Social Pulse, Week of 4-6

Do you miss all those office sounds? IMissTheOffice is a noise generator to recreate the white noise, copy machine, and cubicle-mates crunching on potato chips we’re all missing these days.

SocNet Updates: The NYT writes The Virus Changed the Way We Internet. Instagram has added DMs to desktop and a new “I Stay Home For” sticker. Pinterest has increased its ecommerce offerings. Twitter updated its terms to add more transparency to how personal data is used in ad targeting. And Facebook launched Tuned, a new app for couples.

Surfing Like it’s 1999: MIT Technology Review asks “Why does it suddenly feel like 1999 on the internet?” as the world rediscovers the more genuine and positive sides of the internet and social media that got a lot of us excited about it in the first place. Key quote: “”The internet allows us to maintain a sense of normalcy and support one another and come together,” says Sullivan. In essence, it has provided a way for us to remain human.”

Reddit’s r/Pan: The Reddit Public Access Network has been around awhile, but the Twitch-style Reddit experiment where any Reddit user can go live or watch streams is growing in popularity during this time of sheltering at home. So much amazing human creativity. Watch live here.

TikTok’s Role in Launching Pop Hits: First it was Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” then Arizona Zervas’ “Roxanne” and Doja Cat’s “Say So.” This week was Drake’s “Toosie Slide.” Rolling Stone reports how artists are looking to TikTok and viral dances to launch hits on the mainstream charts. And if you haven’t heard Tyga’s new “Bored in the House,” it’s worth a spin.  

Google Doc Games: People are getting really creative with word-based collaboration tools. Comedian Marissa Goldman is hosting a Google Doc Party where the whole show unfolds in a Google Doc (next one is this Saturday!). The Akron Art Museum is doing collaborative crosswords by curating user-generated content in a Google Doc. And here’s a choose your own adventure Google Doc escape room experience called “Escape.”

Deepfake App of the Month: Deepfake apps continue to get better in quality and speed at an alarming rate. The latest is called Impressions, and it is scary good at recreating celebrity faces (Billie Eilish, Al Pacino, Freddie Mercury) atop your own face or an uploaded video. Try it here.

Insta of the Week: @NiceShells is a the best Instagram account dedicated to celebrating shells in design, function and form you’ve ever seen.  

Are We So Bored We’ll Watch #MarbleRacing on YouTube? Marbula One is just what it sounds like —  spherical glass balls line up behind starting blocks before they drop away, head several laps around a twisty track before a conveyor belt brings them back to the top again to keep the race going. And there’s a professional announcer, camerawork and editing. And it’s racking up millions of views.

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