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After months of uncertainty, it looks like TikTok and WhatsApp may avoid a U.S. ban after all, as the Biden Administration considers dropping the case against the apps altogether. (It's kind of nice that we can put this one to bed, honestly).

In other news:
  • Talk about an amewsing week: A Zoom cat, glue gone wrong, and a Twitter roast 
  • Facebook considers cloning Clubhouse: reports
  • Instagram says 🚫 to TikTok uploads
  • And big congrats to the Bumble founder-turned-billionaire
Read on ⬇️
Look Ahead Content Calendar for Feb. 17-27

 Topping 2021's Viral Hits 

For once, it wasn't social media and digital companies making the news, but the people using online platforms. Some of you may have already enjoyed these top viral hits, but just in case you missed out, here are three stories that hit the headlines last week. While the first two happened completely by accident, the third one is a good example for social media managers looking to add a little bit of spice to their accounts.
 Are you kitten me? 
"I did not know that Zoom could turn me into a cat, and I did not know that a cat Zoom would turn me into an internet celebrity." That's what the Texas lawyer at the centre of a viral Zoom call told BBC News last week. Rod Ponton was attempting to preside over a virtual court case, and logged onto Zoom from his secretary's computer, according to Reuters. But instead of his face, a cute blue-eyed kitten stared back. "I'm here live, I'm not a cat," he told the presiding judge. And to his credit, Ponton still tried to go ahead as normal. "I'm prepared to go forward with it." Luckily, Judge Roy Ferguson helped him remove the filter, and was very understanding, saying it showed "the legal community's efforts to continuing representing their clients in these challenging times." COVID times, amirite?
 
 I'm glued to this story 
While Ponton will always be remembered for his endearing cat filter debacle, it may be harder for Tessa Brown of Louisiana to shake her rep after she used Gorilla Glue on her hair. (You know it's bad if Saturday Night Live does a skit about it). So, basically Brown used the glue spray on her hair after running out of her regular hair spray. Her posts about the mistake went viral, and eventually a surgeon stepped in to remove the glue. As for Gorilla Glue, it posted a statement on Twitter saying it was "very sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident." But even it seemed a little bit confused about how this happened, saying "This is a unique situation because this product is not indicated for use in or on hair as it is permanent." (We would have loved to have been there when they were crafting this message). 
 
 Wendy's be roasting... 
And not hamburgers. Instead, Wendy's sets aside Feb. 12th as #NationalRoastDay and invites accounts to @ them if they want to feel the burn. This year, many jumped at the chance to be roasted, and the burger chain did not disappoint 🔥. Here's a taste:
  • Velveeta: "How are you a verified account when you're not even real cheese?"
  • Groupon: "For those who don't mind pulling a QR code on a date on a Tuesday"
  • Windows: "When God opens a window, another one crashes."
(Enjoy getting lost in the Twitter thread of posts on this one).
Wendy's tweet to Velveeta on #NationalRoastDay
Wendy's tweet to Groupon on #NationalRoastDay
Wendy's response to Windows on #NationalRoastDay
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 ICYMI 
 Facebook is all ears 
Facebook's competitive strategy is basically: buy, copy or kill. So when CEO Mark Zuckerberg jumped into a Clubhouse chat earlier this month, I'm sure we were all curious about what he might be up to. Turns out he's going with a "copy" strategy. There are now multiple reports that suggest Facebook is planning to launch its own audio chat feature. Stay tuned. However, over at Clubhouse, the invite-only app is getting some kickback over the fact that in order to use the app, you have to allow access to the contacts in your phone. (For me personally, this has been a serious red flag). Meanwhile, Twitter's audio-only feature, Spaces, (still in beta) seems to be digging in, recently inviting NY Times tech reporter Taylor Lorenz to host her own live chat. This race for audio dominance has just begun...
 Instagram: 🚫 TikTok uploads 
Speaking of competition, over at Instagram, the platform says that if you want your Reels to show up, forget about uploading your TikTok videos. In a post on the @creators Instagram account titled, "Tips for getting discovered in the Reels tab," there are a number of do's and don'ts. Under the don't category: "Don't post a Reel that is visibly recycled from other apps (ie. contains logos or watermarks)." This isn't surprising given that Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has already admitted that TikTok is its most formidable competitor. Other don'ts: avoid blurry resolution, videos with borders around them and too much text. In other Instagram news, you can now animate text in Stories
 NEWS-LIKE 
🔴 Canadian Woman Accused of Defaming Dozens Online Is Arrested [NY Times]

🔴 Facebook Will Test Cutting Back On Political Posts In The News Feed [The Verge]


🔴 India Warns U.S. Social Media Firms After Dispute With Twitter [Reuters]

🔴 Reddit App Installs Exceed 6 Million In January, Its Best Month Ever [SensorTower]
 CONGRATS-LIKE 
 Let's hear it for the girls 
Big congrats to the founder and CEO of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd, who is now a billionaire after the dating app went public last week. Founded in 2014, Bumble is unique in that women make the first move. Looks like that was a winning strategy, as the app raised $2.2 billion in an initial public offering. Not only is the app female focused, so is the company. The majority of the C-suite is women. And at 31, Wolfe Herd is the youngest female founder to take a U.S. company public. 👏
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