Do Not Read Until Monday: iPhones & Jerks

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Obligatory iPhone Release Acknowledgement

As roughly 99.7% of the known world knows, Apple announced like 700 new iPhones this week. The iPhone 8, the direct descendant and one true heir to the iThrone, came first in Apple’s announcement, with standard improvements like a better camera and better processors. Also, there’s now a gold version.

However, the “one more thing” – Apple’s equivalent of “wait for it” – brought with it the revelation of a potential usurper to the iPhone legacy: The iPhone X. Home button? Hell no. Bezel? Begone! This new phone will also make use of facial recognition technology for unlocking …and for making animated emoji.

Ooh, Shiiiiiiiiny.

The discussion over the X quickly dwarfed that for the iPhone 8, though with a high price tag and Apple’s history of taking a couple versions of a device to really hit its stride, some might take a wait-and-see approach to purchasing.


Everyone’s A Jerk This Week

Terrible people were everywhere this week. Well, they’re always around, but it seemed several big names in social and tech were in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Perennial how-did-he-become-a-thing PewDiePie kicked things off by dropping a racial slur while livestreaming gameplay. He’s previously been mucked up in allegations of anti-Semitism, which leads readily into ProPublica’s discovery that Facebook had been allowing ad targeting based on a user’s hatred of Jews.

Meanwhile, a class action lawsuit filed against Google has called into question business practices by providing accounts of gender discrimination at the company. This is the company still reeling from a certain employee memo and an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Labor Department regarding its pay gaps for women.

If indeed there is a toxic culture at Google (it’s looking and sounding like a duck at this point), it seems to carry over into former employees’ ventures, such as the ill-conceived and much-derided Bodega app. The app, announced this week by two former Google employees, was marketed as a replacement for the corner store, often a peculiar but universally loved feature of urban neighborhoods. People were not pleased.


We’ve Made A Huge Mistake: The week Facebook took a few steps back and thought about what it did

Thankfully, given a bit of reflection, most businesses or individuals will come to the realization they need to change their ways. For example, Facebook almost immediately removed the feature enabling the discriminatory targeting ProPublica found.

That’s not the only feature it walked back this week either. Users may soon be able to temporarily unfollow brands or people via a Snooze feature. It’s removed its much-hyped but embattled Instant Articles feature from Messenger. Across its property lines, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is even enabling users to delete sent messages.

Facebook even seems to be rethinking it’s whole “connect the world” ethos, trialing private profiles for only the bestest of friends. Did Zuckerberg have some sort of Scrooge-like awakening or something?


This Week In Snapchat Vs. The World: Bitmoji Comes Alive!

Snapchat’s biggest news of the week was a “oh yeah, me too” coupling with Apple’s AR show-off session that accompanied the iPhone release. It does have a good footing in AR with its World Lenses, and now it’s bringing Bitmoji into the real-ish world. It works pretty similar to Dancing Hot Dog – except this time, you’re the hot dog!

Snap’s also looking to figure out more brand integrations for its shows, a good omen for future profitability, but suffered a blow as Comedy Central killed its Discover channel. It’s not too grim though, as CC may be swapping out the channel for producing shows for the platform instead.

Who ripped them off: Instagram, as you can now send Stories to other users via direct message, which Snapchat has had for a while now.

The Verdict: A pretty solid week, though Instagram’s ad moves could present some trouble down the line.


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