The Weekly Download – January 19, 2018

Spodek & Co. Weekly Download January 19, 2018It’s time to unpack the biggest news in tech and digital this week. We’re chatting about a super scary false alarm in Hawaii, a concerning viral challenge, deep links on Snapchat ad campaigns, and most importantly, Facebook’s changing algorithm and how it will affect your business.

Emergency alert false alarm sent to Hawaii residents regarding missile threat

Text notifications are great – whether they’re reminding you to put the garbage out or to prepare for a cold spell or snowstorm, they’ve become something we trust and appreciate for a heads up.

But not all notifications are welcome – or, as it turns out, reliable. Just ask Hawaiian residents who received a terrifying notice via text just last weekend.

A false emergency alert was sent via text and television that encouraged residents to take cover immediately. Although it was quickly confirmed to be false by Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, it took over 30 minutes for a correction to be issued.

Investigation since has proved that the notification was sent due to human error and a two-step verification rule has been put into place for future alerts. The false alarm is now being investigated by the FCC, but it’s hard to say whether the mistake has impacted trust in the system.

Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm is changing: What you need to know

On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg made a public post about new changes coming to the Facebook’s Newsfeed Algorithm.

Essentially, “meaningful” content from family and friends will now be given much more priority over business pages. This is no surprise, as that has always been Facebook’s main reason for changing the algorithm.

  • They now consider “meaningful content” to be content that has the user engaging – leaving comments, sharing, etc.  This is opposed to passive consumption such as watching videos but not commenting.
  • “Suppression” of what they call “Engagement Bait.”  For example: “Like for puppies or Love for kittens” or “Tag a friend who might enjoy this” or “Share this content for a chance to win.” There are no longer any shortcuts for building engagement.

With these changes in mind, what are the practical, actionable steps we should be taking in preparation? Download our whitepaper – Facebook’s Newsfeed Algorithm is Changing: Here’s What You Need to Know – for FREE!

Teens being warned to avoid the ‘Tide pod challenge’

That’s right – toddlers aren’t the only one who need to be told to keep detergent pods out of their mouths.
The “Tide pod challenge” is a recent social media trend where people record themselves on social media biting into the detergent pods and releasing the liquid inside – yuck.

According to U.S. poison control centres, about 40 teens have been treated so far after taking the “challenge”. Side effects of pod ingestion range from vomiting to long-term breathing difficulties and kidney problems.

Tide has issued several statements claiming concern for the improper consumption of the pods, and even issued a viral PSA-style clip featuring Rob Gronkowski.

In the words of Gronk: wash, don’t eat!

Snapchat is making app install ads more targeted with deep links

Ads on Snapchat are about to get a little more high-tech. If the ads you run on Snapchat promote app installs, you can now deep link your campaigns to prompt consumers to re-engage with specific features of the app.

Deep linking is a sophisticated tactic to drive traffic to a specific section of an app by targeting users who have already downloaded or opened an app. A mobile game developer might want to target users who have hit a certain level in a game or a retailer might want to highlight a product that a user added to their cart but didn’t buy.


Advertisers were previously able to include deep links in their campaigns but needed to create ad assets like landing pages and buttons on their own. Now, Snapchat has built out a new part of its ad-tech stack to connect app installs with links automatically to make it easier for brands running campaigns on the social network.

Friday Fun

Google’s new app matches your selfie to a famous painting
Google’s new Arts & Culture app is responsible for all those side-by-side selfies you might have seen on your feeds this week. A new feature of the app compares a user’s selfie to a catalog of historical artworks in search of a doppelganger.

Accurate? Debatable. Fun? Definitely! Have you tried it yet? Share your side-by-side selfie in the comments.

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site