Archives For Social Media

Amazon and Google Debut News Feeds: Because what we needed was more places to consume content each day, both Amazon and Google debuted mobile news feeds this week inside their respective core apps. We see this as a continued play by these brands to turn their apps into a destination for browsing, search and shopping. Yay algorithms, amirite?


Snapchat Adds Multi-Snap Recording: This week, Snapchat added ability to record multiple 10 second Snaps continuously, and a new “Tint Brush” that allows you to selectively color specific objects or areas of your snaps. These new features will help brands making content create Snaps that look a little bit more professional and turnt than usual. (LINK)


“Despacito” Just Broke Justin Bieber’s Streaming Record: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s reggaeton hit has been streamed 4.6 billion times – more than any other song in history, unseating Bieber’s “Sorry,” which sits at 4.38 billion streams. This tweet pretty much sums up how we’re feeling about it. (LINK)


Hot Dogs Take Over Our Feeds: Between National Hot Dog Day, Snapchat’s dancing hot dog filter and Bitmoji’s hot dog themes, we were seeing wieners everywhere this week. This week Heinz rolled out a special “Chicago Dog Sauce” to get around that city’s no ketchup rule, then SURPRISE, revealed it was actually ketchup. But only after sparking a host of social buzz and press attention. For the record, we’re #TeamMustard all the way. (LINK)


NBC News Launches ‘Stay Tuned,’ a Snapchat News Show: NBC News just launched a twice-daily news show on Wednesday morning called “Stay Tuned,” which will appear on Snapchat’s Discover platform — the first daily news show on Snapchat. It will cover national and international news, politics and pop culture. Now if we could just remember to actually swipe over to Discover…(LINK)


The Drive-By Dunk Challenge Is Emerging as the Meme Of The Summer: Earlier this week, Instagram user @t.currie posted a video of him going from house to house dunking on random basketball hoops, and the video has subsequently been reposted by big sports outlets like Bleacher Report, CBS News, and Heavy. The meme is catching on, with people as far away as Australia getting into it. No hoop is safe from the Drive-By-Dunk! (LINK)


Amazon Prime Day Fuels the Voice Control Trend: We continue to be excited about voice-control and A.I.-assisted devices becoming mainstream – an adoption curve that received a huge boost on Amazon Prime Day this week. The smaller Echo Dot (as we predicted yesterday) was by far the biggest item sold. Amazon doesn’t highlight any actual sales numbers, but sources say Echo devices were selling at a rate of “thousands per minute,” which Amazon later corroborated by noting that “Prime members in the U.S. are ordering more than 6,000 deals every minute” in an update late yesterday. There are now more than 15,000 Alexa Skills, and brands should continue to think about how their customers will interact with their products and services through this emerging technology. (LINK)


Ads Come to Facebook Messenger: Facebook is rolling out ads globally to the home page of its Messenger app. With 1.2 billion active users, we’re not surprised Facebook is looking for ways to monetize this engagement. For brands, this is yet another mobile-first touchpoint to leverage Facebook’s amazing targeting, and look for integration with branded chatbots – now just a quick click away from an ad to chat. (LINK)


‘Gangnam Style’ Is No Longer the Biggest YouTube Video: For the past five years, Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ had been YouTube’s most-watched video, but now Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’ featuring Charlie Puth has topped the Korean superstar’s single. On YouTube, ‘Gangnam Style’ had become so popular that it literally broke the platform’s view counter.  Back then, videos on the platform had a maximum possible number of views set at 2,147,483,647, so the code had to be rewritten to allow it to exceed those possible views! ‘Furious 7,’ a tribute to the late Paul Walker, was also a significant contributor. In fact, the song has become one of the most requested funeral songs in the UK. Of note, Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry,’ Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk,’ and Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’ are close behind both videos. (LINK)


Digital Mind Clones – Coming to An App Near You: Replika is a chatbot program that doesn’t just talk to people, it learns their texting styles to mimic their personality. Although it’s been out since March, Quartz wrote a fascinating long-form piece about neural networks, what happens when you train a bot to replace inane, time-consuming activities (like scheduling appointments), the limitations of today’s tech, the implications of what it means to be human and the pitfalls of outsourcing humanity to robots. It’s a fascinating long read, and had us signing up for Replika ourselves. Who knows, maybe it will send these emails on our behalf next week? (LINK)


A Dancing Hotdog Was Winning the Internet This Week but Beyoncé had a Friday Surprise: Snapchat’s AR filter of a cute breakdancing hotdog spread across the social web this week, and obvious brands such as Oscar Mayer, and not-so-predictable sources, such as Miami Heat player Hassan Whiteside, are having a frank-tastic time with the meme. Of course, this was only the trend of the web this week until Queen Bey dropped an Instagram of her twins this morning. (LINK)

How I temporarily cut my mom out of my social media life to reach a larger audience: The Facebook Algorithm Mom Problem

New Instagram Stories Feature

This week, Instagram announced that users can now reply to stories with a photo or video. By tapping the camera button while viewing a story, a photo or video response can be created. Replies to stories will show up in user’s inboxes, and can include filters and stickers. Before this feature was introduced, the only way to respond to stories was with a message. This update can act as a tool for brands to connect and interact with individuals on a more personal level. Link


Snapchat Updates!

Snapchat introduced a few new features to their platform. Firstly, you can now attach links to your snaps! Users can now tap the paper clip button, add a website link, and send to their friends. Once a website link is received from a friend, swiping up will direct you to the intended link. Secondly, Snapchat has added new daily backdrops, voice filters, and on-demand geofilters for use at sporting events, music festivals, weddings, etc. By using the scissor icon, these new backdrops can be cut and customized, allowing for fun colors and designs to be inserted. Link


The Meme Economy

We found this to be an interesting take on Internet culture and who actually owns the rights to memes. This topic has been debated before, but has recently resurfaced with President Trump’s tweet of himself beating up a man with the CNN logo superimposed over the man’s face. It’s a reminder that while memes are highly shareable and accessible, there are legal considerations when using them. Link


Facebook’s Wi-Fi Locator

Earlier this week, Facebook revealed a new feature for finding nearby Wi-Fi hotspots. This is incredibly useful for users running low on data and don’t want it eaten up watching videos on a cellular connection. Companies need to opt-in to the feature to be listed, which will make this all the more useful in the coming months when the database has been built. Ultimately, this will drive people to businesses with Wi-Fi connectivity because Facebook knows how important staying connected at all times is to their users. Link

Here’s what’s new this week:

Instagram AI Revamped: This week Instagram announced that its AI for blocking harassment and spam in the comments has been completely overhauled. The new system uses machine learning to identify and prevent a range of hostile comments from appearing, which includes bullying, racism, and sexual harassment. A huge step in a positive direction for the community – and our community managers! (LINK)

iPhone Turns 10: It’s hard to believe that the iPhone came out 10 years ago. While it was and still is very much a phone, the way we use the device has drastically changed over the last decade. The original iPhone lacked a front-facing camera, the ability to send a photo via text, and an App Store with millions of apps that do amazing things and bring people together in ways we could have only imagined. The most important thing that it did do, however, was it got the world to think differently about what a mobile phone meant as a personal and constant companion. HBD, iPhone! (LINK) 

Facebook Targets Households: This week Facebook announced that brands will be able to direct ads to entire families or to specific people within a household. This will be accomplished using signals such as your relationship information that is shared by users, along with shared check-ins of people within the same household and their internet connections. This will be especially useful in terms of not wasting ad dollars by showing ads that aren’t relevant to certain family members. Arriving just in time for the holiday season, the new capability will be able to target those who influence purchases in a family along with the ones making the actual purchase. (LINK)

Apple Maps with an AR Surprise: As we learn more and more about Apple’s next version of iOS, some users have discovered a pretty cool trick. If you open Apple Maps on a device with iOS 11 installed and view a major city with Walkover 3D support, you can feel like you’re walking through the city with from the perspective of Godzilla (FINALLY!!). It’s pretty impressive and more importantly, it sheds light on the possibilities of where Apple and developers will take the new ARKit’s capabilities once available to the public this fall. Be sure to check out the video within the link. (LINK) 

#HUMBLEBRAG: Speaking of augmented reality and Apple, we’ve been experimenting with the new iOS 11 ARKit at Fallon, too. Check out our AR Virtual Pet experience on Facebook here.

Here’s what’s new this week:


Snap Maps: This week Snapchat debuted a new feature that shows users where their friends are, where the most Snaps are coming from at any given moment, and what’s happening around the globe — in real time. From the main camera screen, simply pinch your fingers together to trigger the map. There is a playful purpose to Snap Map, but the tool also has the power to break news and power brand activations in the same way that Twitter does with the Our Story curation feature.  (Snapchat’s New “Snap Map” Will Transform How You Connect With Friends)


Facebook GIFs: As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the GIF, this week Facebook joined the ranks of social networks natively supporting GIFs in user comments. Nearly 13 billion GIFs were sent on Facebook Messenger last year, 400 million of those gracing family and friends on New Year’s Day 2017. Facebook only brought in sharing GIFs on News Feeds in 2015, letting users use site hosting the image to make a direct share to your feed. But now that they’re native, brands and users are already employing these new features for interactive games. We expect user use of GIFs will spice up community management engagement, as well. (5 fun games you can play with Facebook’s new GIF feature)


Instagram Live Replay: As of a few days ago, Instagram live streams can now be saved to your story for your audience to replay over the following 24 hours. Unique to the platform, Instagram’s live videos have always been ephemeral, and would disappear as soon as the broadcast ended. The feature puts Instagram on par with Periscope from a replay-able perspective, though it now has the edge of becoming wrapped into the easily consumable stories feature (which currently has over 250 million daily users!) This is especially great since Instagram only alerts some of your audience that you’re live, which means that your events will receive even more impressions than before. (Instagram adds 24-hour live video replays to Stories)


Google Glass: This week, in its first update since September 2014, Google Glass got an app update, some bug fixes and now supports Bluetooth. The updates triggered a news cycle and disbelief from the tech community. While we don’t anticipate Glass coming back in vogue, we respect how it paved the way for augmented reality (now coming native to the iPhone) and face cameras (now for sale in Snap Spectacles). And according to patent filings, Apple is working on glasses, too. In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye on what Google has up its sleeve… er on its face. (Google Glass is apparently still around — and just got its first update in nearly three years)

As both a student of how humans use digital and social tools AND as a parent, this TED opinion piece by Alexandra Samuel about the different ways in which parents handle their kids’ use of technology is fascinating.

I’m an almost-40 digital native, thanks to my parents investing thousands of dollars they didn’t have on computers, dial-up service, new modems and classes for me. But how I enable my children isn’t the same, and nor is it the same for every parent and child across the globe.

My kids have grown up with their own personal iPads, a VR lab at dad’s office they can use anytime they want, and all three have YouTube channels. Meanwhile, they have many friends whose parents limit screen time. And other friends whose parents don’t let them access a single computer or video game device. We’re all over the place as a society, and this is creating new classes of kids that defy the “digital native” label that worked for Millennials.

In fact, Samuel says parents today are creating three new types of tech users: orphans, exiles and heirs…

Digital orphans have grown up with a great deal of tech access — but very little guidance. They’ve been raised by parents who’ve given them near-unlimited access to technology, yet their mothers and fathers have had few conversations with them about what they’re learning, seeing and experiencing and why it matters. So orphans might end up prioritizing online networks over face-to-face interactions, leading to shaky interpersonal skills. While they’ll probably grow into adults who feel at home on the Internet — they’ll suggest organizing cleaning duties with their roommates via a scheduling app, for example, rather than hashing it out over coffee — they might not think a lot about what kind of home they want it to be. And without reflecting on the consequences of technology, they could end up bringing some of the worst of the Internet into offline society (think: trolling, flaming), instead of actively working to elevate on- and offline life.

Digital exiles are at the opposite extreme — they’ve been raised with minimal technology. Their parents’ goal has been to limit their children’s access in order to delay their entry into the digital world until their teens, if possible — the age when kids are least likely to listen to their parents’ advice. Many exiles will throw themselves into their online lives with a vengeance, and they may struggle with finding a balanced approach to technology. They’ll become intense social networking users, as well the ones likely to get into various forms of online trouble. Other exiles, however, could continue following their parents’ lead and mature into neo-Luddites. This might lead to conflict — while society is willing to smile upon the grandparents who’ve yet to embrace texting, it’s unclear if this tolerance will extend to the young people who explicitly reject technology. Will governments and corporations be willing to offer face-to-face service options for citizens who reject digital channels ideologically? That’s the kind of question these exiles will force us to answer.

Digital heirs have impressive tech skills, thanks largely to their parents and teachers. Their adult mentors have encouraged and directed their tech education, enrolling them in classes and having conversations with them about being a responsible Internet user. By the time they go to college, they know how to build websites, and film and edit video. I believe they’ll bring this tech-savvy “maker” orientation into their consumer, social and political encounters, demanding digital and programmable products and services, like online publications that let you choose what content you’ll see (and where and when you’ll see it); products that go beyond customization into co-creation; and communities that enable citizens to create services by providing data, open online platforms and hack spaces. Due to their higher levels of tech understanding, heirs could face challenges in dealing with their less knowledgeable peers so they’ll need a little charm and flexibility to get along.

Samuel goes on to say that because how we use the Internet — what we pay attention to, what we ignore — determines the content and experience of the Internet itself, we are toward a clash of digital knowledge we haven’t yet seen.

How do you approach screen time, privacy, safety and emerging technology for your kids? Do you project those same values and assumptions on other kids? Good questions we should all be asking…

Source: Forget “digital natives.” Here’s how kids are really using the Internet –

When the architect of the world wide web speaks out about how his creation could end us all, I usually stop to listen.

On the 28th anniversary of the world wide web’s birth, Sir Tim Berners-Lee published this letter detailing what he views as the three main challenges for the web: loss of control over personal data, the spread of misinformation across the web and the need for transparency with online political advertising.

1)   We’ve lost control of our personal data

The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this – albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents – but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services. But, we’re missing a trick. As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realise if we had direct control over this data, and chose when and with whom to share it. What’s more, we often do not have any way of feeding back to companies what data we’d rather not share – especially with third parties – the T&Cs are all or nothing.

This widespread data collection by companies also has other impacts. Through collaboration with – or coercion of – companies, governments are also increasingly watching our every move online, and passing extreme laws that trample on our rights to privacy. In repressive regimes, it’s easy to see the harm that can be caused – bloggers can be arrested or killed, and political opponents can be monitored. But even in countries where we believe governments have citizens’ best interests at heart, watching everyone, all the time is simply going too far. It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, like sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion.

2)   It’s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web

Today, most people find news and information on the web through just a handful of social media sites and search engines. These sites make more money when we click on the links they show us. And, they choose what to show us based on algorithms which learn from our personal data that they are constantly harvesting. The net result is that these sites show us content they think we’ll click on – meaning that misinformation, or ‘fake news’, which is surprising, shocking, or designed to appeal to our biases can spread like wildfire. And through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.

3)   Political advertising online needs transparency and understanding

Political advertising online has rapidly become a sophisticated industry. The fact that most people get their information from just a few platforms and the increasing sophistication of algorithms drawing upon rich pools of personal data, means that political campaigns are now building individual adverts targeted directly at users. One source suggests that in the 2016 US election, as many as 50,000 variations of adverts were being served every single day on Facebook, a near-impossible situation to monitor. And there are suggestions that some political adverts – in the US and around the world – are being used in unethical ways – to point voters to fake news sites, for instance, or to keep others away from the polls. Targeted advertising allows a campaign to say completely different, possibly conflicting things to different groups. Is that democratic?

Later in the letter, Berners-Lee says “I may have invented the web, but all of you have helped to create what it is today.” I think that’s extremely poignant.

Much like The Manhattan Project, we don’t always understand the full implication of our pioneering technology as they occur. Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is emerging as that next leap forward we truly don’t understand today. Rather than resist technology’s rise into our personal lives, I advocate we embrace its persistence and help guide it to the best possible outcome.

Dave Egger’s The Circle is coming out as a movie in two weeks. When I read the book in 2013 I called it the Atlas Shrugged of our digital generation. Eggers had his pulse on a very real and emergent trend related to connectivity, interaction and the subjective slippery slope of using connectivity tools for good and evil.

It will be fascinating to study how the general public reacts to the film, and in turn, how their behavior impacts awareness and outcry around the use of the topics above: 1) abuse of our personal data, 2) fake news, and 3) transparency.

Berners-Lee is a pragmatist, and a realist. But the general public is rarely either. It often takes fictionalized fantasy to help us escape our own fictionalized fantasy.

It’s been especially enjoyable to witness young people reading The Circle start to question aspects of their digital lifestyle in news ways. Like this op-ed from a student at the University of Washington:

Right now, most people have strongly opinionated answers to these questions, but after reading “The Circle,” readers are sure to have a more nuanced response. While it’s unlikely to completely change your mind, the book does an excellent job of complicating these familiar questions with new technology and perspectives.

As the influence of the internet in our lives grows, and companies and the government automatically have more access to our thoughts and lives, we have to ask ourselves where to draw the line. We need to be aware of how far people and companies are allowed to go and if we, as humans, are truly using these technologies for good; what is progress and what is too much?

I’m excited for the film, but I’m also a pragmatist and realist about how deep its impact could be.

As for me, when the architect of the world wide web speaks out about how his creation could end us all, I usually stop to listen.



Sir Tim Berners-Lee lays out nightmare scenario where AI runs world economy | Social Media | Techworld

Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor – World Wide Web Foundation

Beyond the Page: ‘The Circle,’ by Dave Eggers — Privacy in the modern age | The Daily

Brands had 6 years to understand how to tell chronological stories in social, thanks to Snapchat. “Stories” are now a mainstream social content vehicle, just like photos, videos and prose.

Facebook hasn’t yet said when this will launch for brands, but we should anticipate it will.

So ignore the Snapchat clone discussion. It’s time to apply that learning on Facebook!

The Instagram community has shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day, so in the main Facebook app we’re also introducing Facebook Stories, which lets you share multiple photos and videos as part of a visual collection atop News Feed. Your friends can view photos or videos your story for 24 hours, and stories won’t appear on your Timeline or in News Feed unless you post them there, too.

To add to your story, tap on the “Your Story” icon in the Stories bar at the top of News Feed.


Source: More Ways to Share with the Facebook Camera | Facebook Newsroom

Good reminder from Dave Knox

While the largest companies were trying to figure out how to use digital as a new advertising tool, a new generation of companies and brands was being started by entrepreneurs that viewed digital as a business model that would give them an advantage versus the scale and budgets of their much larger competitors.

In the old world, brands competed with each other head-on, whether that was trying to win at the First Moment of Truth with the largest share of shelf or creating the television ad with the most buzz during the Super Bowl. In this new high-stakes game of business, startups have decided to throw out the old rules. They are not attacking their competitors head-on.  Instead, they are disregarding the conventional wisdom of industries and in many cases, redefining markets along the way.

In the same way that the majority of today’s Fortune 500 were born in the era of mass media and mass retail, these new rivals have started with digital at the core of their business model.

It is no longer a battle of Goliath vs. Goliath where everyone is playing with the same cards and the same set of rules. Instead, brand leaders need to evolve to thrive in a game of business where the competition is fluid and new players can emerge seemingly overnight.

Source: The New Ways Established Brands Do Battle With Startups – Adweek