TMacmojis for Xmas, a Happy Cowboy and a retail slayer

22 December 2016 8:56 am

The folk at Instagram were obviously very good this year because Santa has brought them an early Christmas gift in the form of a bump in 100 million global users in the last six months.

Instagram attributes this growth, now 600 million users worldwide a whopping half of whom are daily users, to its recent spate of updates. Instagram devotees seem to be enjoying the platform’s evolution; copycat artistry or no!

It’s not just everyday users digging Instagram’s vibe lately, brands have developed an all new affection for the platform. User engagement with brands on Instagram is currently 10 times higher than on Facebook, and 54 times higher than on Twitter. Unlike the more “directory” style Facebook, or political/news focused Twitter, Instagram has well and truly cemented itself as the social platform for following brands: roughly half of users follow brands.

If you’ve not yet downloaded the latest iOS update, you’re in for a treat! Apple this week released 100 all-new emoji, and has redesigned the ones we know and love. The fruit of the year: avocado, now has its own emoji – “finally!” exclaim the hip brunch-sters! But of course, our resident Texstralian is most excited about the new Cowboy emoji. Meanwhile, inspired by Kimoji, TMac is putting the development of TMacmojis firmly on the agenda for 2017; watch this space (jokes).

Looking to the New Year, tastemakers and strategists are saying 2017 will be all about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. To break it down for you: virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation or recreation of a real-life environment or situation (it’s the one with the goggles).

Augmented reality is technology that layers computer-generated enhancements on top of an existing reality (like Pokémon Go!). Facebook and YouTube have already introduced 360-degree video, a form of VR, so we can reasonably expect marketers to start actively exploring clever ways to leverage this technology to maximum effect. To learn more, check out how VR and AR is already being used by brands like Marriott in the tourism and travel sector.

Lastly, but by no means least, there were rumours that multinational online retailer of “everything” (books, food, gifts, music, games, groceries: see, everything), last week launched Amazon Prime in Australia to rival streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Presto. It’s available for $2.99 per month for the first six months, reverting to the full price of $5.99 after that. Hooray for cheap streaming!

In more amazing Amazon news, the giant is preparing to put physical stores on the ground in Australia in the first quarter of 2017, with the national rollout to be complete by the end of the year. What will it mean for Aussie retailers? Dubbed a “retail killer”, the prognosis is not great; but we’ll have to wait and see.

For some interesting, festive-period reading check out Amazon’s pilot “Go” store in Seattle: the first ever “just walk out”, check out free-grocery store. Some amazing technology going on there, worth checking out! Imagine Christmas shopping with no lines! What a wonderful world.
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

You can listen to Meg’s chat with Tony McManus here:

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