Digital Trend Update: July 15, 2016
News of Note
Snapchat revealed the upcoming roll-out of a “Memories” feature, which will allow users to save their snaps on the app. This is the first time Snapchat will enable users to widely share photos that weren’t taken “in the moment,” however memories shared to a story will still appear for 24 hours. Ultimately this occurred as a result of Snapchat’s ongoing efforts to enhance monetization of the platform. While many users will likely jump on the opportunity to save their favorite photos, this massive shift could diminish engagement from those who value the platform’s unfiltered, spontaneous nature as opposed to other channels like Instagram and Facebook.
Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer has jumped ship! Bret Taylor, CEO of Quip and co-creator of Google Maps, joined Twitter’s c-suite as its ninth member. Taylor is the fourth executive to join Twitter since April, showcasing the platform’s dire need for strategic rebranding after sales plummeted in 2015. Will Twitter begin using targeted technology similar to Facebook in order to distribute more accurate, real-time ads? Will Twitter officially eliminate its 140-character limit to allow longer content? We’ll have to wait and see.
Twitter will stream the upcoming Democratic and Republican national conventions. This announcement comes soon after the platform live streamed Wimbledon in an attempt to embrace live events on the platform. The video will come from CBSN, the 24-hour streaming news channel run by CBS, as the news outlet would not allow Twitter to post the content directly from the CBS feed. Anthony Noto, Twitter’s CFO commented, “By bringing the live discussion of the Republican and Democratic national conventions together with CBSN’s live stream video of the proceedings, we believe we’re giving people around the world the best way to experience democracy in action.”
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. Theranos’ technology, Edison, was marketed as being able to detect hundreds of diseases using just one drop of blood. Due to widespread inaccurate results, the letter states, “Theranos’ disregard for patient safety and its failure to immediately address concerns by federal regulators is systemic violation of federal law.” The company is now facing an onslaught of class-action lawsuits from patients. This is another example of how the government is working to better regulate health companies by monitoring conversation from consumers.
Just for fun…
Gotta catch ‘em all! After its release last week, Pokemon Go is the top downloaded free app across the Apple and Android stores. The augmented reality game allows smartphone users to track and catch Pokemon through virtual reality technology. The game originally received accolades for “getting kids outside with their smart phones” but has since received complaints from unsuspecting owners of “Pokestops,” the location in which numerous Pokemon are hiding. Brands are jumping into this trending conversation, which has trended across Twitter for a week. For example, Book of Mormon playfully displayed a Pokemon on stage prior to the show.