TikTok triumphs, Instagram introduces Limits, Google reveals travel search trends

By Jessica L on 12 August 2021

TikTok takes top spot

TikTok has overtaken Facebook as the world’s most downloaded app for the first time since 2018, following the tremendous success of its short-form videos. Various stats show that social app users were largely seeking entertaining and uplifting content over the course of the pandemic, something TikTok does particularly well. 

Instagram introduces Limits

This week Instagram announced a new set of features to help combat abuse on the platform. The release notes the existing community guidelines but adds that “we also want to protect people from having to experience this abuse in the first place”. ‘Limits’ will prevent unwanted comments and DMs from non-followers and recent followers when the user anticipates a surge in negative attention. Additionally, the app is rolling out stronger warnings when people try to post potentially offensive comments and a ‘Hidden Words’ feature, which allows users to filter abusive DM requests.

Sustainable Santa

The IPA has found that 56% of 18-24 year-olds intend to act more sustainably this Christmas, rejecting landfill-bound presents in favour of more environmentally friendly alternatives. An unsurprising finding given increased awareness around the immediacy of the climate crisis and the tendency for Gen-Z to align with purposeful brands. What is less encouraging is that only 51% expect to have a better time this year than they did in a locked down 2020.

Google travel search trends

The latest Think with Google report looks at what search trends mean for travel marketers today. The research reveals that only 9% of travel marketers believe their business is completely prepared for what the next phase of travel will bring, as companies grapple with ever-shifting needs and behaviours. Four consumer trends are identified: travelling for people, not places; domestic stays; sustainability and a cautious mindset.

Overseas travel nerves as UK stays surge

Reflecting Google's insights, new research carried out this week by ABTA shows that more than a quarter of people still feel overseas travel from the UK should be prohibited, even as the number of double-vaccinated adults exceeds 75%. The travel association also found resistance to holidays abroad among younger groups, which it attributes to lower rates of vaccination, though they added that “people do want to travel, but there is a lot of nervousness, so travel brands need to factor this into the messaging and positioning”. In other news, a study led by Saga revealed that 36% of people have been unable to book a UK break this summer due to high demand, despite spending around five hours on average searching for a staycation. Almost a third are resigned to staying at home.

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