The Scoop: 6.15.21

With all the ongoing digital updates, we almost forgot about VR! 😎 Back in the news because of Facebook and BigBox, VR is being put to good use by helping researchers combat COVID-19. These new VR technologies are gaining more interest from pharmaceutical companies, which have long been interested in leveraging digital experiences to further advance science and research to benefit patients.

First-Party Data from Retailers and CRM Platforms Are Gaining Traction

Amazon and Salesforce are making waves in the advertising data world as marketers are shifting away from third-party cookies and finding innovative ways to activate their first-party data. Retailers such as Amazon and Walmart are finally starting to make good on long predicted industry forecasts by developing technology that will allow advertisers to attribute real-world purchases from exposure to online ads by aligning data between their DSPs and brick and mortar locations. Salesforce recently announced partnerships with Snapchat, WhatsApp and Google that will allow marketers to maintain and improve the personalized advertising tactics many brands have relied on while keeping data privacy considerations in mind. Any of this sound familiar? It should since platforms and brands have been collecting first-party data for years, but now the industry is able to scale these initiatives into actionable omni-channel programs.


Unmasking the Marketers’ Dilemma

Vaccine passports have been raising questions and further expanding the conversation around health privacy and data tracking, asking such questions as who has access to these health records? How can we ensure the records are secure? If the approach from government and business varies drastically depending on your location, what is the best path forward without a centralized system? A few examples that exemplify this issue: New York’s Excelsior Pass recently surpassed 1 million downloads while new Texas legislation bans vaccine passports. A Florida law created $5,000 penalties for businesses that require proof of vaccination (with some exemptions for healthcare organizations).

A controversy that began with a debate over the legality of disseminating medical information is also evolving into a larger debate over discrimination, according to digital rights experts, who say access to vaccines and testing restrict the social mobility of those with lesser privilege. Even small business owners are learning in real-time that they must consider the potential for social media backlash when evaluating or implementing vaccine requirements. We will be watching this topic closely to see how it evolves and impacts the public, policy makers and even digital marketers.


Improving Mental Health on Social

Naomi Osaka’s choice to prioritize her own mental health over her career, and a growing concern from parents about their children’s mental health related to their social media usage, has added more to the ongoing mental health conversation.

Social media platforms are responding by adding new features aimed at helping improve and preserve the mental health of their users:

  • Instagram and Facebook recently announced that users will have the option to hide “like” counts on both their own posts and the accounts they follow.
    • “We tested hiding like counts to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram. What we heard from people and experts was that not seeing like counts was beneficial for some, and annoying to others, particularly because people use like counts to get a sense for what’s trending or popular, so we’re giving you the choice.” – Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri
  • Reddit established a partnership with Crisis Text Line, a mental health service text line that offers 24/7 support for people in crisis.
    • This partnership enables Reddit users to flag others whose posts indicate they’re struggling or in crisis. The flagged user is then immediately sent a private message offering resources and an optional helpline where they will be connected with a crisis counselor.
  • Twitter rolled out conversation controls that enable users to pick and choose who they want to have conversation threads with on their own content, helping filter out spam or abusive replies that can have an impact on mental health.
    • For the last few years, Twitter has also partnered with local mental health organizations to offer #ThereIsHelp – a notification service that provides valuable mental health information and resources via Twitter and email.
  • Pinterest offers emotional health resources to users who search for terms related to anxiety, emotional distress and other related topics. Currently, this experience is only available in the U.S. through the Pinterest mobile app.


TikTok Stars Battle Burnout and Anxiety with Everyone Watching

Influencers are also speaking out about the toll that living in the public eye and going viral can have on their mental health and well-being. As the app continues to thrive, more creators are sharing their mental health struggles with their followers. Some of the biggest names, including Charli D’Amelio and Spencewuah, announced they’re losing passion or stepping down from the platform. This recent trend is similar to reporting that focused on Instagram influencers and YouTube influencers in the past few years. In each case, top influencers were leaving their respective platforms to combat fatigue and burnout. With 50 million people currently considering themselves creators and this cycle continuing to repeat itself, the question must be asked: Can fame be healthy and should the platforms that help create these mega-stars invest in their mental well-being?


In Other News… 

Amazon has launched Amazon Sidewalk, a networking project that automatically shares your internet connection with your neighbors via Echo devices and Ring cameras, to help pool bandwidth for everyone. But if that’s not your thing, make sure to opt out today.

And now we have memes to worry about in a different way: A Meme Stock Is Born: How to Spot the Next Reddit Favorite.

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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