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Big Revolution - A meal crammed into a snack

Welcome to Friday's Big Revolution. Let's dive straight in... – Martin
October 19 · Issue #236 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Friday’s Big Revolution. Let’s dive straight in…

Big things you need to know today
  • Facebook has been showing off its fake news ‘war room’ again. The Guardian asks if, beyond its dramatic title, it’s effective enough.
  • Uber is reportedly planning a new division to provide on-demand staff for short-term gigs like events. Waiters and security guards will be on the menu at Uber Works. The FT has details (although you may hit the paywall).
  • Chinese e-commerce giant is gearing up to sell directly to US consumers via Google, Bloomberg reports.
  • Amazon is creating 1,000 new tech jobs in the UK. A new base in Manchester will employ more than 600 people working on software, machine learning, and AWS. Existing offices in Cambridge and Edinburgh will be expanded. The BBC has details.
The big thought
Credit: Instagram
IGTV: a meal crammed into a snack
‘Why Can’t Instagram Get Anybody to Care About IGTV?,’ asks New York Magazine’s Intelligencer. It’s a good question, but the answer is simple.
The article talks to creators and users about why they’re not particularly bothered by Instagram’s long(er)-form video hub. It doesn’t get many views, complain the creators. Instagram should fix its algorithm before trying to get us to use something new, users grumble.
But the nub of the problem for me is this: IGTV is at odds with what Instagram is all about. You go to Instagram for a quick hit – a few photos, maybe a few seconds of video, and that’s it. Switch over to IGTV’s longer videos, and it messes with your brain’s expectations. You suddenly jump from a snack to a meal. Over on YouTube, it’s the opposite – you expect a meal.
If I open IGTV I find pretty much the same content as I’ll find in my YouTube subscriptions, but wrapped up in a sub-optimal viewing experience because creators are just uploading their horizontal videos into an interface designed for vertical video.
I’m sure IGTV sounded great as an internal pitch: 'people love Instagram, people love YouTubers, people love vertical video – let’s bring them all together and profit!’
But failure for IGTV to 'land’ with its audience shows how Facebook’s tactic of leveraging its dominance of the social media space to crush rivals doesn’t work every time. And the 'snack vs meal’ problem is compounded by the confusion that IGTV is crammed into an already overly busy app, and that it’s also a standalone app.
IGTV is an unfocused product that is trying to do too much and not quite enough, all at the same time.
One big read
How China rips off the iPhone and reinvents Android How China rips off the iPhone and reinvents Android
A look at China’s insular mobile market, and how ‘drawing inspiration’ from elsewhere isn’t a bad idea if you sell phones there.
One big tweet
There were a LOT of different versions of the invites Apple sent out for its event at the end of the month. The image below is just the start. Click through for many, many more. Heather might not have even collected the whole set here.
Heather Kelly
Here are the 371 Apple logos from the invite. I fell for the stunt. I am part of the problem. Enjoy!
1:03 AM - 19 Oct 2018
That’s all for today...
See you tomorrow for a weekend format Big Revolution packed with good reads.
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