Instagram opens its own real-life pop-ups and Alexa gets religious

Read on for some insight into the world of marketing, social and tech in Collider’s Weekly Musings.

Instagram’s pop-up: a lesson in experiential shopping

As large retailers like House of Fraser and Homebase are falling victims to the much dreaded ‘death of the high street’, Instagram is well aware that consumers still value the experience of shopping IRL and is tapping into this need by opening a pop-up shop in London’s Covent Garden. Instagram’s pop-up experiment will feature online fashion, jewellery and stationery brands much to the excitement of young users of the platform who are used to seeing such brands only in digital form. The contrast between the general high street crisis and a new wave of digital pop-up excitement confirms that experiential activities are still a powerful form of marketing. Find out about the dates and location here…

GENERATION RENT MAKING US ALL borrowers?

Millennials, the generation that ruined the napkin industry and created Airbnb and Zipcar, have started another trend powered by the inability to establish permanent homes triggering furniture brands to develop products and services that don’t rely on ownership.

Whether it’s purely down to economic necessity, smart technology, ease of use, or a byproduct of ethical thinking about the environment and sustainability – this behavioural change is giving way to “furniture as a service”, another sector joining the subscription economy. This provides a new opportunity for brands to rethink the relationship they have with customers with Harth being one of the first companies to offer this service and Casper creating The Dreamery, a place where exhausted New Yorkers can hire a sleep pod for up to 45 minutes. More about this here…

Instagram – forward-thinking or stuck in the dark ages?

It was confirmed this week that Instagram is not planning to add a reposting function any time soon, with an Instagram spokesperson saying that it is not something the company is currently building or testing. A feature the company has been reluctant on rolling out, even though it has become a staple on Twitter and Facebook. Although allowing a quick way to repost could be problematic, as we’ve seen with Facebook and Twitter’s efforts to dampen down ‘fake news’, which can quickly spread as a result. But Instagram is still keeping themselves busy and has got several exciting features coming up in the pipeline! Find what they are here…

Google and Facebook to pay journalism tax in a bid to stop ‘fake news’

Should sites like Google and Facebook pay an annual tax to fund UK journalism? This is what the News Media Association, the British newspaper industry’s trade body, is proposing. The organisation argues that the loss of advertising revenues that are now filling the coffers of global search engines and social media companies, who make no meaningful contribution to support quality journalism, has had a detrimental impact on the news industry and is directly causing the spread of clickbait ‘fake news’ online. Will an imposed tax really make the shift needed for better journalism and end the spread of ‘fake news’? Find out more here…

Alexa goes to church

It’s true that tech disruption has an impact on every type of organisation, across all industries: governments, schools and cities are no exception – and neither is the Church of England, shortlisted for Best Use of Digital for its Alexa Skill. The Alexa skill launched in May this year, and enables Alexa to recite the Lord’s Prayer, say grace before a meal, answer questions about church figures, and even respond to deep, existential questions like, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” Goes to show that no matter how ancient your brand is, a digital revamp goes a long way. Find out more here…

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