The Washington Post’s brand studio adds immersive audio to its suite of innovative storytelling capabilities

WP BrandStudio has launched a new immersive audio experience, expanding its storytelling capabilities for brands. With this approach to audio, the studio is focused on building memorable and distinguishing campaigns for the travel and hospitality industry that go beyond establishing visual identities to add emotional value and connection. Working with VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, the studio has created an interactive audio experience called “The Sounds of Florida.”


“Americans are investing more of their time with audio, listening an average of nearly four hours each day. We continue to explore immersive storytelling formats, just like The Post newsroom, to help elevate a brand’s message and drive engagement with that growing population,” said Denise Burrell-Stinson, Head of WP BrandStudio. “For those craving a getaway or planning a visit to Florida, the program for VISIT FLORIDA showcases the state’s rich culture and views and puts the power in readers’

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Shopify Posts Record Black Friday Sales of $2.4 Billion

Online-shopping host Shopify  (SHOP) – Get Report posted record Black Friday global sales of $2.4 billion as concern about the coronavirus pandemic had vast numbers of consumers choosing e-commerce over brick-and-mortar shopping.

Shares of the Ottawa commerce platform at last check rose 1% to $1,045.12.

The company said that from the start of Black Friday in New Zealand through the end of Black Friday in California, Shopify-powered businesses saw a 75% increase in sales from Black Friday in 2019.

New York, London, and Los Angeles were the top-selling cities worldwide on Black Friday, Shopify said. Top-selling countries included the U.S., U.K., and Canada.

By 8 a.m. Monday U.S. Eastern, merchants on Shopify collectively had crossed $1 billion in sales.

Top product categories globally during Black Friday were apparel and accessories, followed by health and beauty and home and garden.

Sales on Black Friday were made two-thirds (67%)

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Twitter to allow disappearing posts


a close up of a logo

© Matt Rourke

Twitter to allow disappearing posts


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First Snapchat did it. Then Instagram and Facebook jumped in. Now Twitter is joining in, too. On Tuesday, Twitter said it would introduce a feature called Fleets, allowing users to post ephemeral photos or text that will automatically disappear after 24 hours. Fleets will roll out to all iPhone and Android users globally over the coming days, the company said. Twitter said its main “global town square” service, which people such as President Trump use to broadcast their thoughts to followers, remained its marquee product. But the company said it recognized that many users simply lurked on the platform and rarely posted. Fleets, it said, could make it easier for people to communicate without worrying about wider scrutiny of their posts. — NEW YORK TIMES


Survey finds employees want to work from home — but not all

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Tech CEOs to face bitter and bitterly divided Congress over election posts

Republicans have skewered the social media companies in recent weeks for cracking down on false and misleading election-related claims by President Donald Trump and his allies, reiterating allegations that Silicon Valley is biased against conservatives. Democrats, meanwhile, have criticized the tech titans for not doing more to limit the spread of political disinformation by the president and others that’s increasingly rooted domestically.

Lawmakers plan to use Tuesday’s hearing to solidify those positions.

“I want to focus on making certain that they don’t choose winners and losers in 2022, 2024 … These guys have got to realize that they are not God and they have no right to be blocking someone’s free speech,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said Monday, referring to actions the companies took to limit the spread of false and misleading statements by Trump and his allies.

Democrats plan to hammer the companies for not taking more actions against

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Facebook’s Labels On Trump’s Election Lies Haven’t Stopped His Posts From Going Viral

Illustration for article titled Facebook Knows That Labeling Trumps Election Lies Hasnt Stopped His Posts From Going Viral

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Staff (Getty Images)

Facebook’s attempt to slow the spread of President Trump’s misinformation and outright lies by affixing warning labels to the content has done little to stop the posts from going viral—and the platform is apparently well aware.

According to internal conversations reviewed by Buzzfeed News, data scientists in the employ of Facebook freely admit that the new labels being attached to misleading or false posts as part of a broader strategy to stop the spread of election-related misinformation—referred to internally as “informs”—have had little to no impact on how posts are being shared, whether they’re coming from Trump or anyone else.

“We have evidence that applying these informs to posts decreases their reshares by ~8%,” the data scientists said, according to Buzzfeed. “However given that Trump has SO many shares on any given post, the decrease is not going

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New tools to ban self-harm and suicide posts

Girl texting on smartphone at home
There are fears over the impact of self-harm and suicide content on young and vulnerable people

Instagram has launched new technology to recognise self-harm and suicide content on its app in the UK and Europe.

The new tools can identify both images and words that break its rules on harmful posts.

It will make posts less visible in the app and, in extreme cases, remove it automatically.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, said it was an “important step” but the company wanted to do “a lot more”.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri detailed the new system, which uses artificial intelligence, in a blog post on its website.

Human referral

The technology already exists outside Europe on Facebook and Instagram.

Posts identified as harmful by the algorithm can be referred to human moderators, who choose whether to take further action – including directing the user to help organisations and informing emergency services.

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Datadog Tops Estimates, Posts Light Billings

Datadog, Inc.  (DDOG) – Get Report posted better-than-expected earnings Tuesday after the bell, citing the ongoing shift of IT services to the cloud for driving its results.

The company posted non-GAAP earnings per share of 5 cents, vs. analyst estimates of 1 cent a share. The company’s revenue of $154.7 million topped estimates by $10.4 million.

“The pandemic has driven organizations globally and across industries to prioritize their digital operations like never before, further strengthening the cloud’s position as the IT architecture of choice,” said Olivier Pomel, co-founder and CEO of Datadog, in a statement. “Datadog continues to be a trusted partner in enabling digital transformation and cloud migration.”

Lighter-than-expected billings appeared to be hurting the stock after hours. The company posted billings of around $156 million, vs a $159.1 million consensus, noted’s Eric Jhonsa.

Shares fell $6.21, or 6.7%, to $86.39 in recent after-hours action. Shares

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Posts falsify ties between election tech firm and Democrats

As poll workers tallied votes from the U.S. presidential election, many social media users interpreted a clerk’s error in a small, Republican-leaning Michigan county as vote-rigging because it wrongly favored Joe Biden before being fixed.

A week later, that misinterpreted mistake has snowballed into a deluge of false claims that Democrats have deep ties to Dominion Voting Systems, the company that supplies election equipment to Michigan and dozens of other states nationwide.

Claims that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the Clinton Foundation have interest or influence in Dominion are all unsubstantiated. But that didn’t stop tens of thousands of social media users from amplifying them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week.

Here’s what you need to know about the falsehoods spreading around Dominion Voting Systems.

CLAIM: Prominent Democrats including Pelosi, Feinstein and the Clinton family have a stake in or a deep relationship with Dominion

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Twitter and Facebook labels on Trump’s posts won’t save democracy

Facebook joined in, flagging Trump posts with the line: “Ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.”

Were the labels a win for democracy? They were a win for Twitter and Facebook public relations, which got to look just responsive enough to avoid being blamed for botching another election.

But as tech products, the labels were too little, too late. There’s scant evidence that labels make a lick of difference to viewers. Moreover, they didn’t stop the flow of toxic election content on social media. That’s because social media’s business model is toxic content.

Online, election week devolved into a mess of false claims that the results were fraudulent. As traditional news networks stepped in to correct the president’s misstatements, his allies turned to a network of new and existing Facebook pages, groups and events to rally people and spark real-world intimidation of poll workers. (Facebook shut down some of

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T-Mobile tops 100M customers, posts $1.3B in quarterly profit six months after Sprint merger

T-Mobile added a net total of more than 2 million customers in the third quarter, giving it more than 100 million customers for the first time.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless company posted of revenue of $19.3 billion and profit of $1.3 billion, or $1 per share, topping Wall Street’s expectations by both measures. Analysts surveyed in advance of T-Mobile’s earnings release expected the company to post earnings of 43 cents/share on revenue of $18.34 billion.

The results represent “the strongest financials in our history,” said Mike Sievert, the T-Mobile CEO, on an earnings call with analysts and investors. The company raised its financial guidance for the second half of the year by a variety of measures, including free cash flow between $700 million and $900 million, up from guidance of $300 million to $500 million previously.

Sievert said the growth took place despite COVID-19 creating a “slower switching environment” for

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