Wednesday Wrap-Up #444

Ben Mayor

Elon Musk, Barack Obama and Kanye West embroiled in Twitter Bitcoin scam
The title might be a tad misleading, sure, but Twitter went into meltdown last week as the accounts of multiple companies and high-profile individuals were hacked with a bitcoin scam netting the culprits over $120,000 USD. A number of high-profile accounts, including Apple and Bill Gates, were compromised in one of the most widespread and confounding breaches the platform has ever seen. Twitter went into the harshest lockdown in its history by preventing verified accounts of tweeting, leading to ‘the unverified’ owning the platform.

The news saw Twitter’s stock fall as much as 4 per cent in after-hours trading and several law enforcement agencies are now investigating the vulnerabilities in Twitter’s system and security processes.

“We’re acutely aware of our responsibilities to the people who use our service and to society more generally,” the company said in a statement. “We’re embarrassed, we’re disappointed, and more than anything, we’re sorry.”

Snapchat bolsters commercial offering with brand profiles
Every Social Media Manager added a new item to their ever-expanding check-list as Snapchat announced the launch of brand profiles. The closed beta was announced with 30 leading brands, including L’Oreal Paris, Dior and Universal, given access to establish a home for their lenses, eCommerce options and highlights. With Snapchat having a huge audience across Millennials and Gen-Z, the new offering allows brands to tap into how young people are developing their “lifelong brand perceptions, preferences and loyalty”.

Snapchat swipes right
Continuing the trend of platforms copying the user experience of others, Snapchat has been testing a new functionality which allows users to flick through with a vertical swipe, similar to TikTok. With the increasing market dominance of TikTok, it has arguably become natural for users to swipe up to scroll through features and can find it quite jarring to revert back to Snapchats horizontal swipe. 

Mini update to Snapchat functionality: first third party apps launch on Snap
It’s a big week for Snapchat and the innovation keeps coming with the release of the first four Snap Minis, third party mini apps contained within the platform. Snap Minis are simplified apps, living within Snap’s Chat section allowing users to expand the functionality of the platform to encompass meditation, study collaboration, interactive messaging and more. The innovation, modelled on investor platform, WeChat, is the platform’s latest push to enhance engagement within the platform. 

Facebook places YouTube in their crosshairs with launch of licensed music videos
Facebook must have been inspired by the immense view count of Luis Fonsi’s Despacito (6.87b and counting). What else could account for the fact that they’re throwing their fedora in the ring with the launch of licensed music videos being able to live on the platform? 

Coming to the US on August 1st, established artists on the platform will have the opportunity to move their music to the separate tab, with everyone encouraged to do so. The amplification plan remains to be seen, but suffice to say YouTube will be keeping a keen eye on it so as to not lose their stranglehold over the 1 billion music fans per month that come to the platform specifically for the music offering. 

Internet trolls rejoice as Reddit allows even more GIFs
Reddit has opened up its gallery formats, allowing the most vociferous users of the internet to now express themselves with multiple images/GIFs in a single post. The new ‘Image Gallery’ feature is integrated into the ‘Fancy Pants Editor’ (legitimately what it is called), allowing more integration on the platform on desktop and mobile devices. 

Thankfully the community is quick to test it with u/MozekG providing me with a very informative walk-through of his planet.

Facebook and Instagram ban conversion therapy
Whilst conversion funnel marketing very much still exists through Facebook and Instagram, the platforms have updated their policies to stamp out advertisers promoting conversion therapy. In an announcement on Friday, Facebook announced that it would update its hate speech policies to encompass posts that advertise or promote the controversial practice. This prompted UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to follow up on plans to ensure the “abhorrent” practice is banned.

What Chipotle Are You?
No doubt you’ve seen the current meme-trend ‘What ____ Are You?” surging across social platforms. It was only a matter of time before brands jumped on the bandwagon, so Chipotle, known for being a brand for the people, set up the @what_chipotle_are_you Instagram account to ensure no-one dies not knowing what foodstuff they might be if they were part of a Mexican restaurant chain. Personally, I feel a little attacked to have been identified as a pile of used burrito baskets.

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A post shared by @what_chipotle_are_you on Jul 14, 2020 at 1:52pm PDT

An Unprecedented? Webinar Series for unprecedented times
The word ‘Unprecedented’ really hit its stride this year, topping out with a relevance of 100 in Google Trends for the month of March. It may be everyone’s favourite word during these unprecedented times, but what does it actually mean? Hosted by Chief Strategy Officer, Mobbie Nazir and Global Head of Cultural Insights, Lore Oxford, Unprecedented? is a new webinar series from We Are Social’s global network. Focusing on how we stay connected, entertained and informed, we’ll explore how COVID-19 is changing the way we behave online, and what it means for brands – not just in the coming months, but in the long-term. The three-part series will be running weekly and kicking off on Thursday 23rd of July.

This edition of the Wednesday Wrap-Up was compiled by Ben Mayor, with additional reporting by Ryan Dubras.