Relatable influencers reign, Facebook's 'metaverse' takes shape, consumers hold brands to higher standards

By Jessica L on 20 August 2021

Rise of the ‘everyday’ influencer

New research reveals that over half (56%) of global consumers now favour ‘everyday influencers’ on social media over those with seemingly perfect lives. This dovetails with tightening UK regulations on social media advertising and a growing trend for authenticity online, with non-sponsored posts such as recommendations, reviews, photos and videos gaining most trust (83%). It’s a particularly interesting shift for the beauty industry; four out of five consumers think influencers should have to disclose the use of retouching or filters used on public content, a law already passed in Norway last month.

Misinformation and the metaverse

Earlier this week, Twitter released a test feature in some regions allowing users to report Tweets as “It’s misleading”, as part of broader work to tackle misinformation on the platform. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg’s latest step towards his ‘metaverse’ vision is Horizon Workrooms, a VR workplace. Facebook is also following in the green-pledging footsteps of Apple and Microsoft by stating plans to become “water positive” by 2030, which means restoring more than the substantial amount of water it uses, primarily in cooling datacentres.

Holding brands to account

Consumers are increasingly holding brands accountable for their words when it comes to sustainability. A BBC Global News study found 81% agree that clearly demonstrating a commitment to sustainability adds value to a brand, while 79% say sustainable practices and commitments are an important consideration when making purchase decisions. The findings highlight the importance of walking the talk as a new generation of consumers looks to brands with authentic values.

Cancel culture

Flexible cancellation is an essential booking condition for hotels this year as travel freedoms remain changeable. However, the impact on UK hotels is being felt as many people make last-minute plans to take their chances overseas. Reportedly, cancellation rates are topping 50%, with couples six times more likely to change their minds as families. The insights also show that city hotels are particularly affected, but cancellations are less likely when bookings have been made directly.

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