Sunnier Side of the Office – November 20, 2019

“Watching this mysterious woman chug her coffee, notice she’s on camera, and then finish chugging it is a lot more interesting than the actual testimony."

-Twitter has been buzzing about this women's need for caffeine during the impeachment hearings

Instagram Stories launches TikTok competitor: Reels
By: Sergio Saucedo 

This past week Instagram announced that they will be testing a new feature in Brazil called Reels within Instagram Stories, which is the brand’s take on the popular TikTok format. With Reels, Instagram is hoping to create a suitable competitor to TikTok which has gained a lot of traction among Gen Z’ers and reports 800M global monthly users (MAU) in their media kit.

User’s will be able to create short videos and edit the videos by adding music and manipulating the playback speed among other things just like on TikTok. The feature will be available within the Instagram Story camera for all users. 

This is a smart move from Instagram because embedding the feature within their existing platform helps to mitigate issues of adoption that can occur if it was a stand-alone app. With over 1-billion MAU on Instagram and 400-million MAU on Instagram Stories reported, this gives Reels a huge advantage when it comes to scaling the feature to an already existing Gen Z audience. 

This Week’s Hot (Twitter) Topic
By: Natalie Chaney

The year was 2007. Though no-one knew it at the time, the internet was about to change forever....well, at least Twitter was. This was the year that Twitter hashtags were born. Other social platforms were quick to join in, and before you could say “#OkBoomer,” hashtags had become a staple on almost every platform. 

Though Instagram led the charge in launching the ability to follow hashtags in 2017,  Twitter tells us they will soon be rolling out something similar soon known as “Topics.” Similar to Instagram’s capability, users will be able to follow Topics as easily as they follow accounts.

Why is the ability to follow hashtags/topics so appealing? In short, it makes it that much easier to find the things you love. By following topics, such as the “Golden State Warriors” you’ll be able to see posts about them that come from the official account, fans, players, and press alike--instead of just the handful of players you’ve been following. 

In addition to seeing more content you love, Twitter’s  “Topics” roll-out will also make it easier for outsiders to learn how to use the platform, lowering the barrier of entry. This new feature is expected to be live within the next few months.

TikTok and the Recipe Behind Virality
By: Emily Menken

A recent Pitchfork article dives into how music labels are reverse-engineering songs to become viral TikTok hits. 

We’ve touched on TikTok here already. Synopsis: unlike YouTube (long-form original content) or Vine (snackable original content), TikTok encourages endless iterations of similar videos set to the same song or with the same meme structure. The app is an “incubator for viral music hits”. 

With the success of Lil Nas X’s smash hit “Old Town Road”, old-school corporations and talent management companies are aiming to take advantage of Gen Z’ers preferences. Major labels like Capital and Atlantic recently signed two TikTokers. The keys to sonic success: referential, audacious lyrics with heavy, blunt beats (ideal for dance routines) and a DIY, lo-fidelity, even distorted sound. One 20-year-old musician, Savave Ga$p, described his distinctive croaky voice’s origin as, “You just hit the Juul and then you drink really hot coffee.”
10 Hrs. 33 Minutes: Length of time the average American male would need to spend on the treadmill to burn the 4,500 calories consumed at the average Thanksgiving meal. (Source: WalletHub)
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