Revisit the Ice Bucket Challenge [Content Made Simple]

Issue #219: A profile of Mr. Beast, Twitter Spaces, and Facebook making more lucrative mistakes.

Let’s Revisit the Ice Bucket Challenge



The Ice Bucket Challenge, rather quickly, went from a good-natured novelty to mostly tiresome gimmick. (I might argue the exact moment that happened was when Donald Trump agreed to do it.) I remember, by the end of it, actively hoping no one challenged me; once my dad did, I just gave money to ALS research so I could move on with my day.

But the thing about that is I actually did give money to ALS research. Many, many people did. The ALS Association ended up bringing in more than $115 million in donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge, a truly staggering amount for any charity. And you know what? It worked. According to a 2019 report, that funding has had a tangible, “transformative” effect on fighting ALS. They have made actual progress. They might just beat this thing.


I have long had disdain for the Ice Bucket Challenge because it has so long served as a mirage of hope that branded social media “hashtag” campaigns can go viral. I and plenty of others of social media managers have had to field requests to make marketing campaigns go viral over the years, and the Ice Bucket Challenge is often pointed to as an example of such a strategy working. All of that is to say, it’s cool to see it actually making some change in the fight against ALS!


Facebook groups get new prayer feature

Facebook has a new features in its groups that allows for posting of prayer requests. Also, we decide whether spring is overrated or underrated.


Link #1: Mr. Beast, YouTube Star, Wants to Take Over the Business World

Fascinating profile of one of the most popular YouTubers out there. Great stuff from Taylor Lorenz as usual.

What Mr. Donaldson is doing may serve as a blueprint for the next generation of creators and influencers, who now number more than 50 million around the world and have become a formidable business force. The creator economy is the “fastest-growing type of small business,” according to a report last year by SignalFire, a venture capital firm.

“Mr. Beast is one of those creators who’s an incredibly savvy entrepreneur,” said Wayne Hu, a partner at SignalFire. “He’s got a fantastic content strategy, but at the same time he’s equally innovative and prolific in the experiments he’s running to monetize his audience.”

Link #2: Activists Say Facebook Allows Drug Ads to Target Teens

Not surprising at all. “Move fast and break things,” was the early motto of Facebook, and it leads to things like this. Also, yet again, Facebook has made a “mistake” that happens to make it a lot more money than cost it a lot of money. Oops! :-/

Teenagers on Facebook can be targeted by ads endorsing alcohol, drugs, gambling, smoking, and eating disorders, according to a report by a watchdog group. The Tech Transparency Project created six test ads and submitted them to Facebook, saying it wanted to reach users ages 13 to 17. Facebook approved all the ads within hours, including one promoting pill parties in 43 minutes.

“This is an easy fix, and Facebook should have had the foresight to make it a long time ago,” said Tech Transparency Project director Katie Paul. “Whether this was an oversight or a money-grab is not important. It’s completely unacceptable.”

Link #3: Twitter will now let anyone with 600 or more followers host its audio Spaces on mobile

Farewell Clubhouse, much to the dismay of hustle bros.

Beginning Monday, Twitter will bring the ability for accounts with 600 or more followers to host Spaces, its Clubhouse-like social audio rooms, the company announced. Although this is a bit later than the company’s hoped-for April launch, users on iOS and Android devices will be included in the update.

The company said it landed on the 600 followers number after feedback from readers and what it’s learned since it introduced Spaces late last year. “These accounts are likely to have a good experience hosting live conversations because of their existing audience,” the company said in a blog post announcing the changes. “Before bringing the ability to create a Space to everyone, we’re focused on learning more, making it easier to discover Spaces, and helping people enjoy them with a great audience.”


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