July 15, 2016

The Roundup – July Edition

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July is here, and that means another month of the biggest updates and trends in social media. Without further ado, here is the latest edition of The Rundown:

1: Pokemon Goes Viral (Again)

Unless you live under a rock (in which case you might have encountered some sort of sweet Parasect or Graveller), the number one certifiable social media/smartphone app/real-world phenomenon everyone’s talking about is Pokemon Go. This GPS-based game, a smartphone app extension of the decades-popular Pokemon video game franchise, rocketed to the top of app download charts upon release, crashing servers left and right, and getting millions of gamers up off the couch and out into the world. Aside from one notable $5m Super Bowl spot, the game has exploded primarily through nostalgia and word of mouth, achieving millions of downloads days after release, running on more devices than Tinder (and soon, Twitter), and receiving over 6 million mentions on social media.

2: Who Remembers? Snapchat Memories Remembers.

The newly implemented Snapchat Memories feature allows users to save and share photos and videos, both within and outside the app. As if you needed more ways to worry about friends, coworkers or family members accidentally getting a glimpse of something less than appropriate (as hinted at in the most PG-way possible in its latest commercial), the developers had the foresight of adding a ‘My Eyes Only’ tagging option, to ‘avoid awkward moments when a friend stumbles upon a Snap meant just for you.’ The choice to add this new feature was certainly an interesting one, especially after so much brand loyalty was built upon the app representing the very antithesis of permanency. Happy curating, Snappers!

  1. Facebook Messenger Goes Mission Impossible

Encryption and security measures are nothing new in the digital/social media space. Facebook is testing new features in Messenger that allow users to send messages that self-destruct (ok, they just disappear, but where’s the fun in saying that?). Says David Marcus, Facebook’s head of Messenger, “Whether you’re asking a doctor for medical advice, sending sensitive account information to your spouse, or even your Social Security Number, it’s important to have options available for sharing these kinds of very sensitive messages.” While no wide user release has been officially announced yet, the feature will be made “more broadly available” in the near future.

Final Thoughts

Remember kids (plus teens, adults and grandparents): Pokemon Go is all kinds of ridiculous fun… But c’mon, people. Use your head – don’t do this. Or this. You don’t want to be the subject of an article your crazy aunt shares on Facebook to warn people about how this game is crumbling the pillars of society and a sign of the end times. Keep your head up, be aware of your surroundings and enjoy the phenomenon!