Google plans to turn YouTube into a shopping site
A report from Bloomberg has indicated that Google is in the early stages of transforming YouTube into an online shopping destination.
This would enable people to directly purchase items they see in videos, such as product reviews, unboxings and tutorials.
YouTube already plays an important role in eCommerce for brands, with 55 per cent of people saying they watch videos on the platform for shopping research. The proposed updates would mean that consumers could purchase directly within YouTube, rather than linking to an external site.
Snapchat launches first ‘Local Lens’ AR experience
Snapchat has launched its most ambitious artificial reality experience to date. This first ‘Local Lens’, called City Painter, allows visitors to London’s Carnaby Street to virtually spray fountains of red and blue paint across the street, decorating the shops with graffiti murals.
The process is essentially an expansion of Snapchat’s ‘Landmarkers’ AR option, which enables users to apply lenses that interact with global landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower or Buckingham Palace. However, this feature required Snap to map an entire street and create a 3D model users could interact with.
It will be interesting to see how this AR technology grows as both Facebook and Snapchat invest heavily in it, as well as what advertising opportunities arise for brands.
Slack is getting Instagram-like stories
Workplace messaging tool Slack is getting ready to introduce Instagram-like stories to its software before the end of the year.
While Stories on social media platforms, such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, are designed to share updates from your day-to-day life with friends and family, Slack sees these new features as a way to improve workplace efficiency. Instead of relying on constant video calls and text conversations, remote workers will be able to provide status updates or set daily agendas for a team.
The update is currently in the prototype phase but is due to begin rolling out in the next few months.
Social media influencers unite
Social media influencers are setting up and joining unions to protect themselves from being taken advantage of by brands.
Last year, fashion blogger Nicole Ocran, 32, and influencer expert Kat Molesworth, 40, teamed up to launch The Creator Union (TCU), the UK’s first union for digital content creators. This is designed to protect influencers, many of them young women, from being exploited. According to TCU, there are many instances where influencers are not properly paid, have their content stolen by brands or are coerced into working for nothing.
Meanwhile, France has introduced new child labour laws to protect younger social media influencers from exploitation. Now, any earnings under-16-year-olds make from social media will be safeguarded in a bank account that they can only access from their 16th birthday
Christmas set to be ‘more important than ever’
Brits are clinging to Christmas to see them through the pandemic winter. According to new research from Kinetic Worldwide research, three quarters of UK adults believe that seasonal festivities are now more important than ever.
The survey found that more than half (58 per cent) of people refuse to reduce their spending, while 16 per cent fully intend to spend more, embracing retail therapy to banish the gloom of darkening nights and tougher lockdown measures.
The rollout of local lockdowns in Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire has yet to translate into changed shopping patterns on the ground, with footfall across Greater Manchester dipping just one to two per cent since ’rule of six’ restrictions were enforced. In fact, Covid-19 hotspots in Lancashire and Wales saw footfall increase by one to two per cent as locals dismissed concerns.