Social Pulse, Week of 7-8

Busting Instagram Myths: This week Instagram leaders tried to squash urban myths about the platform: there’s no limit to hashtags, shadow-banning isn’t a thing, “paid partnership” tags do not reduce engagement on posts, and editing a caption in the first 15 minutes (or even the first hour!) will not get you less likes.

Which Voice A.I. Assistant is the Best? A study asked four voice assistants more than 4,000 questions about brands, ranging from “What is the longest-lasting lipstick?” to “How do I contact JetBlue?” The findings: Google Assistant on a phone offered correct results for 92% of queries, while Google Assistant on a smart speaker hit 81%. Amazon’s Alexa was 34%, Samsung’s Bixby 32%, and Apple’s Siri was 28%.

1st Amendment Social Media Rights: This week the United States Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the First Amendment prohibits an official who uses a social media account for government purposes (like @RealDonaldTrump) from excluding people from an “otherwise open online dialogue” because they say things that the official finds objectionable. Unblock!

Black Friday in July: Amazon’s Prime Day is a two-day only global shopping event that is coming up next Monday and Tuesday. The popularity of Prime Day has inspired Walmart, Target, Macy’s and even eBay to run online sales of their own, setting up next week as one of the biggest online shopping periods in history. Key deals this year include: Ring Doorbell Pro + Echo Dot, Fire TV DVR Recast, and $25 Echo Dots.

Halfway Through 2019 Mobile Stats: Mobile Marketer released a wealth of mobile usage stats including: more than half of weekly Pinterest users use the app while shopping in stores; 1 in 5 consumers have shopped via voice assistant; U.S. adults this year will spend more time on mobile devices than TV; the average time using mobile devices will grow 3.7% this year to 3 hours 43 minutes a day. See the full report here.

Twitterer of the Week: Move over Merriam-Webster, @NYT_first_said tracks the first time The New York Times uses a word, including colorful slang like “thiccc,” “hypebeasts” and “shooketh.”

Social Pulse, Week of 6-24

You’ve Got a Friend: With the goal of understanding what friendship is all about, Snapchat commissioned a massive global study around friendship: The Friendship Report. The research shows Gen Z is adjusting their approach to friendship away from the Millennial desire for widespread networks and are looking for more closeness and intimacy with a smaller group, that love plays a stronger role in platonic relationships than we ever knew before, and that communicating with emojis, pictures, and videos can help reduce misunderstanding online. Download the report here.

Beyonce’s Assistant for a Day: This week a Beyonce-themed Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game took over Twitter. See thread here..

Facebook Top Fans Targeting: In the last month Facebook has been enabling a new option for Pages with more than 10,000 Likes to publish content exclusively targeted to “Top Fans.” This feature can be used share exclusive content for your most active and engaged followers. To use this feature, eligible Pages first need to turn on the “Top Fans” badge in Page Settings -> Facebook Badges.

Got Data? The New York Times has a course to teach its reporters data skills, and now they’ve open-sourced it. You can access the Times’ training materials here, including cheat sheets, data sets, and how to use data effectively inside a story’s narrative.

Track This! To promote their Firefox with Enhanced Tracking Protection browser, Mozilla launched a subversive tool called Track This that opens 100 tabs of websites within a theme (Hypebeast, Filthy Rich, Doomsday, or Influencer) specifically to disrupt your third party tracking cookies. Warning – this will mess with your targeting!!

Patent Watch! New patents filed recently include the ability for Amazon to record you before you say “Alexa” and a pet robot that changes its behavioral characteristics when you change its clothes. Just because a patent is filed doesn’t mean it will come to market, but these two seem very realistic for implementation. Consumers have a hard time knowing when to say “Alexa” in the proper taxonomy, and this robot clothes thing seems perfect for a “smart” Christmas gift this coming season.

The Truckla: I’ll admit I watched the entirety of this 30 minute video from the Simone Giertz (aka queen of sh*tty robots), who transformed a Tesla Model 3 into a pickup truck she calls Truckla. And here’s the commercial as if it were a real product.