Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Will.
1. Google release insights into rising consumption trends
For marketers, one of the biggest impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is the shift in customers purchasing behaviour, both online and offline.
These shifts in consumer trends have made it difficult for marketers to keep up to date with changes within their niche. Off the back of this, Google has added a new emerging trends insight within Google Ads that is based on Google search activity. This new report will make users aware of any changes within their sector, allowing them to update their ad campaigns to meet the demand.
As you can see below, the trends reports will highlight changes in search interest in your niche, alongside more specific details.
Following a successful beta test, Google has made the report available to all advertisers globally. The success of this new report will ultimately vary between campaigns and how marketers will use the data to experiment on their own campaigns.
2. Taking a trip to the local
This week, life in the UK began to return to a sense of ‘normality’ after what has been a chaotic 12 months. After closing their doors once again in January, pubs and many other businesses across England were allowed to reopen their doors to the public this week – a day which much of the population was looking forward to, with customers flocking en masse to their local.
It’s fair to say the hospitality industry has had it tough with the lockdown restrictions, something that Tesco was keen to point out in a very well received tweet.
Pubs have had it tough this year. So, as good as our deals are, this week we’d rather you support your local pub (as long as you feel safe to do so). Because right now, #EveryLittleHelps.
Excludes Scotland, NI and Wales.https://t.co/qfn6UJcsvP for the facts 18+ pic.twitter.com/VdMUBDXn9a
— Tesco (@Tesco) April 12, 2021
Supermarkets have arguably been busier than ever with the closures of restaurants, bars, and pubs forcing everyone to eat at home, so it’s great to see the chain supporting the industry that has struggled the most.
Good work Tesco!
3. Changes to Instagram likes
The decision to hide the number of likes a social media post gets is a conversation that has been bubbling away for the past few years. In 2019, Instagram began running tests on hiding posts like counts across various regions, however, the results of these tests were never released.
Over the past few months, Instagram has been working on the option to allow users to hide their post like count with a new test being announced this week. Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, shared an update on this new feature on Twitter, explaining:
An update on like counts.
Last year we started hiding like counts for a small group of people to see if it lessens some pressure when posting to Instagram. Some found this helpful and some still wanted to see like counts, in particular to track what’s popular.
— Adam Mosseri ? (@mosseri) April 14, 2021
Currently, there hasn’t been a confirmation on the scope of the test or the regions it will be released in, but the three alternatives that will be available will include:
- Hiding Like counts on other people’s posts
- Switching off Like counts on your own posts
- Keeping full Like counts in the app
Personally, I think this feature is long overdue. The impact that social media has on the mental health of many users is massive, with vanity metrics such as likes being at the heart of this problem. Giving users control over whether the app displays likes provides the perfect balance between taking steps towards managing this problem, while still allowing influencers, who rely on these metrics, to monitor their engagement.
4. An important lesson in UX
Following the passing of Prince Philip, brands across the country shared tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh. On the whole, most have been pretty well received, however, National Rail’s decision to change their website to black and white has caused a serious backlash. While many understand why the decision was made, it has raised an important conversation around the importance of accessibility when it comes to design.
Both Network Rail and National Rail received a number of complaints from customers, as well as a leading sight charity as the changes made the website unusable for those with visual impairments. The changes have resulted in multiple conversations online about the importance of accessibility in web design, this LinkedIn thread does a great job of highlighting the key points.
It’s interesting to note that while of course there is the obvious issue around accessibility, additionally this change also had a huge impact on the UX of the site with all calls to actions being greyed out, again raising questions about the decision.
Of course, it wasn’t their intention to make the site unusable for a number of the population (I hope), however, it has made brands more aware of the need for accessibility. It’s easy to make a quick decision that you feel is correct, but it’s vital you take a step to make and questions how that decision will affect everyone.
5. Spur’s new sponsor is in the doghouse
After announcing their new partnership with Tottenham Hotspurs on Thursday morning, Dulux had to issue an apology on Thursday afternoon following a series of tweets that mocked the club. Surely this must be a record for the shortest amount of time between announcing a partnership and it nearly falling apart.
Why a football club needs an ‘Official Paint Supplier’ absolutely baffles me, but it’s always entertaining to watch a social media manager try and be fun and edgy but completely missing the mark, and even more enjoyable to watch the world of ‘Football Twitter’ have a meltdown when someone pokes fun at their beloved club.