Half of 2020 is now over: so what has changed? (Apart from everything...)

As we enter the second half of 2020, the digital world we live in is being shaped more and more by the strange (don’t worry, we won’t say unprecedented… except for right now) time we’re living in. Internet traffic has increased by a whopping 30% compared to the start of the year which just goes to show that more time spent indoors means more time spent on the internet. Who’d have thought it?

With this increase in internet usage comes more changes to user privacy, and Apple has set out on a mission with its new iOS update to make it better for users, but potentially worse for digital advertising. Google has also launched a new video shopping platform and you may be able to soon choose which Instagram Stories to watch via full-screen, Australian Influencers now have a code of conduct which could affect the way you market with them and LinkedIn has created a Name Pronunciation feature on user-profiles.
Read ahead as we take a deep dive into the biggest changes in the digital world through July.

1. Datareportal - July 2020 Global Statshot

The Datareportal July 2020 Global Statshot shows us exactly how the digital world has changed so far this year through incredible stats – and how even with the ease of restrictions in most parts of the world, the habits we have formed during our time in lockdown don’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon. More than half of the world now uses social media, with an incredible 3.96 billion people scrolling, double-tapping and sharing. That’s a 10.5% increase just from the start of this year, which shows that the current pandemic may have forced us all indoors, but it has only made us more connected through our phones, laptops and tablets.

In terms of Australian activity, our use of voice search and voice commands has increased by 31% for those aged between 16 and 64. So, we have more time on our hands but we’re not actually using our hands at all – it will be interesting to see if this will decline as lockdowns ease further. It’s also worth noting that 62% of Australians are concerned about how companies use their data, which makes sense after the House Party (an app that seemed to disappear as quickly as it appeared during lockdown) hacking rumours. It might be more important than ever to remind customers that their data is safe with your brand, perhaps with an email or social update.

The digital landscape seems to be changing at a pace quicker than we have ever seen, so we can’t wait to see what changes as we head into the second half of 2020.

View all 186 slides here

2. You May Be Able To Decide Who’s Instagram Stories To Watch in Full Screen

It’s no surprise that Instagram Stories have only gone from strength to strength since their launch in 2016. They’re instant, they provide a more realistic snapshot of someone’s life and with the addition of GIFs, questions and polls, they’re way more interactive than grid posts.

We can now confirm that Instagram is in the stages of testing an, actually rather intimidating, full-screen display so that you can see all of the stories that are ready and waiting to be watched across your screen, rather than in a bar at the top. This just shows that the social media app is starting to move the main focus of its usage to stories rather than posts. Of course, it’s still being tested so whether or not it gets rolled out to everyone hasn’t been decided yet. What do you think?

More Info here

3. Apple Safari Could Start Blocking Google Analytics

The release of a new Apple upgrade is always a time for change, but the discussions around iOS 14 could mean trouble for advertising your brand on Safari – which means it will affect advertising on apps on iPhones and iPads too. Apple has suggested that they may start asking for additional permission from users to “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App Not To Track” within each app – and if you’re a user that doesn’t want to see ads, you’re probably going to click the latter. This could affect Google Analytics and block any data they may be gaining through Safari and any apps on an Apple device as part as a large push for more privacy. Perhaps good for the user, but not so good for brands as specific users can’t be retargeted as their data can’t be accessed. Luckily, it means that apps can’t stop tracking ads completely, it just means the data will be anonymously received without any specific user information. However, these changes could change the way personalised ads are created and targeted to users, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out over the next few months.

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4. Australian Influencers Now Have a Code of Conduct

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Australian Influencers already had a code of conduct – or at least you’d have hoped that had been the case considering the massive growth of Influencer Marketing within the past few years. Thankfully, the Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCO) has just released their first since launching, and it sets out to regulate advertising disclosure, the reporting of metrics and contractual considerations – including content usage rights. It is designed to build trust within the industry from consumers, but it should also be important to note if you’re a brand who regularly works with influencers as the practices for working with them may change (and make your ads more transparent). It will be positive for brands as influencers will have to be much more transparent with their engagement to ensure you’re spending your money in all the right places – or on all the right people.

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5. Introducing ShopLoop: Google’s Video Shopping Platform

Google didn’t make a song and dance about it, so you might have missed the launch of ShopLoop, a video shopping platform that is designed to streamline online shopping. Think TikTok, but for selling products and with integrated eCommerce features. It’s designed to be a lot more interactive than just scrolling through products with images and descriptions and instead, it comprises 90-second videos with the products being used by influencers, trusted content creators and reviewers. This means that you can see it in action and used by a real (albeit as real as an influencer can be) person. Users can scroll through the feed of videos, watching those which spark interest and either saving it for later or heading straight for the merchant’s website to purchase. It’s essentially a combination of social media, YouTube reviews and the eCommerce site – all in one place. At the moment, it’s mostly for beauty products such as makeup, skincare, hair and nails, but with big plans to expand. What do you think? Will your brand be using ShopLoop in the near future?

Visit Shoploop.app on a mobile device to check it out.

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6. LinkedIn To Allow Name Pronunciation To User Profiles

There’s nothing worse than heading to a meeting or interview with someone brand new, only to realise you have absolutely no idea how to pronounce their name – or have someone else pronounce yours completely wrong. That’s where LinkedIn’s handy new feature comes in: You’ll now be able to add a voice recording to your profile with you saying your name. A speaker icon will appear and allow other users to click and listen to the recording. It’s not mandatory, so if you think yours is easy enough to say you can leave it, but if you want to, simply Edit your introduction and press the +Record Name Pronunciation button. Although small, it will make a huge difference to those all-important first impressions.

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