Things of note for the week ending Friday July 1st, 2016.
1. WHO SHARE, YOU SHARE, WE SHARE, LESS
So here’s a thing: would you believe that people are actually sharing LESS ‘original’ content than ever before? So much so, that Facebook recently held actual crisis talks (yeah, because that’s a crisis) over the huge drop it had seen in content from users.
There are three different data points that support this. First, there was this report from April that stated:
“Overall sharing reportedly fell 5.5 percent from mid-2014 to mid-2015, so Facebook has fewer posts to choose from for your News Feed. But the bigger issue is this: people are posting far fewer of their own personal updates â€” stories about their thoughts, their life, what they’re up to â€” to Facebook. The report says this type of post fell 21 percent during that same timeframe. The decline has continued into this year, though at a somewhat slower pace of 15 percent year over year.”
YOU GUYS. TWENTY-ONE PERCENT.
But there’s more.
To combat this decline, Facebook has announced yet another algorithm change.
This particular change is switching the focus of your newsfeed to real life people (in your face, brands). As Facebook itself said:
Weâ€™ve heard from our community that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends they care about. For people with many connections this is particularly important, as there are a lot of stories for them to see each day. So we are updating News Feed over the coming weeks so that the things posted by the friends you care about are higher up in your News Feed.
Whatever you say, Facebook.
Reading between the lines you can see the intention here: by upweighting ‘things posted by the friends you care about’ (eg: photos of your life), the newsfeed will contain more ‘original’ content and therefore inspire you to share / make / upload more of your own.
This is fairly conjectural on my part but still, you can see how I got there. Oh, especially when Instagram is suffering too.
Didn’t you hear?
Over the past three years, Instagram has increased its user numbers by 500%.
That is mental.
However, the average number of photos shared per user is down.
This could be the start of a worrying trend.
As with all [good] trend analysis, it’s good to understand the key drivers of the new behaviour. In this instance the key drivers could be:
- The rise of messaging apps driving content off public platforms to closed chat groups
- Related: the rise of Snapchat (a very clear competitor in the content-creation game)
- Growing mind-share of the cultural implications of over-sharing.
Watch this one closely, it could be the start of something… big.
2. PARISIAN ROBOTS
A 10-year-old girl applied to a Paris-based summer fellowship to help improve her robot-building/coding skills. Her pitch?
â€œThe streets of Paris are sad. I want to build a robot that will make them happy again. Iâ€™ve already starting learning how to code on Thymio robots, but I have trouble making it work. I want to join the program so the mentors can help me.â€
(probably my favourite thing this week)
3. THIS BODY
Zoe Margolis on happiness, the long hard fight, and ultimately: acceptance.
Also one of the best things I’ve read this week.
I love you, Zoe. You’re awesome.
4. OGILVY BLAZE RADIO
A few issues ago I told you lovely lot about the radio show that I was going to co-host alongside the internet’s favourite webmong, Matt Muir. It was fairly blink-and-you’ll-miss-it BUT if you did miss it and you’re currently worried about how you’re going to live the rest of your life without such aural wonderment gushing into your ears… THEN WORRY NO MORE!
Simply by clicking the above image, you will be magically transported to the Ogilvy Blaze Mixcloud page where our excellent broadcast has been uploaded for your enjoyment.
5. TWITTER IS LAUNCHING STICKERS
Yes, that’s right. Stickers.
So far so Snapchat / so what. BUT. In what could possibly be the smartest thing that Twitter has done this year, said stickers will be searchable.
And that is kinda awesome.
Bonuses this week are as follows –
- Get Emoji. A useful place to cut and paste emojis if you’re working on desktop and need some for a presentation or something…
- The original Clash of the Titans is one of my all time favourite films. This behind the scenes report shows the REAL clash of the titans that happened on set at the time. Brilliant stuff.
- It’s all kicking off between Apple and Spotify. Like, massively.
- Google Maps is FINALLY letting you navigate somewhere via multiple way-points. AT LAST.
- Classifying the emotions of Facebook (via reaction data). Data + emojis = ?
And that is that.
Except, it isn’t.
As has now become the norm, I’d like to present a new weekly feature I’ve decided to call: ‘What the eff is going in your country, Whatters?’ and the following links reflect just that.
- I went viral last weekend – 2.2k RTs and counting (and nearly again during the week – shh). I got called ‘thick as fuck‘, was told me understanding of the word ‘lets’s’ was ultimately flawed, and, above all, I made the top post in a Buzzfeed list. How did it feel? Well, it was funny. You get to see the ‘hilarious’ brutal underbelly of what it’s like out there on the internetz. The only thing I found myself feeling was: ‘James, can you imagine how worse this would’ve been if you were a woman, or person of colour, or sikh, or muslim, etc’ – exactly.
- Here’s a letter to MPs from a Remain voter (at the London School of Economics & Political Science) that I thought was an excellent read.
- While we’re at it, Professor Michael Dugan, the leading EU lawyer whose criticism of the referendum campaignâ€™s â€œindustrial dishonestyâ€ went viral, is back with another video this time assessing the current situation. Worth a watch.
- If you’re overseas and still have no real idea how the hell we found ourselves in this position, then this brief history lesson should offer some decent insight.
And finally, given that I’ve used a gif from the film earlier in this edition of FToF, maybe we should all take some time and re-watch THE IRON GIANT this weekend.
Farewell, my friends.
Until next time,