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.
When Your Group Text Thread Becomes Your Primary Social Channel: This week Founders Fund VP Mike Solana tweeted, “the secret chat group culture that’s happening right now is absolutely next level,” pointing to the rise of ‘dark social’ (aka private sharing via text, chat, and microbrowsers) that is exploding in our current state of callout/cancel/accountability culture. I’ve seen this trend coming for some time, predicting back in 2016 that dark social would eclipse public social. A recent study showed 20% of respondents ONLY share via dark channels, and that behavior is only accelerating with the looming election. Brands will need to continue to consider shifts in social listening, targeting, tracking, and tactics like micro-video previews for URLS shared in chat.
1st Sound Change in 7 Years in John Cage’s 639-Year-Long Song: The world’s slowest musical composition, “As Slow as Possible,” went through its first chord change in seven years this week in Germany. Key quote: “Nineteen years later, there have been 15 note changes, the last coming on October 5th, 2013. For the past 2,527 days, the St. Burchardi organ had resonated the same note, the piece’s longest-held note so far and longest until at least 2071.” You can watch the 4 hour live stream of the key change here.
China’s QVC-Style Social Shopping Goes Mainstream: Although U.S. live stream shopping tends to live in multilevel marketing circles, in China it’s a $66 billion industry on pace to DOUBLE thanks to COVID. Key quote: “Live-stream shopping is a blend of entertainment and e-commerce. Viewers buy goods online from people who show off their latest finds — from lipsticks to laundry detergent — in real-time videos… Hosts can give their fans discount coupons and flash deals in real time, while viewers can click to send their favorite stars virtual ‘gifts.’” It’s a whole different definition of influencer when they are literally selling all day long.
Google’s Personalized Algorithmic Radio Remix: Google Assistant now includes “Your News Update,” which gathers news clips from different outlets and plays them in one continuous audio feed. Key quote: “The goal is to create a seamless 90-minute broadcast—a mix of radio, podcast snippets, and text-to-speech article translations—tailored to an audience of one… Based on Google’s wealth of user data, your particular playlist might feature stories about sports teams you follow or… news from local outlets… Google’s algorithms then hunt for keywords and topics in stories that are most likely to be connected to your interests.” It’s Android-only, with iOS surely on the way.
Would You Quit Facebook for $10/Week? Facebook is commissioning research into how its apps influence “key political attitudes and behaviors during the US 2020 elections,” and will pay Facebook and Instagram users $10-20/week to stop using their apps. You can’t opt in, but you may be invited. More here.
Stop Snitch Tagging! You know when someone is being talked about online and then a commenter @-tags the person so they see it? That’s called snitch tagging, and it’s one of the social web’s biggest pet peeves. Read why here.
Insta of the Week: @tot_for_tot_remakes features a father and daughter remaking classic movie scenes.
Tweets of the Week: Civil War generals as Muppets a definitive thread. The @LooneyTunes intern is at it again. And @CrazyIIIusions asks Is This Drawing a Rabbit or a Duck?
Podcast of the Week: Dissect is back, and this season the focus is “Because the Internet” by Childish Gambino. Dissect’s approach analyzes one album per season, one song per episode. The first two episodes are live now!
- Facebook shared news about the evolution of Watch, is putting new limits to how many ads brands can run concurrently (although they are still pretty generous), is launching a digital literacy program, and introduced Facebook Campus, a college-student-only place on Facebook.
- Instagram shared on update on its equity work, and is testing putting links to its TikTok clone, Reels, and Shop in the main navigation.
- TikTok added a new ‘stitch’ feature.
- Pinterest announced it will no longer run ads on election content.
- LinkedIn may add URL links to LinkedIn Stories.
- Xbox’s social media team handled a leak masterfully.