June brings us LinkedIn Stories, Live Event app ‘Venue’ and Trump finally gets fact-checked by Twitter.

Even though we’re seeing some normality returning after the effects of COVID-19, there is no doubt that the impact of the last few months will be seen for a long time to come. Australia Post has released their eCommerce Industry Report so we can finally see exactly how recent events have affected online shopping (hint: it’s a lot), YouTube has introduced more features this month to drive online sales even more easily as brands build up more of a digital presence and video-sharing app TikTok gains even more momentum as tweens and teens are spending time inside on their phones.

However, it’s not all pandemic-related. LinkedIn finally joins the likes of Instagram and Facebook by releasing their Stories feature and Twitter takes a bold step by adding a fact-checking label to a series of Trump’s misinformed tweets which went down as well with the President as you can imagine. We’ve put together all the biggest industry news for June in one place for you so get comfortable and start reading!

1. LinkedIn Finally Launches Stories

It seems that almost every social media platform has a story function except Linkedin, but that’s all about to change this month for everyone in Australia. The new feature functions pretty much the same as the professional platform’s counterparts with sticker, text and tagging options, except they come with a few more privacy settings. You can view stories and have your name and headline shown, you can have a more private setting that means only your institution is shown or you can view them completely anonymously. This mirrors how the platform runs as a whole – by turning off the function that lets people know that you’ve viewed their story, it means you can’t see who has viewed yours in exactly the same way you can for profile views.

The release of Linkedin stories has had a little bit of backlash as the function is slightly more informal (they’ve even released a G’Day sticker for the Australian release) and is therefore seen as not as appropriate for the professional platform. However, with the popularity of stories overtaking the traditional news feed, the release does make sense for a new generation of Linkedin users. What do you think of the release?

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2. Aus Post release their 2020 eCommerce Industry Report

It’s undeniable that people’s buying habits have changed dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone indoors and closed non-essential brick and mortar shops. Online shopping has obviously increased and those that may never have shopped online before have been introduced to the eCommerce space out of necessity. No company knows this better than Aus Post; the number of parcels being delivered around Australia is a clear indicator of this change.

Their 2020 report takes an in-depth look into the impact of COVID-19 on deliveries with a few key findings. For example, April 2020 brought a huge 200,000 brand new online shoppers into the market of which over a third (35.5% to be exact) then went on to make more than one online purchase. Of these 16.7% then shopped online three or more times. A huge 5.2 million households shopped online in April 2020 which is an amazing 31% increase from the average for 2019. In fact, online shopping for April 2020 was even up 6.8% when compared with the biggest shopping month of 2019 – December – which compromised of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the pre-Christmas rush. This makes this time the busiest period for online shopping in history so far. We’re sure we’ll be looking back on this time for years to come and it will be interesting to see what will happen to the eCommerce space over the next few months.

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3. Twitter Takes on Trump with New Fact-Checking Feature

For the first time in Twitter’s history, the platform has decided to add a fact-checking warning to a series of tweets that could contain potentially misleading information. This is already an important change for the platform that has regularly been criticised for failing to stop the spread of misinformation, but the fact the catalyst for this change is because of tweets from the President of the United States makes this change a crucial step to changing how Twitter operates. President Trump posted a series of tweets claiming that mail ballots are “substantially fraudulent”, an allegation that is not just misleading but factually incorrect. Trump refused to delete the tweets and so they now appear with a label that fact-checks the claims with the correct information and debunking his accusations. Of course, Trump rallied against this and accused Twitter of election meddling however as they did not delete the tweets and simply provided context around them, it allows them to keep the label and could be a step towards making these measures a regular feature and stay consistent with addressing the spread of misinformation.

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4. Facebook launches ‘Venue’, an app to accompany live events

Second-screening has always played a large role for live events that the audience may not necessarily be able to attend in person and research shows that 94% of people will keep a smartphone in their hand whilst watching these events on screen. Facebook has therefore created Venue, an app that improves this second screen experience by providing interactive questions, creating polls based on the event and opening up chats which have all been curated by experts in the field of that event. The audience doesn’t have to be on the app constantly (as obviously the main focus is the event itself) as push notifications are sent out whenever new “Moments” have been added as they happen. This comes in direct response to Twitter, who has options for event hashtags that means users can find commentaries about the events easily and can also read the highlights from the event in one convenient place. However, Facebook’s Venue won’t be for everyone to comment (although they can be viewed by everyone) and will instead be only for journalists or major personalities within that field.

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5. TikTok Nearly Overtakes YouTube as the Most-Watched Platform for Kids Aged 4-15

TikTok is only going from strength to strength in 2020 and new research shows that they’re fast becoming a huge threat to YouTube, which has previously been the most popular video streaming app. The difference is extremely close: kids aged 4 to 15 years old spend an average of 85 minutes per day watching YouTube, compared to 80 minutes on TikTok. Although Facebook is the most popular social media platform overall, YouTube is the most popular for Gen Z and Generation Alpha (those born after 2006). In fact, two-third of TikTok’s users in Australia are under 25. This makes it the ultimate platform for targeting this age group as the quick to make and easier to digest short-form videos will reach users in a much more effortless and effective way.

TikTok vs YouTube - US, UK, SpainRoy Morgan Social Media Demographics

6. Direct Response Solutions on YouTube To Drive Sales

YouTube has been a platform to drive actions and sales from branded videos for a while, but they’re now making a few changes to make this even easier, especially after the forced closure of many physical stores meaning companies have had to turn more to digital marketing. From this month, they have put together some solutions to make videos easily shoppable by adding browsable product images, they’ve created Video Action Campaigns which are designed to drive more conversions for your brand and they’ve designed a tool that can easily add lead forms to videos without interrupting the user experience. YouTube has also started to include themselves in Google Ad attribution reports so that you can see exactly where your conversations are coming from and how they got to the purchase stage. These solutions will make a huge difference for those brands who are currently trying to get started with the digital world, but they’ll also make digital marketing a lot easier even for those who already use video to drive actions.

YouTube Direct Repsonse

7. Facebook Is Now Verifying High Reach Profiles

Facebook has announced this month that they will now be verifying the identity of those behind the accounts that keep going viral in order to improve the experience of those that are using it and to make sure there is more accountability and authenticity. Accounts that continuously go viral will now have to provide ID and if this is declined, then Facebook will limit the reach of their posts. Just like Twitter fact-checking Trump’s tweets, this is a step to limiting the spread of misinformation so that people feel more confident in the information that is being shared.

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