VC Digital Bytes: September 14, 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

This week’s big hardware news came from Apple with the unveiling of new iPhone and Apple Watch models. The new Apple Watch has beefed up health tracking capabilities that includes tracking when a user falls down, and an FDA-approved feature that generates ECGs (electrocardiograms). Most people have welcomed the increased health functionality with the Apple Watch, but as Quartz points out, “Although the watch can detect changes in the patterns of a person’s heart rate, these changes really only show a user if she has a heart rate that is too fast, too slow, or beating irregularly—signifying AFib. The watch won’t necessarily give the full picture a doctor would need to diagnose a medical issue.”

In other news …

  • It’s about time! YouTube finally has enacted parental controls giving parents control to choose videos and channels that they want children to have access to. This should mean fewer kids see videos with disturbing content — as the New York Times reported last year.
  • If you use or search for an opioid-themed hashtag on Instagram, you will now receive a pop-up message from the platform asking if you need help. The new feature was developed in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and the Partnership for Drug Free Kids.
  • Google is creating a censored version of its search engine for China, causing at least seven employees to quit this week.
  • Could memes become illegal in Europe? That’s one of the questions being raised by new Internet legislation passed in the EU (anyone getting GDPR flashbacks!?).
  • Does your organization have a SnapChat account? In awesome news, publishers will now be able to share user-generated content in their stories.

Fun Resource

Successful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) continues to be like finding a unicorn on Mars…it’s tough. Use Paddy Moogan’s checklist on your website to make sure you are getting the basics right.

Finally …

I was listening to one of my favorite Internet podcasts this week (BuzzFeed’s Internet Explorer – note that it is NSFW), and there was an interesting discussion about Facebook. What exactly should we be posting to Facebook these days? Life events and announcements? Vacation photos? Data show that fewer people post day to day anymore, and the feed has become so overrun by brands and organizations it feels like a treat to see something from a true friend that feels valuable. All this points to that fact that Facebook has reached a juncture where it still can’t answer the question, “What is the purpose of Facebook in 2018?”