Digital Trend Update: Apr. 7, 2017
News of Note:
Facebook’s M is reminiscent of Microsoft’s ill-fated early attempt at a digital assistant, Clippy — the little paper clip that used to help all of us use Microsoft products. “M is your helpful assistant in Messenger, powered by artificial intelligence,” reads an April 6 Facebook press release. “M offers suggestions by popping into an open conversation to suggest relevant content and capabilities to enrich the way people communicate and get things done…To experience M, simply chat with a friend or a group as you normally would,” the press release continues. “And M learns: the more you use it, the more it can help.” Telling a friend you’re bouncing out of a lame party? Oh no you don’t — M, using its AI capabilities, thinks you should use a sticker instead. Planning a nice dinner with your partner? M is pretty sure you should take a Lyft or Uber and oh hey here are the ride options right in the middle of the screen.
The company has quietly launched the “Amazon Influencer Program,” which is currently in beta testing. Similar to the Amazon Affiliate program, the new program will offer influencers commission on products sold, but is not open to the public. One of the key things that makes the new Influencer program different from Amazon Affiliates is its exclusivity. Today, anyone can sign up to be an Amazon Affiliate, which lets you build links and shopping ads that you can use on your own website or blog. When a reader clicks through to buy the product, the affiliate receive a commission on those sales, which varies by product type. Amazon Influencers, meanwhile, must submit an application to be considered for inclusion. Only those with large followings will be accepted.
The Influencers are given a unique vanity URL on Amazon’s domain that will be easy for customers to remember and find. Here, shoppers will be able to browse through the curated selection of products that the influencer recommends. The URL could be placed in the comments section of a YouTube video or in Instagram, for example, to reference the products mentioned. Basically, it’s a more exclusive step up from Amazon Affiliate linking, and offers a better browsing experience.
Synergy Pharmaceuticals introduced the “Poop Troop,” which is a series of emojis including “Clogged Chris,” “Diarrhea Dave,” “Left-Out Lumpy,” “Mr. Smooth,” and “Ploptimistic Peter.” The keyboard is part of Synergy’s Contront Constipation campaign to raise awareness for and help people talk about chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).
There are 14 emoji on the keyboard, which you can download for free from both the iTunes Store and the Google Play app store. Perhaps the best part about these new emoji, at least for any health nerds out there, is that each character represents a different type of poop as classified by the Bristol Stool Chart. Like the stool chart, these emojis are meant to help people understand and talk about their poop, which — while it’s not a foolproof way to diagnose an issue — can be a good indicator of how you’re doing health-wise.
Just for fun:
One man is trying all he can without leaving his home to get a year’s supply of Wendy’s chicken nuggets. Mostly, he’s just begging the internet for retweets. He’s reached 140k, but still has a long way to go. Even he is beginning to doubt himself, as the most retweeted tweet was Ellen Degeneres’ at 3.2 million. If Ellen can’t do it, we’re not sure if Carter can. This was another great example of Wendy’s spice of life on Twitter, and how the brand has successfully made a personality for itself. Looking forward to what they say next!