A Total (Solar) Eclipse of the Internet
ICYMI, the US is witnessing the first total solar eclipse this century. And like every national event before it, and likely after it, the internet responded as we've come to expect.
Memes and puns galore? Tick.
Every social media platform livestreaming the event? Tick.
Brands jumping on the moment? Tick.
Peruse the listicles, and maybe write one up yourself. But I'd be remiss not to give a special shout-out to the official snack of the eclipse - Hostess... I'm sorry... I mean't MoonPie.
Lol ok https://t.co/lobyuNOkee
— MoonPie (@MoonPie) August 21, 2017
Some might say that MoonPie missed the opportunity for not doing the very same post first. But sometimes, a cheeky subtweet is all you need to win the argument. Support from Sheryl Crow doesn't hurt, either.
If the web to dark web coverage of the solar eclipse isn't enough and you really want to see it with your own, shade-covered eyes, here's where you could catch one. You might just have to wait a couple of years.
Welcome the rise of the 6-second video
As attention spans get shorter and scroll speeds get faster, a 30- or 60- second video will no longer capture the attention of the gif-loving generations to come. Youtube is convinced they've hit the sweet spot with the 6-second bumper ads they rolled out earlier this year. Now, 6-second videos are moving to TV, with Fox Networks being the first broadcaster to use the format during the Teen Choice Awards.
So it's time to think fast, mobile and frequently. The success of Youtube's ads lies in being the right amount of snackable to build brand awareness and recall with younger audiences. So watch this space - but not for too long - for shorter and shorter videos.
Facebook's new tools could make influencer marketing more expensive
We all knew it wouldn't be long until Facebook looked to cash in on influencer marketing. New controls that allow marketers to directly boost branded content sounds good enough. It means no sharing posts onto brand posts to be boosted or obtaining advertiser access to influencer pages. But this could mark yet another change in the Facebook algorithm that would suppress influencer posts in the news feed. It's time to start building more budget into influencer campaigns - or switch sides and become an influencer. #justsaying
Instagram pimps its Direct messages
Instagram storms ahead with yet another update to Direct Messages. On top of the threaded comments announced last week, you can now turn photos or videos sent in Direct Message into a sticker to add to your own reply. It's basically the visual version of threaded comments but here's a cute dog to help explain it.
Facebook launches Colorful Balloons app in China
Facebook may have been banned in China since 2009, but that hasn't stopped it from trying to gain a foothold into the country and its population of 700 million internet users. Released through a local company and with no Facebook branding, photo-sharing app, Coloruful Balloons - similar to the platform's Moments app - helped Facebook gain insight into how Chinese users share information and interact with their friends while flowing under the radar. But it seems the balloon may have popped, with recent crackdowns in governance set to provide huge challenges for Zuckerberg's Chinese takeover.
U.N. uses Facebook filters to promote humanitarian message
Lenses and filters have become synonymous with burger faces or the modern doggy ears. But this World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations have tried to change the jovial feature into something a little more meaningful. Enter the #NotATarget filters. Using Facebook's new Camera Effects studio and Facebook Live, users are encouraged to use the filter and read out the real stories that appear onscreen about children, medical workers, sexual violence and aid workers in areas of conflict. With UN ambassadors like Charlize Theron and Michael Douglas helping to spread the word and the integration with digital and OOH billboards, the UN is hoping to shine a much-needed light on the stories that otherwise go unheard.
Facebook will protect your profile when you die
Facebook and privacy do not always come together naturally. Yet with Memorialised Profiles and a Legacy Contact, Facebook is keeping your private chats on lock and key, even from your parents. It's part of a wider initiative to build empathy into the platform - from removing birthday reminders for people who've passed to showing less of your exes. The same feature could help you show less of say, people going off on a holiday. But if that's not your style, follow my travels at @anytiffng #sorrynotsorry
Brought to you by @anytiffng.