Social Pulse, Week of 3-16

Social Traffic & News Consumption is Up: As one would think, social media consumption is skyrocketing during this time of social distancing. TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and probably every other social medium is up. And despite the concerns they may have about tech companies’ ability to act as a reliable information source, more than half (55%) of US adults got news from social media often or sometimes in 2019, up from 47% in 2018, per Pew Research Center. And “coronavirus influencers” are emerging.

COVID-19 Resources: Here’s a running tally of companies that are making extended efforts during the COVID-19 (Google Doc) and a collection of free resources to elevate your career during a time of change. Snap is rolling out its “Here For You” mental health tool early.

We Live in Zoom Now: As the world starts sheltering in place, we’ll see an explosion of virtual work tools, live broadcasts and mobile streaming utilization. The NYT writes, “We Live in Zoom Now” (which by the way Zoom is now worth more than Uber). Microsoft Teams usage is up 40 percent in a week. Mo Willems is hosting daily Lunch Doodles on YouTube. Even celebrities are going live on social, some daily. And here are some tips to look better on those Zoom calls.

Netflix Party: Check out this Google Chrome extension called Netflix Party that lets you and your friends connect virtually to watch a show together and chat. Go to and follow the instructions.

Virtual VR Conferences Growing in Popularity: This week HTC held a conference in virtual reality that had 2,000 registrants from 55 countries to gather in VR. “Participants say they could shake hands and hug in the virtual environment…”

Insta Updates: Instagram is putting a hold on reviewing new AR lenses, so new “What ____ are you?” story filters won’t be added anytime soon.They are also testing out a new ‘Mirror’ camera mode which splits your screen into varying types of reflected views in Instagram Stories.

2020 Tech Trends: Amy Webb’s annual tech trends report wasn’t shared at SXSW this week, so she dropped it online this week. Key trends include: our homes producing digital emissions, everyone alive today is being scored, augmented hearing and sight, and more. Download it here.

Switch to New Facebook: The new desktop redesign for Facebook is rolling out this week, and it offers dark mode! On desktop, go to the Settings Menu -> “See New Facebook.” To disable it, just go back and select “Switch to Classic Facebook.” Just like every other major Facebook design overhaul, you will probably hate the new design, and then adjust.