Weekly Roundup: October 5th

Observations October 6, 2014 9:20 am


What Does Facebook Know About You?

  • Facebook Launches Ad Platform Atlas: The “people-based marketing” platform will track consumers across the web using the data they’ve supplied to Facebook. This approach is different to Google’s use of cookies, which don’t work on mobile devices. By dropping cookies, Atlas will be able to track people across their devices, and will even be able to track the impact of online campaigns on offline sales. With Atlas, Facebook attempts to solve the question of determining the ROI of digital (and mobile) ad spend.
  • Facebook Follows Google and Apple Into the Healthcare Business: If you have concerns over your privacy with the launch of Atlas, another headline this week will certainly be more concerning. According to industry insiders, Facebook will launch support communities to give people suffering from the same ailment a place to connect (similar to PatientsLikeMe) as well as preventative care apps. The Moves acquisition is starting to make more sense now…
  • How much data would you give up for a cookie?: We like to complain about our loss of privacy on Facebook (and many of us have fled to Ello), but a recent art project by Risa Puno highlighted that we don’t know how to value our data. Puno offered passersby (literal) cookies in exchange for sensitive personal information- the last four digits of a social security number, fingerprints, or a photo. And half of the people she stopped gave her the last four digits of their social security number. Also, stop using social-logins. You’re just giving Google and Facebook more data.

Data: Snacking Trends Around the World

  • The World Has A Sweet Tooth: Nielsen released a comprehensive study about the trends affecting the global $374 billion dollar snacking industry. According to the data, while the rest of the world reaches for sweet snacks, North Americans are different, preferring salty snacks. The data also highlights the difference between what we say we eat, and what we actually eat; respondents around the world ranked fresh fruit as their #1 preferred snack, but according to actual consumption data, chocolate is the actual top snack around the world. The snacking industry is growing, largely because people are opting to snack instead of eat three traditional meals a day.
  • Everyone’s Drinking Coca-Cola: While the Nielsen report didn’t dive into beverage choices, recent sales data indicate that in the U.S., we’re washing down our chips and chocolate with a Coke. Sales for Coca-Cola rose 2% this summer, reversing a decade-long decline. Why the surge, especially considering the rise in concerns over obesity? Credit goes to the “Share A Coke” campaign, which personalizes cans with consumers’ names.
  • Michelin Stars vs. Yelp Reviews: What ranking should you trust more, the esteemed Michelin Guide, or the crowdsourced reviews from Yelp? Turns out, Michelin reviewers are more similar to the Yelp crowd than they’d probably like to admit. Nate Silver analyzes the top restaurants of NYC to find the correlation. Soon though, both the Michelin Guide and Yelp could be replaced by taste-testing robots.

TV Guide: What To Watch on Netflix, Facebook, and Cable 

  • Netflix Goes Hollywood: After disrupting the cable landscape, Netflix set its sights on Hollywood this week. On Monday, Netflix announced that it had reached a deal with The Weinstein Co. for the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The movie will premiere simultaneously on Netflix and IMAX theaters in August 2015. This news was quickly followed with the announcement that Adam Sandler will produce and star in four films for the streaming service. Why did Netflix choose Adam Sandler? Data. He’s one of the most popular movie stars on Netflix, and has global appeal for his physical, relatable, and repeatable comedy.
  • What to Watch on Saturday Morning: Not cartoons. But chances are, you’ve binged on House Hunters recently; according to HGTV, viewers watch the network for an average two-hours and fourteen minutes at a time. PS Mag decodes what makes the network so popular and its shows so binge-worthy.
  • Unusual Spin-offs: Lions Gate is reviving the Twilight franchise… but not in theaters. Five aspiring female directors will create short films based on Twilight characters, which Lions Gate will debut exclusively on Facebook. And in other unusual spin-off news, the game of Tetris is being turned into a movie.

Fashion Meets Tech: Apple and Microsoft

  • The Apple Watch Goes to Paris Fashion Week: Apple made it clear that it’s courting the favor of fashion elite to make the Apple Watch a hit. The company made a surprise appearance at Paris Fashion Week, hosting an event for industry insiders like Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour at Colette, a famous boutique. Jony Ive also lands a profile in Vogue, furthering aligning Apple with the fashion world.
  • 5th Avenue, Not Just For Haute Couture: When Harry Macklowe purchased the GM building for $1.4 billion, he needed to find a solution for the “problematic plaza” and an “unused basement.” What he created is one the world’s most iconic retail stores, the 5th Avenue Apple Cube. Now Microsoft wants to get in on the action, announcing plans to open its first Manhattan flagship store just a few blocks south of Apple.

R/GA Originals

  • FutureVision Feed: Portable speakers, BitTorrent bundles, and mobile apps; the future of music distribution
  • Beauty DigestTop stories include a deep dive into the fashion community’s posting habits on Instagram and Macy’s embrace of beacons.
  • This Week In Mobile: Highlighting the mobile banking opportunity with millennials and the impact PayPal’s split from eBay will have on the mobile payments industry.

Hackers, Trolls, and the Dark Side of the Internet

  • Confessions of a Former Internet Troll: “It gave the sickly sense of power one gets from finding the next button to push, laughing in a rapidly reddening face. It’s no different from the power trip a bully takes at school, except now I was the powerful one and not the victim.”
  • Rise of the Hackers: “NOVA goes behind the scenes of the fast-paced world of cryptography to meet the scientists battling to keep our data safe.”
  • Confronting My Cyberbully, 13 Years Later: “Amanda is now a fat, happy mom in the suburbs and I’m still terrified of her. I know this because, for this story, I started contacting her on Facebook Messenger.”

*image credits: Apple Watch, Adam Sandler, Shake A Coke

*originally published on R/GA FutureVision

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