Friday 5 — 2.21.2014

By Friday Five

  1. facebook whatsappFacebook forked over $19 billion for WhatsApp, and the internet is full of articles explaining why. Among the most compelling is Buzzfeed’s take that WhatsApp posed a significant threat. WhatsApp is growing fast globally, consumes a great deal of young users’ smartphone time, and fills that critical “staying in touch” niche that Facebook would like to own.
  2. The visual social network Instagram, another Facebook purchase, is looking like it might be living up to its relatively modest $1 billion price tag. Explosive growth and high engagement mean that Instagram is increasingly attractive to brands. It has exceptionally high engagement with affluent, young women — a demographic particularly attractive for retail.
  3. If you’re an online publisher — and pretty much all brands are these days — you might be interested in Echobox. This analytics package offers data-driven insights about your content’s performance both on site and as shared across social channels. The end result is fewer charts and numbers, and more specific recommendations for your content.
  4. LinkedIn this week entered the realm of “platisher” — the dreadful coinage for part platform and part publisher — as it opened up its content marketing Influencers program to everyone. Like Medium, LinkedIn will cultivate brand names and high-quality submissions, but sees value in building a broad-based content empire.
  5. Just where will we wear the internet of things? We’re easing in with wristbands and the stunningly awkward Google Glass, but there’s more to come. Quartz provides a list of body parts likely to be adorned with tech in the near future.

Weekend fun: Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show this week with a celebrity-studded vengeance, but the #hashtag2 performance sealed the deal.

Every Friday, find five, highly subjective links about compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas that affect how we live and work digitally.

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