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Social networks may be the bedrock of modern digital marketing, but they also got rattled by high-profile tremors that left ominous cracks in the foundation this year.
Major players like Facebook and Twitter, which both faced seemingly ceaseless pressure in 2018 over issues like privacy and hate speech, were only one aspect of the digital world that endeavored (and often struggled) to evolve this year.
Fields like artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G and digitally focused consultancies were at the forefront of discussions this year as companies redefined their focus and sometimes even the nature of their corporate existence.
It’s been a long 2018, so here’s a fascinating look back at Adweek’s most-read stories from our Digital and Media teams this year:
No. 25: Twitter Users Are Blocking Hundreds of Brands in the Hopes of Pressuring the Platform to Remove Alex Jones
No. 24: Intel Choreographed 1,200 Drones for the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
No. 23: 5 Trends That Will Shape Social Media in 2018
No. 22: MasterCard’s Server Went Down. And Twitter Users Raged Because They Couldn’t Get Their Dunkin’ Fix
No. 21: Artificial Influencers Are Attracting the Attention of Brands
No. 20: You Can Now Buy a Car at Walmart
No. 19: Instagram Announces a New Video App to Directly Compete With YouTube and Snapchat
No. 18: Rihanna Blasts Snapchat for Approving an Ad Mocking Domestic Violence
No. 17: AT&T and Verizon Are Making Very Different Bets on What 5G Will Mean for Consumers and Content
No. 16: Deloitte Is Buying a Marketing AI Platform to Expand Its Ad-Tech Holdings
No. 15: Twitter’s Powerful Anthem to Women Makes Its TV Debut During the Oscars
No. 14: Top Starbucks Exec Joins JPMorgan Chase as Chief Brand Officer
No. 13: Snapchat’s Ecommerce Strategy Hit a New High When It Sold Out the New Air Jordans in Minutes
No. 12: 20 Takeaways From Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends Report
No. 11: HQ Trivia Is Dictating When and How Consumers Use Apps and Inspiring a Host of Imitators
No. 10: Lisa Quiroz, Time Warner’s First Chief Diversity Officer, Has Died at 56
No. 9: Google’s Art Selfies Are Fun but Stir Up Potential Privacy Concerns
No. 8: What’s the Difference Between Machine Learning and AI?
No. 7: On Facebook’s Nuclear Bomb
No. 6: The Ad Community’s Reaction to Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Change
No. 5: How Brian Whipple Turned Accenture Into the World’s Largest Digital Agency
No. 4: How Brands Can Take Advantage of Instagram Stories
No. 3: Here’s What Amazon Has Learned in Its First 3 Months Running a Store With No Cashiers
No. 2: The Shift From 4G to 5G Will Change Just About Everything
No. 1: The Most Disturbing Booth at CES Is Actually an Ad for Netflix’s New Sci-Fi Show