Social Pulse, Week of 9-23

Insta of the Week: Artist and shape-shifting photographer @cindysherman shares self-portraits and selfies that push the boundaries of self-obsession on Instagram. Follow her here.

Gen Z Loves Instagram Ads: VidMob’s survey of Instagram users indicates that the platform’s shoppable ads are generating a solid rate of direct sales for advertisers. About 60% followed a new brand after seeing an ad in its vertical feed or in Stories, and more than one-third of survey respondents said they had bought something directly from an Instagram ad. See the survey results here.

Twitter Questions, Curated: Twitter is becoming a platform where people find incredible value by simply asking questions. And then scrolling through the thousands of answers. Really Good Questions is a hand curated library of those questions, like What’s an overlooked subject that everyone should know more about? or What advice would you give your 23 year old self? or What’s the #1 thing that blocks your creativity?

Buzzword of the Week = Techlash: Based on a recent study from the American Marketing Association New York, marketers face a growing backlash against technology — or “techlash” — with 80% of Americans and 62% of Chinese consumers saying in a survey that they fear the loss of privacy. The report showed a digital disconnect” from consumers by not taking their concerns about technology seriously enough. What’s the solution? Transparency. Proactive communication. And avoiding the creepy factor all of the good data customization can afford.

Amazon Updates: This week Amazon launched a number of hardware and software updates, including: Echo Frames smart glasses with Alexa built in, .99 cent voices like Samuel Jackson for Alexa, frustration detection, auto-delete privacy functions, multi-lingual mode, new Echo bud earbuds, and a $250 smart oven.  

Podcast of the Week: Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway’s weekly “Pivot” podcast is a must-listen for us geeks who love following what’s going on with the technorati and how trends of the day relate to culture. Last week’s bonus episode focused complete on Amazon and Galloway’s prediction that Amazon Web Services (often called AWS) would spin off from Amazon and become one of the largest companies in the world by itself. AWS is the biggest cloud computing platform in the world, and the thinking is that Amazon wouldn’t lose much market share by the two companies splitting. Considering Kara and Scott predicted the demise of the WeWork valuation, it’s probably worth putting their podcast on your rotation.

App of the Week: The Anura app uses a 30 second selfie video to track blood flow changes using transdermal optic imagery, pulling blood pressure and stress levels supposedly within 99% accuracy. Pretty cool use of a selfie!