Weekly Social Pulse, Week of 12-3

Instagram Top 9: It’s that time of year to look back at your top performing Instagram posts and relive your year through a “Top 9” grid of the best photos. To get yours head over to TopNine.co, enter your email address, and tag your post #TopNine. What a year!

Elf on the Shelf Burnout: Thanks to Pinterest parenting, the bar for Elf on a Shelf pranks and stage design has reached a feverish peak in social media this year (even when you accidentally leave him in the oven). The pressure to delight not only your kiddos but also your social followers is prompting some to look for an alternate tradition — rooted in the new social behavior of opting out. It’s called Santa’s Lazy Gnome, and for $34 your family can get a plush little old man and book explaining that the gnome doesn’t need to be moved because he can see children from anywhere. No social sharing required! Priceless!

Glitch Chic on Insta: You may have noticed weird lines or glitchy photos on your friends’ feeds this week. Instagram confirmed it knows about the issues and is looking to rectify it. And because it’s the internet, some people are loving the glitched-out look. And also because it’s the internet, if you want to purposely glitch your photos check out the Glitche app.

Anatomy of an AI System: Wrapping your head around all of the systems a piece of new technology requires can be difficult – especially to see the full picture of what goes into making it and how it affects our life from sourcing materials to lifestyle benefits to global impact. To tell the story of Amazon Echo, two professors set out to map the human labor, data and planetary resources behind the A.I. assistant, and the resulting artwork, essay and microsite is a deep analysis of the beauty and drawbacks of the hottest holiday gift. You’ll never look at an Echo the same way again.

Amazon distribution centers

Spotify Wrapped: An analysis of 12-months of streaming can say a lot about a person, and Spotify is again helping you crunch your streaming data to see how your stacked up this year, including total minutes streamed, top artists and songs, top genres and even custom playlists based on your listening habits. See your analysis at SpotifyWrapped.com and share your results with #2018Wrapped.

Here’s what else is worth a skim this week…

  • This week Apple unveiled its list of the most downloaded iPhone apps of 2018. Topping the list is YouTube, followed by Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger and Facebook, with Bitmjoi falling to sixth place (it was #1 in 2017!).

Seven-year-old Ryan of YouTube fame has made it offline, too. The mini mogul now has a collection of toys and apparel sold at Walmart stores nationwide.