Including...Twitter's rebrand, Barbie movie marketing and the continuing conversation around AI.
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Digital Snapshot, bringing you all the latest digital news, ideas, tips and guidance for the arts, culture, museums and heritage world.
- In his long-held ambition to make an 'Everything app' along the lines of China's WeChat, Elon Musk has rebranded Twitter as X. The changeover was impulsively premature considering Twitter/X isn't an Everything App (where you can do banking, email, calls etc.) and the site is still littered with references to the old Twitter - you can still Tweet, Search Twitter and visit Twitter.com. In case you need reminding, Elon Musk is not a genius. He was forced to buy Twitter and he's now winging it, and winging it without the kind of safeguards in place at Tesla and SpaceX which insulate his mad ideas from the actual product. It honestly feels like Twitter/X is on life support at this point.
- In other news, Threads may have attracted a ton of users but engagement has dipped since the initial excited pile-on. It's probably still the most likely successor to Twitter/X, but we may see different communities and individuals lumping for BlueSky and Mastodon too.
- Some AI things - part of the reason writers/actors are striking in Hollywood is the use of AI in film and TV, some top AI companies have agreed to safeguards in the USA (now the horse has bolted) and Reddit users tricked AI into publishing an article about a fake new character in the videogame World of Warcraft.
Useful / bookmarkable
- The Arts Marketing Association are putting on a free hybrid event on Wednesday 18 October celebrating and exploring all the lovely resources in the NLHF's Digital Skills for Heritage initative.
- If you want to hear me talk very fast for 50 minutes about digital content strategy, then you can watch that here.
- Yes, I've seen Barbie. And if you haven't seen Barbie you've almost definitely seen marketing about Barbie, which at a cost of $150m was more expensive than making the movie itself. For insights into their strategy, Variety spoke to Warner Bros president of global marketing Josh Goldstine (though a key takeaway is: have a $150m budget).
Distracting / entertaining / inspiring
- The iconic Twitter logo lasted 11 years before being replaced by a generic unicode X. One of the bird's designers did an obituary thread on how they came up with the design.
- This is how you get TikTok interested in the Monticello Railway Museum. They've got TRAINS.
- I won't pretend to know how this works, but this group of people managed to use AI to create an entire episode of South Park. See Latest News above for why Hollywood is on strike.
- This isn't exactly bedtime reading, but DCMS/ACE published a paper on Measuring the value of the digital offer of galleries and museums. Findings include a willingness to pay a monthly fee ranging from £3.27 to £4.93 for the four regional museums taking part in the study, but also that visitors don't expect digital offers to replace in-person visits anytime soon.
And that’s all for this edition.
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See you soon.
Head of Digital, The Audience Agency