Publishers Flock to New Instagram Stories (Wall Street Journal, 8/12/16)

Most companies – be they media or other brands – will usually flock to what’s known in times of upheaval. While Instagram’s Stories may not differ substantially from Snapchat’s, the fact that it’s not just a low barrier to entry but can take advantage of the existing audience that has been painstakingly built is a bit draw. Still a lot of experimentation, but I’d expect that to increase.

The Rise of the Internet Fan Bully (The New York Times, 8/12/16)

This is terrible. These people should be ashamed of themselves. Creators don’t owe the fans anything other than an authentic experience. People who bully someone aren’t fans, they’re just bullies. This isn’t a problem for Twitter or any other platform owner to solve, it’s a basic human decency issue that should be reported not to abuse systems but to the parents of the assholes leaving these comments.

Blab is dead…long live Blab. (Medium, 8/13/16)

The sudden shutdown is another example of tying too many horses to one wagon. There were a lot of people and brands who went heavy into Blab as a tool to livestream conversations and other shows. This kind of thing is why I’m always the one person in the room when a proposal is made to use a new, untested tool who’s saying “yeah, but what do we do when it disappears in six months?” Blab ultimately couldn’t become a “sticky” tool, which is too bad, and now it’s on all those users to find another option serving the same need.

Introducing Promoted #Stickers (Twitter Blog, 8/15/16)

Twitter’s new Promoted Stickers ad unit lets brands offer..well…stickers people can add to their photos. It’s more or less a competitor to Snapchat’s Sponsored Geofilters and takes advantage of the trend toward customization and tweaking of what would otherwise be standard images and media.


With N.F.L. Deal, Twitter Live-Streams Its Ambitions (The New York Times, 8/15/16)

I get that they want that big media content and if Twitter didn’t secure it someone else would have. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for a commentary platform to try and turn into a distribution platform. The two are very different things.

Back to our sponsor? Why publishers struggle to renew native advertising (Digiday, 8/15/16)

If you put all these things together – shrinking audience reach, increased competition, difficulties proving ROI – you’ll see that native advertising is experiencing the same issues media as a whole has over the last 10 or 15 years. Essentially everyone saw this as the golden goose and now there’s so much of it that it’s not bringing in the results everyone banked on a year ago.

Google is Ditching Hangouts on Air in Favor of YouTube Live (The Next Web, 8/15/16)

This makes sense, but it would make more if Google were at all consistently moving toward product consolidation and not, you know, also launching a half-dozen different messaging apps. Still, my opinion here has shifted from “they can’t control their own product roadmap” to one that’s more like “they’re still experimenting and adjusting as necessary.”