Media

Peter Kafka has a great graphic that shows what media platforms are owned in part or whole by what media companies. It’s actually a bit chilling seeing how few companies control such vast portions of our entertainment and news.

Conde Nast is once more trying to get its entertainment division, launched years ago to shepherd stories that first appeared in its magazines along into film and TV adaptations but languishing ever since, off the ground.

Funny or Die isn’t immune to market forces, it seems, and has become the latest company to layoff a number of employees, including most or all of its content division, as competition from other sites keeps driving revenue lower.

More details here on Spotify’s inclusion of more content formats, including various news media as it seeks to hold even more of people’s attention.

It’s just two simple questions Facebook is asking people regarding whether they trust a news organization/site or not and we all know the best way to unearth nuance and opinion is by asking two questions.

Content Marketing

More shady actions in the world of freelancing, contributor networks, pay-for-play publicity and other underhanded and unethical schemes.

Influencer marketing is getting (more) out of hand as those superstars proactively ask business owners for freebies and perks without offering anything in return.

Social Media

Yep, Snap doesn’t believe its own platform is viable or attractive and so will begin allowing Stories to be embedded on other websites to they can be viewed by non-users. They can also be sent by users to people outside the Snapchat ecosystem. The move is being positioned as one that could broaden Snapchat’s exposure among older audiences, but I see it as making the content more generic and diminishing the value of the app.

You can now add GIF stickers to photos and videos on Instagram because that’s what counts as “innovation” in 2018.

The creators of the late, lamented Vine are slowing beginning to offer more details on V2, the new iteration of the app they’re working on that reportedly is more focused on community and which is being launched with an emphasis on moderation to cut any abuse off before it gets out of hand.

It’s now even easier for retailers using Salesforce to create shoppable Instagram posts featuring products from their entire catalog and including a whole host of information about those products.

Buzzfeed has a look at a test of Facebook’s coming local news and events section could look like, including how it’s going to drive people there by putting one of those big prompts at the top of their feed. I still think this is an idea that goes nowhere because people don’t want to leave the News Feed.

Technology

At some point in the future we’re all going to be part of the WeWork network. It already is growing its coworking spaces and has branched out into living quarters and more. Now it’s making inroads on education, partnering with an online classes company to offer free space in its facilities to those enrolled in courses.

YouTube has been busy on a number of fronts in the last few days, announcing it was going to consolidate most artist’s individual channels with their Vevo-branded ones as well as an initiative to help creators produce and distribute positive and uplifting (and brand-safe) videos. The company didn’t tout quite as loudly a reported development where it would help promote the work of artists only if they signed a non-disparagement agreement

Apple is taking on Facebook Messenger and other chat apps that have expanded their brand customer service capabilities with a new Business Chat feature in an upcoming version of iOS that will allow people to use iMessage to communicate with a company’s service reps.

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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