Written by Benjamin Oi, Clio Goh and Marie Ng.

Adapting to the new normal: How have friendships changed and how can brands communicate? 

We’re pretty close to the end of the year, and unfortunately COVID-19 is still a fact of daily life. How have friendships changed in the age of social distancing? After polling 40,000 respondents, Snap Inc sheds some light in its recently launched 2020 Global Friendship Report

While two-thirds of those surveyed say they are using online channels to communicate more and deeper (49% of respondents) than before COVID-19, the pandemic has also increased loneliness (+8%), with an especially profound impact on Gen Zers - 36% felt friendships have been impacted, and 56% feel they aren’t as close to their best friends anymore.

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The report also explored how relationships evolve across distances and through major life events, plus the vital role digital communication plays in cultivating and sustaining friendships. 

The staying power of COVID-19 also means that consumers now have a different set of expectations that brands need to tailor their communications for. 

Twitter Canada has provided 3 tips on how brands can enhance their messaging amid the pandemic: 

(1) Leading with Purpose and Positivity
With consumers now more empathetic than before, brands should consider how they can align with purpose-driven pushes and contribute to positive change. 

(2) Leading with Something New
The lockdowns have seen increased usage of social media, and people are looking for new content to engage with. In fact, brands and products that have launched during the pandemic are seeing a larger growth in share of voice. 

(3) Leading by Connecting
To sustain relevance, connect with consumers by tapping into trends and discussions and lean into what they care about. 

In a post pandemic world, trust would likely be the new consumer currency. It’s important for brands and businesses to listen, adapt and stay positive in order to better develop and communicate trust and build meaningful bonds with consumers. 

Instagram extends live stream to 4 hours with new archive feature

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Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in live streaming videos and events over the last few months. To continue adapting to the way its creators use its platform, Instagram has announced that it plans on increasing the time limit for Instagram Live from 1 to 4 hours.

This update would be particularly useful for individuals and businesses hosting virtual events such as meetups, classes and concerts. Users would be able to do a lot more live streaming on the platform with plenty of time to spare.

At the same time, it gives users the same live streaming time as Facebook, which offers 4 hours of live stream on mobile devices, and 8 hours from a desktop computer.

Creators will also be able to archive their live streams for 30 days before they are deleted, giving them more flexibility to repurpose the content post-event. For instance, they can revisit an older live event and download it to post on other social platforms. Before, users could only add their live streams to a private archive or publish it to IGTV only.

Pinterest Adds New Features Just In Time For the Holiday Shopping Season

In anticipation of the huge gifting holiday season, retailers are looking for more ideas to push their sales. To cope with this, Pinterest has announced a few new features to help merchants optimise reach and sales for the end of the year, including a new shopping ad format.

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Firstly, Pinterest has updated the Shop tab on business profiles, allowing for a better presentation format for users to browse through their products. These are now organised by category, specially featured product groups and recommendations tailored to user preference, allowing retailers to have better presentation options to market their products to consumers.

In addition, users will also be shown recommended merchants in their search results for shopping-related ideas. This helps for greater exposure for businesses and will be able to push more traffic for related keywords for their products.

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Along with these new features, Pinterest is in the process of developing new tagging options within their Collections Pins as well as improving its catalog ingestion process. This would allow businesses to connect their product listings directly to the Pins on their business page. With these ongoing updates, it’ll be beneficial for both businesses and shoppers alike to be able to have more enriched and fruitful shopping experience. 

Disclaimer: Featured image taken from 123rf.com.