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…
Snapchat reported its first-ever decline in users. Worrying news for Snapchat this week, which for all its issues with a disastrous redesign had yet to lose total users—until now. The company is down 3 million users. (For comparison, Snap was adding 21 million users at this time two years ago.) The wild success of Instagram’s Stories clone is almost certainly playing a part in this, but merely duplicating features can’t account for all the ground Snap has lost since it seemed poised to take on Facebook for dominance just a few short years ago. (via Recode)
At least this clears up the ambiguity around poking. Facebook first teased their new Dating feature at this year’s developer conference. Now that it has reached the employee testing stage, it’s one step closer to being released in the wild. (Lots of luck to Facebook’s legal department for balancing that all-employee beta test with the HR handbook.) Most importantly—and likely most concerning to Tinder, OkCupid, et al.—is that the service will be a feature, not a standalone app. This will give Facebook a massive advantage in user adoption, although Tinder’s parent company isn’t hurting for revenue this year. (via TechCrunch)
Facebook doesn’t neglect professional platonic pairings either. For those already in loving and/or monogamous relationships, Facebook also has a new SFW option for connecting with people in your network: Mentorships. The free service will work around Groups, with admins choosing whether or not to enable the feature. If enabled, Facebook provides a guided program to facilitate check-ins, including directly via Messenger. A Facebook product manager said that the feature could include more automated functions in the future. (via TechCrunch)
Last Week in Tech…
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) August 8, 2018
Magic Leap is finally here. After years of hype and a mixed reception of demos so far, augmented reality gaming system Magic Leap now has an edition available for public purchase. The Magic Leap One Creator Edition is available in six cities, with an eye toward artists and app developers. At $2,295, it doesn’t come cheap—but at least it includes free shipping and a personal setup visit. The biggest question is: was it worth the wait? And not to further tease things after all these years, but the answer seems to be… Maybe? We’ll see? Hands-on reviewers say there’s more work to be done, but the technology has potential. The big question remains: no matter how much the Magic Leap can deliver, how much demand will there be for a $2,000 AR gaming system? (via the Verge)
New York City votes to limit the number of ride-sharing cars available for hire. The City Council vote halts issuing licenses for new cars from Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies for one year while the city studies the industry. Uber and Lyft warn that riders could face longer wait times and higher prices, but city officials argue this move will reduce congestion and help drivers. And about that congestion: Uber and Lyft currently account for about 80,000 vehicles, outnumbering yellow cabs four to one. (via NPR)
better questions than “should facebook have banned infowars?”:
– should corporations with no direct public accountability have de facto control over speech online?
– what about facebook makes it a misinformation machine, and how could it be designed differently?
— Max Read (@max_read) August 6, 2018
Facebook joins Apple in banning InfoWars. The dam broke this week for Infowars, the conspiracy-minded outlet from Alex Jones that has claimed, among other things, that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, the Super Bowl aired a satanic ritual and chemicals in tap water can change the sexual orientation of frogs. Given that Jones has never shied away from these sorts of views over the years, it’s unclear exactly what prompted most of the big tech platforms to oust him this week. But Apple’s podcasts got the ball rolling, with Spotify, Facebook and even platforms we had no idea he was on (and don’t want to dwell on too much) soon following. Twitter is holding out on a complete ban, but they have begun deleting specific tweets and accounts that violated their content policy. (via Select All)
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Elon Musk publicly muses that he could take Tesla private. It’s not exactly typical for a CEO to make idle speculation about his company’s future out loud on Twitter, but then Elon Musk isn’t exactly your typical CEO. After a series of tweets this week from Musk indicating that he might take Tesla private, company stock rallied before trading was halted. Industry insiders still aren’t sure how serious Musk is about the plan, but it makes sense in a way as part of Musk’s crusade against short sellers betting against the company. (via Bloomberg)
Last Week at Mindset Digital…
Just because you post it doesn’t mean they’ll come. Mindset Digital’s Dr. Debra Jasper explores the biggest social selling myth out there.
Thank you, Internet!
The recent engagement of one of our roundup contributors has bumped up his wedding-related internet searches and Google Alerts.
This has mostly led to productive things, like catering taste tests, venue tours and a rekindled Pinterest obsession. But sometimes it leads to places like this:
Yes, that’s Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” as played on rubber chickens from YouTubers Brett Yang and Eddy Chen of TwoSetViolin.
Amazingly, this isn’t even their first foray into wedding-appropriate classical rubber chicken music:
We’ll run it by the fiancée and keep you posted, but something tells us we’re going to stick with a DJ.
Matt Weiner and Pete Brown contributed to this week’s roundup