Fourth of July Social Trends: This week we enjoyed #SecondCivilWarLetters, this leaked footage of Michael Bay’s Jurassic Planet, the memes of Brazilian soccer coach Tite’s epic celebration run, and the helicopter footage of the hundreds of illegal firework celebrations across Los Angeles. All four of those are worth clicking on – believe us.
Videos are Getting Loooonger: This week Digiday has a great story highlighting the trend of creators making longer videos to cater to the YouTube algorithm. This is a direct correlation to the video giant’s recommendation engine and search and discovery changes. And while YouTube’s algorithm has prioritized watch time since 2012, creators have seen it shift toward favoring videos that people are likely to click on – and from channels they don’t subscribe to (versus videos from subscribed channels). Changes in pre- and mid-roll advertisements are also impacting this change. The challenge for creators? Make a long video worth watching in its entirety. Now that is going to take some practice. (LINK)
Facebook Shuts Standalone Apps: Just a week after Instagram launched its stand-alone IGTV app, Facebook announced it is shuttering its stand-alone apps Moves, Hello, and tbh, a trio of apps it launched or acquired over the last four years that haven’t developed large audiences. Tbh was the one we were watching — an anonymous social media app similar to Yik Yak that allowed high school students to send prewritten compliments to each other. But just 11 months later, it’s dead. Who knew sending compliments as a business model wouldn’t be popular in 2018? (LINK)
Uganda Passes Social Media Tax: As we anticipate Net Neutrality’s repeal effects in the US, our team has been watching the Uganda social media tax closely. The Ugandan government implemented a law forcing mobile users to pay taxes to use mobile money and social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Skype. Starting July 1, the tax is equivalent to about 20 percent of what typical Ugandan users pay for their mobile phone data plans. This move is obviously very unpopular with Ugandans who see this as an attempt to prohibit free speech. Now that Amnesty International and the internal press has gotten involved, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. We’ll be watching. (LINK)
The Cutest Twitter Thread Love Story Ever: Lots of people are traveling for the holiday this week, and sometimes that means trade seats with a stranger. And sometimes the result is the beginning of a love story that captures the internet’s attention. This is that kind of story… (LINK)