Social Pulse, Week of 3-18

This week Instagram introduced Checkout, allowing users to buy products directly through the app. Look for brands testing this service in the coming weeks, including: @adidaswomen, @adidasoriginals, @burberry, @kyliecosmetics, @maccosmetics, @niketraining, @nikewomen, @warbyparker and @zara.

Myspace lost all the music its users uploaded between 2003 and 2015, and we bet you didn’t notice. But it’s still sad when it comes to such a loss in archiving our digital breadcrumbs. Key quote from BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow: “Someday, this will happen to Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. Don’t trust the platforms to archive your data.”

Image result for myspace logo

Google launched its big foray into the $140B gaming industry with Stadia, a console-less gaming platform that will be streaming-based and work across devices. Check out this 3.5 minute recap of Google’s Stadia announcement.

Researches made A.I. software that makes its own software, and it’s better than humans can make! Specifically, the Google Brain artificial intelligence research group had software design a machine-learning system to take a test used to benchmark software that processes language. What it came up with surpassed previously published results from software designed by humans. According to MIT, the idea of creating software that learns to learn has been around for a while, but previous experiments didn’t produce results that rivaled what humans could create. Meanwhile, check out the JS Bach Google Doodle, complete with A.I.-based harmonizing!

As people get more concerned about privacy and being “friends” on social media who aren’t really your friends, Basement launches a social network that is restricted to just 20 people who matter in your life. Will it suffer the same fate as Path? We’ll see. Download it here.

This week in Podcasts we’re digging Stay Free: The Story of the Clash (narrated by Chuck D) and Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, particularly his interview with Michelle Obama.

Bird Punk is apparently a growing subculture. Kudos to the Audubon Society for working in a history of punk, including Queercore and Anarcho-punk, into an article linked from “How to Make Hummingbird Nectar.”

It turns out that weird Florida news stories make for a pretty viral meme. Simply Google “Florida man” with your birthdate (month and day) and see what you get. Then share it with your friends!

Mike Isaac writes in the NYT that email newsletters are his new favorite social media killer. We’re seeing this as a trend across the board when it comes to creating 1:many strategies outside of social media algorithms. Key quote: “The newsletter is not a new phenomenon. But there is a growing interest among those who are disenchanted with social media in what the writer Craig Mod has called ‘the world’s oldest networked publishing platform.’ For us, the inbox is becoming a more attractive medium than the news feed.”

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