#DeleteFacebook. But can you?

The growth of a movement to “delete Facebook” is leaving consumers in a pickle. As Vox reports, “the emphasis has largely been on users making up their minds about how to deal with the company on an individual level.However, this emphasis fails to take into account both Facebook’s position in modern society and the stakes involved for anyone who chooses to leave a network that has spent more than a decade trying to make leaving it impossible.”

In short, “delete Facebook” is just not that easy.

Again from Vox:

1) Facebook is technologically embedded within a vast web of interconnected third-party apps and social media platforms

2) For many people, using Facebook regularly is a required part of their job or education

3) Facebook is, for better and worse, a tangible tie holding many people to their communities



Why it’s hot: While the media and some in the ad industry may be quick to oversimplify and describe the current scandal as a death knell for the platform, there’s more at stake and more to consider than what’s on the surface. This could be particularly vital to keep in mind for healthcare communications, noting the above tweet referencing disease-specific diaspora.

Lets talk about Cambridge Analytica

Last week the U.K.’s Channel 4 News exposed data mining company Cambridge Analytica in a series of hidden camera videos. The videos show Cambridge Analytica employees admitting to stealing Facebook data as well as offering to send prostitutes to the opposition to obtain blackmail material.

Cambridge Analytica obtained the Facebook data by getting it from an academic claiming to be producing a study. 250k users were paid to take a personality quiz and allow access to their data, however the company scraped data from all of their friends, leaving 50M exposed to the breach.
This firm is funded by Trump ally, hedge fund billionaire, Robert Mercer, and was the brain child of Steve Bannon. That the Trump Campaign was possibly using illegally obtained data is now a big topic of discussion.
Turns out Facebook new about this breach since 2015. Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg were notably quiet in the first few days of this news cycle and Facebook’s stock lost $59 billion in value in the first few days. Zuckerberg came forward with an apology. 

I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation — including the steps we've already taken and our next…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Why it’s hot?
We continue to talk about how our unregulated internet is booth a boon and a detriment to humanity. Facebook seems in this case to be asking itself to be regulated (literally “I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated”). We should be thinking about how we should put some limits on what can be done by these social behemoths.

YouTube is backpeddling

YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki announced at SXSW that YouTube’s infamous conspiracy theory videos will now be paired with text from Wikipedia. “We will show a companion unit of information from Wikipedia showing that here is information about the event,” she said. YouTube is “using a list of well-known internet conspiracies from Wikipedia” to cull from.

Apparently Susan didn’t feel the need to inform Wikipedia before making this announcement:

Why it’s hot:

Wikipedia gets to cover itself legally while fact checking — but doesn’t really take responsibility and still gets to cash out on these videos. I don’t think its enough.

Vero, the Newest Social Media App To Come and Go

Ok. So it hasn’t “gone” yet, but let’s see if it goes the way of Meerkat, Ello and Peach, but for now we at Hot Sauce can say, “oh yeah, I know about that”.

The appeal of the new app is its sleek design and it’s chronological feed. It’s still too early to tell what the path might be for Vero, but it might be interesting for our food service clients, as their new Places feature is a highlight.

Vero has been having trouble keeping up with customer demand:

and by the time I write this post… the backlash has already begun…


That went from 0 to 60 real fast.

Oh and once your in, can you even get out?

Why it’s hot?

This might be just a flash in the pan, but it’s always good to be “in the know”.

YouTube’s Algorithm Helps Spread Lies

Time to re-litigate our favorite Hot Sauce topic! Are social media platforms media platforms or not? Do they have a journalistic responsibility to the public?

Last week YouTube’s quickly algorithm spread a rumor that Parkland HS shooting survivor David Hogg was an actor hired by democrats. It had 200K views shortly after it’s posting, but has since been taken down.

Mashable, the source for this post had a very apt understanding of the problem at hand:

YouTube’s job, as it sees it, is to get as many eyeballs on as many videos as possible. It’s as if a media tycoon founded a newspaper, invited every conspiracy theorist to contribute, and blithely waved away the notion that there should be any ethical responsibility to put forth the verifiable truth — because selling ads was all that mattered.

In a recent Guardian study this recent Guardian study out of 643 of partisan videos  recommended to people watching politics content in 2016, 551 were conspiracy-based content that favored Trump while 92 favored Clinton. This study also notes that “More than 80% of the YouTube-recommended videos about the pope detected by his program described the Catholic leader as “evil”, “satanic”, or “the anti-Christ”.”

The Guardian tells the story of french programmer Guillaume Chaslot founder of https://algotransparency.org/ who was looking to make changes internally at YouTube in 2013 before he was fired (reportedly for performance reasons, but I’ll leave that up to you.) He believes that the YouTube Algorithm was biased towards Trump because it is biased towards divisiveness and conspiracy (things that shock and awe audiences can get more clicks). You can read his full blog post on the subject here.

Why Its Hot?

Let’s continue the conversation about how AI and algorithms shape the way we live, is there a way we can make them more human instead of human pandering.

Twitter’s Transparency Not so Transparent

Image result for twitter ira blog

Mashable reports “Twitter is finally following Facebook’s lead and coming clean about how Russian trolls abused their platform in spreading misinformation ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But even in transparency, Twitter is still clouding the issue by literally deleting the evidence.”

We can give Twitter credit for a certain amount of forthrightness. They recently published a blog post recounting their platforms involvement in Russia’s tampering with the 2016 elections.

“We have now sent notices to Twitter users with an active email address who our records indicate are based in the US and fall into at least one of the following categories:

People who directly engaged during the election period with the 3,814 IRA-linked accounts we identified, either by Retweeting, quoting, replying to, mentioning, or liking those accounts or content created by those accounts;People who were actively following one of the identified IRA-linked accounts at the time those accounts were suspended”

While Facebook is putting together an action plan to properly label “fake news” and use user feedback to properly identify propaganda, Twitter has taken the same measures that they would any unwanted account… suspension and deletion.

Why it’s hot?
By destroying the evidence instead of properly marking it, as Facebook has done, Twitter removes both the cultural context and the cultural learning from the conversation.

I know we’ve spent time talking about bot accounts before but I’m still constantly fascinated that what humans do with AI can have an outsized role in global behavior.

Thumbs Down-ish

People can now downvote inappropriate comments to hide them on Facebook. But what Facebook does with signals about problematic comments could raise new questions about censorship, and its role as a news editor and media company.

The motivation for the button is to create a lightweight way for people to provide a signal to Facebook that a comment is inappropriate, uncivil, or misleading.

When tapped, the downvote button hides a comment, and gives users additional reporting options like “Offensive”, “Misleading”, and “Off Topic”. Those could help Facebook figure out if the comment is objectionable, a form of “fake news”, or just irrelevant. Facebook already has a “Hide” button for comments, but it’s usually hidden behind the drop-down arrow on comments rather than immediately clickable.

Though not a dislike button, its sure acts a lot like it. This has been the most requested Facebook feature, but Facebook has officially never given it. Instead, Facebook built the Reactions options that let you respond to posts and comments with love, wow, haha, sad or angry emoji.

The downvote button ties in with Facebook’s recent push to enhance its users’ well-being by prioritizing News Feed content that drives meaningful interactions instead of passive, zombie browsing. That led Facebook to show fewer viral videos, which in turn contributed to a 700,000 user decrease in U.S. and Canada daily active users — its first decline ever anywhere — and Facebook’s slowest DAU growth rate it’s ever reported.

But one way Facebook could generate more meaningful interaction could be by ensuring the most interesting comments are at the top of posts. Facebook already ranks comments by relevancy based on Likes and replies. But the downvote button could ensure that if objectionable comments rise up and stall discussion, Facebook will know.

Why It’s Hot:

  • Though not a dislike button it sure acts like a dislike button with teeth
  • It’s framed as part of their efforts to address fake news, but the truth is that they have recently experienced their first loss of users and this could be an effort to ensure the most interesting topics to each user rise to the top, and those that are objectionable don’t interrupt the experience
  • It’s going to be very interesting to see results, especially given the options of “misleading” and “off topic” as these are highly subjective…also if these will apply to advertisers


Source: TechCrunch

A lesson in authenticity: The Mad World of the Lisa Frank Social Presence

We all remember our Trapper Keepers from the 1990s. Well now, you can get those same warm fuzzies + a shot of dada millennial feels from Lisa Frank’s social media pages.

The rainbow brand has taken their signature, busy, colorful style and added, busy colorful messaging… typically around the things they know you love. The up-coming weekend, sweet treats, and sitting on the couch and watching Netflix.

Lisa Frank is hoping to hone your 90s wistful nostalgia and adding a bit of what you aimlessly “like” on Instagram.

Posted by Lisa Frank on Monday, December 4, 2017

Pilates can wait until 2018! How are you enjoying this holiday season?

Posted by Lisa Frank on Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Posted by Lisa Frank on Sunday, January 21, 2018

Posted by Lisa Frank on Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Posted by Lisa Frank on Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Posted by Lisa Frank on Monday, January 8, 2018

Posted by Lisa Frank on Saturday, January 6, 2018

Why its hot?

Lisa Frank wins by being their authentic selves. By mixing their brand signature with not so amazing commentary on the work week, there is, some how a recipe for greatness.


Snapchat looks to separate social from media. And I like it.

Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, announced an app redesign on Wednesday, one that focuses more on our interpersonal relationships. It looks to separate those one to one moment’s from our always on connection to the media cycle.

The combination of social and media has yielded incredible business results, but has ultimately undermined our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media. We believe that the best path forward is disentangling the two by providing a personalized content feed based on what you want to watch, not what your friends post.

Evan is looking at a longer view of social media success instead of immediate gains. I think this separation is notable and valuable.

Why its hot?

We live in a world where our social lives are wrapped up among news and clickbait. We’ve long seen the trend of younger users moving to 1:1 messaging apps and dark social. It’s the natural response to the “public” requirement of social media. This change begs the thought: “Well… of course these things have been too unnaturally intertwined. Why haven’t thought of that!”


Snapchat’s Redesign Aims to Pull Up the Nosedive

Snap got destroyed by Wall Street today after a horrible Q3 earnings where revenue and user growth fell well under expectations. So to get things going in the right direction, CEO Evan Spiegel says Snapchat will make some bold moves not everyone will like. Specifically, it’s redesigning the app to be easier for older people to use, and it’s using data to power an algorithmically sorted Stories feed instead of the strictly reverse-chronological one it uses now.

In the prepared remarks for today’s earnings call, Spiegel wrote about these changes:


  • “One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback. As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use. There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don’t yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application. We’re willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial longterm benefits to our business.”

Algorithmically personalized Stories feed

  • We are developing a new solution that provides each of our 178 million Daily Active Users with their own Stories experience, leveraging the tremendous benefits of machine learning without compromising the editorial integrity of the Stories platform that we have worked so hard to build. As part of our efforts around Search and Maps, we now index millions of Stories every day, meaning we have the long tail of content necessary to provide a truly personal experience. We hope that showing the right Stories to the right audience will help grow engagement and monetization for our partners and for Snapchat.”
  • During the earnings call, Spiegel discussed how he saw Facebook as wisely evolving the content-sharing format with its personalized feed of friends, but now sees another opportunity for progress. He explained how Facebook’s feed encourages people to add more friends so it has more posts to draw from, but Spiegel believes that people share less personal content when exposed to a larger audience. But if Snapchat integrates premium video and search-based content, it could fill gaps in friend content without incentivizing you to over-friend. To a similar end, Snap plans to make Snap Map more accessible, as right now it’s invisibly buried behind a pinch gesture on the home screen.

Why It’s Hot

  • As Snapchat improves design for “the olds”, will the younger generation abandon ship?
  • Anytime a social media platform drops the term “redesign” the eyes begin to roll. This could either make Snapchat friendly for all or it could be the death rattle.



No one loves like Mom, Procter & Gamble declares with its newest spot, “#LoveOverBias.”

The minute-and-a-half-long video guides the viewer through moms supporting their kids with their dreams and through their circumstances—whether it be bias over color, religion, disability or sexual orientation.

Set to the tune of a version of “Ooh Child (Things Are Gonna Get Easier),” it’s poignant and lovely, and culminates with the copy, “Imagine if the world could see what a mom sees.”

Why It’s Hot

  • The hashtag #LoveOverBias makes the brand’s message clear. By celebrating the differences of the young athletes, P&G makes an impactful statement in the face of a polarizing political climate. The video also becomes sharable on social media.
  • Sometimes you just need a feel good ad on a Friday.


A Fun Exploration into RT’s Promoted Posts

Facebook, in compliance with Richard Burr and the Senate Intelligence Committee, released examples of posts that were promoted by Russia and RT to help swing voters in the 2016 election.

Here are some examples of the posts that divided us:

Source: http://mashable.com/2017/11/01/facebook-ads-russian/#mEyDJvWCviqM

Why It’s Hot?

We live in a world dominated by social media, but we have a “build it first,” ethics later approach to technology. We have the tools at our fingertips to organize in moments but ideas can descend faster than we can figure out who’s sending messaging. Can your brains be hacked? The years after the discovery of the printing press were dark times for humanity. We should be careful when the power is in few hands and keep transparency at the forefront of not only social advertising but organic social as well. Twitter and Facebook have thrown up their hands, refusing to be “the arbiters” but if no one is left with this job, the American people suffer.

Instagram allows live stream to add guests

Instagram, competing hot on the heels of other live video broadcasting apps, is enhancing its video streaming service with a new feature that it hopes will bring out more videos both from those of its 800 million users who might be too shy to use the feature on their own, and from those who can’t resist an opportunity to be more social. Today, Instagram announced that it would let users who run live video streams add guests into their videos.

The rollout, part of the company’s latest update, follows a limited test that Instagram started in August to smaller groups of users, as part of its bigger and gradual expansion of live video and messages — a feature that first launched a little under a year ago.

The feature works by letting people who are streaming a video to add anyone who is watching the video at that moment, by clicking on the “add” button in the corner of the screen. When a person gets added, he/she joins you in a separate window below yours on the screen. For now, it looks like you can only add one person in at a time (and you remove that person to add in another).


Why It’s Hot

  • Instagram continues to roll out features that keep the platform competitive against Snapchat and Periscope.
  • By making the livestream function more dynamic, Instagram allows for deeper engagement and more time spent on platform.

Twitter, the new vault for KFC’s secret recipe

KFC pulled a successful social media stunt by following 11 people on its Twitter account that hinted at the company’s secret recipe of 11 spices and herbs. Accounts that KFC follows are all of the Spice Girls and 6 people named Herb.

Why it’s hot: Great publicity at minimal cost.

Why it’s not hot: KFC doesn’t seem to have immediate next steps to amplify the effect.

Democrats Propose Transparency for Online Ads (And Twitter Volunteers Early)

Two Senators Amy Klobucha and Mark Warner, of Minnesota and Virginia, respectively, have proposed bi-partisan legislation to align online ad buying regulations with those for other forms of paid media in response to Russian propaganda attacks ahead of the 2016 election.

In related news, Twitter has offered to put in place a similar policy as this legislation is being proposed in Congress. This new policy adds a layer of transparency, showing viewers who bought the ad and why they were targeted.

Why it’s hot:

While silicon valley noticing and fixing it’s own issues is important for long term change, legislation is important to level the playing field to make sure all big digital media companies comply, not just those who think the issues of transparency are a big enough problem to self regulate.

Facebook Testing Allows Marketers To See What People Are Saying

Facebook is soon going to let us peek inside the very innards of the Big Blue Factory and see exactly how it’s fueled – the deal here is that Facebook is apparently testing the ability to give marketers and the like the opportunity to analyze “what topics, themes, brands and products are being discussed.”

The beta test isn’t expected to be widely available until next year, according to people familiar with the offering who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss something Facebook hasn’t announced yet. Early ad partners, which include top agencies and media companies, are searching Facebook’s vast history of public posts to see what topics, themes, brands and products are being discussed. Users’ identities are withheld.

It’s all still very hush hush.

Why It’s Hot:

The new tool could help marketers see the social network in a whole new dimension, and even give them a broader understanding of their businesses, with data that informs them about trends in the industry and the consumer mindset.

Facebook has always been much less interested in the content of posts than how people respond to them. “On Facebook, you know everything about a person from their profile, what they liked and who they connect with,” says one agency executive in the test. “But Facebook is not good at knowing what people are saying, what they’re posting.”

Twitter Finally Does Something About Online Harassment

This week Wired was leaked the exclusive scoop that the internal Trust and Safety Council at Twitter was looking to make changes after the popular #womenboycotttwitter movement last week. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey seems to confirm this in a series of tweets.

The list leaked to Wired of posts no longer allowed by Twitter were:

  • Non-consensual nudity
  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Hate symbols and imagery
  • Violent groups
  • Tweets that glorify violence

Why it’s hot:

Twitter has a long history of avoiding harassment on its platform. As public outcry starts to grow about the #metoo and #womenboycotttwitter hashtags, Twitter is starting to feel the pressure. Ideally doing the right thing years ago would have been enough to trigger change, instead of a reactive response to public outcry.



Snapchat introduces Context Cards

Snapchat is introducing Context Cards, a way for users to see reviews and maps of where their friends are checking in. From there you can make reservations or call the retail locations.

Why It’s Hot?

Snapchat kind of exists in a world of its own and anytime it integrates with other apps and plays nice, it’s a boon for marketers. This integration is pretty seamless and seems like a great way to bring in the larger internet snugly into the new “maps” piece of the Snapchat world. I hope Snapchat always sticks to their guns, and keeps their interface contained, as they continue to incorporate into the larger picture.

FDA’s Digital Health Innovation Action Plan Targets Software – Not Hardware – For Regulatory Approval

A few weeks ago I posted an article that spoke to the value connected medicine dispensing could bring to healthcare.

What I neglected to mention is the plethora of HIPAA hurdles that the healthcare industry faces when it begins collecting patient-specific healthcare data on mobile devices such as phones, tablets or wearables.

Thankfully there may be a solution on the horizon that significantly circumvents this challenge.

In the past, if a client were to build an app that collected patient-specific medical data, the entire phone would then be considered a “medical device.” The challenge with this lies in the relative inability of a healthcare company to effectively to manage HIPAA compliance on a device they rarely have contact with.

However, the FDA’s new Digital Health Innovation Action Plan is looking at ways to view the software as the components of a tech solution that needs to be regulated. This effectively paves the way for healthcare companies and the companies to more deeply integrate mobile technology with healthcare.

As part of the plan, the FDA is seeking 9 that meet the following criteria for its pilot initiative;

  • Business is developing or planning to develop tools that meet the FDA’s definition of a device — one intended to be used to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease;
  • Company has an existing track record in developing, testing, and maintaining software products use key performance indicators for quality control;
  • Must agree to provide access to performance measures during the pilot
  • Collect real-world post-market performance data and provide it to the FDA;
  • Availability for consultations and site visits from FDA officials
  • Provide quality management system information

So who did the FDA deem worthy this past week from the pool of over 100 applicants?

  • Apple
  • Fitbit
  • Verily (the health unit of Google parent Alphabet)
  • Samsung
  • Roche
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Pear Therapeutics
  • Tidepool
  • Phosphorus.

“We need to modernize our regulatory framework so that it matches the kind of innovation we’re being asked to evaluate, and helps foster beneficial technology while ensuring that consumers have access to high-quality, safe and effective digital health devices,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “These pilot participants will help the agency shape a better and agiler approach toward digital health technology that focuses on the software developer rather than an individual product.”

The end goal of the program is to develop a regulatory framework for software as a medical device so that companies with established, tried and tested quality assurance protocols would be able to update their products faster.

Why It’s Hot:

in the past, mobile devices such as wearables, phone or tablets that collected patient data weren’t HIPAA compliant. This new FDA initiative opens up the potential to build technology that makes these devices HIPAA compliant opening up vast new opportunities for the healthcare industry.

Facebook Attempting to Quell Brand Safety Concerns

This week, Facebook  introduced new “monetization eligibility standards” it said are designed to provide more clear guidance on the types of content that will be allowed to have advertising run alongside it on the platform and will also specify the types of publishers and video creators who can earn money from ads on Facebook.  The news comes in light of its efforts to ramp up their in-stream video ad offering and avoid the brand safety pitfalls that continue to plague the industry – most notably the early summer snafus of rival YouTube.

The company said it would not place ads alongside content that focuses on tragedy, conflict or debated social issues, or that depicts acts or threats of violence, for example. It will remove ads from content that fails to comply with its guidelines.

To date, Facebook hasn’t had to deal with advertising adjacency challenges to the extent many online media companies and ad platforms have, owing to the nature of its in-feed ad formats that appear as stand-alone entries as users scroll through their news feeds.

The new in-stream ads will appear as ad breaks in the middle of publishers’ videos, but won’t be inserted in user-uploaded videos.

In an attempt to alleviate brand safety concerns, Facebook said that in the coming months it will begin providing advertisers with post-campaign reports specifying which publishers’ content their ads appeared in, across in-stream videos, Instant Articles and its Audience Network ad network product.

Advertisers won’t be given the ability to specify which content they want their ads appear alongside using “whitelists” of preapproved publishers. Rather, they will be required to “blacklist” specific publishers from their ad buys, or to remove categories of publishers Facebook deems to publish “sensitive” material.

Facebook said it would also provide marketers with a new tool that will offer a preview of which publishers’ content their ads may appear alongside before their ad campaign begins.

While the new monetization eligibility standards will apply to videos and Instant Articles hosted on Facebook itself, they will not apply to the Audience Network, which allows marketers to target consumers across websites and properties outside of the Facebook platform.

Why It’s Hot:

Brand safety has been a growing concern for marketers in recent years as they try to reach more tailored audiences. Thanks to the rise of automated ad targeting systems and vast ad networks, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep track of where their ads might show up. The rise of third party verification companies is putting increasing pressure on walled garden giants such as Google and Facebook (aka the Duopoly), but the walls have yet to crack.


The balance between brand safety and maximizing ad revenues can be a tricky one to strike, but will Facebook’s solution, which still disavows any third party integration be satisfaction enough to quell brand needs, or is the platform simply too integral to avoid at any cost for marketing campaigns?

source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-pitches-brand-safety-ahead-of-video-ad-push-1505309401



Swipe Up for a Burger at Your Doorstep

Ever wish you could have that beautiful burger you see on Instagram… brought to you immediately? An agency out based out of Brazil (named Africa) is deploying a new social campaign for Heinz: ‘Irresistible Posts’ where they seek to make this possible.

In Sao Paulo, Instagram users who are searching the Stories section in the early afternoon receive a targeted video of a delicious burger prepared by a local restaurant chef. At the end of the video, the chef appears onscreen and tells the user to swipe up to have this exact meal sent to them. Once the user fills out their location details, the burger is brought to their doorstep. Where does Heinz come in? It is delivered in a personalized box created by Heinz – which conveniently includes several of their condiment products.

Heinz has not announced if they plan to expand the campaign outside of Sao Paulo.

See video!

Why it’s sizzln’ hot: Not only does this activation play upon the extremely relevant #foodporn Instagram trend, but this is a strategic play for Heinz. By being the behind-the-scenes partner that helps users fulfill their cravings (and add to them with their condiments), they are becoming a more relevant and reliable brand that provide more than just the add-ons. Additionally, next time these users think back to the best burger they’ve had – they will associate Heinz with that positive, memorable, and tasty experience.

Source: PSFK

Snapchats going crazy with the updates!

And you get an update and you get an update and you get an update!




And were you looped in on the new Snap Map?

Why its hot?

Snapchat is looking to find new out of the box ways to use social and to monetize.

I still believe that Snapchat has the most unique way of looking at the internet and 1:1 interactions. They are integrating brands without insisting brands have user profiles and using the full screen in ways that Facebook might be too stuck in its ways to fully realize.

Twitter leaves its nest

Twitter has changed (again). It seems as though with every recent interface update, Twitter glided away from its original path. First, the favorite star was replaced by a heart, then the egg avatar was cracked and abandoned, only to be replaced by a generic profile icon and now literally everything else has changed! There’s no more perch on the birdhouse for the bird to sit on, the quill has completely vanished, and the reply is a generic speech bubble.


Why it’s hot:
Twitter’s interface was intriguing because it was different. But change is inevitable and supposedly the new interface is meant to drive more user interaction by making it easier to use. But is it really easier? Or are things just now unnecessarily bolded, rounded, and strangely thin? Has Twitter completely destroyed it’s nesting ground or is this just a migration towards something better?

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the new layout – I feel as though they’re telling me to get my eyes checked because of all the unnecessary bolding going on. But I guess that’s the least of my worries when there’s an orange man with very tiny hands who thinks his 140 character Tweets about “alternative facts” are life changing.

Article: https://www.wired.com/story/twitter-redesigned-itself-to-make-the-tweet-supreme-again/

Can Facebook Turn Blue Into Green?

Can advertisers target teens when they’re feeling sad? Facebook might want to help them find out. Facebook came under fire this week when leaked documents showed Facebook Australia promoted advertising campaigns that exploit Facebook users’ emotional states—and how these are aimed at users as young as 14 years old.

According to the report in The Australian, the selling point of this 2017 document is that Facebook’s algorithms can determine, and allow advertisers to pinpoint, “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” If that phrase isn’t clear enough, Facebook’s document offers a litany of teen emotional states that the company claims it can estimate based on how teens use the service, including “worthless,” “insecure,” “defeated,” “anxious,” “silly,” “useless,” “stupid,” “overwhelmed,” “stressed,” and “a failure.”

The data is specific to teens in Australia and New Zealand only.

Facebook responded to the report: “Facebook does not offer tools to target people based on their emotional state. The analysis done by an Australian researcher was intended to help marketers understand how people express themselves on Facebook. It was never used to target ads and was based on data that was anonymous and aggregated.”


Why its hot

Facebook knows everything about us and this ability to gather incredibly intimate data raises obvious ethical questions. Should a pharma brand be able to target medication to mother’s with sick children? Should a sports supplement brand be able to target kids who feel weak?

The Fyre Festival: A Fiasco Fueled by Instragram

By now you have heard about the fiasco that was Fyre Festival. The social media-fueled project, co-founded by rapper Ja Rule and his tech entrepreneur partner Billy McFarland, promised people “two transformative weekends” on a private island in the Bahamas, with “the best in food, art, music, and adventure,” and, if the model-filled promo videos were any indication, this would be a tropical Coachella. This festival emerged seemingly out of nowhere but soon went viral after the festival organizers hired some 400 Instagram influencers to post about the event. The campaign promised luxury, beauty, and exclusivity.

This festival never happened, and the lead up to it was a fiasco. People remained stranded in Miami and the Bahamas on their way to the festival, which organizers announced at eight A.M. last Friday morning had been “postponed.”

The first warning sign came from Blink-182’s cancellation – the band backed out on Thursday afternoon, just 24 hours before the festival was set to begin, saying “We’re not confident that we would have what we need to give you the quality of performances we always give our fans.“ Then came reports of flight issues, with many attendees stuck on tarmacs in Miami. Those who actually got to the island found half-built tents (which end were actually storm relief tents), mattresses stacked around the tents, luggage dropped from shipping containers, a Sandals resort around the corner, less-than-ideal weather, and these sad sandwiches.

Festival goers now demand refunds, there is even a $100 million dollar lawsuit facing Ja Rule and Billy McFarland.

Why it’s NOT Hot:

What does this say about authenticity of influence marketing? Sure, many people blame “rich millennials” for falling for this mess of a festival, but is that fair? An editor at Wired writes “Fyre Festival was, in essence, the physical manifestation of the false narrative that social media creates. It’s the wide-shot on the smoothie bowl.” In my opinion, Fyre Festival and its rise and fall lessens the credibility of celebrity influencers – who have taken no accountability for promoting this, and collected their paycheck mindlessly.

Source: WIRED, Bloomberg

Tumblr Announces Cabana

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!

Can 4/20 Be the Healthiest Day of the Year?

When people think about 4/20, they’re probably not thinking of healthy activities, but cannabis health and wellness company, Hmbldt wants to change that—with the help of their products, of course.

The company’s product line consists of vape pens that are designed to distribute controlled hits of cannabis designed to help to alleviate common ailments such as pain and insomnia — without getting its consumers high.

Yesterday, the company rolled out “GO420,” a social effort that will highlight 420 healthy ways to enjoy April 20 via the hashtag #GO420. Gifs and videos offer tips like “Go make a dream come true,” “Go take a pottery class,” “Go tell your partner you love them,” “Go do push-ups in the park,” “Go tell your partner a sexy secret.”

Why It’s Hot

  • Putting the consumer first by leveraging what is likely their biggest moment and making it about personal health rather than buying a product.
  • Campaigns like this create excellent affinity and lifelong ambassadors for a brand.

Infield Chatter Social Network Lets MLB Players Interact With Fans

The Major League Baseball Players Association launched this week, Infield Chatter, a social media app that lets players interact with fans. Infield Chatter already has more than 1,000 players on board, which means all the players on Major League Baseball’s 40-man rosters for each of its 30 teams are signed on. (MLBPA says about 500 major leaguers are on the site, but minor leaguers and retired players can also contribute.) “We asked for a better way to communicate directly with fans and learn more about them, and make it easy for them to learn more about us,” Minnesota Twins pitcher Hector Santiago said via email. “We believe this is the way to go, a true baseball community so that we can just be ourselves.”

Members of the Infield Chatter community will enjoy special features designed to connect players and fans in a number of ways, including:
•Sharing photos, videos, and original artwork, with the ability for both sides to comment
•Regular video chats, where fans and players can conduct two-way Q&A sessions
•Hosting contests and competitions, where fans can win “player-hosted experiences,” autographed items and more.

With so many people loyal to massive platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, it’s hard to persuade even die-hard fans to download yet another app. However, the association is pitching Infield Chatter as a way to hone in on its specific audience, as fans increasingly want details about players’ lives outside of the game.

Why It’s Hot

The MLBPA said the Infield Chatter app was created at the request of MLB players, who wanted a better way to interact with their fans. The app meshes well with MLB’s own initiatives to create youth appeal for a sport that is losing younger fans. Infield Chatter reaches a distinct, pinpointed community in ways that social media can’t. In a press release, Kris Bryant, a player for the Chicago Cubs, commented on the app: Every player understands how important it is to connect with the fans. They’re the main reason this game is so special. The fact that Infield Chatter was built with this interaction in mind as the top priority really helps us share and connect in ways that we haven’t been able to anywhere else. Major leaguers who come from around the world – with numerous differing interests and insights – will now be able to engage with fans on a host of subjects, all in the palm of their hand.

Opportunistic Content 101: Toys R Us Giraffe Cam

“April the Giraffe” – a wildlife park’s pregnant giraffe, April, is set to give birth any day now, and the internet is watching. Toys R Us has capitalized on all the eyeballs by sponsoring the zoo’s live feed of April. The buzz has come in the form of genuine excitement and anticipation as well as conspiracy theories.


Why it’s hot: Toys R Us saw the simplest of opportunities – a basic sponsorship getting their brand name and logo in front of hundreds of thousands of people who likely fit within their target demo – and seized on it quickly, having to do little more than pony up the cash to support the zoo. It remains to be seen if the whole thing is truly organic, or if it’s a PR stunt orchestrated by Toys R Us, the zoo, and/or Doubletree Hotels whose local franchise has also placed advertising on the giraffe’s dedicated landing page.