Social Pulse, Week of 12-30

Teens are Obsessed with Y2K: It’s not uncommon for teens to feel like they’ve just missed out on the best time by a decade or two, and many of today’s teens are reportedly obsessed with 2000s-era culture, movies, music and technology.

Key quote: “To relive the Y2K era, they run Instagram accounts like @2000sluv, @2000sjournals, @00sfreak, and @y2ktrashy and more, all stocked with a mix of content culled from the early aughts — vacuuming up paparazzi pics, screen grabs, magazine pullouts, and catalog clips. They worship the early 2000s style and maintain an encyclopedic knowledge of 2000s pop culture. On YouTube, they vlog themselves “living in the 2000s for a day” or for the weekend.” What’s old is new again!

Instagram Barbie Killed Ken on Christmas Eve: There’s a subculture of people who follow the lives of Barbie in social media through official accounts like @BarbieStyle (2 million followers!) but also unauthorized, fan-fiction accounts like @ellie.from.finland that weave soap-opera-like stories using the dolls and shared through social media. And on December 24, this particular narrative KILLED KEN (whose name was Damon). Here’s the CliffsNotes version. RIP Damon.

Bitmoji TV: It’s a personalized cartoon TV show STARRING YOU! And it’s coming to Snapchat Discover.

According to TechCrunch, “starting in February with a global release, your customizable Bitmoji avatar will become the star of a full-motion cartoon series called Bitmoji TV… Your avatar and those of your friends will appear in regularly scheduled adventures ranging from playing the crew of Star Treky spaceships to being secret agents to falling in love with robots or becoming zombies. The trailer Snapchat released previews an animation style reminiscent of Netflix’s Big Mouth.”

This is a huge play for Snap to maintain active users and increase social sharing of Snap content outside of Snap’s ecosystem.

Apple’s Virtual Speaker Patent: Apple was granted immersive audio patents for MacBook speakers and headphones that create the sense that the sound you’re hearing is coming from a different place than the speaker itself. Think of how this could be used for video calls — where you hear the person in the room positioned as to where they are sitting. Or when watching a sports game or Netflix show, where you have surround sound without multiple speakers. Because of the stickiness of this technology, The Verge says “you might be watching even more television on your computer one day.”

2019 TikTok Rewind: Shiloh and Elijah created an ode to the last year of TikTok trends with this 6 minute video that captures all of the trends from last year. TikTok has a huge lift in 2020 to meet the needs of advertisers without diluting its creative appeal to users, especially in the wake of the Pentagon banning the app from government phones.

Insta of the Week: Following the widely successful @DudeWithSign comes the natural sequel, @DogWithSign. Woof.


A rambling post with lots of factual accuracies about teens and social media

“Social” has come to mean the exact opposite of what it’s meant for centuries. Instead of actual interaction and communication, we define “social” as once- or twice-removed ego validation through button-clicking.

“Social” is what happens when someone posts personal information—photos, thoughts, announcements, favorite songs, jokes—on the internet and another person comes along and clicks a thumbs up icon or a star or a heart. If someone’s really “social,” they’ll even type a comment or reply.

Kids aren’t leaving social networks. They’re redefining the word “social.” Rather, they’re actually using the word with the intent of its original meaning: making contact with other human beings. Communicating. Back-and-forth, fairly immediate dialogue. Most of it digitally. But most of it with the intent of a conversation where two or more people are exchanging information and emotion. Not posting it. Exchanging it.

That’s “social.”

via Teens aren’t abandoning “social.” They’re just using the word correctly. — Understandings & Epiphanies — Medium.


See also my take on this study back in April:
The latest in “teens ditching Facebook” research

Are disposable media platforms like Snapchat and Poke the future of social media?
The New Yorker: Delete This When You’re Done