Our weekly roundup brings you a list of curated content in social, technology and Mindset Digital happenings from need-to-know to silly social trends.
Last week in social…
More blue check marks are coming to Instagram. Verified accounts have been a thing on Instagram for a while now, but the process has been a lot murkier and less common than on Twitter. This will soon change: any user can now easily request verification to receive a blue badge. Criteria so far include “notable public figures, celebrities, global brands or entities.” If you’re not an obvious celebrity candidate, though, don’t feel too bad if you still don’t make the subjective cut-off. (via TechCrunch)
Twitter is now suggesting accounts to UNFOLLOW!
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 29, 2018
Who to unfollow? In a move that strikes us as equal parts passive aggressive and helpful, some Twitter users have spotted a test feature that suggests accounts to unfollow in addition to the usual “Who to Follow.” It might seem counterintuitive for a social media platform that wants to grow its user base, but it makes a good deal of sense for Twitter in particular: a more relevant timeline could prod users into more engagement and satisfaction, leading to increased use in the long run. (via Mashable)
Not telling lies: viral videos make bank. Confession time: we’re at a loss when it comes to adequately explaining the “Johny Johny Yes Papa” meme in a tight paragraph, so read these articles first if they haven’t already invaded your social media feeds. What we find more interesting though is it’s not just an oddball meme—it’s also a serious moneymaker. The videos, based off an Indian nursery rhyme, pop up every few years and can rack up major traffic for the YouTube channels creating the videos. Like… millions of dollars of traffic for a popular video. Food for thought the next time you think the cheap animation is just a big joke. But make sure that food isn’t sugar. (via the Daily Beast)
Last Week in Tech…
The Fitbit Charge 3 gets a formal release announcement. As wearables shift from tech trend to fashion statement we’re stuck with for the foreseeable future, the dividing line has been around choosing a simple fitness tracker or a full-on smartwatch. Apple’s newest watch will be coming out soon, but Fitbit looks to create a hybrid category that combines some of the advanced features and notifications of a watch with the competitive battery life (and price) of a basic tracker. Fitbit’s alternative could prove compelling as it goes up against Apple this October. (via the Verge)
Sony’s old dog gets a new artificial intelligence upgrade. The original Sony Aibo was the first introduction many of us had to consumer robotics that actually felt fun and lifelike. The metal mutt is back with a cutting-edge model that uses AI to learn and respond to your house layout, recognize your face and more. The features don’t come cheap: the new aibo (the name got a lowercase refresh) will cost $2,899 and come with three years of service. As there’s no word yet on how useful the robot will be without an internet connection, that’s a pretty steep investment if you’re not a serious robotics geek. Still, your Roomba could probably use a friend. Don’t be a monster. (via Select All)
(worth noting that Bird and Lime alone have about a billion dollars in top tier VC backing behind them, not to mention a blitzkrieg PR campaign approach. and yet, much smaller scoot and skip won out.)
— ?_? (@MikeIsaac) August 30, 2018
The Great San Francisco Scooter War of 2018 heats up. The “better to ask for forgiveness than permission” strategy that served ride-share companies so well the first time around didn’t work with e-scooters: San Francisco has awarded permits to Scoot and Skip, two smaller companies, passing over major players including Uber, Lyft, Bird and Lime. In addition to limiting the number of companies operating in the city, the transportation agency also caps the number of scooters allowed on the roads. City officials noted that a large number of user complaints against the companies that flooded sidewalks with scooters without permission ultimately made an impact on the final permit decision. (via the Verge)
Last Week at Mindset Digital…
Think being digitally savvy is something you can let your teams handle? Think again. Mindset Digital founder and CEO Debra Jasper wraps up her blog series on social selling with a big social selling myth that holds teams back.
And catch up on the full series with posts that explore:
Thank you, Internet!
This might be a dubious biographical detail to brag about, but one of us spent more time as a kid creating cities in SimCity 2000 than we did getting outside in our real-life city. (Yes, we launched our arcos into space. C’mon.)
So we were delighted to learn that this might not have been a waste of time after all when we came across this video of a city planner (and SimCity devotee) revisiting the game to see how it holds up after his professional training.
Surprisingly for a game released in 1993, the answer is… pretty good! Density, municipal finance and tax values are all reflected accurately in the game. And bulldozing and rezoning have their real-life eminent domain counterparts—minus the red tape and resident complaints.
The full video runs about a half hour, but it’s worth it for gems like “Obviously every central business district needs a drive-in movie theater. That makes complete sense, land-wise.”
(via Fast Company)
Matt Weiner and Pete Brown contributed to this week’s roundup