Social Pulse, Week of 8-10

Every week I keep tabs on what’s trending, new technology and consumer habits that impact the social web. These are summed up in a round-up called Social Pulse. Sign up to get this in your inbox every Friday here.

SocNet Updates: Pinterest added more inclusive features, including skin tone ranges. Twitter launched a new API and rolled out Tweet Reply controls to all users. Instagram Reels did not impress the NYT. TikTok added text to cover images. Citing that less than .1% of emails were opened, YouTube is reducing the notification emails it sends to users. Facebook added an informational link screen when users post COVID-19-related content. LinkedIn sold Slideshare. Apple kicked Fortnite off the app store (watch the 1984-inspired video!).


Where is Instagram Reels? If you had a hard time finding Instagram’s new TikTok clone last week, you weren’t alone. It’s not on the main Instagram page, but if you click the Explore tab you’ll find it. Probably. They’re now testing putting it in the primary navigation bar, similar to Facebook Watch. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up on the primary navigation bar in the coming months.


It’s like her eyes follow you: The Mona Lisa Effect uses your computer’s webcam and machine learning to enable the famous portrait to “watch” you and follow you as you move. Desktop only. Try it here!


Interactive Video Backgrounds > Your Boring Home: Giphy introduced Backdrop, which allows you to make your own animated video call backgrounds. Try it here.


15 Insanely Efficient Google Sheets Formulas for SEOs: The folks at Pigzilla curated a super helpful link of SEO templates here.


1st Recipients of Grants From the TikTok Creator Fund Worth a Follow: @lgndfrvr, @doctor.jesss, @onlyjayus, @acooknamedmatt, @justmaiko. See the rest here.


Minecraft for Chromebooks: As we head into a school year that will include a lot of social distance education, Microsoft announced Minecraft: Education Edition is coming to Chromebooks. The Education Edition is different from the standard game (requires a special license your school can purchase) and is full of STEM, biology, and other educational activities. This is a big deal as we think about screen time, accessibility, and new digital ways of educating young people in the current era.


Video Chat Prediction Circa 1918 Holds Up: “Telephot” (from the Greek tele-far, photos-light) was conceptualized prior to the adoption of television and “is an apparatus attachable to our present telephone system, so that when we speak to our distant friend, we may see his likeness not only as an immovable picture, but we will see his image exactly as we see our own image when looking into a mirror.” Check out pics here. Isn’t living in the future awesome?

App of the Week: Facebook Gaming finally launched in the iOS app store, even if it was void of actual games upon release. But upon closer look, it’s a quality app to watch Twitch-style gaming streams outside of the Facebook app or browser ecosystem. Download here.


Insta of the Week: @cats.in.paintings is well, cats in paintings. Speaking of, don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Cat Video Festival on Thursday, August 20th. Watch here.


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