Sunnier Side of the Office

Zuckerberg Will Testify Before Congress This Week

After weeks of being in the hot seat, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday to issue “a broad apology for letting the website be used as a conduit for fake news, election meddling by foreign entities, hate speech, and privacy abuses,’ said the New York Times.

Indeed, in his testimony published today by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Zuckerberg said: “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.” (Read the entire testimony here.)

This comes after news via a whistleblower that data firm Cambridge Analytica used personal Facebook user information, taken without consent, for voter targeting purposes. Original articles said that it affected some 50 million users, but last week, Facebook said that number has increased to 87 million.

While Zuckerberg’s testimony is important, it’s also important to remember this has created a media frenzy, and there are underlying issues from which this stems. Jonathan Albright, research director at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, tweeted, “All the core problems come from lack of any real regs or enforcement on Americans’ personal data, complete lack of transparency in online political ads/targeting, and role of dark money. Rest of issues are derivative.”

Other related headlines from the last week:

Ad Age/Bloomberg: Facebook suspends data firm Cubeyou amid privacy scandal

CNet: 6 questions Mark Zuckerberg still needs to answer

Bloomberg: Facebook moves to get ahead of Congress with issue-ad change

Ad Age: Facebook reveals new verification process for large Pages

Instagram Limits Access to User Data

By Ben Shapiro

Last week, Facebook quietly made a change to limit how often developers can use the Instagram API to collect data on the platform’s users. According to recode, the move appears to be in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The implications for developers include a reduction in rate limit. Rate limits refer to the number of times per hour an outside developer can “call” the Instagram API for updated data on Instagram users. Following the change, many developers saw their rate limit suddenly drop from 5,000 to just 200, while others were cut off from making these calls completely.

The API change also removes developers’ access to user follower lists, public comments, likes, and searches.

Developers and marketers have therefore lost a valuable source of customer data. This presents a significant hurdle for developers that rely on a constant stream of consumer feedback, such as those who focus on customer service. Marketers, on the other hand, will have to make targeting decisions with less information than they are accustomed to. Ultimately, these groups will be forced to adjust to this change by becoming more intelligent about how they gather, analyze, and use customer data.

However, we expect Facebook to provide tools and resources to make this transition as smooth as possible. Maintaining faith in Instagram is too important for the social network to leave advertisers and developers to grapple with the impact of this change on their own.

M/H and Audi are Webby Finalists!


We’re thrilled to announce that we’re finalists for two Webby awards for our Audi work in two categories.

Driver’s Test:

Our work with Audi and Spider-Man has been named a finalist in the Film & Video/Branded Entertainment/Short Form category.

About “Driver’s Test”: Audi’s continued integration with Marvel reached new heights with the Spider-Man: Homecoming Film. Our challenge was to authentically weave Audi into the Spider-Man world. We honed in on the Audi brand’s innovative prowess and new AI features and helped bring them to life in a hilarious story that could excite a range of Marvel, Spider-Man, and Audi fans alike. A-list talent included Spider-Man himself (Tom Holland) and comedian/actor JB Smoove.

Vote for Spider-Man “Driver’s Test” in the Film & Video/Branded Entertainment/Short Form category here.

Think Faster

Think Faster has been named a finalist in the Advertising & Media/Branded Content/Automotive category.

About Think Faster: Think Faster, the world’s fastest AMA, is a live episodic content series that features culture’s biggest names as they answer questions submitted via Reddit. Taking place at over 130 MPH, Think Faster transformed one of the most popular online interview formats, the Reddit AMA, into a live broadcast event.

To vote for Think Faster in the Advertising & Media/Branded Content/Automotive category, go here.

Living The American Meme

By Melissa Santiago

This week was a great one for memes and in case you don’t have time to keep up with all the memes, we understand — and we’ve got you covered.

1. If you don’t love me…

This meme gained traction with a K-pop star, built on Justin Bieber fandom, and reached total self-awareness from an unlikely source, 90’s pop star, Mariah Carey.

2. American Choppers and the subtle art of civil debate also emerged as an unlikely meme hero this week. CNET reports, “it all began with a March 26 tweet from @_ericcurtin that has so far gotten 55,000 likes and 17,000 retweets.”

As memes continue to dominate social media conversations brands and celebrities are finding ways to join the conversation while remaining self-aware and Monterey Bay Aquarium nailed it with this post.

3. Bonus meme round! We’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to the viral sensation known as “Yodeling kid.” While it’d be great to have an explainer for this, it kind of defies all explanation and most of social media is totally here for it.