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…
So Google, Facebook and Twitter walk into a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing… For the past few days, the three companies have been disclosing just how much their sites served as a platform for Russia in the presidential election. Yes, the whole Russia interfering with the US is still very much a thing, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few months. The grilling lasted for three hearings over the course of two days, and at no point in time did any of the companies openly voice support for the Honest Ads Act that would bring new regulations. (via Wired)
“Less is more, but bigger is better… right?” – Instagram. Instagram Stories have always just sat quietly on top of your feed, but not anymore. Some users have spotted a new feature that introduces a mid-feed panel that is smushed in between actual posts in order to re-engage users scrolling through the app. Within the panel, user profile pictures appear over a large preview tile, so there goes the excuse “I’m sorry I must’ve missed it” when it comes to skipping over certain people’s Instagram stories. No news on when this new feature will reach everyone, so stay tuned… (via Independent)
And last place goes to… Snapchat. Instagram stories reportedly have 300 million users on their platform, which already beats Snapchat’s number of users. Now, another Snapchat competitor is reporting to have 300 million users less than a year after its launch. WhatsApp Status allows users to post a status that disappears after 24 hours and people are already loving it. These numbers are nearly two times more than what Snapchat is reporting, which means it’s not looking good for Snap Inc. Insult to injury: Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, a year after Snapchat revealed that the company turned down a $3 billion acquisition from Facebook. (via CNBC)
Last week in technology…
Launchpad Studio has its eyes set on the medical field. Google’s latest artificial intelligence move will target one industry at a time during the six-month program to support startups in fields that are lagging behind in technology. First up: medicine, and its massive amounts of data that could be used for better patient outcomes. Participating companies include BrainQ, CytoVale, Augmedix (with an assist from Google Glass) and Byteflies. (via TechCrunch)
Is the X a perfect 10? The iPhone X (pronounced “ten”) is officially on sale, and the reviews are in. Recode has a rundown from multiple outlets, and here’s what people are saying: Face ID works pretty well (but put a pin in those legal and privacy concerns), the “notch” isn’t ideal but ymmv, and the screen is gorgeous. And also reeeeeeally expensive to repair, so AppleCare+ might be worth it this time. Apple clearly sees this as the future of the iPhone, but unless you’re a dedicated early adopter you aren’t missing much by hanging out with an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus in the more affordable present while they work the kinks out. The phone ships today. (via Recode)
The sounds of startups going silent: Doppler Labs was the company behind Here One, an “augmented reality earbud.” The battery-powered earbuds were built to enhance the sound around you, which could theoretically be applied to being able to control bass frequencies at a concert or diminishing workplace chatter at the office. However, the company ran into trouble when it shifted into becoming its own hardware business. Their founder also shared a candid look at what it’s like trying to compete with tech giants like Google and Facebook. Their final app, Here Plus, has been made available for free in Apple’s App Store. And if you’re still sad, umm, the Google Pixel Buds look cool and there’s a good chance Google won’t run out of money anytime soon. (via the Verge)
Last week at Mindset Digital…
Instagram adds a co-op mode to livestreaming, Amazon Key unlocks new delivery options and Walmart tries out an unorthodox way to hire employees who don’t need lunch breaks. Watch a quick recap of the three things you’ll want to know happened last week.
Thank you, Internet!
Go to the Internet to learn about Internetting. Amanda Hess is producing a five-episode series of weird, wrong and kinda sad culture of a little known thing called the Internet. The first episode tackles the effects of political memes and how the Internet has shaped an “everyone versus anything partisan” attitude. (via the New York Times)