Archives For socialpulse

Facebook Newsfeed Changes (Again): Facebook listened to the data that shows scrolling through the newsfeed makes us sad. They’re now going to tweak the algorithm to prioritize what friends and family share and comment on, while de-emphasizing content from publishers and brands. Newsfeed changes like this happen quite often, and we expect this one in particular will harm organic posts from Publishers the most. Modern brands should continue to include paid media support into their Facebook marketing programs. (LINK)

CES Updates: Ironically, the famous Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas was filled with glitches this year. From LG’s refrigerator and washer/dryer voice assistant refused to talk back. Google’s booth got washed out. No women were included in the keynotes. Oh, and the conference center had a blackout. Our favorites from the show were this autonomous, self-driving suitcase and the Hushme, “the world’s first voice mask for mobile phones.”

Facebook Launches Alexa Competitor: Never one to be left out, Facebook is reportedly launching a a voice-enabled video chat device named Portal, will directly compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home. Like the Echo Show, Facebook’s Portal will include a screen for hold video calls and will stream music and video. It will also have facial recognition capabilities that connect to users’ accounts. Facebook actually has quite the large ecosystem for food delivery, movie tickets weather and jobs (buried in your app in the Explore button), so a home-based smart speaker. AND IT’S $500!?!? WHAT. (LINK)

#BlackHogwarts: On Thursday, #BlackHogwarts quickly became one of the most amusing trending topics on Twitter. Harry Potter has long been criticized for its extremely white-centric universe, so Twitter rebuilt J.K. Rowling’s fantasy as if it was entirely made up of POC. Some of our favorite highlights include Snoop Dogg as Professor of Herbology and Obama as the Minister of Magic. It’s pure delight, and J.K. Rowling herself was following along and loving every minute. (LINK)


Animals Have Culture, Too: We spend a lot of time observing human culture for our brands, but what about animals? The Atlantic has this fascinating look at animal cultures – from Capuchin monkeys trying to get attention to bottlenose dolphin fashion trends to male humpback whales riffing on their own classic music charts.  (LINK).



HQ Trivia’s Roller Coaster of Motions: Stop what you’re doing and watch this woman suffer devastating defeat and then pure joy at winning $11.30 on HQ Trivia. And you can’t even cash out until you win $20!

The Creative History Behind Earcons: The beeps and boops from Siri, Alexa or your car may seem arbitrary, but they’re actually very important, decades-old audio cues called “earcons.” In fact, these beeps and dings are straight up robot languages that help shape how we interact with these devices. Did you know the Windows ’95 startup sound was composed by Brian Eno? Austrian composer Walter Werzowa tried to create “tones that evoked innovation, troubleshooting skills, and the inside of a computer” for Intel, and wouldn’t you know it was named one of the most addictive sounds in the world. BEEP. BOOP. (LINK)

A Snapchat Show Worth Watching? NBC’s news show “Stay Tuned” on Snapchat has gained 4 million viewers since its launch five months ago, with more than two-thirds of its audience under the age of 25. More than half of the audience watches three or more episodes per week. It’s no Vice News, but we’re watching. (LINK)


Are QR Codes Actually Going to Be a Thing? The ability to scan QR codes is increasingly becoming native to our smartphones (hello iPhone!) and that’s driving a steep increase in adoption. New research predicts that the number of QR coupons redeemed via mobile will reach 5.3 billion by 2022. Target recently announced a QR code-based payments system to scan offers directly to their device-stored payment cards, which can then be scanned at checkout for instant payment. We’ll soon see even more of these in use at retail. Pigs are flying, too. (LINK)


Happy Winter Solstice! It’s officially winter today, the days will get longer, and apparently our life expectancy decreased, too….. Goodbye 2017.

Here are some holiday goodies we’ve been tracking around the social web this week…

  • We’ve been loving these 17 Hilarious New Year’s Day 2018 Memes To Get You Through The Year from Bustle.
  • Twitter has people timing songs perfectly for New Year’s Eve midnight, for example…
    • if you play “…ready for it” at exactly 11:58:50pm on december 31st, taylor swift will declare her iconic “…are you ready for it?” line right as the clock strikes midnight. enter 2018 the right way.
    • If you play “Skyline To” by Frank Ocean at 11:59:31 on December 31st, Frank will say “that’s a pretty f*cking fast year flew by” just as 2017 ends.
    • if you play “Despacito” at 11:59:49pm on New Year’s Eve, you get to listen to “Despacito”. Start off your new year right.

  • We’ve been collecting our favorite 2017 viral videos and put together a super cut for our all-agency meeting today. Share in the holiday goodness here: FALLON’S FAVORITE VIRAL VIDEOS OF 2017

Lastly, have you been playing Whamageddon?

  • The 1st Rule: The objective is to go as long as possible without hearing WHAM’s holiday classic “Last Christmas.”
  • The 2nd Rule: The game starts on December 1st, and ends at midnight on December 24th.
  • The 3rd Rule: Only the original version applies. Enjoy yourself some remixes and covers.
  • The 4th Rule: You’re out as soon as you recognize the song.
  • Bonus Rule: Post on social media with the #whamageddon hashtag when you get hit.

And I’m out already… And now so are you! #whamageddon


It’s Holiday List Season: It’s that time of year when everyone is making lists. We spun through Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums (LCD Soundsystem, Run the Jewels, St. Vincent!!) and 20 Best Rock Albums and 20 Best Rap Albums. Google released its list of most searched for topics (Hurricane Irma, iPhone 8, iPhone X and Matt Lauer). But it’s High Snobriety’s Best Memes of 2017 that has us rolling. Oh, Distracted Boyfriend. Oh, Dancing Hotdog Oh, Covfefe , Cash Me Outside, Beyonce Ordering Food, and Salt Bae. You made 2017 tolerable, and for that we are truly #blessed.

Facebook Poke is back (again!): The Poke button is one of Facebook’s oldest features, and its purpose has never been truly defined. But for you old school Poke fans, it now sits next to the Message button, and right below your friend’s name and photo, at the top of a user’s profile. Facebook is also considering expanding the casual greeting options to a wink, wave, high-five or hug. Go ahead, give your friends a POKE. (LINK)


Instagram Changes: This week it was announced Instagram is testing a Regram Button, to allow users to more easily share content from followers – similar to a Retweet. It’s also testing a closest friends list, a GIF search feature, and a “Share to WhatsApp” button. And it’s testing “recommended for you” content. But that’s not all! Instagram is also allowing users to follow Hashtags, which will change our feeds significantly. Following a hashtag is just like following a user account. Just search for your favorite hashtag, hit the “Follow” button, and your newsfeed will start pulling in the top results automatically.


Threaded Twitter Rants Will Soon be Easier (finally!): Knowing 280 characters still isn’t enough when you have a threaded rant you just have to get out, Twitter is now making it easier to pre-populate a threaded tweet storm. Although some argue this is further pushing Twitter away from made it great, you can’t fight change. So we’re embracing it. Knowing we’ll have even more tweetstorm goodness coming, Buzzfeed’s list of epic Twitter threads is worth a read. (LINK)


Meme of the Week – Straight Arm Challenge: This week our feeds were overtaken with people doing the Straight Arm Challenge (example, example). The premise is straightforward. Simply hold your arm straight without bending your elbow and try to drink something. Feel free to challenge others. Kristen Hanby’s video has 17M views alone. Before you attempt this at home, we recommend having a change of clothes ready.


YouTube’s Top Viral Videos of 2017: Totaling 633 million views collectively (up by 83 million over last year!), YouTube’s Top 10 trending videos were watched for a collective 40 million hours this year. Our favorites from the Top 10 include Ed Sheeran doing Carpool KaroakeDude Perfect Ping Pong Tricks12-Year-Old Singing Ventriloquist and Children Interrupt BBC News Interview. (LINK)

Legacy Social Networks Launching New Things: Instagram is launching a new private messaging app called Direct. Facebook is launching Messenger Kids, for children 6-12. Pinterest launched a Facebook Messenger bot. And it looks like Vine is coming back!! Here’s our favorite Vine compilation Twitter thread to relive the looping goodness that was Vine.


Tell Facebook Even More About Yourself, Finally: Facebook is launching a new feature called “Did You Know” that asks you questions like, “If I had to be locked for a week in a room that was completely dark or completely bright, I’d rather…” This new section is on your profile page and will serve as a carrot to give Facebook even more personal information about yourself. From a brand perspective, it’s a clever way to increase information about users for Facebook’s advanced targeting. (LINK).


The Dad-Rock Resurgence: Depeche Mode is the hottest band of 2017? The ‘80s UK electronic band sold 1.27 million tickets in 2017, which is more than Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, or Drake. Known as “The Great Dad-Rock Resurgence,” we’re seeing old acts outsell young acts across the country. This year 4 of the 5 highest-grossing concert artists were bands formed prior to 1990, and Desert Trip (starring The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and The Who) outsold Coachella or Bonnaroo. Long live Dad! (LINK)


Can We Talk About Chess Robots For a Minute? The year is 1997, and the world’s best human chess player was just destroyed by a computer. Fast forward to 2017, and the world’s best chess computer gets destroyed by an Artificial Intelligence program that had only learned about chess a few hours earlier. We live in amazing times, folks. (LINK)

Facebook Adds Streaks in Messenger Test: Facebook may or may not start requiring us to upload selfies to prove our identity, but they are for sure continuing to copy Snapchat with the addition of “streaks” in a a test with some users this week. This is in line with user behavior – especially teens – who maintain back and forth communications between friends purely for the social glory of maintaining back and forth communication day after day. Streak counters gamify the app experience and can lead to huge engagement. We’re guessing they’ll launch this mainstream in Q1. (LINK)


Snapchat Reinvents Itself: This week Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel revealed the Snapchat redesign – separating the news-heavy Discover page from a user’s friend list. On the redesigned app, users will swipe to the left of the main camera screen to see chats, stories and messages from their friends, and swipe to the right for news, Snap Map and publisher content. The new Discover page reorganizes news from a horizontal scroll to a vertical, in the vein of Facebook’s and Twitter’s seemingly endless feeds. Promoted stories are changing, too. Spiegel’s manifesto on social media is worth a read: “It’s vitally important that future content feeds are built on top of a human-curated supply of content… Curating content in this way will change the social media model and also give us both reliable content and the content we want.” (LINK)


Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself? As machine learning becomes more powerful, the field’s researchers increasingly find themselves unable to account for what their algorithms know — or how they know it. This is both because of the bias of the affluent white men who are programming them, but also because we’re dealing with technology that is more of a mystery than we expected. Key quote from this amazing NYT long read on the subject: “We human beings seem to be obsessed with black boxes: The highest compliment we give to technology is that it feels like magic. When the workings of a new technology is too obvious, too easy to explain, it can feel banal and uninteresting.” (LINK)


Mentally Pleasing Content: Remember the Sesame Street video about how crayons are made? Well, us fully grown adults still love mesmerizing video – but now it’s things like calligraphy, paint being mixed, and slime being poked. These are widely shared on Reddit (Oddly Satisfying), Tumblr (#StimmyStuffs), and YouTube (The Most Satisfying Video in the World). This week Amazon got into the game by posting this amazing video of their fulfillment center on Cyber Monday. We put it on a loop in the office and haven’t gotten a lot done the rest of the day, to be honest.






Instagram Launches Dual Livestream:  In the platform rat race, it often feels like one big game of “Who’s copying who?”, but with the company’s latest dual livestream update, it seems like Instagram’s continuing to hang onto its shiny object status. When users start a live video they’re now able to select one of their viewers to go live with them, and can swap users in and out throughout the duration of the stream. One natural extension this update enables is for podcast hosts to give their audiences a visual, but this also has our wheels spinning about all of the potential brand-to-brand and influencer-plus-brand collaborations. We’re excited. (LINK)


Facebook’s Reconsidering the Newsfeed (Again): We all remember the Great Reach Drop of 2012, and while we’re not quite ready to ring the advertiser alarm, we did catch wind that Facebook’s experimenting “with an alternate Newsfeed setup” which would remove page posts from the main Newsfeed and funnel them to the newly expanded “Explore Feed” instead. This experiment is currently running in Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia with News Feed Chief, Adam Mosseri, chiming in to say that it’s born out of Facebook’s user base wanting “an easier way to see posts from friends and family”. (LINK)


Thinking about a couple’s costume? Twitter can help with that! These ideas were a big thing on Twitter this week with ideas in every category—politics, pop culturetech news and astrology.  (LINK)


Stranger Things meets Machine Learning: October 27th isn’t just iPhone X day today; it’s also Stranger Things 2 day! Thanks to Reddit, a DIY superfan campaign of the Netflix show is making the rounds in social today. This site makes anything you take a picture of “Stranger Things-ified” using artificially intelligent machine learning to identify the object. The results are hit and miss, but it’s a signal that this kind of technology is quickly coming to mainstream marketing. Try it out! (LINK)


Viral Video Throwback: here are a couple of our favorite viral videos perfect for a snowy Minneapolis Friday… I’m a Stupid Cat (NSFW); “Shia LaBeouf” Live; Star Wars Kid; Sneezing Baby Panda; The Future. What are your favorites?

“Me Too” and Cross-Stitch Memes: Following the national conversation spurred by the Harvey Weinstein scandal, millions of women came forward to share their sexual assault stories on their timelines, in hopes it will give the men around them a sense of the scale and “normalization” of the sexual assault they experience on a daily basis. Some men responded poorly, others responded proactively with #HowIWillChange, but one of the worst things we saw was this necklace. Many shared a cross-stitch that said “Boys Will Be Boys” (with “Boys” crossed out and replaced by “will be held accountable for their f—king actions”). Vogue tracked down the original creator — Shannon Downey, aka @badasscrossstitch. The combined Instagram following of the celebrities who shared it is more than 21 million, and that doesn’t factor in everyone else. Why did it spread? It’s unexpected. It’s a remix of an idiom we all know. It’s shareable, meaningful; oh, and it’s cross-stitch. (LINK)


Booking Work Travel? There’s an emoji for that! Marriot scored a headline by partnering with Slack to enable business travel booking via the thumbs up emoji. When teams are making plans within Slack’s chat feature, they simply need to provide their city and dates to receive a plethora of options. Everyone in the chat is then able to vote via Slack’s emoji options. We’ve seen other brands riff on Dominos’ AnyWare, but this is a cool way for a hotel chain to appeal to the younger, tech-savvy business traveler. 👍 (LINK)


Fake Klay Thompson Wins #SportsSocial: This week SeatGeek, a seat-selling website, broke the Internet with their sponsorship of a BigDawsTV (2.9 million subscribers) YouTube prank starring Fake Klay Thompson attending a Golden State Warriors game, taking pictures with fans, and sitting directly behind the real Klay Thompson – which made for quality TV moments. You may know Daws from his Drive-Thru Person Swap prank and others. The Fake Klay video is already at more than 1 million views and hit every sports round-up possible this week. Watch out, Ticketmaster!  (LINK)


HQ Trivia: A new live trivia gameshow hit the App Store this week, called HQ. Brought to you by the creators of Vine (RIP), the game features a fun and energetic host that goes live every day at 3PM and 9PM Eastern. Participants answer a series of multiple choice questions within 10 seconds. Only correct answers move forward until the end where the winners share a cash prize (today’s is $250). They’re currently throwing around ideas for prizes that aren’t necessarily cash, which could be interesting for branded opportunities. Be sure to download the app and turn on notifications for when the show goes live. See you at 3PM! (LINK)


Still Need a Halloween Costume? This week, in the biggest meme-fueled costume play since Left Shark, Snap debuted adancing hot dog costume on Amazon for $79.99. As you remember, the dancing hot dog emerged earlier this year when Snapchat rolled out an augmented reality filter that simply crushed news feeds. Since then, the hotdog has moved to Bitmoji and been embraced as one of the top memes of 2017. And now you can trick or treat as one, too. According to the description, it’s “Made of 100% beef, but never starts it!” (LINK)

Facebook Stories Coming to Brands: You know those empty circles at the top of your Facebook app where none of your friends are sharing stories? Soon they will be filled with Stories from brands, news publishers, athletes, entertainers and nonprofits. The feature is rolling out over the coming month to all pages, which Facebook sees as their strategy to drive adoption. With the extreme adoption of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, and the continued rise of disposable media messaging, we see huge potential in brands telling short-form, chronological stories. Adoption has been slow on Facebook, but this could be the tipping point. (LINK)


Snapchat’s Context Cards: This week Snapchat introduced context cards, which add contextual information to geotagged photos and images shared in public stories. Users can swipe up on any snap that displays the word “more” and they’ll see an interactive card pop up with options to engage with OpenTable, TripAdvisor, Lyft and more. Now you never have to leave the Snapchat app! Isn’t that great? (LINK)


Facebook, Bring Me Dinner: Speaking of never leaving the app, this week Facebook announced a new feature that allows users to order food from local restaurants using its app. Users can find the new option “Order Food” in the Explore menu in the Facebook app, where you can then browse area restaurants and click “Start Order” when you know what you want. Some early criticism is that Facebook is doing too many things and ordering food isn’t hard in 2017. But we’re watching for ad units that result in a “Like” for delivery. (LINK)


How Machine Learning Finds You New Music: Every Monday more than 100 million Spotify users encounter a hot new playlist created just for them, and it’s worth mentioning because people LOVE IT. Oh, and robots make the mixtape. It’s called Discovery Weekly, and it’s a playlist of 30 songs that are algorithmically tuned just to you. We’re geeking out on the science of their music recommendation engine: Collaborative Filtering, Natural Language Processing and Raw Audio Models. Sorry friends, we may never take a human-based musical recommendation again. (LINK)


#WomenBoycottTwitter: Sparked by Twitter’s temporary suspension of Rose McGowan’s account earlier this week after she and many others came forward with their Harvey Weinstein stories, women across the world are showing solidarity by falling silent on Twitter for one day. Today. Hundreds of women, including actress Alyssa Milano and model Chrissy Teigen, have said they will not post anything to the microblogging platform on Friday, “in protest of women’s voices being silenced.” Other influential folks like Ava DuVernay chimed in with another perspective, posing questions about which women we’re willing to back and if #WomenBoycottTwitter is truly intersectional. Questlove echoed her sentiments saying he’s on board to support women, so long as we remember that Jemele Hill is also facing backlash for her free speech. We’re watching, but more importantly, we’re listening. (LINK)

AR Art Sparks AR Protests: Snapchat continued to push augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream this week with the launch of a Jeff Koons collab, featuring 3D versions of the artist’s most-popular sculptures at popular sites as an AR scavenger hunt. Of note, the following day artist Sebastian Errazuriz vandalized one of the AR sculptures, Balloon Dog, in Central Park in “a symbolic stance against imminent AR corporate invasion.” This marks one of the highest profile AR-resistance events to-date, highlighting the downside of invisible digital layers on the physical world. There will be more. You just may not see them! (LINK)


Babelfish Comes to Life:  This week Google released a line of new products, including a first pair of wireless headphones that support live translation between 40 languages called Pixel Pods. Powered by machine learning, this technology is like having a personal translator in your ear at all times. If you tell it “Help me speak German” and then start speaking in English, the phone’s speakers will output your translated words as you speak them. Then German replies will then play into your ear through the Pixel Buds as English. Amazing. This innovation marks another step toward technology bringing cultures further together. Look for Apple to launch something similar on their AirPod platform as a fast-follow. (LINK)


Comfort Content in the Negative Social News Era: It was an even rougher week for America than normal, and our social feeds show it. Thankfully, The Chicago Tribune put together a listicle of shareable ideas to post that are less partisan, more positive, for those times you (and your followers, friends and family) could use a break from the barrage of negativity. It includes things like: Throwback Thursday, posting photos of food, making a custom meme, posting animal photos and quotes, and sharing America’s Funniest Home Videos online. We’ve been tracking the increase in consumers sharing less personal information but still looking for “safe” things to post, and this list epitomizes that rise in comfort content posts that can serve as a distraction from heavy news and politics. #TGIF (LINK)


RIP AIM: The most successful instant messaging service of the modern era, AOL Instant Messenger, will shut down this fall.  Widely used in the late ‘90s and 2000s, AIM was many consumer’s first experience with short-form messaging, messaging slang, and set the framework for today’s SMS text-heavy culture. The closure follows other legacy messaging apps, like MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger, meeting their maker as people move to mobile-first messenging like iMessage, Snapchat and Instagram. In fact, Facebook has multiple billion-user messaging services now — Messenger and WhatsApp. And texting slang endures! C U AIM. TTYL. (LINK)


Hacking Facebook Live’s Delay: Using the delayed audio and video from a Facebook Live stream, the band The Academic created a loop version of their song “Bear Claws” that blew up on Reddit and spread to social feeds this week – nearing one million views already. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. (LINK)