Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Full Monty: Our Terms of Service Have Changed – April 23, 2018

Looking for a translator who understands legalese; the robot resistance may be rising; Amazon's algorithm will help you look cool; predictive business intelligence systems are the future; Tesla should learn from history; the best digital and social media research of 2018; tech matters to grocers and Home Depot; YouTube TV gets digital-only networks; the lights are on at Flickr; Netflix is going strong - but for how long?; the Podcast Consumer 2018 from Edison Research; fake reviews are big business; measuring innovation; why solvitur ambulando may be your answer; revealing our image strategy; the podcast of the week  and more in Our Terms of Service Have Changed edition of The Full Monty from Brain+Trust Partners for the week of April 23, 2018.

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The Full Monty, a Brain+Trust Partners publication, exposes you to virtually everything you need in business intelligence at the top of every week. Links are below with commentary in italics. Please sign up for our email updates to make sure you don't miss a thing.


The more eagle-eyed of you may have noticed the progression of images over the last five issues of the newsletter. It's a subtle nod to Alfred Hitchcock, who famously made cameo appearances in nearly every movie he directed. It took him six years and three films to pull off his cleverest gag: in Spellbound (1945) , he was seen carrying a violin case; in The Paradine Case (1947), he had a cello case; and in Strangers on a Train (1951), he struggled to bring a double bass onto the train.
Our version was the five-part series The Course of Empire by Thomas Cole.

Top Stories

The Facebook / Cambridge Analytica news has brought quite a bit of the unrealized or unspoken of the tech world into national consciousness. Collectively (and individually in some cases), we've been talking about data, privacy, and what we're willing to give up for our beloved free services.

But it strikes us that there's an element that's been with us all along which could have saved us from ourselves — a functional piece of each and every app and service that we use that should have been a talisman, but was instead a nuisance at best or an impediment at worst. 

We're of course referring to the Terms and Conditions.

Ts and Cs (or ToS for "Terms of Service" on some platforms) are what we're typically greeted with when we sign up for new apps, platforms and services. Before you can dive in and share your photos from last night's party, your political opinion on the hypocritical politician of your choice, or message someone, you need to make your way through the legalese of the 20-thumb scroll to find the "I Accept" button that you press, having read none of the Terms.

And is it any surprise that you haven't read them? With some of them <cough>PayPal</cough> being longer than Hamlet, who has time to read them in their entirety? This is how some Londoners were tricked into signing over their firstborn children. With this kind of easy slip-up, simplification is needed.

The real function of these dense, jargon-filled policies and agreements — which most of us universally ignore — isn't for companies to inform users of our rights, but to establish legal grounds for collecting and sharing our information. That's it. Plain and simple. It's a way to ensure that business models stand because we're too lazy or stupid to read and understand the terms.

But now, thanks in part to the advent of GDPR, meant to return control of personal data to the individual by ensuring companies follow a new set of data protection compliance rules, companies are scaling back and simplifying their terms of service. Why? Because users' consent would be legally invalid if they don't understand the agreement they're signing. But you might ask: if they can simplify to adhere to regulations, why couldn't they have simplified for the sake of customers in the first place? To which we'd answer: see the above paragraph.

Facebook is no exception, and the company initially said that it would adhere to GDPR standards around the world – not only in Europe. However, the company quickly changed its position to mean only in Europe, meaning that the other 1.5 billion Facebook users around the world would be governed by the looser US standards.

US regulators have an opportunity to step up and create the same level of data protection for Americans that have been created in Europe. Certainly, multinational companies will need to create a single standard that complies with GDPR. Facebook should step up and meet this need before regulation is required.

Then again, seeing that a number of elderly members of Congress recently had difficulty in understanding basic Internet and social media terms and functions, perhaps we should ask them to spend time reading the Terms and Conditions of their own jobs.

Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

The latest in AI, machine learning, bots, and blockchain, mobility, and autonomous everything.

Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ

Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ


Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

Industry developments and trends, including advertising & marketing, journalism, customer experience, content, and influencer relations.

Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ

Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ

Retail Apocalypse

Humans are a transactional species, and the practice — if not the very notion of what retail is  is undergoing a historical metamorphosis. 


Want to know what 500 marketers (budgets up to $10 million) believe and how those beliefs influence their behaviors when it comes to hiring and firing agencies just like yours?

Don't miss this FREE 16 page report, full of information, insight and guidance on how to best approach prospects based on the findings.

Some of the results are going to really surprise you.

If you're seeing this, maybe you'd like to see your company's name here too. Let us know.


News to know about relevant social, virtual, and augmented reality platforms that may affect your business.


Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ

Aʟᴘʜᴀʙᴇᴛ / Gᴏᴏɢʟᴇ / YᴏᴜTᴜʙᴇ

Sɴᴀᴘ / Sɴᴀᴘᴄʜᴀᴛ


  • Reddit now has more users than Twitter, and far more engagement.
  • Flickr has been bought by SmugMug, which aims to restore the photo-sharing platform to its prominence. Yahoo bought Flickr in the mid-2000s, but never made much of it. Oath, Verizon's subsidiary decided to unload it for an undisclosed sum.


The latest in the world of streaming video, audio, and the advertising, pricing and bundling models related to them.


  • Netflix added more than 7 million subscribers in Q1 of 2018, putting it around 125 million subscribers worldwide.
  • How the media memberships stack up
    • HBO: 142 million
    • Amazon Prime: 100 million
    • Spotify: 71 million
    • Apple Music: 40 million
    • Hulu: 17 million
    • Pandora: 5.5 million
    • MoviePass: 2 million
  • According to an auditor, the future is bleak for MoviePass. Its parent company will sell 10.5 million shares at $2.75, 28.2% below last Wednesday's $3.83 closing price.
  • Disney's streaming service is coming. With all of the content and franchises under their belt, Netflix should be scared.


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Privacy / Security / Regulatory 

Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.

Pʀɪᴠᴀᴄʏ / Sᴇᴄᴜʀɪᴛʏ / Hᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ

    Rᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴏʀʏ / Oɴ-Dᴇᴍᴀɴᴅ Eᴄᴏɴᴏᴍʏ

    • Lyft riders increased their tipping in 2017 by 8 percent over 2016. The company reported over $500 million in tips for drivers last year. Chalk it up not only to generosity, but to a well-designed app as well. UX matters.

    Measurement / Analytics / Data

    The future is not in plastics, but in data. Those who know how to measure and analyze it will rule the world.

    Mental Nourishment

    Other links to help you reflect, improve, or simply learn something new.

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    Top image credit: The Course of Empire - Desolation by Thomas Cole (public domain)



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