Puppies, Bushwick Bill, and Instagram.
Greetings from Greenpoint, where we’re having puppy problems:
Here at HQ, our employees are doing things like having Casper mattresses delivered to the office and then figuring out how to keep other employees (and dogs) from taking naps on them. We’ve also made significant upgrades to our office greenery situation, much to the chagrin of our office manager who wants to know why there is so much soil in the sink.
On to the #content:
What's not to like
A few weeks back, Instagram left many stunned when they announced a test to hide like counts at F8, Facebook’s annual developer event.
Social media has been attributed to plenty of mental health issues, and as head of Instagram Adam Mosseri assured F8, “We don’t want Instagram to feel like a competition.” Hiding like count is the company’s newest initiative to help people focus on content rather than popularity, and comes as other social networks like Twitter and YouTube have also begun making noise about de-emphasizing metrics.
The change would impact influencers the most, who depend on the status their high follow and like counts grant them. But as the system’s become easier to game, some influencers have moved away from the super-staged, ultra-filtered post aesthetic and gravitated toward much more candid looking shots with radically honest captions, while some brands have begun looking at comments and community engagement as better measures of a campaign’s success than likes.
Getting rid of likes is probably on balance a good thing! But as John Herrman notes in the NYT, it’s doubtful that these initiatives are motivated by concern for the general well-being of the body public. What’s more likely is that Instagram is concerned that people spend more time on Stories--where like counts are less emphasized--than in their feed. By sheer coincidence, no doubt, the feed is where most of the ads are. What this means for brands is to be determined, but we can take some solace in the fact that the “like” could finally be going the way of the dodo. Whether it makes social media any less toxic is another question entirely.
Things are happening
Adweek is out with their annual “Creative 100”, and once again, we didn’t make it (clearly we are TOO creative for this world).
YouTube is finally, actually cracking down on videos and channels that promote white supremacy and other views that tend to lead to hate crimes. NYT has the full scoop.
Turns out it’s not just white men who want to retire at 40. Who would have thought??
Gillette’s latest Spanish ad features a drag queen and a synchronized swimmer in a continued effort to reframe the concept of masculinity. It’s brave and touching and we’re into it!
Sweetgreen accidentally insinuated that it offers human meat as a salad ingredient in a very funny marketing faux pas. We’re going to stick to the tofu for a while, thanks.
Apparently LaCroix’s popularity is waning, which is news to us as our mini fridge remains overstocked with the grapefruit flavor.
What We're Listening To
Violinist-composer-singer-producer-songmaster Kishi Bashi is back with a brand new album, Omoiyari, which means having compassion or empathy in Japanese. It’s beautiful, hopeful, mournful, and has plenty of his characteristically impressive orchestrations. Listen here.