Weekly Social Pulse, Week of 6-18

  • IGTV Launches: As we predicted weeks ago, this week Instagram launched IGTV. This is Insta’s stand-alone video app that leverages its existing accounts, community and reach to share long-form videos. And it is all vertical, which is insanely pleasurable to watch on mobile. Marques Brownlee has a great overview here and raises the question: As Instagram focuses on creators, will it pay for quality content, so creators can make a living from it? Time will tell. Download IGTV here. (LINK)
  • Diurnal Trends in Social Behavior: In a newly published study researchers are matching the words we tweet with specific aspects of human psychology. They analyzed 800 million tweets and 7 billion words published to Twitter between 2010 and 2014 to study what they could reveal about the ways the British population thinks and feels on a 24-hour cycle. They found that analytical thinking—which correlates with frequent use of nouns, articles, and prepositions—seems to peak early in the day, along with an increased concern with things like power and achievement. But late at night it turns out existential thinking dominates. By 3:00 am, positive emotions are at their lowest, and topics like death and religion have peaked. This isn’t new science, but the technique of applying diurnal research against consumer conversation is fascinating. (LINK)

  • A.I. Better at Arguing than Humans: IBM created an AI system called Project Debater that recently took on a human opponent at a press event. The statement to be debated was “We should subsidize space exploration” and another on telemedicine. The AI was not trained on the topics presented, and yet was able to present unscripted rebuttals and clear reasoning after analyzing its opponent’s arguments. A majority of the audience named the AI as the winner. Watch out, lawyers! (LINK)

  • Curating Our Forgotten Digital Photos: Photographer Doug Battenhausen thinks all our advances in cellphone cameras and photo-sharing technology haven’t made our pictures better, but rather more sterile. So he’s been looking through our forgotten, dead photo accounts for 5 years and curating them on his website, Internet History. They are sometimes funny, sometimes bad, but usually photos that give him a feeling of “comforting sadness.” With every new selfie we take today, we quickly move past long forgotten pics of the recent past. It’s striking to go back through and look at them through this lens. Pun intended. (LINK)