Social Pulse, Week of 7-6

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.

SocNet Updates: Instagram added the ability to “Pin” comments on your posts. Facebook launched even more free online classes for community managers. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are headed toward integration. Twitter tweeted “You can have an edit button when everyone wears a mask” which got 2.8M Likes and is rumored to be building a subscription service. TikTok opened its self-serve ad platform to all businesses. Venmo is piloting Business Profiles for small sellers. Uber acquired Postmates for $2.65B. Snapchat released new research about how Snapchatters engage with the NFL. YouTube announced an update to its monetization policy which will mean that videos of 8 minutes in length, instead of 10, will now be eligible for mid-roll ad.

Fortnite’s We the People: Last weekend Fortnite’s Party Royale aired an in-game showing of We The People, a discussion about systemic racism in media, culture, and entertainment with by Van Jones of CNN, journalists Elaine Welteroth and Jemele Hill, and musicians Killer Mike and Lil Baby. Watch the replay here.

Gloves That Let You “Hear” Sign Language: Researchers at UCLA have developed a translation glove that translates finger movements to one of more than 600 sign language signs with 98.63% accuracy. The results are beamed via Bluetooth to a companion app on your phone, which reads the words aloud.

Walmart+: The Amazon Prime competitor will cost $98 a year and include same-day delivery of groceries, fuel discounts, and other perks. This move will formal normalize same-day delivery, retailer loyalty programs, and most likely, add yet another streaming service to your binge choices. Launching later this month!

Spotify’s Personalized Workout Generator: Spotify has a new tool called Soundtrack Your Workout. You answer a few questions and it will build you a workout soundtrack, including podcasts. Try it here.

Best of the Nice Viral Internet: Mashable has a round-up of the more wholesome, positive sides of the viral internet so far in 2020, including: a 100 year-old knighted for raising money for healthcare workers; a man’s touching reunion with his donkey; Malala Yousafzai’s graduation; and more! See them all here.

The Zoom Hack We Needed: For many of us, today is the 119th day working from home and living life on webcam. And finally there is some innovation happening in how we appear on camera, share decks, and engage with each other. Mmhmm is a virtual camera app that lets you lets you easily manipulate slides, backgrounds, and your own image. You can create interactive presentations or do a “show” like a talk show host with your content. And it works on most major meeting services. Sign up for the beta here.

Rickroll Your Coworkers on Zoom: Finally. There was a new Rickrolling service. The folks at created a tool that allows you to share your Zoom meeting invitation and Rick Astley would appear and perform “Never Gonna Give You Up” at some point during your meeting. Unfortunately, the stunt violated Zoom’s terms of service and was turned off. But you have to see this.

Tweet of the Week: @JurassicPark2Go is Jurassic Park Updates, and it’s a Twitter account giving updates from the fictional dinosaur park as if it was operating today. For example: “the screaming is fine we just checked it out it was nothing”.

The Infinite Music Video ARG: The band Twenty One Pilots released a music video that never ends, and it’s surrounded by an ARG (alternate reality game). Internet treasure hunts can be cliché, but this one is pretty good. If only the song was better.

Weekend Plans: 1) Amazon is giving Prime members the ability to watch TV shows and movies on Prime Video with friends using its new Watch Party feature. Here’s how to see if you have this feature yet. 2) Read this short fiction story written by an algorithm in MIT Technology Review. 3) Buy a physical copy of Trolls World Tour on DVD as a historic memento of this time. Why? Per journalist Mike Murphy, “We’ve been in lockdown so long that movies released on demand instead of in cinemas are already coming out on blu-ray.”

Weekly Social Pulse, Week of 7/3

New Instagram Stories Feature

This week, Instagram announced that users can now reply to stories with a photo or video. By tapping the camera button while viewing a story, a photo or video response can be created. Replies to stories will show up in user’s inboxes, and can include filters and stickers. Before this feature was introduced, the only way to respond to stories was with a message. This update can act as a tool for brands to connect and interact with individuals on a more personal level. Link


Snapchat Updates!

Snapchat introduced a few new features to their platform. Firstly, you can now attach links to your snaps! Users can now tap the paper clip button, add a website link, and send to their friends. Once a website link is received from a friend, swiping up will direct you to the intended link. Secondly, Snapchat has added new daily backdrops, voice filters, and on-demand geofilters for use at sporting events, music festivals, weddings, etc. By using the scissor icon, these new backdrops can be cut and customized, allowing for fun colors and designs to be inserted. Link


The Meme Economy

We found this to be an interesting take on Internet culture and who actually owns the rights to memes. This topic has been debated before, but has recently resurfaced with President Trump’s tweet of himself beating up a man with the CNN logo superimposed over the man’s face. It’s a reminder that while memes are highly shareable and accessible, there are legal considerations when using them. Link


Facebook’s Wi-Fi Locator

Earlier this week, Facebook revealed a new feature for finding nearby Wi-Fi hotspots. This is incredibly useful for users running low on data and don’t want it eaten up watching videos on a cellular connection. Companies need to opt-in to the feature to be listed, which will make this all the more useful in the coming months when the database has been built. Ultimately, this will drive people to businesses with Wi-Fi connectivity because Facebook knows how important staying connected at all times is to their users. Link