Voice Memos and Countdowns come to Instagram: This week Instagram launched voice messaging – bringing the emerging voice memo behavior to direct message groups. They also launched a Countdown Sticker option in the sticker menu. Just set date, time (or all-day), and your followers can subscribe to your countdown event, which will send out a reminder the countdown is complete. Bravo is already using Countdowns, promoting this weekend’s Vanderpump Rules episode.
Facebook Watch #’s Growing: This week Facebook announced that its video platform “Watch” has more than 400 million monthly users, with 75 million daily visitors who watch more than 20 minutes. It’s a small percentage given the number of active Facebook users, but demonstrates growth on the dedicated video platform worth noting. According to Axios, Facebook says that the criteria used to determine whether someone is a daily active visitor of its product is by measuring whether a user spends at least one minute on the “Watch” platform per day, but those 60 seconds do not need to be consecutive. Video consumption on Facebook is growing, albeit slowly.
YouTube Rewind = Massive Fail: In just over a week since releasing YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls the Rewind, the year-end round-up video of 2018 trends has over 129 million views and 11 million dislikes. This makes it the fastest and most-disliked video in the site’s history, which is pretty bad considering YouTube produced it themselves. Business Insider has a round-up of the other most-disliked videos of all-time — including Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” “Despacito” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”
Snapchat Testing Even More New Features: Snapchat is testing Portrait Mode, Batch Capture and charms, which are new ways to identify your friendship groups. Most of these are similar to features that already exist in Instagram, which is the exact opposite of how the two social networks have copied each other in recent years. The Next Web has details on the new Snap features here.
The American Meme: This week we binged Netflix’s The American Meme, featuring influencers like The Fat Jewish, Kirill, Brittany Furlan and Paris Hilton sharing their successes and struggles at building a personal brand through social media. It’s worth a watch, if only to see how Paris and The Fat Jewish scheme to create demand for fake products in the era of fake news. And while it’s not surprise that living your life online isn’t all bling and likes and champaign, the documentary does capture some darker moments and actually had us feeling the feelings for these manufactured personalities. LIKE.
Other news this week…
- Netflix shared its 2018 Year in Review data, with romantic comedies and the actors who star in them topping multiple lists.
- This New York Times story on mobile location tracking is raising visibility to the opt-in tracking culture and how that data is sold to advertisers.
- We’ve been loving the “Secret History of the Future Podcast” and highly recommend this episode on the adoption of the fork, why Google Glass wasn’t adopted, and why Americans just can’t get excited about Japanese toilets.
- Roger the ripped kickboxing kangaroo passed away this week, and MEL Magazine has a feature on the unrealistic body standards the media coverage of Roger and his huge muscles propagated. RIP Roger.
- Tens of thousands of people are posting videos of them eating chalk on Instagram in some kind of weird new ASMR trend. Ugh.
- A baby bobcat kitten being released by wildlife officials swept social this week. It’s a must-watch. Long live Mr. Murderbritches!