VC Digital Bytes: June 28, 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

During an interview this week with a venture capital firm, Bill Gates admitted that Microsoft completely flubbed the mobile device market. The Verge’s recap of the interview also has this gem of a line from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In discussing the rise of the iPhone, he said it was the “most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard.” It’s a good reminder that even some of the most successful people in the world can be wrong!

In Other News …

  • One of Apple’s most prolific designers, Jon Ivy, is leaving the company to start a new design firm. Read Vice’s take on why he leaves a troubled legacy at Apple.
  • During a talk at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Mark Zuckerberg responded to Facebook’s handling of recent controversies and said that Facebook was right to not take down the doctored Nancy Pelosi video. The festival also touched upon *checks notes* a WEIRD trend on Facebook in which young people pretend to be baby boomers.
  • So, you’ve seen a lot of chatter about fake videos in the news. But how exactly do you spot them? Slate examines several methodologies people use to uncover fake videos, but notes that the lack of a consumer-friendly tool makes the process difficult.
  • Nano influencers are people on social media with a following between 1,000 – 5,000 people. Medium has a guide that breaks down why you shouldn’t overlook this group in your communications work.
  • Scams to verify Twitter and Instagram accounts are on the rise as the platforms make it harder to get verified and offer murky selection criteria. The Atlantic breaks down the problem and ponders if the entire verification system needs an overhaul.
  • This week’s Reply All episode focuses on how easy it is to intentionally confuse and misinform consumers. Listen to the episode to learn how a law designed to ensure low-income workers can file for taxes for free was essentially wiped out due to TurboTax’s confusing web design.

Fun Resource

  • If you need a refresher on Facebook strategy, the company added 22 new free modules to its Blueprint training program. The new courses focus mostly on small businesses/organizations and include topics like “How Instagram Can Help Your Business.”

Finally …

The New York Times is publishing a series of op-eds from … the future! It’s a play on science fiction with a dose of futurism and technology. This piece comes from science fiction writer Cory Doctorow about a near future with social media regulation.