Digital Trend Update: August 4, 2016
News of Note
Let the battle between Facebook and Snapchat begin! Facebook announced that Instagram will be rolling out a “stories” feature, which will look nearly identical to Snapchat. Instagram users will be able to share quick snaps in a carousel that will remain live for 24 hours and will not be saved to their Instagram profiles. There will not be any ability to like or comment on the content however, photos in a story can be customized with text and doodles— just like Snapchat. This is a large transition for the platform which has focused on helping users create polished, perfected photos on their timelines. The feature will roll out globally to all Instagram accounts over the next few weeks.
Theranos is in the news yet again. As you may recall, Theranos, a blood analysis start-up, was sent a letter from the U.S. House of Representatives after its proprietary blood test technology provided faulty results to thousands of patients. The company is now facing an onslaught of class-action lawsuits from patients. Theranos’ CEO Elizabeth Holmes recently addressed scientists at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, but did not explain the lawsuits and instead focused on upcoming technology upgrades. Enraged patients flocked to Twitter using #Theranos to discuss their frustration, leading to the hashtag trending for 8 hours. The social conversation is suspected to force Holmes to speak and provide an explanation for the crime.
Facebook and Instagram announced they have received rights to publish highlights and recap videos of the Olympics. The platforms reported that some of the highlights will be exclusive to the networks, such as saily slow-motion videos on Instagram. As the broadcast rights holder, NBC will tap Facebook Live’s video tool to broadcast interviews with athletes and commentators but will not livestream the competitions. Dan Reed, Facebook’s Head of Global Sports Partnerships, said, “Together, our platforms will provide both a front row seat and backstage pass to the biggest event of the year.”
The iOS 10 update will include the “most diverse set of emojis yet!” The upgrade will include professional women, women in sports, single parents and a rainbow flag. All emojis depicting people will be available in a variety of skin tones. Finally, due to the “influx of recent violence,” the gun emoji has been changed to a bright green squirt gun. This upgrade is receiving praise from beta testers who appreciate Apple’s willingness to “be aware of the times” and create emojis accordingly. The update will roll out later this year.
Younger millennials took to Twitter to vote for their “Choice President” nominee at the 2016 Teen Choice Awards. While this demographic is unable to cast their votes for President in November, they took to Twitter to ensure their opinions were heard. Hillary Clinton won the award, which is being largely attributed to her social media activity over the course of the past few months. As reported by The Atlantic, the current “young generation” tends to lean left— a trend supported by data gathered by the Pew Research Center — largely impart to their commitment to social channels and the activity they see from candidates across platforms. This is yet another example of the influence social media has in the upcoming election, even to those who are unable to vote.
Just for fun…
Harry Potter fans emotionally flocked to bookstores and Twitter after “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was published this past weekend. Instead of the standard Harry Potter novel format, J.K. Rowling published the script of the newly released broadway play, which is now being performed in London. The release of the script was bittersweet as it was published on the anniversary of the first book’s release and Rowling’s birthday. As part of the release, Rowling confirmed this will be the final story in the legendary series, leading to mixed opinions across social. #HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild and #HarryPotter were trending on Twitter for 24 hours, accumulating over 3.2M tweets collectively.