Recently Vox came out with an article interviewing Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. Who said that polling that predicted Hillary Clinton’s win might have been up ended if pollsters had been exposed to data from Google.
Stephens did a deep dive into Google Trends under the hypothesis that people lie to pollsters, but they don’t lie to Google. He saw trends in increased searches of racial epithets and analyzed area data to find intent to vote (searching for polling places, researching candidates, etc.)
“There was a darkness and hatred that was hidden from traditional sources,” Stephens-Davidowitz says. “Those searches are hard to reconcile with a society in which racism is a small factor.”
When asked what he sees as his most startling finding…
I’m pretty convinced that the United States has a self-induced abortion crisis right now based on the volume of search inquiries. I was blown away by how frequently people are searching for ways to do abortions themselves now. These searches are concentrated in parts of the country where it’s hard to get an abortion and they rose substantially when it became harder to get an abortion. They’re also, I calculate, missing pregnancies in these states that aren’t showing up in either abortion or birth rates.
Why It’s Hot:
We are at a point of crisis in polling and electoral faith, if we have Google data to help us match results this might restore confidence in our system. This also can help point us to where people are under served or suffering in our country. By keeping anonymity, this lie free data collection keeps users protected but could use data for good…. or bad, I guess.
For anyone who knows me, this information truly hits the sweet spot in my wheelhouse. Now, not everyone is Facebook friends with their state rep like me, fortunately, there’s an app for that… Facebook!
Facebook is looking to dive deeper to connect communities locally.
“Our goal is to help people build the communities they want by making it easier for them to engage and have a voice in government – on a daily basis, not just Election Day”
New features include, constituent badges, so representatives can see that they are a constituent when they interact online, as well as a community tab, so you can see what news stories affect your community and hear about local legislation.
As Russian’s hack our newsfeeds and we all watch the Comey testimony, some of our most important legislation happens right in our backyards. It’s great that for all the global connections that we make, we are starting to see that social media can do a great job connecting communities. Isn’t that what it was originally built for?
In an act of compassion in this data driven world, Twitter announced new data controls, allowing users to customize what data they share with the company and how they are tracked. In their press release yesterday they emphasize:
“Privacy is built into our DNA as a company.”
This is all well and good, but how do you keep a populace from freaking out (let alone opting out) when presented with this pop up upon login.
Additionally Twitter is allowing you to edit your interests in order to serve you better ads… as marketers we search a lot of stuff we’re not interested in.
It’s important that Twitter is taking privacy seriously, its possible they’re committing harder to “don’t be evil” than Google is. But, it’s hard to make this pill go down, maybe they need better marketers, not better data policy.
As we start expressing ourselves online less verbally, the ability to search by emotion is important. This eases our ability to detect sarcasm on social listening and from peer to peer. Adding expressions to our communications helps to clarify meaning. Also it’s fun to search by #poop.
This hot scoop comes to Hot Sauce from the combined minds of the East Social Team email chain (shout out to Gina!)
Tumblr is launching a new platform, Cabana. A new video chatting app:
The app lets up to six people video chat at the same time, but with a twist: Cabana isn’t about just getting together to talk, it’s about getting together to watch YouTube videos.
Why It’s hot:
To me this speaks to my #1 new social media tools rule… bank off of existing behaviorsite. I bet all of you thought to yourself… “yeah, I’d use that” which is why this app is pretty brilliant. You want to create a tool that has utility and is easy to integrate, or what’s the point!
McDonald’s Australia recently launched a new hiring initiative that starts on social.
Aspiring candidates can use a snapchat filter to “try on” the McDonald’s uniform and show off their personality in the 10 second snap. Talk about a Snap judgement…yuck yuck yuck.
Users then send the snap to their prospective employer who can reach out to them with a request for a full application.
Why It’s hot:
In social, we are always telling brands to meet customers where they are, lest they have to convince the user to take two actions, in this case first finding the application and then submitting. By contacting them not only does it broaden the scope of the pool, but hiring managers will get a feel for how an applicant might be in the workplace. Do they seem cheerful? Like they have a good attitude?
Additionally there are small customizations to the filter (the button wears a hat) that shows that Snapchat is amenable to make adjustments for brands. Stand out customer service in a very inflexible medium (in terms of post types).
If you’ve been sentient at all in the last week, you’ve probably already seen how Pepsi and Kendall Jenner teamed up to royally misread millennials, people of color and their allies. Pepsi launched a video that shows Kendall (a white woman) re-making (and displacing) the actions of a young black woman who confronted police last year in Baton Rouge.
They tried to make BLM and civic activism it all about Pepsi and the result was a very “All Lives Matter” final product. This was HUGE misread and co-opt of the black lives matter movement by a brand.
Now I know you’re dying to know “Who is the AOR behind this ad?” Turns out that this was was produced house. Really makes you feel like the agency model is working – we would have NEVER let this fly.
So now that you know why people are mad. Check out some sick burns courtesy of Mashable and my Twitter feed:
Brands want to and should be on the cusp of culture, but they need to read the tone of the discussion and put their money where their mouth is. Starbucks does this well matchinges their cups to the idea of joining together. It’s well branded and natural. Starbucks also provides education for their employees and have built credibility behind their togetherness message.
Ashley Feinberg of Gizmodo.com went on the ultimate social media stalk… and it wasn’t of a long lost friend from high school, or a prospective employer… It was FBI director James Comey.
“Last night, at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance leadership dinner, Comey let slip that he has both a secret Twitter and an Instagram account in the course of relating a quick anecdote about one of his daughters.
What is somewhat surprising, however, is that it only took me about four hours of sleuthing to find Comey’s account, which is not protected.”
She solved this mystery in X steps:
Find clues in Comeys public statements: Comey is followed on instagram by his family memebers
Find family members on Twitter (Comey and his son share two names so this search helped)
5. Where requesting Brien as a friend gave her this:
Confirmed by Comey’s love for theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who Comey wrote his senior thesis on.
Though the usernames didn’t match on Twitter there were only 7 Reinhold Niebuhrs on Twitter, leaving us with the most “incognito” one…
The article has a deeper breakdown of what Comey follows and RTs. Take a look when you get a chance!
P.S. @ProjectExile7 is now locked by request only 😉
Why it’s hot:
Now for the reference in my title…
As a past community manager, it was my job to stalk potential fans to “surprise and delight.” To be honest, my talent for stalking has taken me far. This example is just a singular example of how easy it is to find out digital details and follow breadcrumbs online. We are leaving behind a footprint with every online move we make and we are all more exposed than we think we are.
This image below contains offensive (since banned) subreddits and how they trend among supporters of certain politicians. It’s fascinating.
“Subreddits dedicated to politics and news are smack in the middle. r/Feminism is on the Sanders/Clinton side of the spectrum, though slightly closer to Clinton, as is r/TheBluePill, a feminist parody of r/TheRedPill; r/BasicIncome (a subreddit advocating for a universal basic income) is also on the liberal side, though slightly closer to Sanders.
And all of those hate-based subreddits? They’re decidedly in r/The_Donald’s corner.”
Why it’s hot:
This logic can be applied as social listening to any group to get to some of the technographic details we are always looking for. It is also a really interesting look at what human insights data can get us.
The Daily Mail is reporting that “a source close to the company said Netflix is working on a technology that allows branch narratives to be controlled from your remote control.”
It’s a choose your own adventure… for your favorite TV shows.
Killgrave has change of heart
Titus Andromidon goes viral
Frank Underwood steps down and donates all his worldly goods to charity.
Why it’s hot:
This is not only a great way to give your audience exactly what it wants, but gives Netflix a greater understanding about its consumers in terms of data. It’s also an out of the box way to do TV that none of its competitors can try.
Netflix has been on the cusp of innovation, allowing downloads outside of wifi, expanding the range of what a streaming content provider is expected to produce. By always adapting to the new media landscape they are almost determining how it rolls out. They don’t let history effect their business, they change the scope of the expectations among their competitive set.
Now you can dance to turn your lights on! Hayo pairs with Nest, Sonos, Hue and lots of other smart devices. It scans a room and allows you to make any household item a button and any movement a cue for your connected device to do what it does best.
Why its hot?
This indiegogo project is right in line with our favorite ‘Hot’ topic, connected homes. As people become more and more familiar with asking Siri for things, telling Alexa what to play — the list goes on and on — our behaviors are modifying. What if the next frontier isn’t speech, it’s movement. This user behavior seems a long way off, but from the video it seems easy to learn. Keep your eyes peeled for the new ways that people will learn to interact with their tech.
Snapchat is applying its famous filters IRL. Snapchat is releasing a new set of lenses that can “identify environmental elements” so we can “layer an object like a blimp in the sky.”
Right now you can tack stickers to moving objects and people in video. There is little information available about the rollout or how the new lenses would look. Are they applicable to different part of scenes or only selected objects. Is this a new expansion on the technology that identifies moving objects?
Why It’s Hot
Snapchat has been first to market with the kinds of augmented reality executions that are easy to use and actually change user behavior. They’ve already trained their users to know how to use this feature should it roll out.
Snapchats biggest win has always been thinking far outside the box and stretching the capacity of what your phone can do. They specialize at matching user behaviors and adding features that align with how people think. The ultimate product UX. Facebook may always be lagging, stealing features one by one. Watch out for that Snap Inc. IPO. 😉
This shows exactly why we need Twitter. Cultural moments can only happen in real time on that platform. No matter how much Facebook tries to poach, a celebrity message with that kind of virality wouldn’t hit newsfeeds until the next morning. Twitter has been having a tough few quarters, but there is a place for the platform in the social ecosystem.
But isn’t it kind of funny that Kanye picked Twitter?
Free Basics, Mark Zuckerberg & Facebook’s free internet service for India has been suspended. The program had been widely criticized, as it gave the poor access to the internet but only through Facebook’s portal. This strategy, called ‘zero rating’ is new to the net neutrality debate. By allowing free or unlimited low priced use of certain services, zero rating biases users twords certain areas of the Internet while cutting them off or discouraging visits to others. T-Mobile has recently come under fire for its unlimited streaming services. Critics say this program is an example of zero rating because the program favors streaming services, Netflix and Hulu.
Both of these programs appeal to users on face value, but on the grander scale, bias the open Internet for or against businesses.
Net neutrality has been a hot topic in our legislature, with different silicon valley businesses falling on either side of the line. Do you think this method keeps internet traffic from being neutral or that the benefit is worth the cost to get over 1 billion Indian citizens online for the first time?
This debate round, Donald Trump took a stand and didn’t stand behind the podium with 7 other candidates rivaling for the GOP nomination in the 2016 presidential race.
But despite his absence, his presence was still felt… on Twitter. Trump was mentioned 20% more often than his closest rival. Trump’s event, held in response, to raise charity funds for veterans took some of the steam out of the #GOPDebate hashtag traffic.
Twitter has a history of influencing elections, or at least calling attention to gaffes, and bringing viral moments top of mind. Last debate sparked the hashtag #NewYorkValues, referring to Ted Cruz’s skewering of Trump and ruffling the feathers of native New Yorkers.
Why it’s hot: Pollsters can get a feel for what the public is thinking even if it doesn’t necessarily reflect the voter base. The momentum online can swing public opinion at a time when voters are trying to figure out where the rest of the party aligns… right before the Iowa caucus.
In this new year, my prediction for the great wide internet is… live stream. And here’s why:
Natural expansion for Snapchat
Snapchat’s most popular feature is the Snap story, and users can face-time within the app. Adding a story live to your Snap story would be a smart next move for the 1-to-1 sharing upstart. This could carve out a different niche than Periscope, which sends video to a much wider audience.
So now Twitter users are adding to Periscope’s view numbers without subscribing to the service or even opening up a separate app. This added integration makes live-streaming more seamless. Maybe Twitter is looking to integrate entirely down the line.
Facebook Live Streaming Open to All Verified Pages
Though originally only open to celebrities, Facebook released their live stream option to all verified users last month. I watched the “Hamilton” Lottery being live streamed on Facebook last week by a little known user. Though I’m sure Facebook is concerned about liability that might come from opening live streaming up to the public. It seems that this is the direction their new (borrowed) feature will be taking.
User Behavior Changes
Cicso shared a study (which I’ve seen at least 20 marketers cite) that 80% of internet traffic will be streaming video by 2019. That isn’t hard to imagine, With the rise of Netflix and autoplay features. It doesn’t seem like such a stretch that live-streaming will represent a chunk of this traffic.
Why it’s hot?
These predictions are a mix of my own thoughts and changes in the news, but it seems like social is coming to a point. Few of us could have seen even a few years ago what mobile video would become, and this seems to be the next frontier. With Twitters stock price falling, will Periscope come to the rescue or will the market be dominated by an already established rival?
I’ve often worried if maybe my cell phone is getting between me and my life. There’s a push and pull between having photos and video of a moment, and really being there and paying attention.
Beme hopes to solve that problem. Beme has a sensor that recognizes when your phone is up against your chest (aka not in front of your face) you can only take video when it’s out of your line of sight. It also sends the video straight out to your feed, so you don’t waste precious real life human being time.. curating.
Ideally that makes for an authentic feed, with no time spent out of the moment.
Maybe this is the future? Joaquin Phoenix seemed to think so.
Why this is hot?
This solves a huge problem that’s plagued the “Facebook Generation.” But the real question is, is authenticity worth watching?
Over 80% of Interbrand’s top 100 brands are now on Instagram.
And their average engagement is over 30,000 interactions per post.
What online behaviors make Instagram so “engageable”?
Thumbstop to thumbstop behavior — My term. Users tend to view their feed all the way until the last photo that they recognize. Unlike parent company, Facebook, Instagram posts are always in the same order and show posts from every handle that you follow. When users hit the last post they’ve seen. They know theyve reviewed their entire feed.
Curation behavior — No native re-gramming tends to mean that content is genrally well thought out and prepared. Instagram influencers while seeming to be spontaneous have deeply planned feeds.
A culture of “liking” — The curated content means that the community knows the worth of a like. They’re dolled out to those that are worthy but great content is consistently rewarded with engagement. Since posts take up the whole screen, in my opinion, the user takes that moment to make a yes or no judgment on the post, not just an infinite scroll like Facebook.
Why its hot?
While there’s no moment that determines when social networks hit “must have” status, it seems that many brands figure it out a presence is needed consistently late. This seems like almost a benchmark for platforms entering the mainstream.
Facebook, in my opinion, is notorious for using the very best from its competitors, whether that method is effective or not. This new ad unit looks very similar to the UI of competitor, Snapchat. Snapchat has one of the most out of the box user experiences of any platform and it’s interesting to see the full screen blowout and in ap parallax become more mainstream. Facebook uses this UI in a way Snapchat hasn’t… to monetize.
Because it’s hilarious, and topical. Facebook targeting is so niche and powerful, but it’s interesting to see computers confuse topics mentioned once or twice as interests. Some of my personal favorites include….
In Instagram’s new blog post this week, the platform announced that it would be conducting a review and pulling API services from some apps. Headlines rang out “Third-Party Apps Losing Access to Instagram’s Feed” (Adweek, Social Times) and “Instagram Kills Off Feed Reading Apps” (TechCrunch.) But this move is a boon to marketers. In pursuit of this review, Instagram seems to be opening deeper access to social media publishing tools for brands and content creators.
From the blog:
We’ve updated our platform policy to explicitly list the use cases we will support moving forward. These include apps and services that:
Help individuals share their own content with third-party apps, such as apps that let you print your photos and import an Instagram photo as a profile picture.
Help brands and advertisers understand and manage their audience, develop their content strategy and get digital rights to media. Established apps in this space may apply for our newly announced Instagram Partner Program.
Help broadcasters and publishers discover content, get digital rights to media and share media using Web embeds.
This illustrates a departure from the reclusive Instagram that insisted on an impenetrable self contained ecosystem. Social media publishing tools that streamline posting, community management and analytics, like Sprinklr and Spredfast have had to build work-arounds for Instagram uploading and tagging. Now it’s likely that the platform will be integrated.
By strengthening the partner program, tools that brands utilize will finally have the ability to schedule content. We might imagine that Instagram influencers, who also are bound by Instagram’s mobile only uploading, would be happy to be free from those burdens as well.
This seems to ladder up to their most recent move to include Instagram in in Facebook’s self service advertising tool, Ads Manager.
Why It’s Hot
By entering the marketplace, Instagram is putting the power back into the hands of brands, while also keeping a tight reign on the beautiful and visually specific platform it has built. Consumers will be pleased by great content and protection from unknown third party apps, while brands can be flexible with posting. It’s the best of both worlds.
This week Facebook introduced its new “Doodle” feature to users into its most recent app update. Unsurprisingly, the update includes capabilities that look eerily similar to one of Facebook’s fastest growing competitors, Snapchat.
Facebook has set a precedent of trying to nab features from foes. Instagram video was born from Vine’s success. Facebook Live launched shortly after Periscope.
Snapchat has been targeted increasingly this past year. The copy-cat Doodle is preceded by a similar move by Facebook. The payment feature in their messenger app is a similar in functionality to SnapCash, released only months before.
Even though Facebook is king, it only win’s by thieving when the company moves early. Once a behavior or platform is ubiquitous, users seem set in their ways.
TLDR: Facebook introduces Snapchat lite…. 4 years too late.
Why It’s Hot
Not a hot move by Facebook but the ad world will be watching to see if their feature poach is a success.