Social Pulse, Week of 7-22

Twitter Adds Retweet Options: This week Twitter added the ability to both Retweet and Retweet with Comment to public and verified accounts. Meanwhile, the creator of the Retweet says the function is like “handing a four-year-old a loaded weapon.”

Chinese Vertical Dramas Show the Future of Mobile Video: “Vertical Dramas” are what Chinese producers call their scripted content made especially for vertical mobile play. Episodes are typically 2-5 minutes and are written to deliver each plot-point or punchline as quickly as possible to ensure viewers will finish an episode or series. They also make use of the vertical-first format for characters’ internal dialogues, split screens and captions to add to the story. You can see a good example in this sketch comedy show called Arg Director.

These YouTubers are Out Standing in Their Field (Literally): This week PRNews wrote a provocative piece called Why YouTube Can Be More Profitable For Farmers Than Agriculture that shares the rise of “Agvocates” in rural areas — where YouTube is more popular than other social media. The piece highlights farmers who making big bucks as YouTubers, like Zach Johnson, Suzanne Cook and John Draper. For example, this video called “Tractor Stuck in the Mud” has 1.2 million views!

Facebook Engagement Upswing + Holiday Season Planning: Despite privacy scandals and an aging user base, average US Facebook users increased their engagement from 6 comments, 9 post likes and 13 ads clicked on Jan. 3 to 8 comments, 13 post likes and 17 ads clicked on July 18, according to Audience Insights. The company saw similar growth across its global user base. Meanwhile, it’s never too early to start planning for the holidays. Check out Facebook’s Holiday Season Insights Tool here.

👏💻💁‍: New research in the Wall Street Journal this week says we should be using emoji at work. Our brains 🧠 register emoji and real faces similarly. They can be helpful for visually annotating dense threads and email 📧. And they communicate context that we can’t always perceive in text. 😹 💩

Famous Birthdays is the new Tiger Beat: This week The Atlantic shared that the website “Famous Birthdays” has become a go-to database of teen culture—and is ushering in a whole new generation of stars. “Despite its name, the site contains more than just birthdays—it’s more like a constantly updated, highly detailed map  of who matters to the teen internet, featuring a mix of biographical information, photos, videos, rankings, and detailed statistics on every social media star you could think of…. ‘They have everything you want to know about everyone who is important,’ said Grace, a 14-year-old in St. Louis.” Check out today’s birthdays from “celebrities” you may not know (but lots of teens do!): Yonstar, Carson Lueders and Ariis Munoz.  

Netflix Pick of the Week: This week Netflix debuted The Great Hack, which focuses on how a data company named Cambridge Analytica came to symbolize the dark side of social media in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but also raises broader questions about privacy, social networking, and our collective future. Worth a stream this weekend!

Instagram of the Week: Since 2013, Italian artist @ __remmidemmi has been posted a photo series called _IN EXTREMIS (bodies with no regret), with each photo featuring someone in a state of complete bodily collapse but lots of clues around them to tell the story of who the person is and what happened to them.

YouTube Pick of the Week: The SpongeBob SquarePants Theme Song, slowed by 800% is completely horrifying. And you should send probably send it to your friends.