New Augmented and Virtual Reality features, even more ways to shop online and Search Control Insights launches

Can you believe we’re already halfway through 2021? This month sees a LOT of new Augmented and Virtual Reality features burst onto our screens, from test driving a brand new car through Pinterest to seeing what your kitchen will look like with a new lick of paint before you buy it. Facebook also launches more features to make shopping through their apps even easier, Pinterest gets us one step closer to being able to actually buy within the platform and Google finally launches Search Console Insights after a whole year of testing. Let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Changes in the Augmented and Virtual Reality Spaces

After the events of the last year, it makes sense that brands and social media platforms are creating more experiences that we can enjoy without even stepping out of our front doors. From shopping for new clothes to even test driving a car, this month sees an explosion of Augmented and Reality features finding their way into the apps and sites we use every day.

- Facebook and Virtual Reality

Facebook has not one but two major Virtual Reality news stories this month. The first is that the social media app has announced that they’re going to start testing streaming advertisements into Virtual Reality games on Oculus headsets, meaning that even virtual worlds aren’t free from real-life adverts. It’s already been hit with quite a lot of backlash and although we think it might be inevitable for the future, that doesn’t mean the idea will be popular. The second piece of news is that Facebook is working on camera-based shopping search tools within Instagram to allow users to find items based on photos from their camera roll or to search for similar products within the app based on what’s already being looked at. They’re also looking at try-on immersive experiences so that you can visualise what that new item of clothing you’ve got your eye on looks like before you make a purchase. We can see this being a great step forward for the app as these advancements in visual search will make even more parts of Instagram shoppable.

Facebook Ads in Virtual RealityInstagram Visual Search

- Pinterest launches a new Virtual Reality ‘Test Drive’ with Volkswagen

Shopify has recently acquired Primer, a virtual reality app that lets its users see what tiles, wallpaper or paint colours will look like inside their home. The deal means that you’ll now be able to shop the tile, wallpaper or paint brands that you’re visualising directly through the app. It’s clever, giving users the option to “try before you buy” and test out their next home improvement project by seeing if it will actually work in the space first.

Shopify acquire AR Team

- Shopify acquires an Augmented Reality home design app and their team

One trend amongst social media platforms that’s genuinely inclusive at the moment is the ability to add your pronouns to your profile, with Facebook, Linkedin and now Instagram all adding this feature. On Instagram it’s easy, simply edit your profile, type in your pronouns, and decide if everyone or just your followers can see them.

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Want VR or AR for your next campaign? Get in touch with us so we can have a chat about what we can do for you.

2. Facebook launches new eCommerce tools

More Facebook news! Over the past year, we have seen Facebook release more and more features to make sure it’s the social media platform for online shopping, and this month is certainly no different. Facebook is now adding Shops to WhatsApp so that you’re in direct contact with someone from the customer service team or business before you buy, and Marketplace on Facebook, making it easy for businesses to bring their Shops into Marketplace to reach even more people. They really are determined to change the way we shop on their apps.

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3. Pinterest releases new Shopping List feature

Although you can’t actually purchase within Pinterest yet, we are moving closer and closer to being able to with the launch of their new Shopping List feature. This automatically saves shoppable product pins onto a list with reviews and shipping costs so that you can refer back to it easily when it’s time to purchase – and it even notifies users of price changes which is great for consumers always on the hunt for a bargain. This also means that shoppers can easily compare the products they’re looking at in one handy place.

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4. Google finally launches Search Console Insights after a year of testing

Search Console Insights is a Google experience that has been made for content creators and publishers. It’s designed to help them understand how audiences discover their content and what they enjoy when they get there. It’s powered by data from both Google Search Console and Google Analytics… and it has finally launched after a year of BETA testing! This is an incredible tool that means people can see their best performing pieces of content and what people are searching for when they come across your content.

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