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.
New Emoji Are Coming: The Unicode Consortium (the organization responsible for global emoji standards) announced 217 more emoji will be available next year. Expected new emoji include a bandaged heart, heart on fire, a head in the clouds, bearded faces, more diversity, and three gender-neutral characters. Unicode said this is a ‘minor release’ before an even bigger one in 2022. See the new emoji here.
Minecraft Live this Weekend: Minecon, an annual Minecraft fan event, has been rebranded as Minecraft Live and will be held as a live stream Saturday, October 3. The event will introduce new game updates, mobs and activities across the hugely popular game. Watch the trailer here. And tune in here.
Texting with Barry: “All right, let’s try something new. Send me a text at 773-365-9687—I want to hear how you’re doing, what’s on your mind, and how you’re planning on voting this year.” That’s how former President Barack Obama announced he is the latest public figure to join Community, a mass-texting app that allows anyone to text with folks like Ashton Kutcher or the Jonas Brothers. This “dark social” technology allows celebs, and now politicians, to bypass algorithms and send messages direct to their stakeholders. To check it out, simply text Obama at the number above!
Pay with Palm: This week Amazon publicly introduced technology we started anticipating last September – using people’s palms to identify them and combine that with details of the palm, such as lines and ridges, to build a “palm signature” you can use for touchless checkout. It’s called Amazon One, and in a post-pandemic culture, could see rapid adoption at retailers, stadiums, and office buildings. More here.
Podcast of the Week: 99% Invisible’s latest podcast covers the implications of our physical addresses, a fairly recent invention that has shaped our cities and taken on great political and cultural importance. And alternatives, including what3words, which maps geographic coordinates based on three random dictionary words. Listen here.
Business Reads of the Week: To Be More Creative, Schedule Your Breaks; The Early Pitch Decks Of 21 Startups Before They Became Billion-Dollar Companies; How (And Why) to Budget Now for Strategic Foresight in 2021
Yada Yada Yada: More than 31 years since ‘the show about nothing’ was introduced, the internet is keeping the spirit of Seinfeld alive with Instagram meme accounts, including ones dedicated to product placements, artistic interpretations of key scenes, ambience, fashion, Elaine’s outfits, haikus, quotes, memes, more memes, and Newman holding your favorite music album. Newman!
Patents of the Week: Although patent filings aren’t a guarantee that new technology will come to fruition, they give us a hint of where we may be headed. Alphabet (Google) has a patent for conversational auto-replies, where the system can understand what’s in photos or messages sent to someone and generates a response based off of the content. Amazon has one for storing your body measurements to better make clothing recommendations. Apple has new watch patents for monitoring blood pressure and braille. And Facebook has one for a smart mirror camera. See more here.
- Facebook Messenger features are being combined with Instagram messaging
- Facebook will start encouraging users to join more Groups
- Twitter is increasing access to audio tweets for iOS users and is working on auto-captions
- Facebook is adding new publishers to its Watch Together feature.
- Pinterest is adding new shopping features leading up to the holidays.
- TikTok has added new duet features.
- Amazon’s Ring is selling a $30 mailbox sensor. Orders open 10/8.
- AT&T mobile customers now have the option to make and receive AT&T calls through Alexa-enabled devices
- Google Meet is adding noise filtering to its video conferencing (from people’s chatter to doors closing to even your keyboard typing)
- Watch these hilarious videos of a man guessing which color of paint is being mixed.
- @doggface208’s video of himself skateboarding and drinking cranberry juice listening to Fleetwood Mac is the best thing ever. Thank you, social media.