Adweek’s 25 Most Popular Digital and Media Stories of 2018

Transformation came in many forms this year

HQ host Scott Rogowsky became the face of a new type of tune-in entertainment this year. - Credit by Photo: Justin Bettman for Adweek; Suit: Shinesty; Prop styling: Dianna McDougall
Headshot of David Griner

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

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."