The Scoop: 5.4.21

“What is ‘the new normal’” is a question we’re all figuring out together. So, we decided to turn last week’s look at post-pandemic marketing into a series we’ll update each time something notable hits the news cycle. See below for this week’s topic: health and fitness. On that note, one online publisher is building out its self-care/mental health vertical with a focus on navigating the “return to normalcy”, while more people traveling this summer will mean a different kind of vacation prep. Other news to note? Twitter is launching a campaign encouraging users to support local news and follow local journalists. P.S. May the 4th Be With you.

This Week in “The New Normal”: Health and Fitness

Despite the explosion of at-home, digital-first fitness this past year, a staggering 42% of adults reported “undesired weight gains due to COVID-19,” with an average increase of 29 pounds. At-home fitness brands such as Peloton say they expect the increase in digital workouts to stick. “It is the future of fitness, COVID or not,” said CEO John Foley. Moreover, Fitness companies including Barry’s and Orangetheory report notable increases in membership, and Crunch is revamping its marketing efforts, more than doubling its budget for customer reacquisition from 10% to 25%. Time will tell if we see at-home sticking around or if heading back to the gym causes dips in engagement, and how this dichotomy will affect other consumer activities such as grocery shopping…


What if AI Isn’t Intelligent?

We have all become accustomed to algorithms, but have we stopped to ask whether AI is intelligent after all? AI is designed by human engineers, leading to the introduction of bias into their code. As Kate Crawford describes in her new book, Atlas of AI, artificial intelligence isn’t artificial or intelligent as it isn’t able to discern things without extensive human training. This understanding is starting to take hold as people have begun questioning the usefulness of photo recognition services such as Clearview AI. Even Twitter is examining its own algorithms to understand potential bias in the platform. Now, policy makers are starting to get involved to try to limit AI use in high-risk systems such as employment or housing and potentially healthcare. Even though AI may help detect A-fib in some patients now, it may not be the future we were promised.


The Making of the Audio Room Underdog Story

Clubhouse continues to grow – even securing a new funding round valuing the app at $4 billion – despite increasing competition. The recent expansion of Twitter Spaces has highlighted an area Clubhouse lacks – reaching Android users – though the app is moving forward in that direction. Clubhouse also recently announced its first official sports partnership with the NFL, giving football fans a compelling reason to keep using the app and invite their friends to join the conversation. While impressive, this activity begs the question of whether the app will be able to continue its growth and remain a top choice for users when more options become available.


Don’t Forget About the Other Audio Boom: Updates in Podcasting

Every social media platform seems to be developing its own Clubhouse duplicate, but podcasting continues to grow in popularity, and its two biggest players are undergoing a major update. In 2021, 41% of the U.S. population age 12+ listened to a podcast at least once a month, and The Daily (from The New York Times) reached more people per day than primetime views of popular cable news networks. Apple recently added paid subscription capabilities, enhanced reporting metrics for creators, and a design revamp. Apple’s biggest podcast competitor, Spotify, is deepening its partnership with Facebook to integrate its player into the newsfeed, allowing users to listen to and comment on shows on the social network.


How Social Platforms Have Prepared for Apple’s IDFA Update

Apple’s new, highly talked-about App Tracking Transparency requirements are now live and part of the latest iOS14 update. New and existing apps must declare what form of tracking the app will use and share an explanation that can be included in the opt-in system prompt to explain why the app would like to track the user. It’s expected that many users will choose to opt out of data tracking, which will have a monumental impact on factors such as targeting and measurement for digital advertisers.

Here’s a collection of iOS14 resources from social platforms, outlining the anticipated impacts of Apple’s IDFA update:

  • Facebook shared guidance on how to prepare for iOS14 and has worked to inform advertisers on the update’s other impacts such as delayed Ads Manager reporting and limiting the number of website pixel events.
  • Twitter released an internal statement on how to prepare for iOS14’s IDFA updates and created an iOS14 resource center that provides information to help understand the impact the update will have on Twitter’s different advertising products from App install campaigns to audience targeting.
  • TikTok published a statement on how it plans to support its advertising partners, highlighting the anticipated impact the IDFA updates will have on app install and catalog sale objective campaigns.
  • Snapchat launched an iOS14 resource hub to detail the impact the update will have on its advertising products, including web campaign measurement, web campaign targeting, and web campaign optimization.


In Other News… 

Citizen Kane may be a cinematic classic, but it’s no longer on the top of Rotten Tomatoes. After a Twitter user found an 80-year-old negative review of the film, its perfect score on the Tomatometer dropped from 100% to 99% and made Paddington Bear 2 the top-rated film on the site.

When Josh Swain challenged strangers on the Internet (also named Josh Swain) to a Highlander-esque duel, he never imagined it would come to fruition in a Nebraska field. But what started as a joke ended up raising over $11,000 for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation, all thanks to a viral tweet.

Real Chemistry’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

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Real Chemistry Social Team
Real Chemistry Social Team

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