Plane spotting with your phone's camera; Pride in social; and would you pay for Twitter?
Read to the end for a bird who sings classic rock hits
You are reading 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 my 2019 #SwanFire backyard party playlist. Follow @gregswan on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Pride Month in Social Media: This is your annual reminder that changing your logo to a rainbow on social media without substantive DEI efforts as a company, leadership team, and brand behaviors is known as “performative marketing” and should be avoided. On the platform side, TikTok released a number of Pride-focused initiatives, including #ForYourPride. Facebook and Instagram curated #Pride collections from businesses founded by and supported by LGBTQ+ communities, plus Pride-themed avatars, post backgrounds on the Facebook app, as well as stickers for feed and Stories. Trending hashtags on Twitter that feature custom emoticons include #Pride and #LoveIsLove. And if you Google “Pride Month” you’ll get a custom animation to celebrate.
Facebook’s F8 Refresh Developer Conference: At this week’s F8 Refresh, Facebook introduced new products and opportunities for developers to build on the Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp platforms, including new augmented reality effects for group calls, business messaging across its suite of apps and Messenger API open to all accounts. Read more here.
Would You Pay for Twitter? This week saw the launch of Twitter Blue, a service designed for power users who are willing to pay a monthly fee for exclusive features like Bookmark Folders, a Reader Mode that makes it easier to read long threads, the option to customize your Twitter app icon, access to color themes, and dedicated customer support. And it includes an Undo Tweet option that is NOT AN EDIT BUTTON but does set a timer of up to 30 seconds to take back a tweet if it needs to be fixed. The service is first rolling out to users in Canada and Australia for $3.49 and $4.49 respectively in local currencies per month. The company did not say when Twitter Blue will become available for U.S. users. But depending on the success of this rollout, you can imagine it’s coming quickly.
It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! Have you noticed more planes in the air lately? After a full year of air travel slowdown, I’m seeing planes all the time now. So I’m using this free app called FlightRadar24 that uses augmented reality and real-time flight data to see what’s up. Literally. You center your phone’s camera on a plane in the sky, and the app will tell you what kind of plane it is, where it’s coming from, and where it’s headed. IT’S MAGIC! Download here.
Reads of the Week: 1) Inside TikTok’s effort to open doors for its Black rising stars; 2) The Digiday guide to news organizations’ social media policies; 3) Why the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack Is a Sign of Things to Come; 4) Here's why you probably bought something you saw on TikTok.
Twitter is launching a local weather news service in 16 cities.
Instagram reversed its reach penalty for Feed posts shared to Stories amid accusations of censorship.
Former President Trump shut down his blog.
LinkedIn is testing dark mode for desktop.
Instagram now allows Creators to tag two brands in a single piece of branded content.
ABC is developing a social media influencer reality series called #FollowMe.
App of the Week: Poparazzi lets you create a social profile that only your friends can post photos to – no selfies allowed.
Viral Videos of the Week: This guy plays classic rock riffs on guitar while his bird freestyles the vocals – Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper, Horse With No Name, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Third Eye Blind and more.
See you on the internet!
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(Typos are intentional to ensure your paying attention.)