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News And Views

News & Views

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  • 9 April 2020
  • Rachel Powell & Lucy Ruff

Digital adaptations in the time of Coronavirus

All of us have had to adapt to new ways of living and working thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social platforms have also had to flex to reflect the new times and as many brand campaigns and events switch to digital. Here’s a roundup of some of the key changes across the platforms.

COVID-19 Community Help hub launched on Facebook

Back in 2017, Facebook launched its Community Help feature to give users a way to offer assistance, search for help and receive help in the wake of a crisis such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters. The feature has been expanded in response to the ongoing pandemic, with the launch of a new, global COVID-19 Community Help hub. The feature allows Facebook users to request or offer help to those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as to donate to non-profit fundraisers. It will launch first in the US, Canada, France, UK and Australia – the first time it’s been launched on a global scale.

New features for Facebook Live

Live videos have been something of a saviour for many people recently (will anyone ever need to go to a gym again?) and the figures show, with Facebook Live viewers jumping 50 per cent in the last month. Facebook has announced several new features to make Live more prominent on the platform – including the automatic addition of close captions; the removal of geo-gating restrictions, meaning that people without Facebook accounts can now see public Live videos; and a new toggle to Live videos, enabling people in areas with low bandwidth to view important broadcasts without the sound.

YouTube plans to launch TikTok rival

It’s no secret that TikTok has boomed during lockdown – with celebs, influencers, and regular users all seemingly getting involved with the short-form video sharing network. YouTube is reportedly looking to compete directly by launching “Shorts”, which will allow people to upload brief videos into a feed inside the mobile app and take advantage of licensed music that YouTube has in its catalogue.

TikTok’s #HappyAtHome initiative

Staying at home is now the new normal for everyone at the moment. To help with the boredom, TikTok has partnered with musicians, actors and comedians to live stream daily. According to TikTok the goal of this initiative is to; “share in a bit of levity, provide some comfort, and embrace the responsibility we all have to do the right thing by staying inside and stopping the spread.”

Some of the LIVE! experiences include:

  • Motivation Monday: inspirational talks, workouts, dance classes, and cooking tips featuring Tyra Banks, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Derek Hough, tWitch & Allison Holker, and Eitan Bernath.
  • Kick Back Tuesday: games night, makeup tutorials, and chat sessions with the likes of Loren Gray, Charli D'Amelio, Adam Ray, and Addison Rae.
  • Show & Tell Wednesday: step into magic tricks with Zach King, keep it real with iconic actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross, and much more
  • EduTok Thursday: Dr. Phil and Bill Nye bring thoughtful conversations, advice, and life tips and Q&A sessions with the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Sound Check Friday: intimate performances from top artists' homes to yours including GRAMMY award winner and host Alicia Keys, with Jason Derulo, Megan Thee Stallion, Troye Sivan, Meghan Trainor, Yungblud, Hailee Steinfeld, Lauv, Kelsea Ballerini, and DJ Khaled.

Instagram helps users stay connected during lockdowns

In a bid to bring people together whilst also sane during lockdown, Instagram has launched a new media sharing feature called Co-Watching. The new feature allows you to browse your Instagram account (feed, liked photos, etc.) together with your friends over video chat, giving users a new way to be together. The feature comes alongside several other COVID-19 updates, including a new “Stay Home” sticker and a wider rollout of Instagram’s donation sticker.