wetherall, talks about conversation design in the age of voice technology. As it moves beyond the techies and early adopters, screenless tech gets us more psyched each month. LINK