The 100 Memes That Defined The 2010s: Here’s a rabbit hole worth going down. It’s a Buzzfeed roundup that took three reporters ten years to write. From planking to icing, What Does the Fox Say? to Harlem Shake, Double Rainbow to deep-fried memes, there are SO MANY amazing cultural and socially-shareable moments that happened in the last decade. Give yourself a good 30 minutes to get through this article.
The Age of Instagram Face: The New Yorker writes about the plastic surgery phenomenon of trying to achieve the “FaceTuned” look of a perfect social media selfie.
The Top 12 Amazon Patents of 2019: reporter Jonathan Capriel went deep on Amazon’s patent filings from 2019 and came up with this list of the most interesting Amazon patents of the year, including: a patent for a drone that deploys a balloon as it delivers packages to increase buoyancy and reduce noise; a patent that uses cameras to sense microexpressions on a customer’s face in an Amazon Go store to know if they need assistance; a patent to project a users’ nose in a VR headset to reduce queasiness; and a patent to launch repair drones out of a moving train. The future is going to be awesome!
Troll Your Cat With This Snapchat Filter: This week people are using a cat-faced Snapchat filter to test their cats’ cognition, which is startling low considering how smart cats are. Key quote: “It appears the cat recognizes that their owner’s face should be on the phone, but it is not… Because there’s not much research on cat cognition, we don’t know how cats interact with screens, or how they would perceive the properties of screens…”
Facebook’s 2020 Topics and Trends Report: Podcasts have exploded. Flexitarian diets are on the rise. And baths are moving back into the American mainstream as people embrace different forms of self-care. All of these insights from Facebook IQ’s 2020 Topics and Trends Report, which you can download via PDF here.
Please Work: There’s an emerging meme format leveraging Twitter’s minimized thumbnail photos and gifs that can combine for some hilarious and thumb-stopping effects. But it’s not an exact science, and thus why people are using the copy “Please work” when publishing them. See a roundup here.
Layout on Instagram: As rumored, this week Instagram launched the ability to capture and share multiple photos in an Insta Story natively in the app. Although not as powerful as third-party apps, being included in the native app will increase scale and utility for most users.
Real-Time Translation on Your Phone Right Now: The updated Google Assistant app for iOS and Android includes a new “Interpreter Mode” that brings real-time translation to your phone. It’s truly revolutionary, and you have to try it out! Download Google Assistant. Open the app and tell it the language you want it to translate (e.g., “Hey Google, be my Spanish translator”). It’s amazing.
App of the Week: Photo Roulette picks random photos from you and your friends’ phones, and then you compete to guess whose photo is shown. Just be sure there aren’t any photos in your Camera Roll you don’t want share! Download it here.
“Alexa, change the subject!” Some pseudo-pop-research released by Amazon this week says 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Day is the time when family arguments are most likely to break out. So they’ve released a feature that prompts Alexa to step in with a “distraction technique.” Just say “Alexa, change the subject,” and the virtual assistant will offer an ice breaker or non-political conversation starter. You’re welcome in advance.