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.
Snapchat tries making the Snap Map less creepy. When Snap unveiled the Snap Map last June, the location-sharing feature won high marks for inventiveness but seemed to suffer from low adoption due to the “creep factor.” You had to opt into sharing your location, and you could always choose to just share with specific friends, but it wasn’t exactly intuitive. It looks like this time around, Snap is making it much easier to get users to try out sharing their location directly with a friend, without the need to worry about universally sharing where they are on a map at all times to everyone. (via TechCrunch)
It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are? YouTube, probably. Facebook’s bottom line might be doing fine, but their cool factor isn’t. A new Pew Research Center study finds only 51 percent of teens reported as Facebook users, down from 71 percent in 2015. YouTube is king with 85 percent using the platform, then Instagram at 72 percent and Snapchat at 69 percent. Interestingly, for all the abuse Snapchat has taken over their disastrous redesign, teens still use Snapchat the most often, even more than YouTube. Whatever their platform of choice, Pew confirms what we already suspected: this is a very online generation, with 95 percent on smartphones and 45 percent self-reporting as being “almost constantly” online. And that’s just the nerds who were afraid to lie to adults, so imagine the true total. (via the Verge)
Snapchat to Facebook: We’re flattered. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel had some thoughts on Facebook always stealing (er, borrowing) Snapchat’s best features at this year’s Code Conference. Spiegel said he’s flattered, but that it also underlines a serious difference between Facebook and Snapchat when it comes to data, privacy and their philosophy toward social media. If that sounds like heavy stuff for, say, disappearing stories, Spiegel’s point is that Facebook can’t change its perverse incentive structure for time and attention. In other words: Facebook is about competing for likes. Snapchat is about building a community through experiences. We’re not sure who will emerge victorious, but that Pew study (see above) shows that whatever Snap is doing, it resonates with digital natives way more than Facebook. (via Recode)
Last Week in Tech…
Who broke the internet? If you’ve been following tech publications lately, and even mainstream news, it’s hard to avoid a distinct shift in the way we talk about our relationship with technology—and the internet in particular. (See the iOS 12 news later in the roundup, for example.) In an episode of his new podcast, writer and MSNBC host Chris Hayes interviews Tim Wu in a wide-ranging conversation about how we wound up with our current online experience, and whether it has to be this way. You can read the transcript, but the entire episode feels like essential listening. Wu is a professor and lawyer specializing in media and tech, and he also coined the term “net neutrality,” so he’s a pretty good source when it comes to finding out why online seems so miserable these days. (via Why Is This Happening)
We award this emergency response 4 stars. Uber has enabled a new security feature on the app that allows users to call 911 during their ride. It’s a smart (if long overdue) safety feature, and will get even smarter once they roll out a feature upgrade that automatically shares your location with emergency services once you’ve placed the call. For now, though, that program is only being tested in select cities. So if you find yourself at the mercy of a dangerous driver, um… hone those quick pinch-and-zoom skills on the map? (via Select All)
“An apple a day” doesn’t mean have one all day. Android isn’t the only operating system to focus on “digital well-being.” Apple will provide what’s being called “Digital Health” tools of their own in iOS 12, with more details being announced next week at their annual developers conference. It remains to be seen how much this will be undercut by other splashy announcements getting you to use their products more (instead of less), but it still feels like a remarkable turning point in the cultural climate when both Apple and Google are both devoting major software announcements to initiatives meant to help you strike more of a balance with tech in your life. (via Bloomberg)
Thank you, Internet!
And now for more words than you ever knew you wanted to read on aging pop-punk bands, even aging-er 80s bands and the unflappable hit song at the middle of it all that has been impervious to irony, bad vibes and cohesive lyrics for almost four decades.
In December of last year, a 14-year-old Weezer fan started what can only be described as one of the most eclectic single-issue campaigns in history: “weezer cover africa by toto.”
This week it finally happened: Weezer covered “Africa” by Toto.
Why is a 14-year-old girl from Cleveland trying to get a pop band from 1992 to cover a goofy chart topper from 1982? Because the internet isn’t all bad, we guess. (Apparently “Africa” is enjoying a shockingly long shelf life in everyone’s fond memories and unconventional remixes.)
And if you insist on a longer read than “because the internet, duh,” have we got the thinkpiece for you.