Tuesday Tune-Up #393


Are you game? Snapchat is set on a match
Not content with making you look like a baby or swapping your gender, Snapchat continue to bounce back from the Kylie Kurse with a new in-app game, Bitmoji Tennis. Challenge your friends to a spot of tennis on a virtual court and play each other as your respective Bitmoji avatars.

If you really want to up your game, you can upgrade your racquet, practice in solo mode, and then host a ‘winner stays on’ group tournament with everyone in your address book. They don’t say the ‘with everyone in your address book’ bit officially, but how will I know I’m the best out of everyone if I don’t do it like that?

Bitmoji Tennis joins the app’s newly launched group shooter game Tiny Royale, and is designed to encourage people to spend more time within Snapchat, as well as open up opportunities for advertisers.

Facebook cryptocurrency project under spotlight
There’s well-founded fear that Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, and its accompanying digital wallet, Calibra, could pose serious risk to global financial security. This has prompted US House Democrats to officially step in and request that all development is immediately put on hold until investigations are carried out.

In a letter sent to the Facebook leadership team, chairwoman of the House of Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, wrote: “If products and services like these are left improperly regulated and without sufficient oversight, they could pose systemic risks that endanger U.S. and global financial stability.” 

Free for a quick chat? Instagram launches chat sticker
If WhatsApp, Google Chat, SMS and IRL weren’t servicing your social interactions enough, read on my friend. Instagram’s new chat sticker lets users ask their followers if they’d like to join them for, well, a chat. It then gives them the power to select from people who respond.

We gave it a red hot go in the office with a chat about our greatest fears (cockroaches, loneliness, baths, crocs, long lunches and kidnapping, in case you were wondering) and the consensus is that it’s exactly the same as Instagram messenger, with a different entry point.

A Strange week of Things
On the July 4, Netflix’s launched the third season of Stranger Things – no spoilers here, so calm down and keep on reading. As one of the platform’s flagship shows, it’s no surprise that brands are jumping on board, with Baskin Robbins, Eggos, H&M, Nike, Target and Fortnite getting in on the action.

Over on our channels, we got involved with a few ideas of our own. We released a Facebook countdown video with a sneaky Easter egg hidden in the flashing letter of the sign, which, in Morse code, spells out the message featured in a new episode: “The week is long. The silver cat feeds when blue meets yellow in the west. A trip to China sounds nice if you tread lightly”. Unfortunately, the message was so sneaky that no one got it, but that’s fine. We know. And now you know too.

Over on Instagram Stories, we teased the new episodes with a quiz about the show so far. My favourite question (and answer) is: ‘What is the name of Hopper’s secretary?’ A great time was had by all and the global launch was a terrific success, with Netflix reporting 40.7m household accounts watching in its first four days – more than any other film or series on the platform.

Also, I lied earlier about the spoiler. Here’s one.

Bursting the Byron Bay bubble
In a section of the Tune-Up invented by me, the long read of the week goes to this Vanity Fair exposé on Byron Bay’s utopian ‘murfer’ Instagram community. Journalist Carina Chocano reports back on Australian micro-influencer Courtney Adamo and her group of female friends (or, ‘tribe’) who are all living their best life in linen. Their heavily curated made-for-Instagram world is explored at length and it’s wonderfully scathing.

This edition of the Tune-Up was brought to you by Florence Massey