Written by Clio Goh, Marie Ng, and Benjamin Oi.

TikTok enables voice control via Alexa

“Alexa, open TikTok.”

Last week, TikTok announced its collaboration with Amazon and launched an Alexa skill for TikTok that enables a voice control feature.

As seen in this video, this new Alexa feature allows users to activate TikTok functions via voice command. For creators, this hands-free video recording could come in handy by opening up a world of possibilities and flexibility for their creative process.

Of course, users would need to have an Alexa build-in mobile device or an Alexa app, which also works on Android and iOS.

Though it’s not particularly a game-changer, it could definitely help with recording and quick voice searches, which TikTok notes, “no need for camera timers or a production buddy - creators can now ask Alexa to hit record for them by saying, “Alexa, ask TikTok to star my recording.”

Instagram implements multiple initiatives to enhance marketing tactics to consumers

After rounds of testing, Instagram has built upon its “You’re All Caught Up” notification, first introduced in 2018 that appears as a notification prompt after users have viewed all the posts that are new on their feed. This has now been enhanced as “Suggested Posts”, as seen on the right of the following image:

In this new update, Instagram seeks to promote more engagement with consumers by offering possible suggestions based on current consumer behavior.

This added potential is complemented by the recent introduction of QR codes on Instagram. You can now scan a QR code via the Instagram Stories Camera or any QR code-enabled camera or application on your smartphone. These codes will lead consumers to a business profile and view information related to the store such as opening hours, its current menu, and eventually make a final purchase of goods and services. The codes can also be printed on marketing materials for additional promotion as well. 

With these updates, there can now be greater interaction and engagement between businesses and consumers to better identify consumer needs and wants in a timely manner. This gives rise to more marketing opportunities as these could now give rise to increased exposure to products for a wider reach to a specific audience. In a world where e-commerce is on a rapid rise, this would connect more businesses to a larger pool of interested buyers and boost more potential sales.

Check out these useful Facebook resources - tips for stories ads and videos ads and evolving trend reports amid COVID-19

This week, Facebook published a handful of useful resources that would benefit marketers.

First up, based on a combination of Facebook platform data, commissioned surveys, and 3rd party research, in total incorporating responses from more than 34,000 consumers, they have identified 5 global macro-shifts that digital marketers need to plan for. 

These are 1) Safer shopping, 2) Mindful wellness, 3) Glocal community, 4) Gen Z’s regeneration, and 5) Connected convenience. For each macro-shift, Facebook has provided some ideas on how your brand can respond. 

While these macro-shifts arose from the acceleration of existing trends and the emergence of new ones as a result of the ongoing pandemic, Facebook believes these shifts have staying power as the ways we live, work, shop, and connect continue to evolve. Next up, Facebook’ Creative team has also provided some helpful tips on improving your Stories and video ad content. Through research, they’ve identified the best ways to use motion, sounds, and stickers in your branded content.