VC Digital Bytes: February 1, 2019

Every two weeks, Vanguard distills hundreds of digital media headlines into the best “byte”- sized pieces of useful information. Each edition has news ranging from the latest Facebook algorithm changes to best practices for email marketing. Share Digital Bytes with your organization to keep your digital strategies ahead of the pack.

Digital Bytes

Apple has had quite a dramatic week! First up, a 14-year-old discovered a massive security flaw in Apple’s FaceTime software that allowed callers to eavesdrop. Apple took so long to respond to the issue that the New York attorney general has started an investigation. Just a day after the FaceTime issue, Apple decided to go to war with Facebook and revoked access to all internal Apple applications that Facebook staff use. The issue stemmed from Apple’s opposition to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that Facebook was using to conduct “research” on users that was downloaded via Apple’s App Store. What was barely covered in all this news is that Apple also released an earnings statement and iPhone sales are down 15 percent.

In other news …

  • Today is a big day for net neutrality. Three federal judges will hear oral arguments today on whether or not the FCC acted appropriately by removing net neutrality last year.
  • Seen any friends using #DeleteFacebook? While the service is still growing, a new study shows that users who quit Facebook spent more time with friends but had reduced knowledge of current events.
  • Jerry Media, the marketing company behind the Fyre Festival, was behind the viral Instagram egg post from the last few weeks. In one of my favorite tweets of the week, BuzzFeed’s Katie Notopoulos imagines trying to explain this scenario to someone in 2014.
  • What do the recent tech layoffs mean for the future of media? That’s a huge question and a ton of think pieces are pouring in. One of my favorite tech podcasts (Slate’s If Then) explores this topic with author Franklin Foer.
  • Instagram Stories keep surging in popularity. About half of Instagram’s users (500 million) watch stories every day – yes, DAY! Now is the time to add Instagram Stories to your promotional mix if you haven’t already.

Fun Resource

Slow websites can negatively impact your Google search results and can easily make people bounce from your site before reading anything. A service called Pingdom has a free tool to assess website speed and offer recommendations for improvement.

Finally …

Australia has awarded a top literary prize to an asylum seeker who wrote an entire book using WhatsApp. While at a detention facility, Behrouz Boochani sent WhatsApp messages to a translator that turned into the book, “No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison.”