Social Pulse, Week of 1-13

E-Boys are a Thing: If you’ve spent any time on TikTok, you may have noticed the trend of semi-good looking young people making dumb videos with millions of views. They are e-boys – the boy bands of the 2020s, with way better style and minus the actual singing. Key quote: “E-girl and e-boy style takes inspiration from skate culture, hip-hop, anime, cosplay, BDSM, goth, and the ’90s; the e-boy look often involves decorative chains and Chandler Bing polos underneath a mop of middle-parted hair dyed shades of purple or green.”

Instagram DM’s Coming to Desktop: As Facebook continues to focus on the consumer pivot to messaging, now Instagram is testing adding direct messages and DM notifications to the desktop experience. Using Instagram in a web browser has never been fully supported, and this would be a welcome change for community managers and influencers. It’s a limited test for now, but we expect this will roll out broadly this year.

Pinterest Tops Snapchat: Pinterest surpassed Snapchat as the third-largest social media network in the US in a recent report from eMarketer that predicts Pinterest will “continue to stay ahead of Snapchat in the coming years.” Key quote: “While Snapchat has a young core audience that it caters to, Pinterest has a more universal appeal, and it’s made significant gains in a wide range of age groups.” Of note for this study, it doesn’t factor TikTok, which is on track to surpass both, and has more time spen than Amazon Prime.

Facebook Says No Ads in WhatsApp: For years Facebook has been working to integrate advertising in WhatsApp, which has angered users and caused the creators to resign. Now we’re hearing the team charged with building that product has been disbanded and the code has been removed from the app. Facebook still ultimately aims to integrate ads into WhatsApp’s Status feature, but for now, the app will remain ad-free.

App of the Week: Want to wake up to gentle chirps and cheeps from gentle birds in the morning? Of course you do! Check out the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s new app, Dawn Chorus (iOS, Android), which uses real bird audio files from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Tweet Dreams.

New Tik Tok-like Instagram Features: This week Instagram introduced three new Boomerang effects and a video trimming option, in an effort to catch up with (and copy) TikTok. These include SloMo, Echo, and Duo. Update your app and try them out!

Does VR Hurt Our Memory? A new Japanese study is suggesting virtual reality may inhibit effective formation of visual memories, and in some contexts could result in poor educational results. It could be that active VR gives the user more time to look around and less time to focus (and thus remember) compared to fixed experiences. However, one hypothesis concludes that “the enhanced immersion in active VR presents the brain with a greater cognitive load, ultimately inhibiting effective visual memory formation.” Will be interesting to see how this study plays out.

There Is A Downloadable Ios Keyboard You Can Download For Your Phone That Capitalizes Every Letter. You Can Download It Here.

Spotify Playlists for Pets: Citing a study that 71% of Spotify users play music for their pets but only about half said they think their pet likes the same type of music that they do, Spotify launched a feature that blends your streaming habits with your pet’s personality. As long as that pet is a dog, cat, iguana, hamster or bird. Try it here.