Wondrous World of Digital & Social Media: Twitter’s Night Mode, Google’s Daydream, Social Media for Generation Z, and More
August 25, 2016
By FTI Consulting
The Big Four
(Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube)
A 19-year old Facebook employee just launched Lifestage, a brand new Facebook app that aims to explore how Generation Z wants to communicate through social media. You must be in high school to use the app and you have to join a school to be able to see videos from classmates – there’s no way to directly message someone.
Pitching the exclusive to… Facebook? Facebook — not broadcast rights-holder NBC or another news network — had the exclusive for U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps official retirement announcement. Phelps, who is one of 140 video creators Facebook pays to create live video on the social network, generated almost 4 million views with his hour-long Facebook Live announcement.
Facebook took yet another chunk out of our digital lives last week when the company announced that they were building a downloadable, desktop-based gaming platform. The offering would leverage the social network’s large user base with game developers, in order to unlock another revenue stream for The Zuck and FB’s shareholders. More specifics on the platform to come.
This is for all you night-owls: earlier this week Twitter officially began rolling out Night Mode to all of its iOS users. The new function will invert the dark text on light background, making those late night tweet storms a bit easier on the eyes.
A number of terror organizations have been using Twitter as a means to actively recruit additional members to their cause. The platform has heard the calls to crack down on this and has increased their vigilance in finding and suspending these terror accounts. Over the past two years, the company has identified and suspended 360,000 accounts and earlier this month the company reported that daily suspensions are up 80 percent. The company is working to constantly refine and calibrate the algorithm that they use to seek out these attacks, however two thirds of the suspensions are coming from around the clock work from Twitter’s various teams.
Orbiting the Socialverse
In the words of Biggie Smalls, “It was all a dream…” In just a few weeks, Google will release Daydream, a hybrid store and software service that Google hopes will be the dominant way people engage in virtual reality, much like Android is for smartphones. YouTube will be one of dozens of apps available within Daydream, alongside HBO’s streaming service, Hulu and apps from the NBA and MLB. This could be a game changer – stay tuned.
In a move to bolster content sharing on the platform, Pinterest has acquired Instapaper, an app that lets users shelve articles to read at their leisure. The goal: to assist in the distribution of articles and information from publishers and to improve indexing and recommendations. Instapaper competes with Pocket, Flipboard and Evernote.
If you needed another sign that video is THE hot content medium at the moment, look no further than Pinterest. That’s right, Pinterest. The image-first platform has introduced Promoted Videos earlier this month, which builds upon its animated Cinematic Pins to grant users access to a full auto-play video with sound. Participating brands can display six Buyable Pins beneath each video as it plays.
High fives all around: Instagram joined three of its fellow Facebook properties last week when it hit the 1 billion Android downloads marker in the Google Play store (joining THE Social Network itself, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp). While the store does include duplicate downloads, making the milestone itself potentially meaningless, it is more an indicator of continued growth (and innovation) for the photo sharing app.
Could this be a glimpse into a better health system? #Punny. Apple just acquired startup Gliimpse this week, which built a personal health data platform that enables any American to collect, personalize, and share a picture of their health data. This follows a line of digital health releases from Apple, including the launch of HealthKit, CareKit, ResearchKit and Apple Watch.
Traditional Media Goes Digital-First
Comments + The Coral Project
Last week, NPR ignited a trend – news organizations shutting down comments features. The organization said that commenters on the NPR site are “not representative of the demographic of their listenership” and that conversations are instead being held on social media. Based on the cost of the system and the small fraction of users, maintaining comments just isn’t worth it for them—or even feasible. Enter The Coral Project, a collaboration between The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Mozilla Foundation, which is developing open-source tools for newsrooms everywhere to cut through the negative trolls and tap into potential of audience engagement for journalism. Their vision is ambitious: to expand the realm of possibility for connecting with readers, and ultimately to give even small newsrooms an easy way to manage engagement—normally reserved for those who can pay for it.
“It is a fitting conclusion to this experiment in what happens when you let journalists say what they really think.” Gawker official shut its doors this week, driven to bankruptcy by Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan just thirteen years after it began.
BuzzFeed is dividing the class – one half news at BuzzFeed News, one half entertainment at BuzzFeed Entertainment Group. The company is reorganizing its infrastructure in an attempt to solidify its dominance in digital video.
According to the CDC childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years and, as of 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Enter stage left, McDonald’s Happy Meal fitness trackers.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.
About The Wondrous World of Digital & Social Media!
‘Wondrous’ is our U.S.-based weekly publication on all things digital and social to help keep you up-to-date and educated on the changing communications environment. For more information, or to subscribe,