This week we’re turning on subtitles, waking up with spiked brunch in a jar, then sipping a preppy IPA before bed, trying out new YouTube features, and stalking our best friend’s ex-boyfriend on Venmo. As a heads up, we’ll be out next week so we’ll see you for more Friday Fives in September.
Ever tried listening to a show with no subtitles on? We haven’t either. In this read, Brian Chen outlines why it has become so difficult to understand audio when streaming content. He explains that when we stream content through an app on a TV, phone, or tablet, the audio, made in production studios for theaters, has been compressed to carry the sounds through our small TV speakers. Further, streaming platforms don’t adhere to any audio regulations, which means sound is usually inconsistent from app to app. Luckily though, an external speaker can help the issue, and there are a million to choose from, so let us know if you hear anything and make sure to report back.
Whether you’re a coffee drinker, waffle eater, or orange juice lover, we’ve got some great news for you: even more brands are entering the ready-to-drink (RTD) alcohol space. The pandemic beverage RTD trend (e.g. White Claw) grew in 2021–2022 alone to a value of $4.8 billion. So it’s no surprise Dunkin Donuts released a new line of spiked coffees and teas, Eggo Waffles debuted Brunch in a Jar Sippin’ Cream (yes, you read that correctly: 20% alcohol), and AriZona Hard tea launched in June. As consumers, it’s always exciting to see a new take on an old brand, but typically nothing beats the original. Go ahead, call us old-fashioned.
In keeping with this summer’s theme of quiet luxury and old-money coastal grandmothers, alcoholic beverage brands are starting to embrace the same golf course, just-woke-up in Nantucket (namely white) aesthetic. With green, pink, and white color palettes, skinny serif fonts, and names like “Partake” and “Barbet” they stand out on the shelves next to beverage brands with predictable packaging. It’s fun, fresh, and certainly enticing — some are even calling it “grocery store accessorizing,” which sounds like showing up with a pack of Blue Moon might be close to wearing white after Labor Day.
New features on YouTube and TikTok are giving users more power over their in-app experience. Samples is YouTube’s new way of engaging users with short music video clips from their favorite artists, helping them to discover new songs — another feature to compete with TikTok’s video-centric platform. On the other hand, TikTok announced they are giving their European Union users the option to turn off the algorithm that learns from user interactions in compliance with the Digital Services Act. Overall, any feature that promotes cognitive liberty is one worth implementing.
Venmo might be leaking more of your personal information than you know. Now at 14 years old, the app remains a prevalent social networking app (e.g. or one you might use to snoop on an ex). However, privacy with Venmo remains a concern because of the lack of privatizing personal information. Personal contact lists as well as transactions, are defaulted as publically viewable. One person even found President Biden’s Venmo and his list of contacts. Brian Chen notes when it comes to apps on your phone, a best practice is to triple-check privacy settings that may be toggled off to keep unknown snooping to a minimum.