With social distancing now the new normal, technology and trends are catching up in interesting ways. From touch-free delivery services to innovative ad campaigns, we’re witnessing an explosion in eCommerce and new digital tools.
Transformation is everywhere, and brands are utilising new methods to reach audiences, which in turn means the digital landscape is changing.
Find out all the latest from social, Google, and brands below.
The Latest Social News
Facebook rolls out screen sharing to mobile devices
Earlier this year, Facebook added screen sharing to its Messenger desktop and web apps. Now, in a move to tap into their huge base of mobile users, Facebook is making the feature available through both the mobile app and the new Messenger Rooms feature.
With the focus on personal connection, Facebook is advertising in-app screen sharing as a way to “share memories from your camera roll, shop together online, co-browse social media, and more”. But the feature might benefit business users in interesting ways too, whether by using screen sharing as a customer service tool or to connect with their audience face-to-face.
With more than 700 million people conducting video calls on Facebook’s apps daily as of April, the feature is likely to prove popular. Demand for video chats has more than doubled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and with lockdowns being reinstated across the globe, it’s unlikely demand will go away any time soon.
LinkedIn releases new guide to virtual events
LinkedIn has released a new guide book on how to run virtual events with its LinkedIn Live and Events tools. As the second manual released in the last two months, this new pocket guide has a clearer focus on tips and case studies, as well as providing analysis of recent trends and challenges.
The guide includes insight into why now is the perfect time to go virtual, tips for setting up a home studio, and case studies to draw inspiration from.
With LinkedIn’s own Senior Streaming Producer Chris Packard providing his top three tips for businesses going digital, as well as insider tips on how the Adobe team have utilised LinkedIn Events, the guide (and the longer, 16-page Activation Playbook) is well worth a look.
Twitter shares new insights into Trending TopicsLooking back over the previous month reveals some key conversations taking place, Twitter has revealed. Through June, #BlackLivesMatter messages and protests dominated, with other hot topics including health (and the ongoing global crisis), Pride, and the commemoration of the end of slavery in the US with #Juneteenth.
Interestingly, conversational shifts can be seen from the beginning of July, with Twitter users already focusing on summer, outdoor activities, and holidays. This is clearest when you look at trending emojis – while the art palette, toilet roll, and home emojis are all on the decline, palm trees, umbrellas, bikinis, and mountains are rising in popularity.
As a snapshot of the general mood, one thing is clear – the return of outdoor sports and travel couldn’t come soon enough for many.
The Latest Google News
Google scraps commission fees for Buy on Google
In the latest phase of Google’s commerce shake-up, Buy on Google has gone commission-free. Earlier this year they surprised merchants by enabling free listings on the Google Shopping tab, and this latest move hopes to attract more retailers away from competing marketplaces such as Amazon, which typically charges fees ranging from eight to 15 per cent per item sold.
Google have teased more features to the Shopping tab, including adding a small business filter and integrating with third parties – most notably PayPal and Shopify, meaning streamlined order management and payments for merchants.
The changes to Buy on Google will be rolling out in the US first, with international markets predicted to have access later this year and into 2021.
“Web Story” labelling now supported in Google Search ConsoleGoogle has announced that their AMP testing tool and the Google Search Console Performance report will now recognise if your AMP document is a Web Story.
A Web Story is defined in Google’s developer document as “a visual storytelling format in Google Search results that immerses the user in a tap-through full-screen experience”. They can appear in Google Images and Discover, as well as the Google app.
This is good news for developers, as it means more refined breakdowns of how a Web Story published on your site can send through traffic from both Google Search and Google Discover. The update will also enable previews of how Web Stories may appear in search, and provide better troubleshooting capabilities.
The Latest Brand News
UK government announces junk food ad banThe government has unveiled plans to ban ads on junk food before the 9pm watershed in the UK. The move is part of a wider strategy to target unhealthy eating and obesity, with a number of other restrictions and rules on the horizon.
In stores, there will be a ban on high fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) products like chocolates, crisps, and sweets being sold at the checkout. Restaurants, cafés, and takeaway chains with more than 250 employees will also be required to add calorie counts to their menus for transparency.
All of this means brands like McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King – who have run hugely visible campaigns throughout lockdown – will have to go back to the drawing board when it comes to advertising.
Spotify re-focuses on in-home listening
Spotify has long been the soundtrack to our commutes, but listening habits are changing. After an initial dip in use as all non-essential travel stopped during lockdown, Spotify are bouncing back and re-focusing on an area we’ve all been spending a lot more time in: home.
It’s now our chores, cooking, and family time that have a playlist, and the audio giant isn’t planning on letting this new trend pass them by. Rak Patel, the Head of Sales for the UK and EMEA, said, “It’s a new behaviour and it is something that we will continue to invest in. We think a lot about the future of audio and we think that future has now been accelerated because people have been at home. And our streaming intelligence data means we can make that suite of products even stronger for those who are home.”
One of Spotify’s key focus areas is podcasts: following their $100 million deal with Joe Rogan this spring, the service is rolling out video podcasts, with a feature enabling listeners to switch to audio-only mode when on the go. They have also been investing more time into producing hobby and garden content, a current trending topic.
As well as an expansive podcast strategy, the home focus is central to Spotify’s plans going forward, and there’s a distinct possibility of new features and products on the horizon.
Campaign of the Month
FootLocker and Adidas: “Change is a team sport”
FootLocker and Adidas have teamed up to commission a new series of artistic collaborations and forms for their new “Change is a Team Sport” campaign. The latest (above) is in Brixton’s Canterbury Estate basketball court and is a work by London-based art collective Last Night in Paris (LNiP).
To inspire and facilitate positive change across the globe, the campaign is keeping local residents at its heart: the murals are inspired by conversations with local communities and neighbours.
Giuseppe Mele, Foot Locker Europe’s director of omnichannel marketing, said, “We hope that the murals and re-claimed spaces inspire local residents in both London and Paris, and bring communities together through their love of sport.”
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