VC Digital Bytes: October 12, 2018

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

It’s almost Halloween time, so how about some creepy news? Facebook unveiled Portal this week, a new device with a screen, speaker and camera, designed to be at home with you – similar to Amazon’s Alexa device. Twitter jumped into full “1984” mode, quoting the book that has an eerily similar device, the telescreen, in its plot:

The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. — George Orwell, “1984”

In other news …

  • Google had its annual hardware event this week, unveiling Pixel 3 and another in-home device called Home Hub.
  • In other Google news, it has finally (FINALLY) closed down Google+ after a data breach and continued decline in users. The U.S. Senate is now involved with the data breach and asking why Google didn’t disclose it much earlier.
  • Facebook announced it has banned more than 800 spam and fake news accounts. Usually these pages originate from overseas (think Russia and Iran), but interestingly, 100 percent of the accounts were U.S.-based. The deleted pages included Nation in Distress, Reverb Nation, Right Wing News and Snowflakes.
  • Scrolling – who knew we just don’t have time for it anymore? ? Instagram is testing a “tap” method of advancing through photos (similar to how photos are advanced in Stories) to save time.

Fun Resource

If you have Photoshop, you can make a GIF! Learn how over on The Verge.

Finally …

Ever heard of DuckDuckGo? I certainly hadn’t before today. It’s a “privacy-focused search engine” designed for users who are wary of recent data breaches and seeking alternatives to Google. Today, it announced that users complete 30 million searches per day, putting it at 0.18 percent of the global market share.