“Instagram Music isn’t Available in Your Region”

First introduced in 2018 in over 50 countries, Instagram’s music feature allows users insert a clip of a song into their Instagram story post.

Users would be able to find the music option below the home screen itself or alternatively after creating a story by selecting the Music sticker. Upon tapping on Music, users will see three columns – popular, moods and genres. In moods, there is a list of ten different options such as party hits, inspirational and more. In genres, options are available such as Rock, and even regional content language such as Tamil etc.

On top of that, users are able to add filters or even lyrics for their songs, however, lyrics aren’t available for all songs, but are still available for a high number of them.

It is obvious that certain regions, such as Malaysia are not immediately available to use this certain function that seems to be trending around the outside world. The reason behind this is because Instagram needs license to play music.

In regions where the feature is unavailable, there are still a various legal procedures that have to take place as there is no one law for copyright and privacy issues. It may take some time before it is finally rolled out on the global scale.

The feature is now only included in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, France, Canada, and Germany.

However, upon a search on the internet, there are certain ‘ways’ that people use to curb this copyright and privacy issue to having Instagram music available to them, even if outside the regions mentioned above.

1) Storybeat

Storybeat gets its audio tracks from  public third-party media service. What seems like a short term solution may in fact work out for some time, but it is unclear which, licensing problems or Instagram’s native music support will come knocking on their door first. Nonetheless, it works and that’s all that matters to the users.

2) VPN

Users can bypass these geo-restrictions by changing their virtual location with a VPN. All they have to do is to connect ton Instagram with an IP address from any of the participating countries and Instagram music will become available. It does come with a price though as VPNs are often not available to download for free.

3) Spotify

Spotify allows its users to share an album art of a song on Instagram stories, but just only the album art without the music playing in the background. This is one of the ways non-Instagram music users choose to use as Spotify also provides animated video backgrounds that will play behind certain album arts in an Instagram story.

The Eerie World of North Korean Advertising

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If I’m shot by a poison umbrella dart in an airport, this article will be the reason.

As a sister article to my piece on World War I propaganda in the US, it seems fitting to examine the crowned king of government advertising, North Korea.

Outside of government propaganda, there’s almost no commercial advertising in North Korea. It’s considered capitalist and therefore shunned. However, with loosening restrictions, some ads are popping up in Pyongyang, although they are very controlled, and still ooze propaganda.

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Note the Juche Tower monument in between the fireworks. It represents the self-reliance ideology, invented by North Korea’s founder Kim Il-Sung. (source: pic via Paul-Nikolas Hanz)

Outside of these one-offs, you can travel the entirety of North Korea without seeing a single ad, which produces a very grey tone, particularly against the brutalist architecture:

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Source: Pic via BI

It’s first important to understand the underlying conditions that facilitate this alternate reality. North Korea sits at the very bottom of the press freedom index:

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Soiurce: pic via Reporters without borders

The list is ranked by basic indicators such as transparency, pluralism (The proportion of opinions that are given by journalism versus the state media), and abuse scores (level of abuses towards independent journalists).

One of the primary goals of journalism is to critique and question those in power. It is fundamental to freedom.

Where you see independent journalism declining, you often see a rise of propaganda and other unchallenged media distributed by the government. This is part of the reason that countries at the bottom of the press-freedom index report such low Covid-19 cases — North Korea denying any cases and China claiming only 4000 total deaths, despite being the epicenter of the outbreak.

Propaganda, in its purest form, was practiced by many countries, including the US, during WW1. This “fake news” was viewed as a necessary evil and was demonstrably over-the-top.

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Source: pic via history.com

In the decades that followed, most countries moved their messaging back to a place of (mostly) factual news. North Korea, from 1948 to the present, hasn’t slowed down on the opposite trajectory. You’ll see two key themes:

1. Promote the sacred status of leadership. Portray the public as blessed with their benevolence.

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Source: ABC News

This is propaganda, by definition (non-factual, idealized messaging), because of North Korea’s well-documented poverty. It’s also hard to ignore the fact that the leader is one of the only overweight people in the country.

There is a decent amount of artistic effort in the ads. All models are depicted as attractive and smiling:

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‘Let the whole party, nation and people turn up to yield a good harvest in the first year of the new century.’ Source: CDNI

Godlike status is regularly attributed:

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Source: pic via IMG2

All messaging is designed to keep power with the state, which is solely run by their leader.

2. Depict forces that oppose the government in the worst possible light

At the core of all propaganda, is a need to create an “us versus them” fight. Assign motivations (envy, imperialism) as mechanisms and then depict the foe as monsters.

This will never be more evident than at the Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities.

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Pic via i.nsider.com

Within it, you’ll find paintings depicting US Soldiers committing acts that never actually happened.

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Source: author via Twitter

It’s a museum that most schools are required to bring students to. It’s rarely shown to outsiders and is intended for internal propaganda, although journalist Travis Treppen was given a private tour:

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pic via The Daily Beast

Literature

Most fictional literature from North Korean libraries will promote the state.

Even romance novels often depict a male and female lead who, despite being beautiful or otherwise attractive, win each other over by making some sort of sacrifice for the state, volunteering for the military or working in the farms.

Every form of media, no exceptions, is required to point fealty back to the leader. Even if it’s dinosaurs — you’d better have a “Thank you to the great leader for giving us dinosaurs!” somewhere in there.


A Sunny, Beautiful Trip to the Hermit Kingdom

North Korea also practices experiential marketing, in effect.

If you were a journalist, you could actually take a trip to Pyongyang. However, you would be accompanied by a minder, who escorts you everywhere you go, carefully guiding you to prop areas of the city, such as eery staged church services:

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Source: pic via Express UK

All of this is designed to promote an image of a North Korea that is less harsh on human rights than they actually are. On occasion, journalists have seen people reading bibles with blank pages.

Minders will stop you from taking lots of photos of certain places. For example, these images are banned captures:

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Source: Pic via Autojosh

Most North Korean streets remain empty (few cars) and local children can be seen playing on them during off-hours. It’s illegal to take pics as it depicts the city as underdeveloped.

Or this image of a family who is shown having access to technology, yet it’s obvious their monitors have no power:

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Source: Pic via Static.bp

This next pic was banned for obvious reasons —the people appearing impoverished:

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Source: pic via News UK

During a visit, you’ll typically be presented with the most polished, healthy people. They’ll be notified that outsiders are in town and be ready for presentation. The people you see in the capital are the top 1% of society and rural areas are mostly off-limits.

The above pic is a grey market, part of an informal economy that North Korea has loosened restrictions on.

Here’s a more nuanced example of a banned photo:

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Source: Pic via News UK

This image was banned because of the sideways hat and the depiction of soldiers in a casual setting. Soldiers can only be shown if they are in proper formation or at attention, primed for the camera.

Everywhere you go in Pyongyang, you’ll see billboards, with the leader pointing the happy, perfect complexioned people, towards a promised land.

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Source: pic via The Guardian

In the ad, note that everyone seems to have a work outfit on and is gainfully and happily employed.

North Korea is flexing its own twisted form of product marketing — show the best features of the product, but not what the product does 99% of the time.


North Korea remains a sobering reminder that, despite our own media industry becoming a circus-like embarrassment, they’re still able to speak truth to power.

The moment we start locking up journalists and treating leaders as sacred from criticism is the moment you should take notice. That door leads to a much darker place.

By Sean Kernan

How does plastic turn into fashion?

At a time where plastic bottles are being a threat to our oceans and environment, innovation has taken another step as plastic is now being used to manufacture garments. 

With many taking the step towards a more sustainable future, brands such as Adidas, Nike, Gucci, H&M and Timberland have been steering towards to idea and eventually paving the way for smaller brands to follow suit.

So how in fact does plastic gets utilised and given purpose again in the fashion industry? Here’s a less complicating step by step list on how the plastic waste we produce gets given another chance at life.

1) Collection

– The plastic water bottles are compiled from various locations such as waste centres and transported to a proper recycling facility

– Only 16% of plastic bottles in Malaysia are collected for recycling purposes, a study found.

– Malaysia’s plastic bottles recycling rate is lower than the average among the six Asean countries studied.

2) Separation

– A conveyer at the recycling station separates green and clear plastic bottles

– The caps are then removed to be discarded

– Only PET (polyethene terephthalate) plastic made bottles are used 

3) Cleaned

– The bottles are washed, sterilized, dried and chopped up into small flakes

– The flakes are then compressed into bales

4) Heated

– The dried plastic is then heated until it forms a sticky, pliable substance

5) Transformation

– The heated plastic is then put through a machine to be turned into threads 

– It is then stretched and pulled before being moulded into a spool.

6) Colour

– The PET based yarn is then submerged in different coloured dyes

7) Threads into cloth

– The now dyed yarns are then fed into a knitting machine

– The machine turns the threads into bolts of knitted cloth

8) Released as clothing material

– Manufacturers then purchase the bolts of cloth and proceed to use it to make clothing

While we may never completely get rid of plastic waste, we could definitely do our part in reducing the amount of plastic waste we generate in our lives.

What other ways do you use to reduce plastic waste? Feel free to share in the comment section below!

6 weird Facebook groups that actually exists

Social media, the place where we can come across like-minded people and those not so. If there’s a subject that interests you, there’s a chance that someone else feels the same way too. 

With 620 million groups out there on Facebook, the average user creates just under 2 Facebook groups; but out of all these group, some may be informative and some may be downright weird or comedic.

We did our research and found some of the wonderfully abnormal Facebook groups, pages and interests that shows just how broad the demographic on Facebook is. Here are 10 of the weirdest Facebook groups, yet.

1) Previously Unsaid Sentences in Human History

A group that shares bizarre statements, headlines, comments, videos, or really anything you believe has probably never been said before, this Facebook group contains some of the most absurd and unsaid statements ever in human history. One of the most notable facts would be that out of 212.8K members, Facebook’s very own Mark Zuckerberg is a member of the group and that said has even dedicated its cover page to an image of Zuckerberg “claiming” that “Previously Unsaid Sentences In Human History has completely and irreversibly reinvigorated my passion for all things Facebook!!!”. 

2) “a group that makes small decisions for you

Yes, you did in fact read that right. Decisions related to dying one’s hair, what to do with that last piece of bread, naming one’s cat and many more, members of the group ask for help with deciding pretty much anything you could think of. 

3) A Different Picture of Chicken Rice Every Day

Where do we even start with this Facebook page? An image of chicken rice for literally every day, this page is categorised under “Art” and shares an image of a different pack of chicken rice every day without stop since its creation back in January 2018. The page doesn’t have a confirmed page owner but it seems to be managed by one or two individuals in Canada and Singapore.

4) Did this work? Are they married?

We’ve all been there some way or another, being on the receiving end of a weird pick-up line or even being the one to use said “moves”. The group focuses on all the awkward moments that one may experience when being pursued by another and this group lightens up those moments sharing mostly about the “don’ts” of flirting giving members an insight of the world of flirting.

5) Masak Apa Tak Jadi Hari Ini

With over one million members and counting, the group translates loosely into “What you cooked that didn’t turn out well today”, referring to cooking mishaps and fails. Gaining popularity ever since the movement control order (MCO) period, this group features burnt baking goods, burnt fries and absurd cooking methods that eventually “tak jadi”.

6) “those are certainly all words

Have you ever seen one of those signs or article titles that don’t make sense? You’d look at the words and question your understanding of a language and so on. Well this is the place for you to share them put for members to have a good laugh. Weird word combinations to downright abuse of language vocabulary, this group is no way short of fun as accidents happen with language and those accidents and typos can be highly amusingly at times.                                                                                                                                                                    

Trump praises doctor who claims sex with demons makes you sick

A Houston doctor who frequented around the talks of alien DNA, demon sperm and Hydroxychloroquine has received support from two unlikely sources in Donald Trump himself retweeting her video and Donald Trump Jr. declaring her a “must watch”.

Stella Immanuel who had garnered tens of millions of views on YouTube had also gained a reputation of becoming a viral right-wing internet star. 

Immanuel is a paediatrician and religious minister. However, she has had a history against her due to her claims about various medical topics and issues. The internet icon who has an active Twitter following of 177,000 users, has had infamously meddled into talks of alien DNA and the physical effects of having sex with witches and demons in your dreams.

In one of her claims, she alleged that alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. Despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens.

Stella Immanuel has caught the US president’s attention for claiming hydroxychloroquine cures Covid-19

On the steps of the Supreme Court at the “White Coat Summit”, Immanuel has also claimed to successfully treated hundreds of patients using hydroxychloroquine, in which unfortunately plays to Trump’s highly disputable promotion of him using the drug when studies have failed to find proof to be beneficial in treating COVID-19.

“Nobody needs to get sick,” Immanuel said. “This virus has a cure.”

She also said that the due to the supposed hydroxychloride’s potency, protective face masks aren’t necessary; she then claimed that she and her staff had avoided contracting COVID-19 despite wearing medical masks instead of the more secure N95 masks.

At a White House press conference, Trump expressed confusion over why “American Frontline Doctors” video had been removed from social media. 

“I don’t know why,” he told reporters. “I think they’re very respected doctors. There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it and she’s had tremendous success with it.”

Facebook and Twitter cited rules against COVID-19 disinformation being the reason behind the removal of the videos. Immanuel responded by declaring Jesus Christ would destroy Facebook’s servers if her videos weren’t restored to the platform.

Kaitlan Collins, White House correspondent for CNN, challenged the president during a White House conference on the 29th of July.

CNN White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins

“The woman that you said was a ‘great doctor’ in that video that you retweeted last night said that masks don’t work and there is a cure for Covid-19, both of which health experts say is not true,” she said.

“She’s also made videos saying that doctors make medicine using DNA from aliens and that they’re trying to create a vaccine to make you immune from becoming religious.”

Becoming increasingly agitated, Trump replied: “Maybe it’s the same [person], maybe it’s not, but I can tell you this. She was on air along with many other doctors. They were big fans of hydroxychloroquine and I thought she was very impressive in the sense that, from where she came – I don’t know which country she comes from – but she said that she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients.“And I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her.”

Microsoft in plans to purchase TikTok operations

So what exactly is happening at the TikTok headquarters?

TikTok a short video streaming platform has gained a worldwide following since its introduction and is known for its comedic short videos; it has also long been thought to be the successor of another widely used, but now extinct short video streaming platform, Vine.

It features users that range from celebrities, digital creators or teenagers dancing, lip syncing and acting out to audio clips. To summarize, the TikTok experience is fun or downright silly at times but informative to those who utilise it that way.

President Trump

In recent days, U.S. president Donald Trump vowed to ban the video-sharing app. 

On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the president would take action in the coming days against Chinese-owned software that he believes pose a national security risk.

Officials in Washington have become increasingly concerned over time that Americans who use TikTok could risk having their data accessed by the Chinese government due to the app’s Chinese ownership by ByteDance.

TikTok has reportedly denied that any of its operations are being influenced by Beijing.

Microsoft’s involvement 

In a bid to Microsoft said it was looking to purchase the TikTok service in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and would operate the app in these markets.

“Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States,” the tech firm said.

The tech giant also added that it “may” invite other American investors to participate in the purchase “on a minority bases” but added that the discussions were still in its “preliminary” stage. 

It also added among other measures, that all private data of TikTok’s American users is “transferred and remains in the United States”.

According to a story by the Wall Street Journal, TikTok’s U.S operations to Microsoft has been on hold ever since. The sale was close to an agreement until the warning posted out by the U.S president on Friday.

As on Monday, Microsoft said it will move forward with said plans subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States after Nadella’s conversation with Trump.

TikTok users respond

“I think that a lot of people didn’t like Trump before, and this has driven people to not like him even more,”

Fearing what could be the end of their TikTok days, viral and mainstream users across the U.S. began livestreaming and posting videos in tribute to their beloved video platform.

Content ranging from heartfelt goodbyes to persuading their current followings to Instagram and YouTube, it was a rollercoaster of a weekend for many who called the platform their entertainment outlet or even workplace.

The information and entertainment hub is also widely used by Gen Zs and politically-minded young people, it also serves as an educational outlet about issues such as climate change, racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

As reported by the New York Times, Ellie Zeiler, 16, who has 6.3 million followers on TikTok, said that Mr. Trump’s threat to ban the app may even sway more young people to vote against him.

“I think that a lot of people didn’t like Trump before, and this has driven people to not like him even more,” she said.

TikTok responds

Upon release of the news, TikTok released the following statement in regards to the platform coming under fire.

“Our $1 billion creator fund supports US creators who are building livelihoods from our platform. TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”

On TikTok’s official TikTok account, its US General Manager Vanessa Pappas appeared in a video thanking American users for their support.

“We’re not planning on going anywhere,” Papas said. “When it comes to safety and security, we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do … We’re here for the long run. Continue to share your voice here and let’s stand for TikTok.”

6 of the best museums in Kuala Lumpur

Now that the country is phasing into to a Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), museums locations are slowly opening their doors again to the public.

Art galleries and museums offer a valuable insight into our heritage and culture that may be lesser known to the locals. So why not bring a date or the family, and check out one of these galleries and museums in Kuala Lumpur that can offer culture, arts and aesthetics all under one roof.

It also should be mentioned that the following museums are still open to the public unless noted otherwise under said “operating hours”. Visitors are still strongly advised to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOP) guidelines set by museum authorities.


1) National Art Gallery

Located between the National Theatre and the National Library, the National Art Gallery also known as “Balai Seni Visual Negara” has a collection of over 2,500 local and foreign art pieces that includes photography work as well. Spreading out over three floors, seven galleries, an outdoor exhibition and café, it serves as the official venue for various art workshops for both adults and kids to try their hand at creating their own art pieces.

Address: No. 2, Jalan Temerloh, Titiwangsa, 53200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Operating hours: 10am – 4pm daily, closed on Mondays.

2) The Royal Museum (Old Istana Negara)

Formerly called the home for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) and the Queen, the old Istana Negara was a RM150,000, 13 acre (50,000 m²) bungalow built in 1928 by Chan Wing, a millionaire from China. It was used by a Japanese Governor until the time of their surrender in 1945. The palace has since been renovated and converted into a museum and showcases 22 of the interior palace spaces.

Address: Jalan Istana, Istana Negara, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Operating hours: 9am -5pm daily

3) Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) 

Opened in 1998, IAMM is located near the National Mosque and has about 12 galleries highlighting architecture, the Quran and manuscripts older than any other book you’ve read. Other than that, it tracks the spread of Islamic culture and Art throughout India, China and other parts of the world. The museum building itself features the very aesthetically pleasing designs that one would turn their eye towards in a mosque and also has multiple domes donning various designs as seen in mosques around the world. Did we mention that it also has a dining area filled with vibrant Islamic décor and silverware for visitors to dine in?

Address: Perdana, Jalan Lembah, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Operating hours: 9:30am – 6pm daily

4) National Textile Museum

A Mughal-Islamic inspired building located along Jalan Sultan Hishammuddin, the National Textile Museum features the diversity in Malaysian culture through different clothing and fabrics. Other than that, the museum also shows the development of textiles from the pre-historic times and guided tours in Bahasa Malaysia.

Address: 26, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Operating hours: 9am – 6pm daily

5) Royal Malaysian Police Museum

Previously an archive of criminal evidence for police trainees’ references, the museum showcases changes that the Malaysian police forces went through from the days of Federated and Unfederated Malay States. Three galleries in a small but highly informative museum takes you back in time with its different areas and focuses; its definitely a worthy visit for anyone who finds fascination in history.

Address: 5, Jalan Perdana, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Operating hours: 10am – 6pm from Saturday to Thursday.

10am -12:30pm and 2:30pm – 6pm on Fridays. Closed on Mondays.

6) Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery

Highlighting economics, financial planning, Islamic banking and many more in eight galleries, the four story structure is a good visit for any even if you’re not a coin enthusiasts or collector. Who isn’t interested in money anyway?

Address: Sasana Kijang, 2, Jalan Dato Onn, Kuala Lumpur, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

BNM Museum and Art Gallery (BNM MAG) will still be temporarily closed until further notice as of August 1st 2020. Stay tuned to any announcements on its social media channels about reopening of Museum. Meanwhile, the museum remains accessible through its social media channels.

Which museum would you plan to visit? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

How a 28-Year-Old Ended Up Making RM212,775 a Day

Recreate Flappy Bird's flight mechanic | Wireframe #29 - Raspberry Pi

In 2013, Vietnamese game developer Dong Nguyen quietly released a mobile game called Flappy Bird.

It was a simple but extremely addictive app that involved navigating a cartoon bird through a series of neverending obstacles. The objective was to keep the bird afloat as long as possible.

According to Rolling Stone, Nguyen built it over the course of a holiday weekend. It wasn’t his first game, but rather another project in a long line of flops. He didn’t expect this one to be any different, and for a long time, it wasn’t.

Then, one day, fortune struck. For months, Flappy Bird’s small collection of players had been rage-posting their high scores on social media. The game was designed so that all the progress you’ve made can be wiped out with just one wrong move, which made making mistakes especially painful. And when players lost, they turned to Facebook and Twitter to vent, or on rare occasions, celebrate.

Eight months into Flappy Bird’s launch, these passionate social media posts reached critical mass, catapulting the game to viral status. Not “viral” in the casual sense, but viral, as in 50 million-plus downloads and worldwide, chart-topping prestige.

Its success earned Nguyen a jaw-dropping payday. Monetized via in-app ads, Flappy Birds brought in a staggering $50,000 in revenue per day. The most amazing part? Aside from a single social media post announcing its launch, he had spent zero effort on marketing.

This is a true underdog story, especially for someone who came from a poor family, like Nguyen. But if you’re tempted to chalk his success up to luck, you’d only be half right.

The truth is, whether it was conscious or not, Nguyen built Flappy Bird on a foundation that stacked the odds of virality in his favor. Let’s take a look at how.


What Made Flappy Bird Special?

Here are four key takeaways.

1. Simplicity is addictive

In his interview with Rolling Stone, Nguyen traced Flappy Bird’s inspiration to the Nintendo games he played growing up — specifically, their simplicity.

Struck by how complicated modern games were, he set out to build a game that could be played with one hand. The result? To play Flappy Bird, you only needed to do one thing: tap the screen.

This is a lesson that appears over and over again in business. Whether it’s a video game, online store, or consulting service, the key to attracting customers is to make their experience frictionless.

The easier your product is to use, the more customers will want to return to use it again.

2. Free is contagious

Free breeds virality.

The easier it is for users to access your product, the more likely they are to share it with their friends and get them on board. This, in turn, raises your chances of going viral.

In simple terms, Flappy Bird’s free-plus-ads model made it easy to acquire users. Who’s going to say no to downloading that app all your friends are talking about when it costs nothing to check it out?

This is the same model email newsletters use to build massive subscriber bases. Most newsletters gladly send out their editions for free. Once they’ve built an audience, they can monetize through multiple streams, including ads, sponsorships, and premium tiers.

3. Nostalgia sells

Nguyen isn’t shy about the fact that Flappy Bird’s visual design was influenced by the early Nintendo era. But take a step back and you’ll realize it’s much more than just the Super Mario pipes and pixelated graphics.

Really, everything about the game is reminiscent of Nintendo, from its ridiculously simple playing style to its catchy sound effects. These were critical components to its success: in an era where games are built on futuristic graphics and complex gameplay, Flappy Bird succeeded because it fulfilled a desire for the good ol’ days.

According to marketing genius Gary Vaynerchuk, this is the same reason throwbacks like sports cards and Pokemon are making a comeback. Nostalgia is a powerful motivator for consumers and must be taken seriously as a brand strategy.

4. Good products market themselves

Finally, the common thread that ties all of these elements together is that quality is the best form of marketing.

Without a good product, all the marketing tricks in the world won’t help you sell. But make your product the best in the industry and your customers will do your marketing for you.

The fact that Nguyen spent $0 on marketing is exhibit A on why this works. He simply created a superior game, then gave it away. Because it was so sensationally addictive, the product marketed itself.


Epilogue

You may have noticed everything in the first section is worded in the past tense. That’s because Nguyen deleted Flappy Bird several months after it went viral, citing concerns about his family’s privacy, as well as ethical concerns that the game had become too addictive.

(Don’t worry, he’s still making money thanks to those who downloaded it before its demise.)

While some view this as tragic, I think it’s a net win for Nguyen, who no doubt made enough money during the game’s apex to be financially set for life.

Regardless, the real value here is the nuggets of marketing wisdom. One man showed everyone the power of simplicity. In a world filled with increasingly complex technology, that might be exactly the marketing angle your business needs to stand out

6 tips for an ideal drive-in cinema experience

Vehicles are parked at the first drive-in movie theatre for people to enjoy movies while keeping social distancing amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

While we are already more than halfway through the calendar year, 2020 may be remembered for a lot of things.

Face masks becoming a daily accessory, an extensive period of working from home, and to top it all off, a global health pandemic that has shaken life itself to the core.

At a time where our reality is in desperate need of positivity, M-Junction, the providers of experiences such as Dinner In The Sky Malaysia, released the news of the first ever drive-in cinema opening right here in the heart of the nation.

The now operating drive-in cinema would be a relatively new experience for most go-ers as Malaysians aren’t used to watching movies from the “comfort” of their own vehicle.

To help prepare for the occasion, here are a few tips to help you prepare for an unforgettable experience at Malaysia’s first ever drive-in cinema.

1) Bring your own radio and speaker

Using your car radio as an audio source and leaving your vehicle engine idling for at least an hour and a half may not be a pleasant thing to do as nothing is worse than a dead car battery when you have plans for after the movie with a date or friends; on top of that, it hurts the environment and did we mention that the carbon monoxide produced from engine emission is extremely dangerous? Easily purchase a bluetooth speaker or portable radio (depending on the cinema’s choice of external audio) to ensure not having to stress out your car engine throughout the movie experience.


2) Use mosquito repellent

Bugs are annoying and mosquitoes can be the most annoying out of all of them. Trying to enjoy a movie with a mosquito buzzing around your ear or leaving bite marks around your body can be highly irritating. So, prepare some mosquito repellent or mosquito patches to avoid the unnecessary scratching.

3) Prepare small snacks and water

Bringing your own small snacks and water prior would definitely help with the worry of ripping a hole in your wallet. However, try to be mindful and refrain from bringing in a whole pizza or a three course meal; cinemas and drive-in cinemas get some of their profit through concession sales and you can always purchase some of them at the convenience of the cinema itself if you didn’t prepare any.

4) Wear comfy clothes

Thinking about donning that new hoodie or jacket you bought last week? You might want to think twice before doing so. Having to sit in your car from the start of the movie until the end would not be enjoyable without the comfiest clothes, consider ditching that trousers for a comfortable pair of shorts and that heavy layered jacket for a simple t-shirt, since you’ll be in your vehicle for most of the time anyway.

5) Bring a portable fan 

Weather in Malaysia can be highly unpredictable. You’d never know when you would be stuck in the midst of a heatwave or in your car with all the windows up during a heavy rain. A portable fan would help make your time in the car much more bearable as sweating in a stuffy car while trying to enjoy a movie isn’t ideally what one would call the “perfect” drive through cinema experience.

6) Be mindful of others

Photo by Robert F Bukaty/AP/Shutterstock (6120021d) Movie-goers watch How to Train Your Dragon 2, the first movie of a double feature at the Saco Drive-In in Saco, Maine, USA

We get it, you want a great experience, but so do other people. Turn off your engine as sound from the exhaust can be highly distracting, also remember to turn off your vehicle’s daytime running lights as everyone is trying to watch the same screen and a glare of light at the corner of your eyes can be really annoying. All in all, if you’ll be annoyed by it, it’s likely that others would be too; don’t be a pain in the rear and remember that everyone is in it for a good time, just like you are.

Kuala Lumpur’s first drive-in cinema brought to you by TwoSpicy Entertainment Live and MD Events Asia is located at:
Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC)
109, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur

To find out more about their rules and regulations or to book your place, visit the M-junction website before tickets are sold out.

Have any ideas for an ideal first time drive-in cinema experience? Feel free to share in the comment section below!

Ellen Degeneres’ show investigated for Racism, Mistreatment & Intimidation

Ellen DeGeneres, right, with Dakota Johnson, on an episode of her daytime talk show.
Image via NBC

Ellen Degeneres has recently been caught under the spotlight due to an ongoing internal investigation by Warner Media to review work culture at “The Ellen Degeneres Show”.

The long-time host of her own talk show has built a reputation of being kind, friendly and all in all wholesome. Acts of discrimination and mistreatment isn’t normally what one would associate with the talk show host. However, recent allegations of a reportedly toxic workplace culture has been contradicting what we know about one of America’s richest self-made women. 

According to two people with knowledge of the matter, Warner Bros. Television executives sent a memo to employees last week that shows an outline of the internal investigation in the workplace at “The Ellen Degeneres Show”.

The people also said that WarnerMedia’s employee relations department will conduct interviews with current and former staff members to determine whether the experiences in the program’s workplace were in fact toxic.

Earlier, BuzzFeed news released an article this month which described what it referred to as a “toxic work culture”. Racism, fear and intimidation were one of the few words used by former staff members. 

Black employees also experienced racism in the form of comments such as “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here”, specifically from one of the show’s writers.

According to the article, former employees were also fired for taking time off for medical leave and marked most of the blame on three of the show’s executive producers, Ed Gavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner.

In a joint statement to BuzzFeed News, Mr. Glavin, Ms. Connelly and Mr. Lassner said: “For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”

“The Ellen Degeneres Show” is a winner of dozens of Emmys and is currently still in its summer hiatus.

Degeneres renewed her contract last year to continue hosting through 2022. She is also due to be creating three shows for WarnerMedia’s streaming platform, HBO Max.