Social Pulse, Week of 8-19

The Cut and Paste Chain Letter Hoax is Back: This week a number of celebrities and social media users once again cut and pasted a legal-esque disclaimer to their feeds to supposedly protect their information from imminent changes to social network policies. Wired Magazine dug into Why People Keep Falling for Viral Hoaxes: “These sorts of hoaxes have staying power because of the peculiar way people process information and arrive at beliefs. When confronted with new information, humans don’t always do the logical thing and evaluate it on its own merits… Instead, we often make snap decisions based on how the information adheres with our existing worldviews. If the story pushed by a meme or hoax fits in a way that feels like a coherent narrative to a critical mass of people, it’s game over.” The New York Times pointed out maybe we fall for this because we don’t trust the networks nor read their terms to start with: “The same services we use to spread false information depend on web of rules that are so rarely read, and a set of “agreements” that are so cartoonishly lopsided, they may as well be made up. Online, we live in a world defined and ruled by what feel like magic words. What else are we supposed to post about?” Starting with is a start.

VTubers: Virtual YouTubers (aka VTubers) are digital avatars with human traits that are active on YouTube, sing and dance at live performances, and answer questions on webcasts. According to the WSJ, VTubers are so embedded in Japanese culture that one of them serves as a face of the Japanese government’s tourism campaign. And another presented earnings results for game-site operator Gree Inc. in August last year, informing investors that “we will aggressively invest in strengthening our three earnings pillars.” One of Sony Music Entertainment’s latest pop sensations is a VTuber called Kaguya Luna. Her first single, “Beyond the Moon,” made it to No. 3 on iTunes in Japan. She has almost a billion followers on YouTube and extremely popular music videos.

Google Search: According to SEO expert Rand Fishkin, we’ve passed a milestone in Google’s evolution from search engine to walled-garden. In June of 2019, for the first time, a majority of all browser-based searches on resulted in zero-clicks. Instead, users are getting the answers they need on the results display page. What should marketers do about that trend? 1) Find ways to get value from zero-click searches. 2) Seek out keywords whose results have higher click-through rate opportunity. 3) Get your content optimized on Google’s own properties (YouTube, Maps, Images, AMP, Knowledge Panels, etc.).

TikTok News of the Week: This week TikTok launched a new feature called Hashtag Challenge Plus that allows users to shop for products associated with a sponsored challenge without leaving the app. Kroger was the first to try it. Meanwhile TikTok raised funds for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) by donating $1 for every video posted tagged with #PetBFF initiative. And if you’re not already, you need to follow Jerry the Duck. Jerry!!

Studies of the Week: According to recent studies… Your brain doesn’t recharge if you use your phone on break. Sensory contact with nature can improve your overall well-being and mental health. And false memories can be created after seeing fabricated news stories, especially if those stories align with political beliefs.

Tweet of the Week: @Year_Progress tweets an ongoing visual progression of how much time has elapsed of the year 2019. Spoiler: it’s 64% today. There’s a version of this for the Trump Presidential term, too.

YouTube’s Virtual Try-Ons: You have to try this! The new AR Beauty Try-On tool is now live in the YouTube mobile app. It lets you try on MAC lipstick while following along with beauty vlogger Roxette Arisa. Here’s how to try it: 1) In the YouTube mobile app, search for this video: Golden Goddess Makeup Tutorial using all my Holy Grail MAC products. 2) Tap Try it on. 3) Give YouTube access to your camera. 4) Pucker up!