New Media News Break: Bald Barbies, Instagram on Android, Google Glasses, and More


Welcome to your Wednesday afternoon break from work. Here are some new media stories in the news that you may have missed since our last New Media News Break:

Mattel Responds to Facebook Fans and Creates a Bald Barbie

Facebook fans took to the virtual streets recently, campaigning for Barbie manufacturer Mattel to produce a new doll – one without hair. The bald beauty would be for kids who have cancer, since children in the hospital often feel self-conscious about their hair loss. Mattel responded to the campaigning, announcing a new doll that won’t be sold in stores, but that will be distributed to children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada. They say they won’t be selling the dolls, which come with hats, scarves, and wigs that can be interchanged, because they don’t want to profit from the project. Personally, I’d like to see them also sell the dolls with proceeds going toward cancer research, since other little girls might want a bald friend as well or cancer patients might want more than one doll. But it’s a great story about a company listening to their fans and doing the right thing despite it costing the company money.

Instagram Comes to Android

In a long-waited move, Instagram finally came to Android this week, allowing millions of new users to download this photo-sharing app. Over a million people downloaded it the first day alone. Instagram for Android has most of the same features that current Instagram users have been enjoying since 2010, and already I’ve been seeing a flood of new pictures in my social streams. For picture-based content creators, this is definitely a win! Right now, you can download the new Instagram app on your Android smartphone (tablets are not yet supported), and users join the same community when they register in order to share pictures with friends.

Jeremy Lin Chats on Facebook After Surgery

It’s important to connect with fan, but basketball star Jeremy Lin took it to the next level this week when he held a Facebook chat just a few hours after his knee surgery. He may have had to take a break in the middle of it to toss his cookies (seriously), but thousands of fans “tuned in” to talk to the player and ask questions. He also announced during the chat that he’d be posting YouTube videos throughout his recovery so fans can stay up-to-date with what’s going on. Now that’s a humbling lesson for us all – if Jeremy Lin can post updates while he’s still in the hospital, we’re not too busy to post updates for our fans as well!

Google Starts Testing New SmartPhone Glasses

Google employees are starting tests on the latest “smart” device. Instead of a phone or tablet, though, what Google is testing is something you can wear – glasses. They recorded some videos to get early fan feedback, and already the web is buzzing with possibilities and potential pitfalls. It’s definitely an interesting concept, and one that highlights just how important it is for use content creators to make our blog posts, videos, podcasts, photographs, etc. available using smart devices. Luckily, development is happening on that front with companies like Yapp making it easier for people who have little technical knowledge create their very own apps. It’s easy to get stuck in our ways, but if we don’t evolves and go where our fans are, we’ll be missing out on traffic and sales opportunities.

“Amazon Law” Revoked in Colorado

Over the past few years, Amazon has been dumping affiliates in some states because of new laws surrounding taxation of Amazon’s products. In Colorado, however, the “Amazon Law” has been officially revoked by a federal court. This bodes well for bloggers and other users who want to get back into the Amazon affiliate game, but who live in a state where tax laws are currently preventing it. More than 25,000 affiliates found themselves out in the cold due to these tax laws, so it will be interesting to see if affiliates, many of whom were mad not just at their states but also at Amazon, start linking to the online retailer once again. Grudges sometimes die hard.

Facebook Aims to Get in the Search Game

Google might want to get a little worried – according to reports, Facebook is getting into the search game, or at least exploring this option. former Google employee Lars Rasmussen is heading up the development project with Facebook, which some speculate would be a major blow to Google+. It’s not all bad news for Google, though. The company actually wants competitors and is being vocal about it, since the EU is currently in the middle of an antitrust investigation, with critics saying that Google abuses its power in the search market to direct users to its own brand and decrease competitor viability.

In Case You Missed It

Here’s what you might have missed on the BlogWorld blog in the past week:

Awesome from the Archives

There are some golden posts in the post hidden in the BlogWorld archives. Here are three of my favorites that I think you should check out:

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About Allison Boyer

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.