​The Britton Digital Update—Week of February 5, 2018

​Five minutes to get you up to speed on this week’s digital, business, social media, entertainment, and marketing news

Want to listen to the Digital Update instead? Here’s the extended podcast (on SoundCloud) version. You can also subscribe through iTunes.  


There are so many topics that I expected to write about this week. The exciting Super Bowl victory from the Philadelphia Eagles and the social media engagement as a result, the Super Bowl commercial rankings, the first-look trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the Snapchat update that has so many users saying goodbye. Yes, I did watch the trailer for Solo a gazillion times, but it wasn’t the only video that caught my eye.

This week, Elon Musk’s team at SpaceX did something pretty amazing. It launched its Falcon Heavy rocket—the most powerful rocket in space history—into space and returned its booster rockets with precision onto launching pads for their reuse. This launch dramatically increased the rate (and lowered the cost) at which future missions can occur.

One of the most exciting parts was watching the two rockets land simultaneously. YouTube users agreed. The Verge reported that more than 2.3 million people tuned in to the live stream of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch. That made it the second biggest live stream in YouTube’s history. Only the Red Bull Stratus jump has drawn more simultaneous YouTube viewers.

When CEO Elon Musk announced that a Tesla vehicle from his personal collection (along with a mannequin dubbed “Starman”) would be the payload of this mission, most people in the tech community laughed off the idea. Why would he send a car into space? In reality, it may be genius. Social media buzzing about the SpaceX launch and users are amplifying the attention Tesla is receiving, too. There was a continuous live stream of “Starman” on YouTube that lasted about 12 hours until the battery ran out. Essentially, it was a free 12-hour commercial for Tesla that went viral. That is the kind of invaluable PR that you can’t buy.

Of course, not all of the digital, marketing, retail, and social media news was literally out-of-this-world, but we do cover the latest stories including the demise of the compact disc, new updates and ad options from Instagram, Intel’s new smart glasses, the latest Pinterest user data, and more!

Let the Music Play

While SpaceX was launching the space race into the future, it was the compact disc that was beginning its descent into history as Best Buy announced that, as of July 1, it will no longer sell CDs. In a world of Spotify and Apple Music, very few consumers still buy CDs. According to DigitalTrends.com, sales of compact discs at Best Buy were down 18% in 2017 alone.

Do you remember the first CD you ever purchased? For me, the transition from cassettes to compact discs started at Musicland (it was similar to Sam Goody) around 1991. I actually purchased two CDs: Another Minute from Cause and Effect and Into the Great Wide Open from the late Tom Petty. I listened to those CDs on my Sony Discman while mowing the lawn, which, of course, earned money to buy more CDs.

It is a bit sad when a part of your childhood starts to slip away, isn’t it? Don’t even get me started on cassette singles. These days, it’s all about streaming music. Spotify is the global leader in streaming with more than 70 million users. However, Apple Music is apparently gaining steam—at least in the United States. Apple says it now has 36 million subscribers. Perhaps this is why Apple has kept its smart speaker focus (the HomePod) on music.

Mega-Insta-Updates

In January, we reviewed the massive changes to the Facebook algorithm as well as updates to messenger and how both affect your brand. Now it’s Instagram’s turn.

First, Instagram announced API updates to allow brands to use third-party apps to schedule organic posts. That means that brands using social management platforms, such as Hootsuite or Buffer, can now create and schedule organic content in advance rather than dealing with the hassle of posting real-time. Social media managers were giddy over that update, and who could blame them? It had been the number one feature request for Instagram for years, and it was frustrating to have that request ignored for so long.

Another major change comes in the form of paid media on Instagram. If you have purchased Instagram ads before, you know that everything is handled through Facebook’s Ads Manager. However, Facebook had many more ad options available than Instagram. Not anymore! Instagram announced the addition of swipe-able carousel ads to its Stories feature. This allows your brand to put multiple pieces of media together in one ad to tell your story.

Advertising Age also reports that Instagram is testing collection ads “that blend videos and product catalogs where consumers can complete purchases without leaving.” Adding an e-commence element to the mix is huge for brands that reach users on this expanding social network. It’s all about being where the attention of the consumer is, and, right now, it’s on Instagram. We have seen early success with this ad format from several clients on Facebook and expect similar (if not better) results on Instagram.

Do These Glasses Make Me Look Phat?

Apparently, I haven’t dated myself enough in this Britton Digital Update, so I needed to use a reference like “phat.” If you’re young, we used to use the word “phat” to reference something that was cool or attractive. Most people would not use those words to describe Google Glass smart glasses (or just about any other smart glasses available to date). Let’s face it: They’ve all been kind of nerdy. Yes, Snap Spectacles tried to bring style into the picture, but even those fizzled out.

That could be changing soon, thanks to the folks at Intel (yes, the computer chip people). They have a vision of the future when it comes to smart glasses, and—you guessed it—it’s 20/20. According to TechCrunch, the new smart glasses from Intel (called Vaunt) are “nearly indistinguishable from regular glasses.” Even better, they don’t project on the lens so prescription lenses can be integrated just fine.

The way these smart glasses work is by projecting data onto your retina. Intel says the laser is low-power and harmless to your eyes. However, it could project information about notifications from your phone, recipes while you cook, even information about a business contact you just met. The concept is pretty cool, but it’s still likely a few years from coming to market. Testing has begun on these glasses, so hopefully its future will soon come into focus.

Who’s on First—err, Pinterest?

This month, we kicked off our year-long series on social media best practices. We covered some of the social media basics that are best practices across every channel. However, every channel has different algorithms, different features, and different audiences, so it is important to understand which channels are right for your brand.

This week, Pinterest published updated data on its users. While a future blog in our series will cover Pinterest best practices, there is valuable information to know now to decide if you should invest time in this channel for your brand.

Pinterest reports that 200 million people currently use the social network every month, with 80% of users doing so on their mobile devices. While most digital marketing professionals regard Pinterest as a very female-leaning social media network (70% of users are women), more than half of new sign-ups are men.

Pinterest can be a fantastic platform to reach younger families as 60% of Pinterest households have kids ages 5 and younger. Additionally, half of millennials are on Pinterest at least once a month. Users look to Pinterest for inspiration (or “Pinspiration”) and use it to plan purchases. Further, users act on those plans with 1-in-2 users purchasing a product after seeing a Promoted Pin.

It’s not easy to stay up to date on social media channels. They change almost daily. Don’t worry! In addition to your year-long series on best practices, we’ll keep you in-the-know with the latest news right here.

For the rest of the latest news, here’s a compilation of the best news stories that we don’t have time to expound upon but that you should probably take notice of:

If you liked this, check out our previous Digital Update posts or the Digital Update on Flipboard.

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Photos: BMDG

Dave Goode

Dave Goode

My name is Dave B. Goode (yes, it is my real name). If it sounds like a radio name, it is—well, it was. I had a 22-year radio-broadcasting career as a brand manager and morning-show host. I’m an amateur photographer. I love to cook. I am obsessed with social media. I have come to the realization that Chia Pet seeds do not work on a human head and that it is OK to be bald.

Meet Dave Goode