Instagram tests visual search results, TikTok plays with AR, September the new August for travel

By Jessica L on 26 August 2021

Instagram chases TikTok, TikTok tests new tools

Next week, Instagram will replace the swipe-up feature on Stories with a new link sticker. The sticker comes with added business customisation tools and, as with the swipe-up, will probably only be available to verified users or those with a significant following. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri also announced on Wednesday that, as part of the app’s post-photo-sharing future, there are plans to feature photos and videos more prominently in key-word search results. It’s another move to compete with TikTok, who this week have begun testing a new in-app shopping experience with Shopify and experimenting with AR developer tools.

Online spending at record high

UK online spending hit a record high of £10 billion in July. According to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, which analyses billions of online transactions, this brings the UK’s year-to-date online spending to £64.9 billion, up 18% year-on-year and 56% compared with the same period in 2019. Conversely, stats show that while consumer confidence is up on last year, this month there is increased motivation to save for the future rather than spend in the short term.

September the new summer peak

A new poll of over 330,000 consumers found that September might replace August as the usual summer holiday peak this year. Over half of respondents who have already been away in 2021 indicated that they intend to plan another break before the year is up. Meanwhile, new research suggests that only 0.4% of fully vaccinated travellers tested positive for Covid-19 on their return to the UK in July.

2021 a vintage year for London hotel openings

Despite the challenges faced since early 2020, London’s hotel scene is set for some seriously noteworthy new openings this year. This piece by Architectural Digest highlights the resilience of the industry by spotlighting some of the most exciting hotel debuts and renovations in the capital. Among them are stalwarts including Claridge’s and The Berkeley who have used periods of hibernation to revamp and reinvent.

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