VC Digital Bytes: March 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

Confession time: I finally downloaded TikTok. It’s the up-and-coming Vine meets karaoke app with 800 million downloads. It’s generating think pieces about cool girls, lawsuits from the FTC and is considered cringeworthy by journalists. And it’s relevant for communicators due to its inevitable marketing and advertising opportunities to reach millions of users, who unsurprisingly skew young and female. TikTok is experimenting with ad formats and my best guess is that we’ll see some sort of paid advertisement program roll out this year.

In Other News …

  • Would you trust Facebook with your money? In hopes of competing with Bitcoin, it’s jumping into the cryptocurrency market.
  • YouTube is a difficult platform for kid-friendly content. Its algorithm is easily manipulated and an automated video monitoring service allows unsafe content to easily fall through the cracks. This week, Wired offers some ideas for how to make the platform safer for children.
  • IGTV was supposed to be Instagram’s big break into long-form video, but it’s stumbling.
  • Goodbye Dash! Amazon’s strange “click a button in your home to order” device is officially gone.

Fun Resources

  • A new social media benchmarks study was released confirming some industry engagement trends: Instagram receives more engagement per post than Facebook or Twitter.
  • When the Pew Research Center began tracking social media use in 2005, just 5 percent of U.S. adults said they used social media. Today? It’s 69 percent. Explore more of the data Pew has collected since 2005 in their updated social media fact sheet.

Finally …

One million terabytes. That’s the enormous volume of raw data required to map the brain of a mouse. Take a fascinating look into the Argonne National Laboratory’s use of a supercomputer to work on this project.