Holiday Shopping Trends: There are six fewer shopping days this holiday season and the holiday projections are in full swing: total online spending will increase by 14.1 percent, which is a total of $143.7 billion; retailers can expect on average 40% more social messages per day this holiday season compared to the non-holiday months in 2019; more than 20% of Millennials will start shopping on Black Friday, second only to Gen Z; and Adobe predicts that out of every five dollars spent, one of those will be spent between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday for a total of $29 billion, which equals about 20 percent of total online revenue.
The Rise of “I’m Ugly” Culture: The latest teen trend on social media is anti-glow-up and the opposite of success theater. It’s about being “real” to the point of posting embarrassing physical features, terrible childhood photos, and anything other than that perfect selfie. Key quote from Vox: “Rather than trying to compete for views and likes with the genetically gifted, kids are pivoting to self-deprecation in a way that’s less depressing than it might seem to concerned parents: it’s a reclamation of mediocrity in an online space where everyone else is an overachiever.”
Why You Should Care About Snap Spectacles v3: You probably won’t buy a $380 pair of sunglasses from Snapchat, but they are worth paying attention to as they further push glasses-enabled augmented reality into the mainstream. V3 has a depth sensor that helps create a sense of walking down a rainbow sidewalk, popping balloons with your face, or creating 3D photos. The rumors say Spectacles v4 will have AR built-in, allowing users to potentially view their creations right through the glasses themselves, instead of later on your phone.
Facebook’s TikTok Strategy: Buzzfeed News has a long-read on the story of Mark Zuckerberg trying to buy Musical.ly (now TikTok), then trying to copy it (Lasso), and now his mission to head off criticism of Facebook by vilifying TikTok. Who needs soap operas when you can follow the adventures of Silicon Valley?
Insta Testing TikTok Features: We knew this was only a matter of time, and this week there are reports that Instagram is testing a new ‘Reels’ feature as an element within Instagram Stories. Reels will enable users to create short videos which can be shared and remixed – just like TikTok. Those videos can include music, utilizing Facebook’s expanding music library, while Reels also includes a range of creative editing options, like variable playback speed and ‘ghosting’ which enables users to create more seamless scene transitions.
Demetrification is Coming: On the Friday night before a holiday weekend Instagram’s CEO announced that some U.S. users will start to see their Instagram Likes hidden this week. Designed to reduce the social pressures of social ego, this move signals the first significant move from the big social networks to demetricify social media. Soemthing to watch: VSCO already doesn’t show follower count or allow public comments in order to “focus on content over potential unhealthy comparisons.”
The Razr Flip Phone is Back! Motorola is reintroducing its iconic Razr flip phone, except this time it’s a smart phone with foldable screen and display larger than any other phone on the market. Time will tell if the foldable screen will have the same issues as the Samsung Galaxy Fold issues. But there’s nothing as rewarding as hanging up on people by flipping your phone closed to end the call.
Insta of the Week: It can be easy to look successful, rich and happy on social media. But @BallerBusters has a mission of exposing fake entrepreneurs and scammers or poseurs pretending to drive fast cars or live in huge houses.
Viral Video of the Week: This video of a small child and her dog shrieking together is 100% gold.