Instagram adds user-friendly updates, while influencers get investigated, it has been an interesting month!

The beginning of a new year and a big month in itself, January brought Instagram updates, beautiful rebrands and big news for the makeup industry. If this is anything to go by, the drive for ethical and healthy living will only grow in 2023, as the market and design are set to follow. Let’s dive in and explore our highlights below!

1. The ACCC investigates influencers

This month the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) launched an investigation to crack down on influencers. The aim: to identify misleading and deceptive behaviour in the marketing industry. They say they will be conducting a proactive sweep of social media influencer platforms to identify misleading posts or testimonials. With the world of social media ever-changing, it comes as no surprise that it would need to be regulated and this investigation follows cases of high profile influencers making false statements, omitting key information and not labelling posts as sponsored ads when promoting products, which are all breaching Australian Consumer Law. With this investigation underway perhaps we will see proactive brands and influencers working to understand the laws they operate under.

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 2. Facebook still stands strong (and popular) among users

While Facebook lost face with the younger generations and seemed to be losing users in relation to the growth of other platforms, it appears all is not lost. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Data… showed that time spent on [Facebook] was up worldwide, including in developed markets, over the course of a year.” This may be surprising given the rise of TikTok, but Facebook has clearly made some success with their answer to short-form video – Reels. Reels consumption is up 20%, especially as Meta’s algorithms are getting better at showing users what they actually want to see, driving a better response. So as Social Media Today says, while Meta was criticised for stealing TikTok’s format, it’s once again shown that replication works, just as it did with Stories.

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3. Scott’s Cheap Flights is ‘Going’ places

In design news this month, beloved travel brand Scott’s Cheap Flights undertook the next leg of its journey, Going. This rebrand levelled up the humble identity of Scott’s Cheap Flights, staying true to its roots while allowing it to spread its wings. The agency DesignStudio was behind the idea, encompassing the spirit of the original brand as Eric Ng, DesignStudio Executive Creative Director explained: “the name Going instils a sense of curiosity and gives the feeling of movement.” Though Scott stays on, the service has grown beyond one savvy traveller’s advice, and the new brand truly speaks to that. Going’s cofounder Brian Kidwell said: “While this is a big visual change, one thing that hasn’t changed is the soul of this company. We’ll continue putting travellers first and we’re excited to build more ways to help people beyond what we can deliver in an email.” Check out the enticing visuals below.

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4. Instagram invites users to be more digitally healthy

In AdNews this month, and a step forward for digital wellbeing, Instagram has introduced new ways for users to manage their time and experiences on Instagram, including a ‘Quiet Mode.’ Mostly marketed towards teens who, according to Instagram, “feel like they need to be available a lot of the time,” Quiet Mode encourages people to set healthy boundaries with friends and followers, letting them know when they’re unavailable for certain periods, like at night time. This mutes their notifications and sends an auto-reply in response to DMs. On top of this, the platform has made it easier for users to hide pieces of content from their feeds and parental controls have been refreshed, prompting more real world conversations around the teen’s social media world. Learn more about the changes here.

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5. Creativity gets cleaner with CleanO2

Recently, Identity Designed shed some light on the brand CleanO2, redesigned by Ordinary Things. Brands with a focus on being cleaner and more environmentally friendly could take a leaf out of this book. CleanO2 is a brand of soap made with captured carbon from heating systems, which would otherwise enter the atmosphere. The team at Ordinary Things not only reimagined the branding in a modern, fresh, clean and minimalistic way, but made the brand’s packaging and processes more environmentally friendly, aligning with their core values. It shows that fresh eyes on a brand can take it further. Take a look at the gorgeous new designs below.


5. Makeup sales make a comeback

In great news for our beauty industry at home, makeup sales worldwide are climbing back up following the Covid-19 pandemic as more people are going out and about and priming to look their best. According to a GlobalData report, the Australian makeup market is expected to experience a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.6 percent through to 2026. And pucker up, because the lip category is expected to register the fastest growth, closely followed by nail care. The health and wellness trend brought on by the pandemic will also see a demand for clean-label cosmetics with natural ingredients. This tells us that now is a  great time for beauty brands to invest in marketing to reach their audiences who are already primed to buy!

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