Social Pulse, Week of 3-23

Instagram Co-Watching: This week Instagram launched a new feature called Co-Watching, which will let you browse posts with your friends over in-app video chat. Try it by starting a video chat through the Instagram Direct messaging tab and tapping the photo icon in the bottom left of the video chat screen. It lets you look at saved, liked, and recommended posts together as a group. Instagram is also testing a Snapchat-style disappearing messaging.


Writing Effective Tweet Copy: Twitter creative lead Joe Wadlington is back sharing tips for writing tweets. This time = less is more, and use whitespace wisely. See his previous tweet-writing exercises here and here.


Pinterest Today: Last weekend saw Pinterest’s highest period of activity to-date, with more searches and saves of Pins on the platform than any other weekend, ever. Those searches included a 32x increase in searches for homeschool schedule, 4x increase in self-care checklist and 155 percent increase in searches for freezer meals. Pinterest has fast-tracked the launch of the Today tab, a source of daily inspiration with curated topics and trending Pin that will show popular ideas based on what’s going on in the world and what people are searching for.


SD > HD during COVID-19: This week YouTube joined Netflix, Apple and others in reducing broadband burdens by reducing streaming quality for users around the world. By default, videos will start playing in standard definition (480p) quality, according to Bloomberg. People who want to watch videos in high definition can still do so, but they must manually select that option.


Skeuomorphism: This week’s Quartz Obsession focused on skeuomorphs, or iconography that represents what was once a necessary physical feature on older versions of that device (e.g., yellow notepads for notes; email has a physical envelope; save has a floppy disk). With the increase of digital-first design, skeuomorphism is still important to connect our physical past with our digital future. Read it here.


Stream–10 Non-Obvious Megatrends Changing The World: Author Rohit Bhargava shared his SXSW keynote virtually this week, based on his book: Non-Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss, Predict Trends and Win the Future. Stream it here.


Podcast of the Week: In a special episode of “The Daily,” Kevin Roose, a tech reporter for The Times, shares what he’s realized after a week in self-isolation: The internet has become kinder. From virtual birthday parties and singalongs, to happy hours and yoga classes, people are pulling together on the internet, in real time, all over the world. It’s only 6 minutes long and exactly what we need to hear right now.


Apps of the Week: Group video chat apps like Marco Polo and Houseparty are experiencing a huge boom in the era of social distancing. Both are vertical-first video socnets that have been around for years but are just now hitting their utilized stride. Your parents are probably on Marco Polo already, and Houseparty adds trivia and interactive games to the social sharing experience.


Insta of the Week: @uscpsc is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Instagram account, and it’s way better than the typical baby seat recalls you’re used to seeing from them. Instead, they use memes and characters like Quinn the Quarantine Fox, Bertie the Safe Sleep Toucan, and Handsome Ron to promote product safety. And yes, your tax dollars are funding this.


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