April saw video tools continue to expand while new data helped us better understand shopping and social media trends!

Video and creativity got a boost this month on Meta and TikTok, as did eCommerce thanks to a partnership with Pinterest, meanwhile Google helped us consider what really makes a trend, and we took a deep dive into how shopping habits have changed over the last few years… Let’s begin!

1. See how our shopping habits have changed in 2022

This month the seventh edition of the Inside Australian Online Shopping Industry Report was released, highlighting the massive changes in our shopping habits through data obtained over the last three years. Not only has the pandemic changed the way we shop, with an average of 5.4 million households buying online each month – an increase of 39% from 2019, but it has changed shopper priorities. For example the report found that “sustainability has transitioned from a consumer demand to an expectation.” For businesses to maintain and build engagement they must build meaningful connections with their consumers, meet their expectations and make the transition between physical and online shopping seamless. Read the full report below.

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 2. Meta spreads the love of video with the NEW ‘Share to Reels’ Option

As the trend of short-form video seems to endlessly grow, and Meta aims to stay ahead of the curve, this month they have introduced a new way for Meta users to lean in to the video mania. With their new ‘Share to Reels’ option for third-party sites it will be easier to share videos from non-meta apps directly to Facebook Reels. All with the touch of a button. This means creators have more options to share content across Meta and non-Meta apps, while keeping all content consistent. And though it’s no TikTok, yet, this move may give Facebook Reels the boost they’ve been looking for.

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3. TikTok Expands access to creative ‘Effect House’ AR platform

This April TikTok opened its Effects House AR creation tool to all creators after launching the tool last year. So what is the ‘Effects House’? Like Snapchat’s ‘Lens Studio’ and Meta’s ‘Spark AR’ platform, Effects House enables creators to build AR effects, with a range of templates and tools. This, TikTok hopes, will help expand the platform’s creative capacities and allow users to jump onto the latest visual trends. Unlike other platforms TikTok has specifically stated that their Effect Policies encourage creativity, and are opposed to more harmful AR effects that could be used to enhance looks or be taken in a potentially negative way, a small step that could hopefully have a bigger impact.

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4. Pinterest continues to grow its commerce features with WooCommerce

Similar to their integration with Shopify, earlier this month Pinterest announced a new partnership with eCommerce platform WooCommerce. WooCommerce, as a Wordpress eCommerce plug-in, enables Wordpress users to add product showcases to their websites. With Pinterest’s new partnership, now users will be able to post those same products on Pinterest too, as “shoppable pins”. This will expand a business’s opportunity for engagement, exposure and sales and make the transition between their website and the Pinterest platform seamless and easy.

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Think with Google: What makes a trend?

This month Google looked at the top five Youtube trends of the last year and what made them work, coming back with some simple truths. We can learn a lot from Youtube trends and apply them to many situations. From the success of sequels showing that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” meaning that viewers and consumers take comfort in the familiar, to the simple fact that that in live-streaming “connection tops credentials” meaning that consumers seek shared experiences and place more value on real and immediate content, it’s clear that human engagement and authenticity is what drives consumers and therefore what drives trends, in all things. Brands and businesses should keep this in mind.

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