Weekly Social Pulse, Week of 9-10

The Invisible Prank Challenge: In what may be the cruelest and/or funniest meme of the year, people are convincing children they can become invisible by putting a blanket over their heads, casting a “spell”, taking a photo where the kid clearly isn’t in the picture, and laughing as they melt down. We don’t condone it. But we may have laughed once or twice. It’s spreading quickly this week, but here’s the original that started it all (trigger warning – this is emotional!!).

Vertical Video Ads are Coming to YouTube: At Dmexco this week, YouTube announced they are introducing vertical video ads to let brands “provide a more seamless mobile experience” for viewers. Similar to Instagram and Snapchat, advertisers can now fill up that entire mobile screen when users are viewing content on YouTube’s mobile app. With more than 70% of YouTube watch time happening on mobile devices (and the popularity of vertical format for user-uploaded videos), we’re thrilled for this change and excited to make creative for this space.

Your Instagram is More Secure than State Department Emails: Like many apps and email programs, Instagram allows users to use two-factor authentication (e.g., SMS text code when you log-in) to reduce their risk of being hacked. According to a General Service Administration assessment of federal cybersecurity the US State Department is using even less security for sensitive government correspondence. The Department is required to answer by Oct. 12 and explain what actions it will take in response to its designation by the Department of State’s Inspector General as “high risk” for its lack of cyber preparedness. Do you have two-factor authentication enabled on your Instagram account? If not, update it!

Photo illustration of Instagram opened up on smartphone with lock over it.

A Bot Wrote This Insane Morrissey Song Using Amazon Reviews of P90X: In a masterpiece of music and peak physical fitness, a Seattle-based startup used a predictive text generator to combine Amazon reviews of the P90X Home Workout DVD System with Morrissey lyrics (“I’ve gotten bored with this desire to get ripped” and “I’m so sickened oh my god it really works”). The result is an A.I.-sub-pop-art-masterpiece that’s actually quite catchy called “Bored With This Desire to Get Ripped.”

Your Next Favorite Podcast: Over seven episodes of “Inside Jaws,” podcaster Mark Ramsey takes listeners through a narrative journey of the early days of Steven Spielberg’s childhood, career and his work on Jaws. But it’s not just a documentary – it’s an extremely well produced narrative that puts the story of Jaws into context with Spielberg’s rise to fame, the public fear of killer shark attacks, and more. Listen to Inside Jaws on WonderyApple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, and TuneIn. But stay out of the water!