This week, we’re adding ‘Furlonteer’ to our dictionaries and taking a virtual trip to Finland. It was also a big week in social media, with TikTok getting a new CEO, and Facebook launching both ‘Shops’ AND avatars. Find out why we’re excited to see Shops on social, but remaining loyal to Memojis, below.
The one you need to watch: TikTok
We know we say it every week, but that’s because every week there’s even more big news about it! The goss this week? Disney’s head of streaming is moving to TikTok, as CEO. Only months after his successful launch, Kevin Mayer has decided it’s time for a new challenge: making TikTok the biggest and best social channel. It’s a shocking time to leave Disney – after all, they’re on a real high – but if Mayer is prepared to swap Iago for influencers and dumbo for dancers, he must have a lot of faith in TikTok.
The new kind of online shopping to prepare for wallet for: Facebook Shops
Obviously, we’re not online shopping enough during lockdown. After spending our pay checks on dumbbells, office chairs, sunbathe-at-home outfits, and Etsy letterbox gifts, we’re all on the hunt for our next (non-instant) gratification high. As always, Facebook know what we’re up to, and has managed to launch its newest feature at the perfect time.
Facebook Shops, available across Facebook and Instagram, allows brands to create online stores, where people can browse and save products they’re interested in. In the US, users can even place an order right in the app through ‘checkout’.
For UK residents, the current update doesn’t hugely affect us – we could already browse, after all. The ability to save is helpful (and dangerous), but it’s the checkout feature that will really change the game. While the update currently seems to sit on the organic side of Facebook, it’ll be exciting to see how Facebook Business introduces Shops to the ads function, and how brands incorporate social into their sales strategies.
The initiative you need to show your mates: Furlonteer
As the government has announced the furlough scheme has been extended to October, a lot of those currently not working turned to social media, wondering what they will do for the next few months. While many are enjoying the time off, tapping into new and old passions, DIY-ing their house, or getting a taste of early retirement, a lot of people are searching for mental stimulation.
Furlonteer is matching those on furlough with charities such as UN Women, Duty to Care and Compassion London. If you, or anyone you know, have time on your hands and want to help, check it out.
The campaign you need to see: Rent a Finn 2.0
For the third year in a row, Finland has been named the happiest country in the world (take that, Norway!) This campaign initially launched in 2019, where holidaymakers could “Rent a Finn” to show them the sights of the country and make it the happiest visit possible. In the current global situation, Finland understands that other countries will still want to know the secret to happiness and are sharing online videos explaining how to eat and relax like a Finn.
So, if you’re wondering how we’ll be spending the Bank Holiday weekend – we’ll be eating Korvapuusti and making a DIY Sauna. Nähdään!
The update we probably didn’t need: Facebook avatars
I’ll be the first to admit: I’m obsessed with my Memoji. I think she is the cutest thing in the world, and I adore replying to texts, not with a winky emoji, but with winky mini-me, or using her sad little face to gain more sympathy than a ☹ could ever secure.
Anyone could have put a sure bet on me being the perfect audience for new avatars. But when Facebook launched theirs, it felt… Late? Boring? Useless? It’s not like Memoji was first to the game – I had a brief affair with a Bitmoji. So, if it’s not about who came first, it must be about how we use them. Facebook says you can use your avatar in three ways: On messenger, in a story, or as a comment.
The issue with creating avatars for messenger is that we already have Memojis – so what’s the point? In terms of using avatars alongside your real self in a story, Facebook is 19 years late – Lizzie Maguire owns this space.
Then, we must find a use for avatars as comments. But, that feels a bit weird. We all know that what you post, comment on, or share on Facebook goes far wider than we could imagine. Would you ever comment on a meme using a picture of yourself? No? Would you comment instead with a small cartoon with your likeness? Again, the answer seems to overwhelmingly be no. After all, Bitmoji was confined to your Snapchat friends. Memojis are shared via text or WhatsApp – again, only amongst people you carefully select.
Whether avatars will manage to take off in the same way is yet to be seen. Perhaps we’re just too attached to our Memojis. After all, how can you say no to this face?