Soon Every Facebook Photo could be a 3D Photo: This week Facebook introduced the ability to add 3D affects to 2D photos, something that previously only worked with newer iPhone photos shot in portrait mode. So now any lens camera can be used to create 3D effects, even front-facing selfies. Here’s a deep, nerdy look at the back-end technology that makes his magic possible. This functionality will be rolling out to users in the coming weeks.
Stories Coming to Twitter: Ephemeral media has moved from Snapchat to Instagram to Facebook to Whatsapp, and now Twitter. They are tweets that disappear after 24 hours called “Fleets,” and Twitter is testing them in Brazil. Fleets can’t receive Likes, Replies or Retweets. They won’t show up in Search or Moments and can’t be embedded on an external website. The Brazilian test will run for a few months before Twitter decides to expand it to other markets.
Gen Z Really Trusts Influencers: Almost half (44%) of Generation Z has made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from a social influencer, compared with 26% of the general population, says a new Kantar consumer study. Seventy percent of Gen Zers follow at least one influencer on platforms like YouTube or Instagram, and 87% said they follow at least one influencer whose race or ethnicity is different from their own. See the full study here.
Patents of the Week: Tracking where big companies are putting their efforts is a great way to see where things *may* be headed, even if some of these never come to fruition. For example, Amazon has a patent that would have Alexa correct kids’ grammar, telling them the proper way to ask their question. Google has a patent that would make Google Assistant more prone to idle small talk. Facebook and Microsoft have patents for VR gloves that let you “feel” virtual reality using haptic technology. Apple has a patent that would enable you to still control your phone if it was fully submerged (imagine 100% waterproof iPhones!). See more here.
Song Machine: Gorillaz is doing some really creative things with their Song Machine project. Dropping semi-regular content (almost like a podcast series) across Spotify, YouTube, Amazon and more, the band is reinventing how fans experience their music across formats. The full length singles come with full music videos featuring the animated band spliced with footage of the musicians in the studio (Episode 1, Episode 2). But some of the tracks are more like a comedy album, with short form tracks, phone calls and jokes. It’s quite entertaining and has opened the creative boundaries of what you would expect from a band in 2020. Watch/Listen here.
Fresh Prince Deepfake: To celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, a voice actor made this deep fake video of the theme song with seamless transitions from Will Smith to Obama to Chadwick Bozeman to Trump to Arnold to Christopher Walken and more.
The Future of 5 Minute, Vertical-First TV Shows: “Quibi has loomed on the content horizon, promising that, when its app launches this spring, it will be a home to a huge library of short-form shows made specifically for your phone. But Snapchat has been operating in that space for years.” Unfortunately, none of the Snap TV shows are can’t-miss. So far. Read about how they’re produced.
Happy Anniversary, Escaped Llamas + “The Dress”: Read the oral history of one of the most viral weeks in 2019. Key quotes: “One thing I’ve seen is more people who I don’t normally see as part of internet meme culture sharing viral stories quicker than ever before. Even my grandma — even she wants to be part of these things… The best thing about The Dress is you didn’t need to fact-check it — it’s just your opinion.”
App of the Week: Jadu lets you “duet” with AR hologram musicians in your own music video.
Website of the Week: Sideways Dictionary explains terms via analogies instead of definitions.
Insta of the Week: @hikingferret is Oliver the hiking ferret. He’s a ferret. Who goes on hikes.