Social Pulse, Week of 10-7

Google’s Frightgeist: Google Trends has compiled a collection of Halloween-based search trends, including the most-searched Halloween costumes, including groups, couples, babies and even pets. The number one result for baby costumes? Banana.

Experience Wars: As companies work to automate their back-end technology and build in-store experiences worth sharing for customers, it’s important not to lose touch with the human element throughout. According to PwC’s Customer Experience Research, shoppers will continue to crave human interaction —  with a global average of 75% of people saying they will want to interact with a real person more as technology improves.

Pinterest Academy: This week Pinterest launched a new set of online courses, including classes on Pinterest Narrative, Creative Inspiration, Creative Strategy, Campaign Objectives, and Targeting and Buying. These new e-learning courses complement other good e-learning resources from the social giants, including Facebook Blueprint, Google Skill Shop, and Amazon’s Learning Console.  

Every week I keep tabs on what’s trending, new technology and consumer habits that impact the social web. These are summed up in a round-up called Social Pulse. Read on!

Instagram Updates: This week Instagram killed the Following Tab, and launched a new Insta Stories camera format and “Create Mode” that replaces Type and makes all the creative camera tools more readily available.

Doggone Tech: Wired Magazine is exploring the rise of technology – like nose-activated vests and touchscreens — to help dogs communicate better with humans. Key quote: “Dogs have already proven to be rapid and enthusiastic learners of touchscreen technology… Other researchers have used touchscreens to determine if dogs can discriminate between emotional expressions in human faces. With continuing research into dogs interacting with screens, it may not be long before your dog is asking (via her pleading eyes or a talking vest) for an iPad of her own.”

App of the Week: TokoToko is an augmented reality story-driven game where you play with cute animals and interact with them by drawing trap doors, flowers and sailboat sails on real paper and then use your phone to have them come alive. It’s pretty fun to see these little animals interact with your drawings. Try it here.

Podcast of the Week: Michael Lewis has a super interesting new podcast about the challenges of “adjudicating fairness” in our current age, using NBA referees as a metaphor for what’s happening across our culture writ large. It’s called Against the Rules and you can listen here.