Sunnier Side of the Office – January 15, 2020

“Congratulations to those men.”

- Issa Rae, announcing Best Director nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards. Once again the Academy is under scrutiny because of its lack of diversity in its nominations. See full list of nominations here

Rules of Engagement for 2020 Elections
By: Jiho Chung

With the democratic primaries less than two months away, Axios published the latest in regards to where the major digital media giants stand endorsing and advertising political candidates for the upcoming presidential election.

Last week, Facebook announced that the leading social platform wouldn’t interfere with its controversial policy of not fact-checking politicians’ statements, which includes not limiting micro-targeting political ads both on Facebook and Instagram. On the other hand, Twitter has done otherwise by banning all political ads since speculation serves that the platform receives significantly less investment by political campaigns.

As for Google, although its ad policies prohibit political campaigns from micro-targeting users, the media giant can’t stop them from purchasing third-party inventory from demand side platforms (DSP). Google inventory that can be purchased via DSP includes both banner and video ads.

Also, to further augment their already-extensive targeting, political campaigns can (and most likely, utilize) layer on audience list-matching within Facebook and Google to ensure that they’re reaching the right audience, and those in relation or similar to them.

Unfortunately, even after 2016 election meddling including WikiLeaks and Cambridge Analytica, Facebook and Google have yet to adapt but instead continue to harbor means to create and weaponize misleading, perverted political ideals. As Axios’ Scott Rosenburg puts it, candidates and groups will be able “to exploit populations’ anxieties and resentments efficiently.”

Now You Can Slide Into DMs on Desktop, Too. 
By: Natalie Chaney

In-theme with Facebook’s increased focus on messaging, Instagram has announced they will be bringing DMs to desktop, starting with a small global test. 

Though Instagram has been ahead of the curve in many aspects, the platform has always fallen behind in terms of desktop optimization. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, many of Instagram's capabilities, such as posting, messaging and pulling insights, were only available on a mobile device. 

This update will be particularly exciting to those in the Social Media industry, as it makes the world of Community Management infinitely more efficient. The benefits of this update extend beyond just the industry, allowing those who spend most of their time on a desktop to access more of the platform.

Spotify Pet Playlist
By: Emily Menken

In December, Spotify’s end of year "Wrapped” went viral; Spotify users were prompted to view their most-listened to artists, albums, and songs with the ability to share as an Instagram Story. Because 2019 was also the end of a decade (RIP), users could also share their most consumed tunes from the past 10 years. At this point, Wrapped is a Spotify tradition.

Building from that momentum, Spotify just released a new pet playlist generator. Per Spotify, 71% of pet owners play music for their pets, and 8 out of 10 pet owners believe their pets like music. Even more interesting - 1 out of 5 pets are named after a musical artist or band. And thus, the Pet Playlist builds on pet owners’ anthropomorphism of their beloved pets in a cutesy, endearing way. 

To build the playlist, you must “pick your pet”, outline a few key personality traits, and add your furry friend’s name and photograph. The generator will then spit out a playlist complete with album art - all built from your existing musical preferences. 

Spotify’s largest competition is Apple Music, and it has found clever, designed-for-virality ways beyond just the musical offerings to differentiate itself.

About 700 grapes go into one bottle of wine. That's approximately 2.6 pounds, if you're wondering how much "fruit" you get when you open your next bottle of wine. 
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