Facebook Newsfeed Changes (Again): Facebook listened to the data that shows scrolling through the newsfeed makes us sad. They’re now going to tweak the algorithm to prioritize what friends and family share and comment on, while de-emphasizing content from publishers and brands. Newsfeed changes like this happen quite often, and we expect this one in particular will harm organic posts from Publishers the most. Modern brands should continue to include paid media support into their Facebook marketing programs. (LINK)
CES Updates: Ironically, the famous Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas was filled with glitches this year. From LG’s refrigerator and washer/dryer voice assistant refused to talk back. Google’s booth got washed out. No women were included in the keynotes. Oh, and the conference center had a blackout. Our favorites from the show were this autonomous, self-driving suitcase and the Hushme, “the world’s first voice mask for mobile phones.”
Facebook Launches Alexa Competitor: Never one to be left out, Facebook is reportedly launching a a voice-enabled video chat device named Portal, will directly compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home. Like the Echo Show, Facebook’s Portal will include a screen for hold video calls and will stream music and video. It will also have facial recognition capabilities that connect to users’ accounts. Facebook actually has quite the large ecosystem for food delivery, movie tickets weather and jobs (buried in your app in the Explore button), so a home-based smart speaker. AND IT’S $500!?!? WHAT. (LINK)
#BlackHogwarts: On Thursday, #BlackHogwarts quickly became one of the most amusing trending topics on Twitter. Harry Potter has long been criticized for its extremely white-centric universe, so Twitter rebuilt J.K. Rowling’s fantasy as if it was entirely made up of POC. Some of our favorite highlights include Snoop Dogg as Professor of Herbology and Obama as the Minister of Magic. It’s pure delight, and J.K. Rowling herself was following along and loving every minute. (LINK)
Animals Have Culture, Too: We spend a lot of time observing human culture for our brands, but what about animals? The Atlantic has this fascinating look at animal cultures – from Capuchin monkeys trying to get attention to bottlenose dolphin fashion trends to male humpback whales riffing on their own classic music charts. (LINK).