Why Tech Companies Must Be Careful About Change

This Week in Realtime Media

Technology: Twitter’s Lucky Charms

It is the end of an era over on Twitter, as starring your favorite tweets is no longer a thing.

Joining the ranks of both Instagram and Facebook, ❤️s have taken the place of ⭐️s,  and tapping a heart now indicates a “Like.” According to Twitter’s blog, the company made the switch because:

“We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite… The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people.”

Beyond the realm of Twitter, the story of platform’s minor makeover is being told and shared by major media players:
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At the same time, our Top Hashtags around the story show indicate both excitement and disappointment about the feature change, as many are asking for the stars/favorites to come back:
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Overall, Twitter’s decision to go from stars to hearts clearly generated a ton of buzz—BUT, this comes at the cost of unhappy Twitter users, for now at least. I am sure those that really love to tweet will continue to do so, as the change does not significantly impact or change anything with the core capabilities of the platform.

Business: RelayRides Steers in a New Direction

It has been a big week for the company formerly known as RelayRides. Along with a brand new name (Turo), the peer-to-peer car rental service also announced $47 million in Series C funding.

60% of Turo’s revenue comes from out-of-town travelers, renting cars from other travelers that have left their cars behind at airports. The rebranding comes after six years of providing primarily domestic service, as Turo hopes to eventually take the trend global. CEO Andre Haddad says it evokes both “touring,” or, in Italian, “turismo.”

The combined announcements were smartly released for attention. Our word cloud indicates that “new” and “identity,” along with “raises” and “47m” are generating the most mentions:

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Looking closer at news around Turo’s transformation, the most popular tweets around the story come from startup industry blogs:
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And both #startups and #funding are most prevalent among trending hashtags:
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Clearly, as news of the revamped RelayRides/Turo spreads, it is the excitement of a new company (or brand) and  startups that seems to continue to carry the story, and we can only wait to see if this means a profitable expansion for them.

Entertainment: Jon Stewart is BACK

After a quick retirement from the spotlight, Jon Stewart has returned—and with a brand new network!

The Daily Show‘s former host has just signed a four-year deal with HBO to create a variety of short-form digital content. These topical segments are the first of their kind for HBO, and will be refreshed and broadcast multiple times a day on both HBONow and HBOGo. Additional projects between Stewart and the cable network are expected, and are set to be announced upon confirmation.

What has the response been to this comeback? People love Jon Stewart.

Despite its immediacy and the fact that he’s doing something completely different with a new network, Stewart has received nothing but positive sentiment (we’ve never seen this before, for a person or a brand) since the news broke:

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This sentiment is seen in several of the stories pulled in by Zignal Labs:

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There is no doubt,  Jon Stewart fans are happy to have him back.

Health: Moustache Month Has Arrived

Whether you celebrate Movember, No-Shave November, or something else between, you can expect much more facial hair sprouting up over the next few weeks. These annual charity events support a variety of men’s health issues, and people around the world are excited to participate.

Here at Zignal Labs, we are all about promoting healthier lifestyles. So, along with some of our male employees growing out their ‘staches, we are also tracking the conversation and media coverage.

Since the start of the month, Movember has overtaken moustaches in mentions, generating almost three times the volume:
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And, as we saw while tracking last year, Movember is a Twitter phenomenon. Over the last week, Movember tweets have continued to climb, and have heavily outweighed all other media outlets:

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Movember aside, businesses like American Eagle Outfitters have their sights set on No-Shave November. The retailer has taken an interest to “inspire discussion around cancer awareness amid a younger crowd and raise funds for the four cancer organizations.” People are tracking their progress with #LetItGrowBro, and AEO is featuring it’s favorite participants on Instagram to showcase their facial hair.

While both Movember and No-Shave November are dependent on individual participation and fundraising, these movements are being taken to the next level with as businesses around the world get involved.

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