Social Pulse, Week of July 29

Social Network Updates: This week Snap and Twitter started running separate but simultaneous ad campaigns with a common theme: You aren’t your true self when you use Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is funding research to decode spoken dialog from brain activity. Senator Josh Hawley proposed legislation to prohibit social media companies from exploiting users through addictive features like autoplay, badges for engagement, and infinite scroll. And people are emailing Snapchat because they desperately don’t want to lose their Snapstreaks. And at the same time Instagram is exploring  around hiding Likes, new research shows young people are converting their personal accounts to business accounts to maintain their access to analytics.

Facebook TV: The rumor mill this week says Facebook is preparing its own Apple TV-like set top box, codenamed Catalina, set to debut this fall. Reports say Facebook has been speaking with Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO as streaming partners. Similar to the Facebook Portal, this TV hardware would enable video calls for Messenger and Whatsapp users, and potentially integrate Portal’s amazing camera that follows you as you walk around the room. Facebook will be challenged by privacy concerns, however. Especially putting cameras in consumer living rooms.

Peppa Everywhere: If you’re seeing Peppa Pig memes everywhere, that’s because people are spreading Peppa Pig Memes everywhere. First she released an album, then her original height leaked out, and now “Peppaaaaa, what are doing in my……” vocal fry memes are taking over TikTok.

Livestreaming Comes to Mourning: In a culture where we can stream anything, people are starting to ask what we shouldn’t stream. Funerals, for starters, are not on the list. In fact, Wired Magazine reports an estimate that nearly 20% of US funeral homes now offer livestreaming of memorial services.

TikTok Adds Giphy Export Integration: TikTok is where memes start right now (hello Old Town Road!) and the emerging social network is currently #1 in entertainment and #12 download popularity on iOS (#8 on Android). This week they made a big move that will further grow its impact, by integrating with Giphy to add stickers into the platform AND to allow users to create new GIFs for Giphy based on TikTok. Look for TikTok’s impact on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and pop culture overall to continue its exponential growth.

Twitter of the Week: @EmojiMashupBot tries to create new emojis out of two or three random emojis. The results can be hilarious.

Podcast of the Week: Carrier is a new podcast-meets-radio-drama starring Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Cynthia Erivo. It chronicles the story of a female, African American truck driver hauling a mystery load across the rural Midwest. The production makes use of immersive and stereo mixing techniques to suck the viewer into the story unlike your typical audio book. Headphones are highly recommended! Listen here!

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