Cardiff Marketing Blog & News

Building Brand Trust on Social Media [#SMTLive Recap]

Building trust is a key element in effective branding – but how can you establish trust via digital interactions? 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/building-brand-trust-on-social-media-smtlive-recap/596167/

Instagram Says That it’s Exploring Options That Would Enable Users to Hide Like Counts if They Choose

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri says that the platform is looking at several options around the display of post likes. 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-says-that-its-exploring-options-that-would-enable-users-to-hide/596253/

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience

The best marketers today are building loyal fans by engaging with their audience in the comments and in messages. By approaching every conversation with genuine interest, they are leveraging social media to drive a remarkable and unforgettable customer experience that has fans coming back over and over again. But how exactly can you create this remarkable customer experience on social media?

One marketer that has mastered the art of social media to drive a better customer experience is Bryanna Evans. She’s the Social Media Manager at Southern Elegance Candle Company (SECC), a home fragrance and budding lifestyle brand that captures the warmth and hospitality that the South is known for. Not only has her focus on engagement helped them build loyal fans, but it’s also helped them double or triple their revenue, as its founder and CEO D’Shawn Russell told us: “Our social media makes us a lot of money… We went from doing maybe $20,000-30,000 a month just posting pretty images to well over a $100,000 a month now simply by engaging people more.

Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how SECC creates a positive customer experience on social media that has customers coming back over and over again. You’ll hear directly from Bryanna Evans, Social Media Manager at SECC, and you’ll learn:

  • How a positive customer experience on social media can bring significant value to your business
  • How your audience can help you with your business’ marketing and product development strategy
  • The tool Bryanna uses to more efficiently engage with SECC’s audience
  • What social platforms are most successful for customer engagement
How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer social media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.

Tell us more about you! What’s Southern Elegance Candle Co. (SECC) all about and what’s your role there?

Southern Elegance Candle Company is a home fragrance and budding lifestyle brand that captures the warmth and hospitality that the South is known for. The fragrances we offer are inspired by our CEO, D’Shawn Russell’s experiences growing up in the South. Through our products, individuals are able to experience the joys of southern-living no matter where they are.

My name is Bryanna Evans and the role I play at Southern Elegance is multifaceted, but my major responsibilities include social media management and overseeing customer service. Although many think of them as separate entities, I feel that they overlap quite a bit. Both assist in my process for developing strategies that appeal to consumers, content creation, and building authentic connections with our audience.

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience

Why does customer experience on social media matter?

In this digitally charged age, everything is at the touch of our fingertips. We’ve been conditioned to expect information just as quickly as we consume it. The same holds firm for customer experience on social media. It’s often the first impression potential consumers have of the company and whether it’s worth investing in them, (browsing their social media platforms, following accounts, purchasing products). It can make or break a brand.

How does SECC create a positive customer experience on social media?

We use our platforms to cultivate a welcoming environment centered around unity and inclusivity. Our tagline ‘Modern Values, Southern Charm’ plays a huge role in our content creation process- from graphics to captions, we try our best to ensure that anyone who comes across our feed feels accepted. We engage with our audience as if we’re long-time friends whether they’ve been following since the beginning or just visiting out of curiosity. That energy also translates into how we approach questions, answer comments, email, and DM’s.

We engage with our audience as if we’re long-time friends whether they’ve been following since the beginning or just visiting out of curiosity. That energy also translates into how we approach questions, answer comments, email, and DM’s.

What are SECC’s most successful social platforms for customer engagement and why?

Instagram and Facebook are our most successful platforms, with TikTok on their heels. I would credit our success to our genuine interests in our audience. The internet has made many skeptical- It’s often hard to know if a brand really cares about you as a consumer or just your money. This feeling can be amplified through robocalls and chatbot assistants. If someone comments on our posts, we comment back. If they call they’re met with a welcoming voice. We spark conversations through quizzes, videos, contests & giveaways.

I would credit our success to our genuine interests in our audience. If someone comments on our posts, we comment back. If they call they’re met with a welcoming voice. We spark conversations through quizzes, videos, contests & giveaways.

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience
Instagram post found here.

How do you learn from your community to help guide your marketing and product development strategy?

Our community is very vocal about what they desire from us. We often get messages regarding fragrances and products they want to return or see. However, in the event that we decide to launch a new product or scent, we try to include them in the process as much as possible. We allow them to test scents, vote for new fragrances, and name candles. We actively seek their feedback and test interest in future projects through story polls, surveys, and asking questions.

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience
Facebook post found here.

How does managing SECC’s social media account and community look like on a day-to-day basis?

We always have a lot going on, so content is planned on a weekly basis. Personally, organization is key. I have to manage my time wisely; to do so I use a personal planner, a social media planner, and two whiteboards. One whiteboard has a tentative time-based schedule written out. This allows me to pivot if something arises and I need to help out on the floor or have an influx of calls for the day. The other contains important reminders for upcoming projects and tasks.

My workday usually starts at 8 AM. When I arrive I review my planners, and reminders for the day. The next hour of work is dedicated to answering customer service emails. For the next half-hour, I create any graphics I need for the day and schedule a few posts, if I haven’t done so over the weekend. Afterward, I dive straight into our Instagram and Facebook DMs. I also reply to comments from anywhere between thirty minutes to an hour. I then take a bit of time to check my work emails and knock out a few things on my to-do list. I also take this opportunity to plan and execute at least one TikTok video for the week for the company account.

We post to our Instagram and Facebook stories daily- depending on what’s happening on the floor I post behind the scene footage around 11:30 AM or 1:00 PM. Throughout the day I share stories we’ve been tagged in or important announcements like sales. After lunch, I go back to answer any new customer service emails, schedule any other posts if needed, answer DMs, story replies, and comments. My day typically ends at 4 PM. Before I leave for the day, I make sure to answer any lingering emails.

We post to our Instagram and Facebook stories daily- depending on what’s happening on the floor I post behind the scene footage around 11:30 AM or 1:00 PM. Throughout the day I share stories we’ve been tagged in or important announcements like sales.

Walk us through how you use our new engagement tool. What are your favorite features?

Buffer’s new engagement tool has really helped to boost the efficiency of replying to comments. My favorite engagement feature by far is the alerts, as they’re a huge time saver. I love how they allow me to prioritize which ones I need to reply to ASAP. When I see a shopping cart or question icon I know that may need to have detailed information available for that individual. An added perk is that the tool makes it easy to scroll through comments on each post and locate those pesky spambot comments so they can be removed or hidden.


What advice do you have for brands that want to start using social media to build a community of loyal followers?

My advice for brands looking to use social media to build a loyal community is to start conversations, gather feedback, and be real with your followers. Social media can be intimidating but at the end of the day, there’s no wrong or right way to go about it. What works for Southern Elegance, may not work for another company. It’s all trial and error. It’s important for brands to experiment with different approaches and see what sticks. A good start is looking into the topics, trends, and habits of your target audience and using that information to curate engaging content.

What works for Southern Elegance, may not work for another company. It’s all trial and error. It’s important for brands to experiment with different approaches and see what sticks. A good start is looking into the topics, trends, and habits of your target audience and using that information to curate engaging content.

I actually follow some of my professors from college. They regularly post articles, start conversations around emerging trends, social media, public relations, and marketing practices. I try to stay active on social media- Even if I don’t post daily, I set time aside to go through each platform, take note of memes, recurring topics, trending hashtags, etc. If I see something I think I can apply or rework to fit Souther Elegance I take notes and dig deeper.

Additionally, in my free time, I take online courses, and attend “YouTube University.” Social media is constantly changing and I’ve found that the best way to keep up with the algorithm changes, updates, and latest strategies is to just put time aside to actively learn.

What’s your favorite SECC product and why?

My favorite Southern Elegance product would have to be our wax melts and warmers. I just turn my warmer on, pop a wax melt in, and go about my day. My favorite fragrances are our Charleston: Sweet Tea and our Savannah: Peach & Champagne as they remind me of my time spent growing up in Georgia and attending my alma mater Georgia Southern University.

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience
Instagram post found here.

Have any questions for Bryanna? Feel free to reply with your questions to the Twitter post below and Bryanna or someone from the Buffer team will get to them as soon as possible.

https://buffer.com/resources/how-to-use-social-media-to-drive-a-better-customer-experience/

NSFW: ‘Balldo’, A Dildo That Turns Balls Into ‘2nd Penis’ To Last Longer In Bed


Image via Balldo

With all that spare time at home, there’s more reason for people to keep getting it on. It seems that there is room for more, since you can now up your frequency of sexual intercourse—during the post-orgasmic recovery period, no less—thanks to the world’s first dildo for testicles.

The ‘Balldo’ features a cavity to fit balls into, turning them into a makeshift “second penis” for penetration even after a partner with a penis has climaxed.

Stimulating the testicles might result in what inventor Jerry Davies calls a “ballgasm,” which, according to him, occurs when you engage the nerve-endings in scrotal skin, place them in a cozy and wet environment, and pair them with a pleasurable thrusting rhythm.

Davies, an engineer and the CEO of Nadgerz Inc., said it took three years and more than 100 prototypes to perfect the Balldo.

He told InsideHook that the idea for the Balldo came about when he and his partner were in a post-coital cuddle and she “started pulling my balls down,” which aroused him again. “So from there I started experimenting with ball weights, cock rings etc., and it dawned on me that there was enough slack at the top of my balls that I might be able to somehow make a second penis out of them.”

To use the Balldo, a male partner will have to first shave his testicles and lubricate them to prevent friction. The Balldo comes with a ring, which is to be stretched over the ball area, and two spacer rings to keep the testicles in place for prolonged activity.

Davies reassured that the scrotum won’t suffer from being tugged to fit into the Balldo, as the device is designed to hold and cup the testes comfortably. Rather than feeling ticklish, they’ll feel “protected.”

One tester of the product, via Scary Mommy, related the experience with “waving a magic wand and suddenly giving guys a second penis that never goes soft and also gives a completely different type of orgasm.”

Have you seen the #balldo yet?

If we've peaqued your curiosity tell us your questions pic.twitter.com/zZ6aRILioA

— Balldo (@BalldoBallsex) February 2, 2021

Ball stretching on its own brings enormous sexual potential. The feeling of the tug can be a turn on. While it’s not something everyone will enjoy, there's many folks who appreciate new sensations. There is no reason not to try it if you wish to try something new & pleasurable! pic.twitter.com/LQWr1MjN3m

— Balldo (@BalldoBallsex) February 3, 2021

[via Inside Hook and Scary Mommy, images via Balldo] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413305/NSFW-Balldo-A-Dildo-That-Turns-Balls-Into-2nd-Penis-To-Last-Longer-In-Bed/

Watch: Here’s How Museums Determine What To Sell At Their Gift Shops

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Image via CHOONGKY / Shutterstock.com

Ever felt drawn to a certain souvenir at a museum gift shop? Chances are, there’d be several other pieces there depicting the same artwork.

There’s a trick to museums’ retail strategies, and it’s called the mere-exposure effect. As shared in a new Vox video, based on a 2018 thinkpiece by Micaela Marini Higgs, it’s a psychological phenomenon, also known as the familiarity principle, that suggests that the more you are shown a piece of art, the more you’ll think it is important and end up liking it.

The phenomenon can be easily observed around the world. Take, for example, Katsushika Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa, which is currently in the possession of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It not only appears prominently in the museum’s gift shop in the form of socks, tote bags, and more, you’ll also see the image being carried around all over the world. The print’s repeated presence informs people of its importance in art history.

Museums might apply the same formula on other product types to expand their retail collections, branching out to dog collars, smartphone chargers, color-changing tumblers, and so on.

By constantly exposing visitors to artworks, museums can also encourage curiosity about the work and ultimately leave guests feeling more enlightened when they depart from the establishment.

Of course, you’ll also find products based on major exhibitions in these shops, such as iconic polka-dotted merchandise during a temporary Yayoi Kusama show. However, Christine Doobinin, director of retail at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, says that this strategy of putting all your eggs in one basket isn’t sustainable. Instead, she’s refocused her retail model on museumgoers by walking around the museum to better understand their thought processes when looking at art.

[via Vox, cover image via CHOONGKY / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413304/Watch-Here-s-How-Museums-Determine-What-To-Sell-At-Their-Gift-Shops/

Suitsupply’s Raunchy Campaign On ‘The New Normal’ Is Making People Squeamish


Image via Suitsupply

When was the last time you even got a hug from someone outside of your social bubble? With physical contact on a low, audiences are especially uncomfortable with a Suitsupply campaign envisioning post-pandemic life, which it imagines will arrive soon.

In a series of racy photos by the menswear label, a group of nearly naked people are shown passionately making out. In each visual, the only fully-clothed person is the man in the center, dressed to the nines in Suitsupply’s suits.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Suitsupply (@suitsupply)

The shots are accompanied by the caption, “The New Normal is Coming. Get Ready to Get Closer.”

Pre-pandemic, the hot and heavy images would be enough to stop viewers in their tracks. However, given the repeated reminders about social distancing over the past year, the campaign is making people sweat, and not always in a good way.

“Post-pandemic life is on the horizon,” Fokke de Jong, founder and CEO of Suitsupply, described to Insider. “Social distancing for extraordinarily long periods of time has conditioned us to fear proximity of others and that is perfectly justified.”

De Jong explained that the photos were meant to offer “a positive outlook on our future where people can get back to gathering and getting close.”

The idea of all those people crammed into a tiny space, tongues out, spit exchanged, is nonetheless leaving social media users unsettled. Some have expressed concern for the models featured; MarketWatch reporter Elisabeth Bushward tweeted, “I hope they were both tested for coronavirus before that shoot.” One Twitter user succinctly asked, “Is that saliva?”

New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin questioned, “Too soon? Not soon enough? Thoughts?”

Justifying the advertisements’ portrayal, de Jong told Insider, “People are looking to get out and about again… At the beginning of the pandemic, Suitsupply was among the first to implement safe shopping experiences, that’s what people needed, and we met that moment. I believe people want to connect to something more positive now.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Suitsupply (@suitsupply)

Their Instagram posts are somehow worst pic.twitter.com/l2W2TlZNph

— T (@cocaineshrimp) March 4, 2021

I can't even cope with people shaking hand in scenes that were recorded 20 years before the pandemic…

— Miguel Vara (@themiguelvara) March 4, 2021

watching the suit supply orgy pic.twitter.com/ZflzGaKunG

— Bridget Read (@bridgetgillard) March 4, 2021

I'm just deeply concerned that this was the old normal and nobody told me? That this was how you were supposed to do kissing?

— Taffy Brodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) March 4, 2021

I can't even cope with people shaking hand in scenes that were recorded 20 years before the pandemic…

— Miguel Vara (@themiguelvara) March 4, 2021

Stocks down on that Suitsupply ad

— Josh Barro (@jbarro) March 4, 2021

I’m uncomfortable pic.twitter.com/pgmZS5by6t

— CanLen 🕙 (@CandiceLen) March 4, 2021

[via Insider, images via Suitsupply] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413303/Suitsupply-s-Raunchy-Campaign-On-The-New-Normal-Is-Making-People-Squeamish/

Banksy Shares Behind-The-Scenes Of New Prison Art In The Form Of Bob Ross Video



Image via Banksy

Banksy has claimed responsibility for artwork that appeared on the wall of Reading Prison earlier this week.

In an Instagram post, the street artist shared the process behind the monochrome mural, which sees a man escaping from prison with a rope made out of bedsheets, rolled out from a typewriter. The piece is meant to resemble the famous inmate Oscar Wilde, per the BBC.

According to the BBC, Wilde was detained in Reading Prison in the late 19th century after an “indecent affair” with Lord Alfred Douglas. His time in jail inspired the poem Ballad of Reading Gaol, which touched on the harshness of the Victorian penal system.

In the Instagram video, Banksy is seen spraying paint to create the artwork, Create Escape. The clip is juxtaposed with an episode of an art instruction video, The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.

The prison has been derelict since 2013 and was put up for sale by the government to build housing. Currently, the Reading council hopes to save and transform it into an arts complex, according to the BBC.

The Reading Borough Council added that Banksy’s involvement might have suggested that he is backing the movement to save the prison.

“We are thrilled that Banksy appears to have thrown his support behind the council’s desire to transform the vacant Reading Gaol into a beacon of arts, heritage, and culture with this piece of artwork he has aptly called Create Escape,” the council said.

The council is pushing the Ministry of Justice to take important steps to protect the artwork.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy)

[via BBC, cover image via Banksy] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413300/Banksy-Shares-Behind-The-Scenes-Of-New-Prison-Art-In-The-Form-Of-Bob-Ross-Video/

Sony Patents Technology To Turn Bananas & More Into Video Game Controllers



Image via Shutterstock

Sony has patented a technique to turn a banana, or any other object, into a PlayStation controller.

The patent filing, via GamesIndustry.Biz, describes that game peripherals can be too complicated and expensive for some users, so Sony is looking to find “an inexpensive, simple and non-electronic device” as an alternative.

Sony’s potential solution? Readily-available objects. The company suggested that as long as an object is “non-luminous” and “passive,” it can be used as a controller.

The patent states that a user could hold the object in front of a camera to be recognized as a gaming device before being imposed with inputs and being usable for video games.

It also details how the technology could generate “an augmented reality image of a non-luminous passive controller,” and then detect changes in the motions of the object to adapt to a player’s hand movements so as to generate superimposed virtual inputs like a “finger detector.”

The bizarre technology resulted in mixed reactions on Twitter. “Why on Earth would anyone use a banana to play video games?” a Twitter asked. One hopeful user wrote, “Better hope you don’t get hungry in the middle of a boss [stage]! That controller gonna start looking good.”

A look at a potential PSVR 2 Controller and it's Bananas! https://t.co/mnRoaRv3L2

— PlayStation Discourse (@RedditPS) March 3, 2021

okay. pardon my french, but what the FREAK!!!??? WHY IN EARTH WOULD ANYONE USE A BANANA TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES! Terrible marketing scheme by Sony even tho at this point it’s oddly expected from a Sony who are completely past their prime. SMH🤦‍♂️.

— Gerbalz (@Prodigy_Gerbalz) March 4, 2021

Better hope you don't get hungry in the middle of a boss! That controller gonna start looking pretty good.

— Valdin (@Lord_Valdin) March 4, 2021

pic.twitter.com/KBrhQK09AO

— TREX (@Trexbradbock) March 3, 2021

I don’t know about you, but I play my PS5 with a #2. pic.twitter.com/DXMZnSxqNL

— Robert (@robert_8383) March 3, 2021

I mean come on just have a controller and a snack with you is awesome

— Zboss0204z (@zboss0204z) March 4, 2021

[via In The Know, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413297/Sony-Patents-Technology-To-Turn-Bananas-More-Into-Video-Game-Controllers/

Los Angeles Builds Colorful Tiny Home Village So All Can Have A Place To Live

[Click here to view the video in this article]


Image via Lehrer Architects for the City of Los Angeles

Some people are stuck at home; others don’t have one. The City of Los Angeles hopes to improve living conditions for the homeless by opening a vibrant little village of 40 tiny homes, an admirable solution for one of its most glaring problems.

The colorful Chandler Boulevard Bridge Home Village, located in North Hollywood, was designed and constructed by Lehrer Architects and Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering under the direction of the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. According to a report by House Beautiful, it took only 13 weeks to build the village before its opening on February 2.

Each prefab home can accommodate just one or two people, but the upside of the compact size is that 40 of the houses can be efficiently fitted into the once-abandoned infill lot. The units were supplied by Washington-based Pallet Shelter, which specializes in building portable and durable personal shelters.

The area is designed to look delightful, with a bright color scheme of red, yellow, blue, white, and orange, not just for the sake of grouping and for creating village vibes, but to also brighten the moods of residents. “In projects like these, design matters to uplift residents and to respectfully complete and enhance the neighborhood,” noted Lehrer Architects.

The firm explained, “Chandler Boulevard Bridge Home Village represents a lightning-quick, highly collaborative, inventive, efficient, and beautiful solution to the LA homelessness crisis,” shared the firm. “Lehrer Architects believes that creating a home for someone – for anyone and everyone – is about providing human dignity, safety, love, and respect, and Chandler is a model of how to enhance a community by caring for its most vulnerable residents with dignity through design.”

House Beautiful reported last month that the shelters had been fully occupied.

The Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission has also set its sights on LA’s Alexandria Park, where it will complete building a tiny housing area of 103 units and 200 beds in April.


Image via Lehrer Architects for the City of Los Angeles


Image via Lehrer Architects for the City of Los Angeles


Image via Lehrer Architects for the City of Los Angeles


Image via Lehrer Architects for the City of Los Angeles


Image via Lehrer Architects for the City of Los Angeles


Image via Lehrer Architects for the City of Los Angeles

[via Boing Boing and House Beautiful, images via Lehrer Architects for the City of Los Angeles] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413302/Los-Angeles-Builds-Colorful-Tiny-Home-Village-So-All-Can-Have-A-Place-To-Live/

Lay’s Creates Technology That Turns On Video Subtitles When You Chomp On Chips

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via Happiness Saigon

Lay’s Potato Chips has released a plugin that automatically turns on YouTube video subtitles when you snack on a bag of chips, since crunching sounds can sometimes crowd out audio.

To tackle the noise and make binge-watching a better experience, Lay’s has teamed up with FCB-owned Vietnamese agency Happiness Saigon to create ‘Lay’s Crispy Subtitles’.

The team trained AI on 178 hours of crispy chip crunch sounds of various “languages,” gathered from around the world. The technology can detect and activate subtitles the second it hears a crunch, so viewers can snack without missing a single thing.

The Crispy Subtitles add-on is now available to download globally from the Chrome store.

[via LBB Online, cover image via Happiness Saigon] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413295/Lay-s-Creates-Technology-That-Turns-On-Video-Subtitles-When-You-Chomp-On-Chips/

Banksy Artwork Gets Purchased… Then Torched To Be Sold As An NFT

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via Burnt Banksy

A blockchain company purchased a US$95,000 Banksy piece, burned it, and then broadcasted it on Twitter. The process was all for the sake of turning the work into a virtual asset called a non-fungible token, or NFT.

The company behind the stunt, Injective Protocol, bought the screenprint, Morons (White), from an auction. The original print, one of an edition of 500, was a black-and-white depiction of an art auction with the message, “I can’t believe you morons buy this s**t.” The team then set it on fire and live-streamed everything through the Twitter account, Burnt Banksy.

Later, the group of self-proclaimed “tech and art enthusiasts” created a digital representation of the artwork, which is now available as an NFT and can be viewed and purchased digitally.

According to Injective Protocol executive Mirza Uddin, the burning event was “an expression of art itself.”

“We entirely recreate the physical piece and input specifications, such as the art version number into the smart contract code, so no one can ever alter the digital art in any way. The physical piece will forever be memorialized in this NFT,” Uddin added.

In the video showing the burning process, a member of the team said that the goal of it was to “inspire” artists to “explore a new medium of artistic expression.”

“If you were to have the NFT and the physical piece, the value would be primarily in the physical piece,” he said.” “By removing the physical piece from existence and only having the NFT… [this] ensures that no one can alter the piece and it is the true piece that exists in the world. By doing this, the value of the physical piece will then be moved onto the NFT.”

The digital Morons (White) remix will be on auction on the OpenSea marketplace until March 9.

The art will now live on as an NFThttps://t.co/1k8EXyUOEZ

— Burnt Banksy (@BurntBanksy) March 4, 2021

[via Dazed Digital, cover image via Burnt Banksy] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413296/Banksy-Artwork-Gets-Purchased-Then-Torched-To-Be-Sold-As-An-NFT/

Instagram Sparked Online Uproar After Accidentally Removing Like Counts



Image via ArthurStock / Shutterstock.com

Instagram users were surprised to find that like counts had gone missing from the platform on Tuesday. The company has been testing removing likes for years, and this time, it accidentally released the test to the public.

“We unintentionally added more people to the test today, which was a bug-we’re fixing this issue and restoring like counts to those people as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for Instagram told CNN.

The change is something that Instagram has been working on for some time. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced in 2019 that the platform would hide “like counts” on posts within a week. He also mentioned that the platform was working to roll out additional measures to improve the mental and emotional health of users.

“We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s wellbeing and health,” Mosseri expressed.

Instagram was already testing out hiding likes in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand, which began in July 2019.

In April 2019, researcher Jane Manchun Wong shared a screenshot that showed the internal development of Instagram. As shown in the image, only the uploader gets to see the number of likes the post garnered. Other Instagram users can only see the handle of an account owner who has liked the post, followed by “and others.”

With the removal of likes, people might stop constantly comparing themselves with Instagrammers who carefully curate their feeds. This, in turn, could create a less stressful environment where people can feel comfortable with expressing themselves.

As soon as the bug hit, many took to Twitter to express their disappointment, while others cheered on with the assumption that the platform has finally removed likes. “I’m about to cry. Why did Instagram take away my ability to see the number of likes any post has gotten? Time to delete the app,” a Twitter user said.

“So Instagram got rid of likes and I honestly feel like that the most mentally progressive thing they’ve done all year,” another said.

This issue has now been fixed. Pull down to refresh your feed and your likes should restore – thanks for your patience!

— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) March 3, 2021

I’m about to cry. Why did Instagram take away my ability to see the number of likes any post has gotten?!?! Time to delete the app.

— Nerissarianna 🧚🏾‍♀️✨ (@nerissarianna) March 3, 2021

So instagram took away likes destroying the popularity contest aspect… i love it 🤷🏽‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/VdbiWnfvSg

— ᗪㄩㄒ匚卄 爪卂丂ㄒ乇尺 (@iFeeLdZy_) March 3, 2021

So Instagram got rid of likes and I honestly feel like that’s the most mentally progressive thing they’ve done all year

— Demi Grace (@IamDemiGrace) March 3, 2021

Ppl gettin mad about not seeing the number of likes they receive on ig bcuz they use that as some sort of validation currency shows is how deeply twisted and vain we are. Did Instagram reveal how we are reliant on social media for our sense of worth and self esteem? Yes it did.

— Mani Phantom (@Sleezies) March 3, 2021

[via HITC, cover image via ArthurStock / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413291/Instagram-Sparked-Online-Uproar-After-Accidentally-Removing-Like-Counts/

Nikon Rolls Out ‘NX Studio’, Its Free Editing Software For Photos & Videos


Image via Nikon

If you’re on the lookout for free and affordable productivity apps, consider Nikon’s new photo and video editing program to be next on your arsenal.

The brand new NX Studio is the camera maker’s free answer to Adobe Lightroom and Capture One, as well as offers a few alternatives to Premiere Pro and Final Cut, with support for Nikon cameras. According to PetaPixel, the platform combines ViewNX-I’s management features with Capture NX-D’s editing functionality.

While several other camera companies might have decided to give their apps a more basic experience, Nikon has apparently made it a point to make NX Studio more user-friendly. Its interface is optimized for workflows, with a new menu layout to accommodate browsing, processing/editing, and export/sharing options. Further, the program is built to be faster and smoother for higher efficiency.

Through this app, users can view, process, and editing photos and videos—including JPEGs, TIFFs, and RAW NEF files—in one destination. They can then transfer their work to Nikon’s image sharing and storage platform, Nikon Image Space, to easily upload videos on YouTube.

The software can now be installed on Windows and Macs. Windows users will first need to update their computers to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (64-bit), and Mac owners will require macOS Mojave, Catalina, or Big Sur to run the program.


Image via Nikon


Image via Nikon

[via PetaPixel, images via Nikon] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413299/Nikon-Rolls-Out-NX-Studio-Its-Free-Editing-Software-For-Photos-Videos/

Postmates Debuts Cookbook With Recipes That Need No Cooking To Cure Burnout

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Image via Postmates

You’ve come across recipes that claim to be accomplishable with a microwave or promise to put dinner on the table with just three ingredients. Postmates takes it up a notch with a new cookbook—you read that right—that requires no cooking at all.

It’s been a challenging past year, and, naturally, people who started cooking during the pandemic might be tired of it right now. To help people recover from pandemic burnout, the delivery service, along with advertising agency Mother LA, has released a counterintuitive Don’t Cookbook with 206 pages worth of recipes that will all turn out right, because its partners will be the ones cooking their chicken wings, tacos, and grilled cheese.

In place of step-by-step instructions, customers are shown a series of tongue-in-cheek quips. For kale salad, for instance, they’ll be reading a bitter monologue from the point of view of kale, who can no longer hold its composure about how people are secretly badmouthing it.

It also turns out that the secret ingredient for the best taco experience is to wear a giant hat. Who knew?

Each recipe ends with a step to scan a QR code, which will lead readers to a relevant food service or get them to download the Postmates app.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Nicholas Scarpinato, JonPaul Douglass, Lizzie Darden, and Jason Travis, and will serve as a stunning yet quirky coffee table piece whether or not cooking is your strong suit.

As it seems, people are truly sick of constantly making their own meals, as all 200 copies of the cookbook, priced at US$50, were quickly snapped up. But fret not, as Postmates is looking to reprint copies; you can join its waiting list here.


Image via Postmates

Click to view enlarged version



Click to view enlarged version. Image via Postmates

Click to view enlarged version



Click to view enlarged version. Image via Postmates

Click to view enlarged version



Click to view enlarged version. Image via Postmates

[via Muse by Clio, video and images via Postmates] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413298/Postmates-Debuts-Cookbook-With-Recipes-That-Need-No-Cooking-To-Cure-Burnout/

Twitter’s Testing a New ‘Undo’ Option for Sent Tweets

Twitter is working on an 'Undo' option that would enable you to stop a tweet from being sent before going out with typos.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/twitters-testing-a-new-undo-option-for-sent-tweets/596196/

Twitter Updates Privacy Help Resources to Cater to More User Queries

Twitter has launched an updates Privacy Help Center to help users find answers to their account queries.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/twitter-updates-privacy-help-resources-to-cater-to-more-user-queries/596173/

LinkedIn Provides New Performance Insights for Higher Education Marketers [Infographic]

LinkedIn has shared some new insights to help higher education marketers maximize their campaigns.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/linkedin-provides-new-performance-insights-for-higher-education-marketers/596170/

Facebook Enables More Users to Switch Off Political Ads, Expanding the Option to More Than 90 Regions

Facebook will now give users around the world more options to reduce political content in their feeds.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-enables-more-users-to-switch-off-political-ads-expanding-the-opti/596169/

WhatsApp Enables Voice and Video Calls via Desktop App

WhatsApp has announced the addition of voice and video calling options via its desktop app.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/whatsapp-enables-voice-and-video-calls-via-desktop-app/596163/

TikTok Rolls Out Q&A Feature to All Creator Accounts

TikTok has officially launched its new Q and A option for Creator accounts, providing a new way to engage with viewers.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-rolls-out-qa-feature-to-all-creator-accounts/596161/

Snapchat Announces New Partnership with Gannett to Reach More SMB Advertisers

Snapchat has announced a new partnership with Gannett that will see Gannett promote Snap ads to its network of SMB advertisers.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/snapchat-announces-new-partnership-with-gannett-to-reach-more-smb-advertise/596160/

Daring Eaters, How About A Spicy Korean Cheese Rice Cake Ice Cream For Dessert?



Image via Lotte Confectionery

South Korean confectionery company Lotte is launching a unique flavored ice cream: spicy cheese rice cake (tteokbokki).

The limited offering combines a soft and chewy dessert with a national street snack, and is part of the company’s Chal Tteok ice cream line.

Tteokbokki is a dish featuring cylinder-shaped rice cakes, cooked in fermented red chili paste (gochujang). It is often enjoyed with scallions and fish cakes.

The Chal Tteok Spicy Cheese Tteokbokki Ice Cream boasts a jalapeno-flavored orange glutinous rice flour wrapper on the exterior. Inside is a cheddar cheese ice cream packed with spicy chips and cookie crumbs.

“The sticky texture of the rice cake and the sweetness of the ice cream creates a surprising harmony of taste,” the company said, adding that the dessert will be “fun to eat.”

Priced at ₩1,000 (US$0.89), the Spicy Cheese Tteokbokki Chal Tteok ice cream is limited to 500,000 pieces and will be sold in supermarkets and ice cream stores in South Korea.

[via Korea Herald, cover image via Lotte Confectionery] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413283/Daring-Eaters-How-About-A-Spicy-Korean-Cheese-Rice-Cake-Ice-Cream-For-Dessert/

Pixar Transforms ‘Up’ Into An Epic Anime Opening Title Sequence

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Video screenshot via Pixar

Pixar has reimagined one of its most heartwarming films as a Japanese animation show, proving that differences in aesthetics and presentation can completely change the mood of a story.

The animation studio has turned the story of Up into a dramatic anime title sequence, complete with fast-moving visuals and head-banging music.

“Time to (re)mix it up!” the company shared. “Inspired by Japanese-style animation, this new twist on a pixel-perfect adventure is one you don’t want to miss.”

Viewers are first jogged through a preview of Carl and Ellie Fredericksons’ childhood and married life, similar to the start of the original 2009 film.

The rest of the video is a delightful synopsis of the entire movie, zipping you through the adventures of Carl, boy scout Russell and the balloon-hoisted house.

The grumpy old man ultimately cultivates a soft spot for the chirpy boy, stepping in to become Russell’s caretaker.

Watch the alternate-reality film below.

[via Pixar] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413294/Pixar-Transforms-Up-Into-An-Epic-Anime-Opening-Title-Sequence/

Centuries-Old Memory Trick Proven To Strengthen Short- & Long-Term Memory

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Image via Shutterstock

People with super memory are often envied by others. The good news is you can “hack” your brain with an ancient memorization technique. Even better, recent findings suggest this trick can both enhance short-term and long-term recall.

The method is called the “method of loci,” and it has been used since ancient Grecian times, Gizmodo reports. The technique involves memorizing the layout of loci, which means places, and then associating landmarks from those places with things you need to remember.

For instance, you can envision the area between your home and neighborhood bodega to form a shopping list in your head. There might be a fire hydrant nearby, which you can associate with sriracha sauce; a garden, which could remind you of salad dressing; and a tree, which could bring to mind eggs, since eggs can be found in nests and nests are often in trees.

When you’re at the store, you should be able to remember what to pick up by recalling this “mind place.”

The method of loci isn’t just good for remembering shopping lists. A new study led by neuroscientist Isabella Wagner from the Netherlands’ Radboud University Medical Center reveals that relying on it can actually rewire the brain to make room for more things to remember.

Creating a “mind place” allows you to tag new and unrelated information onto this structure. “It definitely helps to form unusual, novel, or even bizarre associations that capture attention,” she told Gizmodo. “The combination of prior knowledge and novelty is very powerful to boost memory.”

Up until recently, the method of loci’s impact on long-term memory wasn’t well-documented. Wagner and her team decided to put the memorization trick to the test by inviting 67 people—17 memory athletes and 50 non-experts—to determine how the technique might affect long-term recall.

The 50 non-experts, who weren’t trained in the method of loci, were split into three groups. The first group was asked to participate in an intensive six-week method of loci course, the second was taught working memory techniques, and the third group was not given any memory training.

The participants had their brain prints captured through fMRI scanners before and after training.

Their task was to memorize random words, displayed in triplets. The participants were asked to determine if the words were shown in the same or different sequence as they had been presented during their training.

“We wanted to see whether novices could train the method of loci to such an extent that they would reach performance levels close to actual memory champions, and also whether their brain processes become similar to those of champions with training,” shared Wagner.

Interestingly, when asked to name the words four months later, the group that was trained on the method of loci could remember an average of 50 words, those who were taught working memory recalled 30 words on average, and the group that received no training could only name 27 words on average.

The researchers were even more surprised that brain scans for both memory experts and non-memory experts revealed lower activity in the lateral prefrontal, posterior parahippocampal, and retrosplenial cortices—areas usually activated when people study or attempt to remember random word lists.

“This was somewhat surprising to us, as better performance is typically associated with increased engagement of different brain regions. What we saw here is the opposite,” explained Wagner.

However, the decrease in activity in these areas could indicate “neural efficiency,” meaning that fewer resources are exhausted in the brain when recalling something. Your brain ends up remembering stuff with much less effort.

Jeni Pathman, an assistant professor at York University in Toronto, told Gizmodo that this study proves it is possible for regular people to enhance their memory as efficiently as memory athletes. However, she noted that more research is due, since this experiment was conducted within a small group.

Video via Big Think

[via Gizmodo, video via Big Think, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413293/Centuries-Old-Memory-Trick-Proven-To-Strengthen-Short-Long-Term-Memory/

Apple TV+’s Audio Thriller Trailer Gets More Chilling The More You Listen In

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Image via Apple TV+

Are true crime shows and thrillers up your alley? If so, Apple’s upcoming TV+ series, an audio thriller—yes, you read that right—which premieres on 19 March will interest you.

Apple has released a trailer for Calls, and based on the video, it is a series told entirely through phone conversations.

There are also minimal visuals in the trailer, only abstract illustrations corresponding with the audio carrying the story. The artistic decision looks to make for a gripping and unsettling viewing/listening experience.

Apple describes its new series as a “groundbreaking immersive television experience that masterfully uses only audio and minimal abstract visuals to tell bone-chilling snackable stories.” It will follow “darkly dramatic mystery” that is revealed over phone conversations that “become surreal as the characters face growingly unsettling experiences.”

The series will feature appearances from Aubrey Plaza, Lily Collins, Nick Jonas, Pedro Dawson, and more. A total of nine 12-minute episodes will be released on Apple TV+ on 19 March.

The series is directed by horror filmmaker Fede Álvarez, and adapted from Timothée Hochet’s French series.

[via Slash Film, cover image via Apple TV+] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/413289/Apple-TV-s-Audio-Thriller-Trailer-Gets-More-Chilling-The-More-You-Listen-In/