Elizabeth Snoddon, 26 Aug 2019

WEEK IN SOCIAL: RUMORS, GROUP CHATS, CHICKEN SANDWICHES, PODCASTS, AND THE ASA

Instagram Shuts Down the Rumors

You may have seen a flood of users you following posting a grammatically incorrect post fighting back against a supposed new rule Instagram was implementing. A claim around photo usage, where users own posts can be used against them in court cases. The post states that users need to repost the image in order to prevent Instagram from enacting the rule on their account. “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah joined in on the action poking fun at the viral hoax, adding a screenshot that mimicked the initial post’s bad grammar and call to action.

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While this measure was indeed a hoax, Instagram’s brand communications manager, Stephanie Otway, confirmed “There’s no truth to this post,” there are other real initiatives the platform is taking, like one to reduce bullying and an exploratory phase of hiding likes on user’s Instagram feeds. Remember, before you jump on a trend do, you’re research to make sure all the facts are true. The grammatical errors should have been the first sign of something fishy…

Read More on WWD

Goodbye Facebook Group Chats (in groups)

Around a year ago Facebook launched chats in Facebook groups so members could have real-time communication with other group members. Starting August 16, the option to start a Messenger chat in a group will no longer be available. Existing chats in groups have now become read-only. All participants of a group chat will still be able to view the conversation history by searching for the chat in Messenger, but they will not be able to add new people or continue to send messages within that particular chat. You’ll now only be able to start a group chat with users that you are directly friends with on Facebook via Messenger.

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While Facebook have not given insight to why they’ve removed this feature they have commented, “We believe there is great value in group members being able to communicate in real time, and we are exploring new features to enable that.” Interested to see whats next.

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Chicken Sandwiches and a Tactic to Set Off a Twitter Roar

Hats off to Pop Eyes leading the latest fast food chain twitter war last week. The first Popeyes tweet seemed innocent enough — a photograph of the chain’s new fried-chicken sandwich (chicken breast, brioche bun, pickles, sauce) with an artfully muddled caption: “So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak.”

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But other fast-food rivals soon jumped in with the intent on stirring up trouble. Take this exchange between Wendy’s and Popeyes:

Wendy’s: “Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second-best chicken sandwich.”
Popeyes: “Sounds like someone just ate one of our biscuits. Cause y’all looking thirsty.”
Wendy’s: “lol, guess that means the food’s as dry as the jokes.”

To some, these Twitter antics may seem juvenile. But as we’ve seen in the past these debates are an easy way to cut through the social media noise to poke fun at the competition. In fast food, Wendy’s has been a present player in the sassy corporate Twitter accounts but Popeyes is showing their face and doing it well. Brands, take note. These twitter wars are not only a way to boost followers but also sales. It was said that many outlets in fact ran out of the trending sandwich as people wanted to see for themselves what all the hype was about!

Read More on The New York Times

The Future of Podcasts

The podcast scene isn’t going anywhere, according to Edison Research’s Infinite Dial report, more than half of Americans have now listened to a podcast, and an estimated 32% listen monthly (up from 26% last year). This marks the largest growth increase since podcast data first started being tracked in 2008. Spotify has said they plan to spend $500 million on acquisitions this year, and have already acquired content studio Gimlet, tech platform Anchor, and true crime network Parcast for a combined $400 million. In the past week, Google has also added playable podcasts to search results and celebrities of course have jumped in on the action.

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Though podcasts are under monetized compared to other forms of media, talent agents are even now considering them to be an important part of a well-rounded content strategy. With more and more brands coming to digital agencies to help them get in the game the podcast scene is one to watch and if you’re smart, get involved soon!

Read More on Tech Crunch

ASA’s Gender Stereotype Ban – What It Means For Marketers

On June 16 the ASA and sister agency the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) implemented a new rule after commissioning a report that found “a tougher line was needed on ads that featured stereotypical gender roles or characteristics which can potentially cause harm” in the UK. Brands need to take caution as just two months after the ban came into action, both Volkswagen and Mondelez’s Philadelphia brand were charged by industry watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority for presenting gender stereotypes in a way that was likely to cause harm. Volkswagen gave the impression that men were inefficient child-caregivers, while Philadelphia reinforced the idea that men are more athletic than women.

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The problem for some ad executives is not all those assumptions are inherently bad. Portraying humor based on stereotyping in an ad is, whether the ASA likes it or not, more relatable, more human, and resonates with consumers. But it’s not necessarily damaging, said Lawrence. The ASA’s rulings have made using humor a balancing act of risk versus reward, he added.

Read More on DIGIDAY