May 21st, 2020

A Masked New Normal

From Apple adapting to the maksed new normal, the newest music guidelines influencing our IG entertainment, all the way to Facebook introducing "Shops", we've got all the information you need!

Apple on Covid-19

Apple is about to release its newest software update iOS13.5 which includes the first version of Apple’s Covid-19 exposure notification API. Through Bluetooth, when you come close to another person, both iPhones will exchange anonymous identifiers to assess whether the other person has tested positive for Covid-19. If so, the iPhone automatically shares a list of everyone they have been in contact with to iCloud. Once the list is downloaded, every person that has been in contact with them will be notified and the iPhone prompts to inform health authorities.

Additionally, with the new update also comes an adjustment to the Face ID feature. Face ID now recognises if you are wearing a mask and automatically switches to the passcode screen to facilitate the unlocking process.

Facebook Guidelines Updated

Facebook has updated its guidelines regarding usage of music in Facebook Live, Instagram Live and shared videos. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook and Instagram Live have experienced a dramatic surge in popularity, with many users incorporating music in the background and/or in their videos.

Facebook released a blog post on May 20th:

“Music is a bonding force in normal times. During difficult and isolating times like this, we know it can be even more important. As social distancing has forced everyone to stay apart, more people have turned to Instagram and Facebook Live to stay connected with their communities. This rapid rise in usage has created a lot of good during this crisis—raising money for frontline workers and underserved communities, driving awareness of healthy habits, encouraging people to stay safe by staying home and bringing people together through new forms of entertainment. But it’s also highlighted some confusion across the community, especially around the use of recorded music in Live on both Facebook and Instagram.”

While there are no limits on music usage in Facebook and Instagram stories, live videos are more likely to be flagged when incorporating full-length songs. Additionally, Facebook highlighted that its Sound Collection incorporates a wide array of songs from various genres and artists that should be made use of instead.

To notify users ahead of posting, there are now pop up notifications when music is detected that does not comply with the new licensing standards. Facebook now also provides clear instructions on how to take action to restore content once it has been muted or blocked.

Social Network Shopping

And while we’re on the topic of Facebook and Instagram – the social apps have just released a new feature called “Shops”. In the announcement on May 19th, Facebook stated:

“Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customise the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colours that showcase their brand. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.”

‘Shops’ aims to make it easier for small businesses to set up eCommerce that customers can access on both Facebook and Instagram. Users can discover shops directly on their newsfeed as well as through advertising and stories. Facebook is aiming to make it easy for customers to get in contact with the business directly through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram DMs.

In showcasing products through IG live and stories, ‘Shops’ also makes it easier to make purchases in real time – the products are shown at the bottom of the screen and viewers can simply tap the product to purchase! Loyalty programs and schemes are to be incorporated further along the road, once ‘Shops’ is more established.

‘Shops’ is being gradually rolled out, starting with businesses that already use the shopping feature on Instagram, eventually extending to others over the next few months.