When several TikToks went viral with a hack for a cheesesteak quesadilla — cheese, carne asada and fajita veggies, add sour cream and vinaigrette — Chipotle was not thrilled.
@alexis.frost @alexis.frost this has been one of my faves ever since it was suggested . #mrsfrost #chipotle #quesadilla #foodie #foodtok #fastfood ♬ mario sound – mandycap
According to the Sacramento Bee, locations posted signs saying they wouldn’t make the viral hit despite demand. Apparently, the moisture in the veggies or excess meat and cheese could cause problems with their quesadilla machines.
But after an initial outcry, Chipotle listened. And after teaming up with two influencers — Keith Lee (who we discussed earlier this week) and Alexis Frost — Chipotle will now add the item to the menu in March.
According to a statement in the Sacramento Bee:
“We’re amazed by the passion of our fans and their ability to find unique ways to enjoy our hand-crafted quesadillas with Chipotle’s real ingredients. Due to the preparation time required, quesadillas were designed to be digitally exclusive to best support our team members, avoid overcrowding on our front-line, and ensure guests have a seamless experience,” Chipotle told McClatchy News and a statement. “Currently, our quesadilla offering does not include fajita veggies with a protein, however, we are looking forward to adding this combination in the future.”
Why it matters: The initial scattered, gruff response from Chipotle stores turned off some diners. But the response to these viral trends shouldn’t be in the hands of front-line workers doing their best to feed hungry masses and not ruin expensive equipment. Chipotle corporate should have been more active earlier responding to the trend and offering guidance to both customers and stores. However, they’ve turned it around by finally embracing the trend and finding a way to make it work on their equipment. The question is — will it still be of interest come March, or will the world have moved on to some other food hack?
The mess over gas stoves
You probably saw headlines claiming that the government may ban your gas stove over concerns about indoor air quality and links to various health problems. The reports cropped up everywhere early this week after an article in Bloomberg in which U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission agency commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said: “This is a hidden hazard. Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
From that single inartful quote, hundreds of articles were born. Republicans pounced on big government coming for your stove. The president himself had to weigh in and say he was not in favor of banning the cooking tool used in about 40% of American homes.
Now, the agency is making it crystal clear that they do not intend to ban gas stoves.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
“To be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so,” said Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric. He said the CPSC is researching emissions from stoves and “actively engaged in strengthening voluntary safety standards.”
Why it matters: One clumsy quote led to a nationwide mess that obscures the fundamental concerns over gas stoves and makes it difficult to have a proper conversation. This should be a stark reminder to hold intensive media training before sending any member of your team to talk to the press. A single quote from an obscure official can lead to massive problems that keep you from carrying out your true mission.
Global time spent in social apps surpasses 2 trillion hours just on Android
People around the world are using social media. A lot. OK, that’s no surprise, but even so, the reveal that around the world, we spent a collective 2 trillion hours in the apps in 2022 is a bit mind-blowing — and that’s only taking into account Android devices. That data is according to data.ai’s State of Mobile 2023 report.
America has also taken the top spot in social spending globally, with 25% of the total haul coming from the Land of the Free. The top apps for the $7.2 billion industry were TikTok, live streaming apps BIGO LIVE and Twitch, and Line, a messaging and phone app.
Why it matters: Make sure you’re paying attention to monetization potential in apps — and that you’re constantly checking for new apps and new possibilities. Be honest, have you heard of BIGO LIVE or Line?
Twitter is doing Twitter stuff again
Twitter continues to be unpredictable and weird.
First, it’s apparently mulling over auctioning off usernames in a bid to raise revenue. It’s important to note this is just an idea right now, not a done deal, according to the New York Times. But just the idea probably sent a shiver down the spine of any social media manager. As the Times reports:
Unique user names — also known as handles — can be lucrative. They are often claimed by early adopters of social media platforms and some people and brands are willing to pay thousands of dollars for them. Black markets have sprung up where people can buy “original gangster,” or O.G., user names that are desired because they feature a short word or a number and may have been abandoned by their owners.
Twitter and Mr. Musk did not respond to requests for comment.
Twitter’s rules forbid the buying and selling of handles. The trade has previously attracted hackers. In 2020, a 17-year-old in Florida was arrested after hacking Twitter to obtain user names to sell, compromising the accounts of Mr. Musk and celebrities.
In addition, Twitter has rolled out a new bifurcated home page that divides the world into a TikTok inspired “For You” feed and a “Following” feed — in other words, the people you signed up to get updates from.
Right now, a look at my “For You” shows little of the magic of the TikTok algorithm, which offers you a bizarre yet pleasing mélange of content. It’s mostly tweets liked by people I follow. It also defaults to the For You tab, forcing you to swipe to get to the classic chronological feed of people you follow.
Why it matters: As we said before, this is Twitter now: throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks, ideas floated and abandoned. Don’t build any major strategies around any of this, but do be aware.