The Weekly Download – December 29, 2017

Spodek & Co Weekly Download - December 29, 2017Today marks the final installment of The Weekly Download for 2017 – how will you be ringing in the new year?

Here’s what we’ve all been talking about this week: Apple’s apology, how Facebook ads are excluding older job seekers, new social app updates, doggos and a version of Uptown Funk that you don’t want to miss.
Intrigued? Read on for the details.

Apple apologizes for slowing down older model iPhones

It’s something that we’ve speculated for years, and Apple has finally admitted there’s some truth to it all. In rare fashion for Apple, a public letter was released this week that detailed an apology for slowing down iPhones with older model batteries.

According to Apple, the slowdowns are part of a strategy to help maintain battery function with age, although it’s been questioned whether the slowdowns are part of a different strategy to encourage new model sales.

Also detailed in the letter were steps Apple is taking to address the controversy. The tech giant will cut the cost of replacement batteries for older model iPhones from $99 to $35 ($79 to $29 USD) starting the end of January 2018. It will also release a new feature that reports on device battery health so users can make informed decisions about replacements. So thrilled we can still hold on to our iPhones for a while. 

Are you an iPhone user? Does the admission affect the way you feel about Apple and its products?

Instagram will now add “recommended” posts to your feed

Another new feature has gone live on Instagram – now the social app will add “Recommended for You” posts to your feed.

Until now, recommended content could only be found in the “Explore” tab. Now, this content will be making its way to your home feed and feature three to five posts that Instagram thinks you might like.

It’s a big change for the feed – perhaps the biggest since changing up the algorithm that determines what posts you see and in what order. Not interested in the new update? Unfortunately, there’s no way to opt out. You will be able to temporarily hide the “Recommended for You” feature, but not disable it altogether.

Do you like the idea of being able to discover new content, or just wish Instagram would stop messing with a good thing?

Companies are using Facebook ads to exclude older workers from job ads

An article co-published by Pro Publica and The New York Times this week outlined unlawful job advertising happening on Facebook based on age exclusion.

According to the report, dozens of companies including Amazon, Verizon, Target, UPS and even Facebook itself have been found to list job ads that exclude older workers, calling into question the fairness of the process and equal opportunities.

Facebook has since defended the practice, noting that “age-based targeting for employment purposes is an accepted industry practice and for good reason: it helps employers recruit and people of all ages find work.”
It’s not the first time Facebook ads have come under fire for exclusion – another report released by Pro Publica earlier this year called out the advertising platform for the ability to serve up ads that excluded certain ethnic groups. Ugh!

If your company is recruiting in the new year, you may want to think carefully about your social media targeting plans.

Snapchat’s new 2017 year in review feature comes just in time for New Year’s Eve

Want to take a stroll down memory lane before 2018 arrives? Snapchat’s new feature is making it possible.
“A Look Back at 2017” allows users to review the year that was. The update is reminiscent of Facebook’s “On this Day” function which uses nostalgia to encourage engagement online, a concept originally borrowed from Timehop.

Don’t see any content waiting for you under the new feature? It’s likely that you didn’t generate enough content on the app this year. Better luck in 2018!

Friday Fun

Merriam-Webster tweeted about ‘doggos’ and the internet responded
According to Merriam-Webster, ‘doggos’ is on their list of words to watch for future iterations. After making the announcement on Twitter, the internet responded the best way it knows how – with lots of puppy pics.

Some favs:

Ontario seniors pay tribute to Bruno Mars
Seniors at Landmark Village in Sarnia, Ontario have been making headlines for their recreation of Bruno Mars’s hit single, Uptown Funk. The fun project came to be as part of a surprise for a company VP, and has since gone viral on social media.

In the words of Bruno himself: Don’t believe us? Just watch!

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site