Archives For Social Media

Hey Egg Gang! If you missed the Instagram account featuring one photo of an egg that became the most-liked post on Instagram you just haven’t been on social media this week. However, nobody is talking about how 9 years ago someone created a group on Facebook called “Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback?” and achieved its goal, sparking a worldwide news cycle. What’s old is new again in meme-land, you guys. First pickles; now eggs. What’s next?

Facebook launched its first podcast this week, called “Three and a Half Degrees” — a take on the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon concept that has evolved to just 3.5 degrees of separation thanks to social networks like Facebook. 

Two new documentaries about the 2017 Fyre Festival came out on Netflix and Hulu this week, with a focus on how social media and influencers continue to be underestimated when it comes to driving sentiment and influence. From The Guardian, “In this scenario, the enjoyment of an experience is secondary to that of selling of it down the chain to one’s own followers, with the subsequent admiration and envy it’s hoped to cause.”

fyre festival

Facebook accounted a three-year commitment to invest $300 million in local news ecosystems. This follows the heels of Google’s similar $300 million “Google News Initiative” last year. Part of the initiative intends to place 1,000 new journalists in local newsrooms over five years.

The 10-year “glow-up challenge” meme that caught fire this week wasn’t just a reminder of when Facebook used to be fun, it is also potentially a windfall of visual data on aging for facial-recognition AI — teaching the algorithms about age progression using your before and after photos. What a difference a decade makes! 


Amazon’s IMDb announced the launch of a free streaming service called Freedive that features free access to ad-supported TV showslike Fringe and The Bachelor, and movies like Monster and The Illusionist. The content is free to watch without a subscription, and works on phone, laptop and streaming TV. 

imdb freedive

Instagram now lets you regram your posts to multiple accounts, which will allow brands and consumers to cross post to different profiles quickly. Some new research on Insta Stories shows they are becoming more popular for advertisers than ever

Twitter announced new real-time event dashboard and audience analytics tools at CES this week. They’re also testing some new conversation tools, which you may see your friends testing in your feeds in the coming weeks.  

Twitter analytics tools

Snapchat released new research that shows 95% of Snapchatters say the app makes them feel happy, more than any other app tested (Twitter made them “anxious”). This may have something to do with the puppy face filters, but we’re not positive.

Beyond U.S.-based social networks, most of us have a lot to learn about WeChat, which the NYT reports is “the equivalent of WhatsApp plus Facebook plus PayPal pus Uber plus GrubHub plus many other things.”

Post-Golden Globes, the marketing director for Fiji water explained how the #FijiWaterGirl takeover was orchestrated. Jamie Lee Curtis was pissed!

In strange meme news this week, museums around the world are sending each other solicited duck pics (SFW)

In chart porn news, Visual Capitalist has a fascinating chart of the Top 20 Biggest Web Properties Over Time — from 1998 to today. Remember Geocities and Lycos?

The 20 Internet Giants That Rule the Web (1998-Today)

Pinterest published its year-end “Seasonal Insights” deck (PDF) – broken down by month, holidays and events. Perfect for planning your annual content calendar.

Snapchat launched its 2019 Trend Predictions, which are worth a skim. Oh, and they released Dog Lenses over the holidays so people can finally turn their dog into a bunny.

Fortnite is emerging as the new primary social media gathering spot each day. If you haven’t yet played, you should! Check out this quote by Owen Williams: “Not only is Fortnite the new hangout spot, replacing the mall, Starbucks or just loitering in the city, it’s become the coveted ‘third place’ for millions of people around the world.”

YouTube is going to stream Coachella again, which means we can all see Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande from the comfort of our couches. Meanwhile, the fake Coachella line-ups spreading online are hilarious.

Netflix’s ‘Bird Box’ un-marketing campaign was a smart use of timing (holiday break), promoting to a captive audience (recommended viewing to Netflix subscribers), and star power (Sandra Bullock). This is the same formula that helped Adam Sandler’s Netflix movies become so popular years ago. Bob Lefsetz called it “a sea change in the entertainment promotional complex.” But there’s a meme and internet culture story here. In fact, the Bird Box Challenge has become such a problem Netflix had to ask people not to hurt themselves. The memes themselves are creating more viewership, despite the fact the film isn’t even very good. But for Netflix, it isn’t about positive reviews, it’s about views. And they’re getting them.

Fornite Dances Sparking Lawsuits: One of the most viral trends of 2018 is the popularity of dances from the popular game Fortnite. Including the Floss, Orange Justice, Electro L and Take the L. But some of the inspiration for these dances are now suing the video game developers for copying their dance moves. Specifically, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” host Alfonso Ribeiro says Epic Games copied “The Carlton Dance” he made famous on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and Ryan “Backpack Kid” Huggins is suing for the emote “Floss.” Check out the side by side comparisons here (and practice up to impress your nieces and nephews over the holidays!).



Instagram Testing Influencer Accounts: Recognizing the perhaps Business Profiles didn’t fit influencer social behavior, Instagram is testing “Creator Accounts” with special access to insights, direct message filters, custom contact information and categories. Assuming this test goes well, look for these features to roll out in Q1.


Same Sh*t, Different Year for Facebook: As we come into 2019, it looks like Facebook will continue to face an uphill battle in defending its poor data policies and transparency behind selling user information. A New York Times feature this week revealed the social network gave Microsoft, Amazon, Spotify and others far greater access to people’s data than it has disclosed. Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages. Even though advertisers aren’t pulling out anytime soon, it’s time for some New Year’s Resolutions, Facebook!



Twitter Introduces Sparkle: After lots of conversation and controversy, this week Twitter is making it extremely easy to toggle between the ranked timeline to the original, reverse-chronological feed with a feature called “Sparkle” – enabled by tapping the cluster of stars in the top right corner of your Twitter app. And unlike the default issues they’ve had in the past, Twitter will now learn if you prefer chronological and set that as your default.


Snapchat’s Year in Review: Snap is making customized year-end videos for users with the Stories we’ve saved to Memories. Although Snapchat has had a rocky year, active users are loving to see their algorithmically-created years in review. To see yours, open Snapchat, navigate to the camera screen and then swipe up to Memories. Your video should be at the top of the page.



Other news worth noting this week…


  • I’ve been enjoying this closed Facebook group called “A group where you can only say Same” where if you leave any comments other than the word ‘same’ you are banned. Same!



Voice Memos and Countdowns come to Instagram: This week Instagram launched voice messaging – bringing the emerging voice memo behavior to direct message groups. They also launched a Countdown Sticker option in the sticker menu. Just set date, time (or all-day), and your followers can subscribe to your countdown event, which will send out a reminder the countdown is complete. Bravo is already using Countdowns, promoting this weekend’s Vanderpump Rules episode.


Facebook Watch #’s Growing: This week Facebook announced that its video platform “Watch” has more than 400 million monthly users, with 75 million daily visitors who watch more than 20 minutes. It’s a small percentage given the number of active Facebook users, but demonstrates growth on the dedicated video platform worth noting. According to Axios, Facebook says that the criteria used to determine whether someone is a daily active visitor of its product is by measuring whether a user spends at least one minute on the “Watch” platform per day, but those 60 seconds do not need to be consecutive. Video consumption on Facebook is growing, albeit slowly.


YouTube Rewind = Massive Fail: In just over a week since releasing YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls the Rewind, the year-end round-up video of 2018 trends has over 129 million views and 11 million dislikes. This makes it the fastest and most-disliked video in the site’s history, which is pretty bad considering YouTube produced it themselves. Business Insider has a round-up of the other most-disliked videos of all-time — including Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” “Despacito” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”



Snapchat Testing Even More New Features: Snapchat is testing Portrait Mode, Batch Capture and charms, which are new ways to identify your friendship groups. Most of these are similar to features that already exist in Instagram, which is the exact opposite of how the two social networks have copied each other in recent years. The Next Web has details on the new Snap features here.


The American Meme: This week we binged Netflix’s The American Meme, featuring influencers like The Fat Jewish, Kirill, Brittany Furlan and Paris Hilton sharing their successes and struggles at building a personal brand through social media. It’s worth a watch, if only to see how Paris and The Fat Jewish scheme to create demand for fake products in the era of fake news. And while it’s not surprise that living your life online isn’t all bling and likes and champaign, the documentary does capture some darker moments and actually had us feeling the feelings for these manufactured personalities. LIKE.




Other news this week…


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Instagram Top 9: It’s that time of year to look back at your top performing Instagram posts and relive your year through a “Top 9” grid of the best photos. To get yours head over to, enter your email address, and tag your post #TopNine. What a year!


Elf on the Shelf Burnout: Thanks to Pinterest parenting, the bar for Elf on a Shelf pranks and stage design has reached a feverish peak in social media this year (even when you accidentally leave him in the oven). The pressure to delight not only your kiddos but also your social followers is prompting some to look for an alternate tradition — rooted in the new social behavior of opting out. It’s called Santa’s Lazy Gnome, and for $34 your family can get a plush little old man and book explaining that the gnome doesn’t need to be moved because he can see children from anywhere. No social sharing required! Priceless!


Glitch Chic on Insta: You may have noticed weird lines or glitchy photos on your friends’ feeds this week. Instagram confirmed it knows about the issues and is looking to rectify it. And because it’s the internet, some people are loving the glitched-out look. And also because it’s the internet, if you want to purposely glitch your photos check out the Glitche app.


Anatomy of an AI System: Wrapping your head around all of the systems a piece of new technology requires can be difficult – especially to see the full picture of what goes into making it and how it affects our life from sourcing materials to lifestyle benefits to global impact. To tell the story of Amazon Echo, two professors set out to map the human labor, data and planetary resources behind the A.I. assistant, and the resulting artwork, essay and microsite is a deep analysis of the beauty and drawbacks of the hottest holiday gift. You’ll never look at an Echo the same way again.


Amazon distribution centers

Spotify Wrapped: An analysis of 12-months of streaming can say a lot about a person, and Spotify is again helping you crunch your streaming data to see how your stacked up this year, including total minutes streamed, top artists and songs, top genres and even custom playlists based on your listening habits. See your analysis at and share your results with #2018Wrapped.


Here’s what else is worth a skim this week…


  • This week Apple unveiled its list of the most downloaded iPhone apps of 2018. Topping the list is YouTube, followed by Instagram, Snapchat, Messenger and Facebook, with Bitmjoi falling to sixth place (it was #1 in 2017!).


Seven-year-old Ryan of YouTube fame has made it offline, too. The mini mogul now has a collection of toys and apparel sold at Walmart stores nationwide.

“Stories” Now on Every Major Social Media Platform: It’s appears 2019 will be the year of the “Story,” with LinkedIn and YouTube both now adding the content format to their primary platforms — joining Snap, Insta and Facebook as a way to share chronological, vertical, short-form content that disappears.


Local News on Facebook: This week Facebooked launched “Today In,” a local news aggregator feature, in 400 small to medium-sized US cities. The feature includes previews that link out to news sites about top headlines, current discussions, school announcements and more. If you live in one of these cities, you can find this new section in the Facebook app by tapping the menu (☰) and then tapping on “Today In.”


Instagram Combating Fake Follows and Engagement: This week Instagram announced it will use machine learning to identify fake followers, likes and comments from users using bots and apps to falsely increase their accounts and posts. If you see an profile’s follower accounts drop en masse, it’s not because that profile offended people, but most likely because the followers were fake.


Bye Bye YouTube Annotations: You know those annoying translucent pop-up boxes that interrupt video viewing on YouTube? As of January, they will disappear for good across the platform. Thankfully brands and user can still use Cards and End Screens to direct viewers to additional information. Use of annotations had decreased by 70 percent, which is likely because they ever worked well on mobile (and because they were annoying!).

Image result for youtube annotations


Other stories worth skimming this week…




  • We are loving the new “Like and Subscribe” series from Funny or Die. It features Skyy Goldwynne (Dillon Francis), as a Hollywood manager who locks four of his influencer clients in a house with a camera crew. Put this on your watchlist for the weekend.


“If Russia had dropped propaganda leaflets by airplane over FL or MI that would universally be condemned as a hostile act. We’d shoot down the plane. But this is exactly what is happening online”

  • You can challenge your officemates to a holiday-themed Jenga game with R.L. Stine’s infamous Goosebumps villain thanks to this new Augmented Reality (AR) game, “Slappy’s Haunted Christmas” (download here: iOS, Android).