Weekly Social Pulse, Week of 7/10

Amazon Prime Day Fuels the Voice Control Trend: We continue to be excited about voice-control and A.I.-assisted devices becoming mainstream – an adoption curve that received a huge boost on Amazon Prime Day this week. The smaller Echo Dot (as we predicted yesterday) was by far the biggest item sold. Amazon doesn’t highlight any actual sales numbers, but sources say Echo devices were selling at a rate of “thousands per minute,” which Amazon later corroborated by noting that “Prime members in the U.S. are ordering more than 6,000 deals every minute” in an update late yesterday. There are now more than 15,000 Alexa Skills, and brands should continue to think about how their customers will interact with their products and services through this emerging technology. (LINK)


Ads Come to Facebook Messenger: Facebook is rolling out ads globally to the home page of its Messenger app. With 1.2 billion active users, we’re not surprised Facebook is looking for ways to monetize this engagement. For brands, this is yet another mobile-first touchpoint to leverage Facebook’s amazing targeting, and look for integration with branded chatbots – now just a quick click away from an ad to chat. (LINK)


‘Gangnam Style’ Is No Longer the Biggest YouTube Video: For the past five years, Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ had been YouTube’s most-watched video, but now Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’ featuring Charlie Puth has topped the Korean superstar’s single. On YouTube, ‘Gangnam Style’ had become so popular that it literally broke the platform’s view counter.  Back then, videos on the platform had a maximum possible number of views set at 2,147,483,647, so the code had to be rewritten to allow it to exceed those possible views! ‘Furious 7,’ a tribute to the late Paul Walker, was also a significant contributor. In fact, the song has become one of the most requested funeral songs in the UK. Of note, Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry,’ Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk,’ and Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’ are close behind both videos. (LINK)


Digital Mind Clones – Coming to An App Near You: Replika is a chatbot program that doesn’t just talk to people, it learns their texting styles to mimic their personality. Although it’s been out since March, Quartz wrote a fascinating long-form piece about neural networks, what happens when you train a bot to replace inane, time-consuming activities (like scheduling appointments), the limitations of today’s tech, the implications of what it means to be human and the pitfalls of outsourcing humanity to robots. It’s a fascinating long read, and had us signing up for Replika ourselves. Who knows, maybe it will send these emails on our behalf next week? (LINK)


A Dancing Hotdog Was Winning the Internet This Week but Beyoncé had a Friday Surprise: Snapchat’s AR filter of a cute breakdancing hotdog spread across the social web this week, and obvious brands such as Oscar Mayer, and not-so-predictable sources, such as Miami Heat player Hassan Whiteside, are having a frank-tastic time with the meme. Of course, this was only the trend of the web this week until Queen Bey dropped an Instagram of her twins this morning. (LINK)