People aren’t thrilled with Instagram’s insertion of posts from people and accounts they don’t follow into their feeds. The company is positioning this as being discovery-oriented, showing people posts from accounts their friends might follow or which align with their interests.

The thing is, they’re doing this instead of just showing an unfiltered feed of posts from the accounts people *do* follow, which is a pretty strong indicator of interest. Also, the addition of a native “share” feature would allow people to do exactly this themselves, curate posts from other accounts under their own name. With those reasonable alternatives having been seemingly rejected, the explanation that this move is designed to increase ad inventory is the only one left.

Media

If you haven’t read this piece by the creator of the “Shitty Men in Media” list, you need to take a few minutes and correct that oversight right damn now.

The streaming business news network Cheddar will be broadcast on Twitch, hopefully attracting the young game-playing audience on that platform.

Hulu announced it has 17 million subscribers and and audience that oh, hey, just happens to be super-attractive to advertisers. It didn’t break out how many live-TV subscribers it has.

Even as big companies dominate podcasting and billionaire owners shut down alt-weeklies, low-power radio stations are still providing a vital local voice to communities.

Speaking of which, podcast network Gimlet Media wants to be known as a “multimedia storytelling brand,” not a podcast network. Sure. OK. Got it. Now we know what VC firms are and aren’t responding well to.

Publishers feeling burnt by Facebook’s ever-changing set of rules that never seem to benefit them are SURE that emphasizing a Groups strategy will have a different result.

Facebook is also testing a new section devoted to local news and events, raising the question of how many sections and tabs will be added before the News Feed becomes all but useless. Or, conversely, how long it will take publishers and brands to notice people are only using the News Feed, so overwhelmed by the number of breakout sections that they wind up using none of them.

Social Media

To the surprise of absolutely no one, publishers who aren’t being financially compensated by Facebook to create original material are using Watch as just another video distribution platform, counting on mid-roll ads to monetize the work.

YouTube has responded to the wholly inappropriate videos posted by “star” Logan Paul, yet another sign that platforms which were a bit loose with guidelines enforcement in the past are going to have to start being responsible and accountable for the content people post.

A fascinating look into the shady e-commerce practices that are common on YouTube and elsewhere, all of them designed to sell you crap from largely fictional retailers and enrich the “shop owners” who aren’t quite scammers and yet who totally are.

Technology

Consumer interest in owning or renting physical copies of movies continues to fall, as both purchase and rental numbers dropped last year. Combine that with a year that saw the lowest number of theatrical tickets sold since 1992 and you have a great opportunity for some real innovation to be killed by theater owners who still hold too much power in the industry.

Seems there isn’t going to be another round of copyright extensions, which are usually pushed by entertainment companies. That’s apparently because enough companies think their long-lived characters have evolved into trademarks, which can’t be reproduced.

Want even more recommendations? Check out my Pocket Shared Items.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

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