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Talk Social: 18th August, 2020 – What does Instagram Reels mean for brands and the decline in print news consumption

Will Instagram Reels change social media for brands?

Instagram’s TikTok copycat Reels has now been available in the UK and 50 other markets for nearly two weeks, and many brands are watching closely to see how users take to it.

So far, many publishers have been resistant to jump in with both feet – instead opting for repurposing content from other platforms, such as Snapchat and TikTok rather than create original content. However, it is early days for the feature and Instagram will be hoping Reels will build the way Stories have. 

If Instagram Reels takes off, this will present a new opportunity for brands to create content or work with influencers to engage audiences. There is no blueprint for creators or brands to harness this format – it will be up to brands to navigate themselves and create campaigns which connect via this new medium.

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Will the shift from print to digital last beyond the pandemic?

A survey from Press Gazette has revealed the extent of print readership decline during lockdown. 

Nearly half (48 per cent) of the readers surveyed said they were now consuming more digitally than in print and expected this to continue. Around 29 per cent said there had been no change in the new consumption habits. While 17 per cent of respondents said they were actually reading more news in print since the lockdown.

Last week we also learned the Manchester Evening News has suffered the biggest print circulation fall of any regional daily newspaper in the country during lockdown. According to the latest ABC figures, the Reach-owned title saw its daily circulation drop by 53% from 29,613 to 13,993 during the six months from January to June.

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Facebook ad revenue slowing down

Facebook reported its slowest revenue growth since 2012 in the second quarter of 2020, with a rise of just 11 per cent year-on-year. 

However, this was still 7 per cent higher than analysts expectations, and combined with a 12 per cent year-on-year growth in daily active users (to reach 1.79 billion), Facebook has shown surprising resilience to the pandemic so far.

It will be interesting to see the figures for Q3 to see the further impact of Covid-19, as well as the full consequences of the ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ ad boycott. 

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TikTok takes first steps into streaming

TikTok made its first push into streaming TV with the launch of an app, called “More on TikTok,” on Amazon Fire TV devices today.

The app includes curated playlists and compilations of popular videos from the platform, in addition to exclusive interviews with creators and influencers. 

According to reports, TikTok is experimenting to determine how well its mobile video format works on TV screens. More on TikTok is a view-only channel, so no login or account information is required, and users won’t be able to upload videos or exchange coins. It will be free to use and won’t have ads at launch.

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Google fights back against Australian regulators

Google has launched an international scare campaign enlisting YouTubers creators and viewers to swamp the Australian competition watchdog with complaints about its proposals to make digital platforms pay for news content.

In an article published on Google’s ‘Australia Blog’ and shared across their social media, the tech giant seeks to pit YouTubers and their fans against “big news businesses”. Google claims it will be creators, such as “vloggers”, “educational creators” and “music artists” that will suffer most if the new laws – which would force it to share it’s advertising revenue with publishers – are brought into effect. 

However, some publishers have already accused Google of misleading users about the code and claimed Google was trying to divert attention from the real issue, which was paying a fair price for news content.

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