Instagram Ads, Hashtag Sales, and a Government Shutdown | This Week In Social Media

Government Shutdown Shuts Down Some Twitter Accounts

Oh, the horror! Sure, all federal employees deemed “nonessential” have been temporarily furloughed in the wake of Tuesday’s government shutdown… but what does that mean, really? Turns out that a government shutdown doesn’t just mean the closure of all national parks, museums, and zoos (RIP Panda Cam), but also the abandonment of several social media accounts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has ceased tweeting—right in the midst of hurricane season. The Mars Curiosity Rover? Kaput. And perhaps most troubling of all, you can no longer rely on the Asteroid Watch account for timely updates on our planet’s impending doom. Goodbye, Planet Earth.

Instagram Announces In-Stream Ads

Gone are the days of uninterrupted thumb-scrolling through hundreds of under-saturated, gossamer-filtered photos of cats and brunch and somebody’s baby. In a blog post Thursday, Facebook-owned mobile photo application Instagram suggested that users in the United States may begin to see “an occasional ad” in their feeds in the next few months. Ads, which will be served as both photos and videos, will be made to feel “as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy,” according to the company. We’ll be okay, right? We’ll be fine.

J.C. Penney Ruins Hashtags For Everyone

After the success of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s take on hashtags, retailer J.C. Penney decided to up the ante—with an offline promotion? That’s right, kids. For one day and one day only, J.C. Penney promised in a since-deleted YouTube video that shoppers could earn an impressive $10 off a $25 purchase in-stores just by verbally saying the word “hashtag” at the register. Saying “hashtag.” Out loud. In real life. Unsurprisingly, most avid Internet-goers didn’t respond favorably. This is why we can’t have nice things, JCP.