VC Digital Bytes: February 15, 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

To celebrate Black History Month, Instagram has launched #ShareBlackStories, a campaign honoring black content creators on the platform. New camera effects were also launched, including some that are “inspired by the rich cultural history of telling stories through African mud cloth patterns.” Snapchat has a similar program showcasing black artists.

In Other News …

  • Move over, keyboards! A new report predicts that the number of voice assistants will reach 8 billion by 2023, up from 2.5 billion today.
  • If you’re an influencer, the number of followers you have is directly related to how much money you’ll make on sponsored posts and ads. That’s why there was a collective panic on Wednesday when a bug mistakenly dropped followers. Luckily, things are back to normal now.
  • Sadly, after the FBI shut down Backpage, a Craigslist-type website for online personal ads, many sex workers felt unsafe and reported a rise in crime. Slate explains how good intentions can lead to unintended consequences. For Reply All fans, the podcast also had a great episode on the matter last year.
  • “Well, that didn’t take long.” So writes Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic in his article about Amazon’s dropping of HQ2 in New York and its wider implications for urban growth and tech.

Fun Resources

  • Do you have a Google AdWords grant but aren’t getting the most out of it? Watch this free webinar from Bee Measure about how your nonprofit can effectively use your AdWords budget to drive results.
  • Buffer launched a tool to create Instagram Stories on your desktop! If you need to create stories for review and approval at work, this is the tool for you.

Finally …

Today in artificial intelligence dystopia news, Google and OpenAI locked down a text generator that worked a little too well. The companies fear the tool could be misused by generating fake Amazon reviews or creating fake imagery and video content.