Ads in the Age of Snapchat, “Discovering” the Knockdown Center, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. Today, we’ve got an appreciation of the Knockdown Center, an examination of our obsession with celebrity romance as fan fiction, a look at the way ads are being integrated into social media-ish platform Snapchat, and, for posterity’s sake, a list of all the congressmen who have accepted money from the NRA, paired with their responses to the tragedy in Orlando.

First, Jerry Saltz at New York Magazine discovers the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens, and he writes about it here with a sense of joy that matches that of a New York Times Style writer venturing to an outer borough. The Knockdown Center is a great thing, and should be discovered by as many people as possible, but, yeah. Read some below, and discover the Knockdown Center for yourself.

When I pulled up in front of the space on Flushing Avenue I was sure I was in the wrong place. All I saw was an open roll-up garage door. Another car-parts-and-auto-glass place? I walked in. A large cracked blacktop courtyard. Total quiet off the street. Then this 100-year-old big red brick building. Amazed, I walked up a few stairs thinking “every Lower East Side gallery could fit into this complex of buildings.” The space was entirely open, not a wall in sight, just wooden arched roof, beams, and columns, clerestory windows, light, and the erotics of open contained space. Around a corner was another internal outdoor space, this one with the ruins of brick buildings.

Snapchat is perhaps one of the most mysterious of all the social networks, and few people under the age of 25 even know how to use it. (I tell myself this so I don’t feel bad for not knowing how to use it.) Well, those under-25 folks are apparently very valuable to advertisers, and advertisers are apparently very valuable to Snapchat, so Snapchat is really trying to work the ads into its ephemeral model. Read about those developments from Adweek.

Today, the company announces the launch of Snapchat Partners, its long-anticipated advertising API (application programming interface), which will hook up more than 20 tech-minded companies. The API promises to expand advertising dramatically on the platform in the long run. “Different marketers have different objectives, and we just want to make it easier for them to buy ads on the platform,” Khan explains. “We want [brands] to have a place where they can tell their stories, you know, in a better way.” The API means that Snapchat ads will, for the first time, be sold by third parties, and will be divided by two kinds of collaborators: Ads Partners and Creative Partners. The first group will develop software for Snapchat advertisers, enabling buying, optimizing and analyzing of campaigns. Ads Partners includes 4C, Amobee, VaynerMedia, Brand Networks, SocialCode, TubeMogul, Adaptly and Unified.

This week, we saw photos of Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift, who were lockin’ lips on the beach. This comes on the heels of Taylor Swift’s breakup with super-hot producer Calvin Harris. It also comes on the heels of a GQ profile of Kim Kardashian in which she accuses Swift of orchestrating backlash against Kanye. At The Atlantic, a look at the way innocuous pictures of celebrity couples inspire fan fiction that propels the photos’ popularity.

The point of the images was, in other words, to inspire fan fiction. The pictures served not as a story unto themselves, as the Sun claimed, but rather as a prompt for participation in the new form of literature that has emerged on the internet: a genre that invites fans to fill in the blanks with their own ideas and hatreds and hopes and truths. The images of two people frolicking on some rocks may be very slightly about the two humans named Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston; what they are more about, though, are the universal conceits of early romance—the uncertainty, the fragility, the potential.

Lastly, a comprehensive list, courtesy of Jezebel, of all the congressmen (and yes, they are all men) who have accepted money from the National Rifle Association. What’s more, it combines those figures with the comments made by each congressman after the massacre in Orlando. It’s telling stuff. Click thru for the full list; a bit of the intro is below.

In the wake of the Orlando shooting which killed 49 people at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, the Washington Post updated its running list of NRA beneficiaries. According to the Post, the National Rifle Association has donated$3,782,803 since 1998 to 42 senators and 252 representatives.