My Five #422

Twitter takes a stance against misinformation, GameStop sees a resurgence and a panda makes a new chilly friend – all in this week’s My Five!

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Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Will.

1. Twitter’s Birdwatch takes flight

Over the past few years, social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been under scrutiny due to various controversies relating to free speech and misinformation. In order to help tackle the spread of misinformation on the platform, this week Twitter has launched Birdwatch

Birdwatch works by allowing people to identify any information that they believe is misleading in a Tweet and write notes to provide further context. Currently, the platform is still in an initial pilot phase, where notes will be visible on a separate Birdwatch site. Participants of the pilot will also be able to rate the notes that other contributors have added depending on how helpful they are. The idea of keeping all the notes on a separate site at the beginning is to help build users’ trust and confidence in the platform. 

The launch of Birdwatch is definitely something that the world of social media needs, however, only time will tell as to how effective the new platform is when it comes to combating misinformation.

2. Jobs on the rise post COVID

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I tried to make it my task to write a My Five without mentioning the virus. With the anniversary of the first lockdown just a few months away, I have to admit I still haven’t achieved that goal. 

Recently, LinkedIn released their latest insights on the job landscape and those roles that have experienced the highest growth between April to October 2020. Here we are just going to take a look at the ‘Digital Content Freelancers’ and ‘Social Media and Digital Marketing’ sections, but the whole report is definitely worth reading. 

As a result of a combination of online usage increasing rapidly during the pandemic and many becoming unemployed, demand for jobs in both of these industries have seen a large rise. Digital Content Freelancers grew by 118% in 2020, while Social Media and Digital Marketing grew by 52%. From a freelance point of view, both video and podcast creation has provided numerous opportunities as the popularity of podcasts has increased over the years and it is estimated that podcasts had over 15 million listeners in 2020. Looking at the rise of digital marketing roles, with marketing budgets being tightened during the pandemic, businesses have shifted their focus to lower cost and innovative alternatives to traditional marketing. 

As we move toward a more digital world it is hardly unsurprising that both of these industries have grown in popularity. This is something that I expect will continue as more and more businesses are seeing the value of digital in the current climate.

3. GameStop throws Wall Street into chaos

To be honest, I can’t say the world of stocks and Wall Street is an area of expertise of mine, however, even I couldn’t avoid the impact GameStop had on the market this week. GameStop is an American video game store, so what could they have possibly done to incite chaos on Wall Street this week? Directly, nothing. They haven’t announced anything new, and frankly, they have had to close thousands of stores over the past few years with the rise of digital copies of games. So what has happened?

The surge in price was driven by members of r/WallStreetBets, a subreddit where day traders play the stock market by posting memes. The community has over 3 million subscribers so they can have a serious impact on the market, and that is exactly what happened with GameStop. At the end of 2020, a share of GameStop stock would set you back $18.84, whereas now a share is over $300. As a result, the company is now valued at over $10 billion. 

Since the rise, many online trading platforms temporarily halted purchases of the stock as many commission-free brokerages struggled to handle the volume of trading and new customer requests. The platforms have since returned to normal operation and as a result, the frenzy has started again. Who will be the next target of r/WallStreetBets? No one knows but it’s certainly interesting to see what an impact social media can have on the world. 

4. Twitter embraces its flaws

Twitter hasn’t upgraded it’s branding for over five years, however this week their marketing team felt it was time for a change. Below is a thread from Leslie Berland, Chief Marketing Officer at Twitter explaining the new look. 

The new branding is inspired by Twitter users, and thankfully the iconic mascot won’t be going anywhere. Twitter’s new appearance will include a new typography called “Chirp” and will incorporate number textures, colours, movements and memes. 

While the rebrand isn’t groundbreaking, the thinking behind it reflects how the platform has changed. Everyday interactions on Twitter are constantly evolving and growing in complexity and the new look of the brand aims to reflect that.  

5. Pandas are snow joke

The past few weeks have seen snowfall in various parts of the world. So to help brighten up your Friday afternoon here is a very important video of a panda playing with a snowman. 

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