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Talk Social: 27th July, 2021 – Zuckerberg wants Facebook to become an online ‘metaverse’

Zuckerberg wants Facebook to become an online ‘metaverse’

The landscape of Facebook may be about to change as Mark Zuckerberg announced an ambitious five-year plan to transform the platform from a social media network into a ‘metaverse’.   

Metaverse is an online world where people can game, work and communicate in a virtual environment, often using VR headsets. The concept is popular with tech companies, with some early adopters incorporating elements of metaverse in popular games such as Animal Crossing, Fortnite and Roblox.

Speaking to The Verge, the Facebook CEO described the move as “An embodied internet where instead of just viewing content – you are in it. We’ll be able to appear as holograms and feel like we’re in the same place, even if we’re in different states or hundreds of miles apart. I think that is really powerful.”

This is not Facebook’s first step into the world of virtual reality, with the company spending $2bn on acquiring VR product developer, Oculus, and launching Facebook Horizon – an immersive, invitation-only environment in 2019. Will this be the step that transforms their virtual offering? 

Read more here.


Facebook adds another 31 newsletter writers to Bulletin

One month on from launching its newsletter platform Bulletin, Facebook has announced the second batch of 31 writers to be added to its lineup. This includes 24-year-old Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai, relationship therapist Nedra Tawwab, and Maria Celeste, who will be writing the first Spanish-language newsletter.

Unlike its competitors, such as Substack or Medium, Bulletin handpicks its writers to curate a more controlled platform. The majority of the content is free for Facebook users to subscribe to, with writers able to include additional content behind a paywall if they choose.

Facebook isn’t the only social media platform interested in newsletters. In January, Twitter acquired newsletter platform Revue, but aside from a few small updates has not focussed much attention on growing the platform.

Read more here.


Instagram users react to new sensitivity filter

Instagram announced a new feature called ‘Sensitive Content Control’, which would allow users to customise their on-platform experience by setting limits around what potentially sensitive content appears on their Explore page. 

However, since its launch, some content creators  have been concerned that their posts are being blocked both on the feed and in Stories.

Phillip Miner, an artist and creator of queer hobby magazine Natural Pursuits, has explained that users from communities including the art world, sex workers, tattoo artists, and the cannabis industry share similar concerns regarding their content being deemed sensitive and blocked.

With concerns rising, Instagram has responded, saying creators shouldn’t worry and, in fact, some could even see a bump in discoverability as users opt-in to allow more sensitive content on their Explore page.

Read more here.


New Instagram feature will allow users to collab on content

The relationship between influencers and brands may become streamlined in the near future as Instagram has announced a new test for ‘Collabs’. 

This feature will allow users to partner up and publish content marked as a collaboration, in both the main feed and Reels. Its introduction could have value in maximising engagement and broadening reach among a larger set of users, appearing in both users’ photo grids and profiles. 

Currently, the focus for Collabs is on individual creators. However, if it is rolled out more widely, Collabs could become a valuable tool for influencers and brands as they partner up on content that could be displayed through both accounts at once.

Read more here.


UK ad market set to soar fuelled by surging digital market

The UK is poised to see a boom in ad spending as the country eases its remaining Covid-19 restrictions, a new industry report predicts.

The research, published by media agency Zenith, forecasts that the UK’s ad spend will grow as much as 13.5 per cent for 2021, an 8.5 per cent increase on where the industry was positioned in pre-pandemic 2019.

The biggest growth comes from the surging digital ad markets. Digital advertising accounts for an overwhelming 75 per cent of all UK ad spend, and this is expected to rise to 77 per cent by 2023. This places the UK ahead of the global market where digital advertising accounts for 58 per cent of the overall ad spend.

Undoubtedly this shift towards digital has been accelerated by the pandemic. Zenith Head of Forecasting Jonathon Barnard spoke on the findings, “Digital advertising is becoming a more effective tool for brand growth as media and commerce continue to move online”.

Read more here.


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