Pay closer attention to Squid Game and how it's being co-opted in social, the metaverse, and more
Read to the end for the best NSFW TikTok account you'll follow this week
You are reading Social Signals, Greg’s weekly email about creative, digital, social, and cultural signals worth noting (and sometimes a dumb viral video worth sharing with your friends). Today’s email was written to EVINSPACY by Cassettes Won’t Listen. Follow @gregswan on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you haven’t already, subscribe below:
Squid Game in the Metaverse, the Real World, and Our Feeds
Netflix’s new series Squid Game from South Korea features a plot that is survival-game meets Truman Show meets Black Mirror and more. Netflix co-founder Ted Sarandos said, “Squid Game will definitely be our biggest non-English language show in the world, for sure, and there’s a very good chance it’s going to be our biggest show ever.”
The series turns playground games like "Red Light, Green Light" into deadly challenges and has been ripe for trending topics (18B views on TikTok), memes, user-created Roblox experiences where you can play the games, and a physical activation at a shopping center.
Squid Game is important to watch from a marketing and cultural signals perspective as we watch Gen Z co-opt the plot and create metaverse experiences that gamify the show in ways its creators couldn’t have anticipated. And on a global scale. Which makes the show both breakthrough in its social commentary and also participatory in culture unlike we’ve seen before. After all, “a player who refuses to play will be eliminated.”
TikTok World Recap
This week TikTok held its first-ever business showcase event (similar to Facebook’s F8 and Snapchat’s Partner Summit). And although its servers were crashed for the first 45 minutes of the day, the burgeoning platform shared some new tools for marketers and creators as we head into 2022.
TikTok Creator Marketplace has been overhauled and features more performance insights, sorting tools, and real-time monitoring of campaigns. There’s a Creator Marketplace API, which means the big social tools most brands use should support TikTok soon. There’s the TikTok Creative Exchange, which is a self-serve portal that will match brands with vetted creative service providers to help them produce high-performing ads, suited to their brief and objectives. There’s the Creative Center, which is designed to help advertisers understand what's working on the platform, in real-time. There’s a new tool called ‘Dynamic Scene’, which will use machine learning to break your videos into multiple scenes.
And a significant amount of changes and new advertising products for in-stream shopping, ecommerce, measurement tracking, and more. Read a more thorough digest of TikTok World here.
Americans check their smartphones 96 times a day, according to a recent survey.
YouTube is banning prominent anti-vaccine activists and blocking all anti-vaccine content.
Slack launched clips, video messages that help you avoid meetings.
Snapchat launched its 2021 Holiday Planning Guide.
Pinterest will host its annual Creators Festival next month.
“Will you commit to ending Finsta?” was asked this week as Congress once again showed they do not understand social media platforms whatsoever.
It’s Fat Bear Week (Sept 29 - Oct 5), which means bears from Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska are taking over feeds as their brown bears start bulking up for hibernation. You can even vote on them.
Google Lens will allow you to add text to a visual search and also search using any image that appears while searching the web. It will work on desktop, too.
Kantar’s 2021 Media Reactions report is out and filled with insights.
Apple Maps got a big update, including AR and 3D view features.
MediaLab, which owns Kik, Genius, and WorldStarHipHop, purchased Imgur.
Google Photos feature that keeps private photos hidden is getting a wider rollout.
You can visit the location of the Microsoft Windows XP Default Wallpaper.
Esports giant FazeClan is expanding their breadth by signing musical artists now.
A film crew is launching to the International Space Station next week.
App of the Week: TurnSignl gives drivers push-button access to an attorney when they are pulled over or in an accident for real-time counsel while recording the interaction.
Snapchat Filter of the Week: Learn ASL with the Randomizer Fingerspeller.
Tool of the Week: You know The Wayback Machine to look at old websites? The Internet Archive introduced The Wayforward Machine to look at what websites could look like in 25 years based on freedom of information trends to-date. Spoiler alert: it’s not great.
Insta of the Week: It’s a map of the US but the first letter of every state is missing, from @terriblemaps.
TikTokker of the Week: @wednesdayeverywednesday offers “It is Wednesday, my dudes” meme content every Wednesday.
NSFW TikTokker of the Week: @Big_PerkF___YoCouch is a sanitation worker who has a series called “F___ Yo Couch” where he collects old couches and smashes them into his garbage truck. It’s delightful.
See you on the internet!
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