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.
Get Your Instagram Birthday Icons: To celebrate its 10th birthday, Instagram added an Easter egg to the app that lets you change its home screen icon to the classic Polaroid-style camera icon, Pride rainbow, monochrome, and more. The app update also includes a private map and archive of your stories from the past three years. To unlock these icons, go to Settings and pull the whole menu DOWN. Here’s a quick video demo.
Stories and More Stories: From Snapchat to Instagram and Facebook to Linked, the “Stories” content vehicle format continues to grow in popularity. It’s an ephemeral, accessible, and vertical first format that’s easy to share and easier to consume. This week both Google Search and Slack added Stories to their platforms.
Triller Paying Big $ to Grow: TikTok-cloneapp Triller is bolstering its quality and reach by offering notable creators big bucks to make content dedicated for the platform. Key quote: “Triller offered the creators a deal: Tell your audience on TikTok that you’re moving to Triller, and we’ll give you equity and roles within the company. You can still post on TikTok, they were told, but only if you post on Triller more frequently.” The platform is quite popular with Trumpers, QAnon and Pizzagate conspiracy theorists, although it picked up lots of new users when folks thought TikTok could be banned.
Nvidia Maxine Sets Out to Fix All the Problems With Video Calls: You know when you’re in a video call and the person on the other end isn’t looking directly at the camera, has really bad audio and video quality, steps out of frame completely, or overall it just feels like maybe you should just do a phone call? Nvidia has announced a new videoconferencing platform for developers named Nvidia Maxine that claims to fix all of these problems, and more. Watch a demo here.
A Social Network Rooted in Kindness? A team of former Quora employees are using lessons learned from Twitter in an effort to make social networking fun again, launching an invite-only social network called Telepath. Telepath threads combine the urgency of Twitter with the ephemerality of Snapchat (posts disappear after 30 days). The key differentiator is you must use real names and the network hosts an in-house content moderation team that enforces kindness. Key quote: “Telepath is ultimately in a tug-of-war: Is it possible to encourage lively-yet-decent debate on a platform without seeing it devolve into harassment? Most users assume that being online involves taking a certain amount of abuse, particularly if you’re a woman or from a marginalized group. Ideally, that doesn’t have to be the case.” Join the waitlist here.
Forecast is Public: Facebook is opening its experimental predictions app Forecast to all users. It’s pretty fun to make predictions – and bet – on trending news or world events, or add your own. For example, I added a forecast asking if you believe if the President would pardon a turkey this year or not. What do you think? Download it here.
Happy Birthday @HydraulicPressChannel! It’s been 5 years of publishing videos of a hydraulic press crushing things like gummy bears, duct tape, basketballs, and more. Of course, the channel celebrated by smashing lit birthday candles. So satisfying.
- A tweet from Arianna Grande encouraging her fans to register to vote may or may not have crashed Florida’s voter registration servers.
- Facebook will be banning ads indefinitely after November 3rd and will have notifications in News Feed notifying people that no winner has been decided until a victor was declared by news outlets.
- Facebook banned Qanon across its platforms.
- Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger are launching mental and emotional health portals, resources, and more.
- After a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust determined the four businesses enjoy monopoly power that needs to be reined in by Congress.
- Instagram has started labeling state-backed media, following Facebook’s lead.
- Instagram’s built-in shopping cart is coming to IGTV and Reels, which means pretty much all parts of Instagram are now shoppable.
- Twitter is working on a fix for its automated image cropping many felt was biased.
- Twitter will also start calling you out for tweeting articles you haven’t read.
- Spotify launched a lyric search. Finally!
- Apple’s next iPhone will be announced on October 13th.