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.
Young Tech Rises: Young people in Silicon Valley are organizing as a “kind of counterpoint to the Silicon Valley establishment, which its members say is exclusive, elitist and riddled with systemic problems including sexism, ageism and racism.” This includes Gen Z Mafia (creators of Tweetledee, where you can match with your Twitter crush), Eye Mouth Eye (creators of 👁👄👁 that raised money for criminal justice reform), and more. Look for more of this trend as the next generation comes into the tech industry.
Blaseball > Baseball? Real sports are finally back, but that hasn’t stopped the latest season of Blaseball. It’s an online baseball simulation full of fake teams, fake players, and fake betting on virtual games acting out a baseball season – with games every day and post-season on Saturdays. Even if it’s fake baseball with fake wagering, there’s a huge subculture of fandom, fan art, fan fiction, and more emerging for teams with names like Kansas City Breath Mints and Seattle Garages. Sign up here and get in the game!
Hoax of the Week: If you’ve seen your Facebook friends posting sketchy legalese that says something like “Don’t forget tomorrow starts the new Facebook rule where they can use your photo” it’s simply not true. Variations of this have been going around for more than 8 years, and posting statement on your feed will do nothing to invalidate the user agreement you sign to use the platform. If you’re not up for a comment fight when you see these, be sure to report these posts as “False News” so they don’t spread further. And no, Facebook won’t alert your great uncle it was you that reported it.
Smart Glasses > Dumb Glasses: Every major tech company — including Amazon, Apple, Google, Intel, Snap, and Microsoft – are working on smart glasses. Here’s a review of the new Amazon Echo Frames. And this week Facebook shared a first look at their prototype, in partnership with Ray-Ban. We’re entering this really interesting mid-step in smart glasses consumer tech. The pre-AR phase.
Body Positivity Comes to TikTok: There has always been an undercurrent of authenticity backlash to the “success theater” of perfect faces, bodies, and homes on social media. Lately, this trend is bubbling to the surface through a renewed body positivity movement on TikTok. Key quote: “They’re showing what a normal body looks like, and none of us are really used to seeing that in the media. … When we see these sorts of videos online, social media, they’re kind of breaking the illusion that everyone is perfect except us.” Here’s a list of body positive accounts to follow.
5 Leadership Reads of the Week: 1) Your surge capacity is depleted – here’s what to do about it. 2) Intelligent Minds Like Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos Embrace the Rule of Awkward Silence. You Should Too. 3) 14 Tech Trends To Watch Closely In 2020. 4) The internet of protest is being built on single-page websites. 5) We’re All Socially Awkward Now.
Patents of the Week: Would you pay $2 to put links in your Instagram posts? Facebook has filed for a patent for that. Although patent filings aren’t a guarantee that new technology will come to fruition, they give us a hint of where we may be headed. Other recent patents of note include: Apple headphones, electronic yarn, watching eSports in VR, and joining meetings on Xbox.
Stream of the Week: The Social Dilemma on Netflix is required watching for any marketer who touches social media or anyone who uses social media (so… everybody?). Former leaders at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Mozilla share the history and purpose of algorithms, advertising strategy, infinite scroll, and the Like button. After watching, read through this intelligent critique of many of the assertions made by the filmmakers.
- Facebook and Instagram are adding new features to celebrate Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Instagram is adding automatic captions for IGTV.
- The Oculus Quest 2 was announced this week. It is a phenomenal VR headset for the price. Put this on your holiday wish list!
- Apple’s big launch this week included the new Apple Watch Series SE, Series 6, iPad Air and 8th-Gen iPad.
- Iron Man’s Stark Industries has come to Fortnite, which means Fortnite has become the best way to immerse yourselves in the Marvel universe – not Disney+, the theater or even Disney’s theme parks.
- TikTok reached a deal that would give Oracle oversight of U.S. operations, although the U.S. and Chinese governments both need to approve.
- Pinterest released their latest insights of user behavior, which show Pinners continue to reflect on personal growth, improvements and mental wellness, with significant spikes in ‘positivity.’
- Many celebs are pausing their use of Facebook and Instagram in the latest phase of the #StopHateForProfit digital protest.
- YouTube is testing its Shorts product in India, a TikTok clone.
- And…. Does your state flag have toes?