Shifts for 2020: Blurring Boundaries

By 2020, more people will have mobile phones than running water or electricity at home.1

And for the first time in history, more people will be connected to the internet than not.1 Mobile will generate nearly half of US ecommerce sales2 and Millennials will make up half the global workforce3—but don’t look for them in customer service, given that 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human.4

A whole new world? Practically—and it’s just over 30 months away. Read more

Topics to Watch: March 2017

We love this month’s Topics to Watch, which exposes lesser known and taboo themes usually reserved for professionals, wonks and private conversations. In our search for the next big thing in creative and product development, we turn to the behaviors and conversations that have emerged as technology has advanced, cheapened and, in turn, grown widespread.


Adventure games

Adventure games are highly interactive, single player games focused on exploring and puzzle-solving. They lost relevance in recent years due to the rise of other genres like first-person shooters. But they have seen a comeback, spurred by well-publicized success stories of publishers raising crowd-funded capital, the proliferation of mobile gaming and narrative storylines falling out of cultural mega-hits like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. These last two trends have likely been the biggest drivers in their widespread adoption as their appeal grows across ages and gender.

Aerial photography

Photography has never been a stranger to Topics to Watch: we’ve reported on growing conversation across documentary photography and photomontages. These have been driven by the intersection of social media, visual arts and technology. To this last point, aerial photography owes its rise in popularity to the rise of unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones. Previously, only professionals used aerial photography in fields like real estate, surveying and architecture. Today, it’s in the hands of amateurs, fueling an appreciation of a new way to look at the world.

Display resolution

The screen battle is on. As people increasingly turn to devices for visual media—whether it be film, photos or even adventure games—technology must strive to keep up and outpace people’s expectations and the competition. Right now, this battle is being fought over display resolutions and processing speeds across mobile devices and TVs. As people expect screens to get smaller and flatter, more streaming and more complex gaming, we expect topics usually in the computer science and technology domain—like web hosting services and user experience—to continue to enter the mainstream.

E-commerce

Facebook recently reported that 2016 was the first year it saw more mobile conversions than desktop conversions for the entire Holiday Season. E-commerce is certainly not new—it’s one of the internet’s original killer apps. Today, e-commerce is not only reinventing how people buy, but also how businesses are being built. New dynamics have entered the marketplace: businesses that are direct-to-consumer, subscription-based services and expanding global platforms. The focus on e-commerce should not come as a surprise when people can order a mattress in a box!

Hair removal

Last month we saw hair transplantation. But this month we’re seeing the opposite: hair removal? These topics are two sides of the same coin: an obsession with bodily hair that traces as far back as ancient Egypt. So why now? For one, because the technology has shifted from yesteryear’s sea shell tweezers to today’s laser technology. But there’s more: today celebrities go without make-up, reality stars augment their bodies and insiders, like make-up artists, garner their own social media followings. The veil has been lifted on the lengths women go to beautify themselves—and previously taboo topics, like bodily hair, have started to surface.

Streetwear

Many see streetwear for more than the clothes—the quintessential hoodies, sneakers and t-shirts—they’re associated with. Those who create streetwear see it as a reflection of their locale (including disputed origins from California to New York) as well as the sub-cultures it often overlaps with (such as surfing, skateboarding or hip-hop). But perhaps streetwear’s defining characteristic is being produced and distributed outside of established fashion houses. Despite its humble origins, today streetwear has outsize influence on mainstream brands, which are embracing it as much as they embrace sportswear. Today, street fashion is taking its place next to high fashion.

Why Creativity Matters More in the Age of Mobile

Mobile has not only ushered in a new era of consumption for people, it’s given marketers a new canvas to tell stories. So why, then, are marketers building for mobile under the constraints of briefs and media plans built for other mediums, like TV and print? How can we as an industry break conventional norms and redefine storytelling and campaign planning now that the thumb is in charge?

Read more

Topics to Watch: February 2017

The latest edition of Topics to Watch shows how creativity, innovation and technology are disrupting age-old industries. From a new spin on dryers to fat freezing and mattresses being delivered in boxes, nothing is as it was. So as we look for the next big thing in creative and product development, we examine how certain industries have evolved to better meet people’s needs.

 

Clothes Dryer
One of the many conveniences of modern life, the clothes dryer continues to evolve with new ultrasound technology that dries clothes at warp speed, saving energy and making the laundry process more efficient and environmentally friendly. But high-tech machinery isn’t the only efficient option to dry your clothes—the market is flooded with other choices, like portable dryers, wardrobe dryers and heated racks.

Cryolipolysis
Cryolipolysis is a medical procedure that eliminates fat by freezing it using a laser, thereby destroying the fat cells. Commonly referred to as “fat freezing,” it is touted as a non-invasive alternative to liposuction. The word itself is a blend of cryogenics (freezing) and lipolysis (breakdown of fats). Men are driving the conversation about this topic, further proof of the growing trend of men wanting to look and feel healthier.

Hair Transplantation
Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that redistributes hair follicles where needed. It’s been most commonly used to treat male pattern baldness, but now women are getting into the hair transplanting game. It can be used on eyebrows and eyelashes as an alternative to permanent makeup for women. Big eyebrows are all the rage, and if you can’t grow them, now you can transplant them.

Infant Body Suit
More commonly called a “onesie,” an infant body suit has always been a wardrobe stable for infants. Now onesies with funny sayings are popping up everywhere. So before babies can talk, their clothes are talking for them. From announcing their arrival with “Hello world” to declaring their love for their family with “My mom is taken, but my aunt is single” and revealing “Eat.Sleep.Poop.Repeat.” as their favorite pastimes, infant body suits are anything but baby talk.

Lodging
Technology has changed the way we travel, giving us the ability to curate our vacations into more immersive experiences, like “yoga detoxes,” “extreme adventures” or “surrender breaks.” Endless lodging options are available to suit the specific needs for whatever experience you desire. RV parks, tree houses, glamping tents, luxury hotels, bed and breakfasts and house rentals are all up for grabs with just a click and a credit card.

Mattress
Mattress shopping used to happen exclusively in big department stores or mattress stores, where you were presented with an overwhelming number of options, hefty price tags and two-week delivery windows. Startups have disrupted that process, now offering fewer options—often online—at affordable prices and delivering your purchase right to your door in a box. Mattress buying made simple.

Winning hearts on Valentine’s Day

During the first big consumer holiday of the year, people spend billions showing affection for loved ones.1  They come to Facebook and Instagram to connect over happiness and heartbreak and share in the moment with loved ones of all kinds. We took a look at how conversations played out on our platforms surrounding Valentine’s Day 2016.  Read more

How Virtual Reality Facilitates Social Connection

You’re sitting on a train across from someone you’ve never met. You fall into conversation, chatting about everything from your hobbies to relationships to life milestones.

One other detail—you’re wearing an Oculus Rift. The train is virtual, and you and your new acquaintance appear as avatars. How does this affect your level of engagement? Your ability to establish an emotional connection?

Read more

Unveiling the Beauty Secrets of the Modern Asian Woman

For 1 in 4 Asian women, a typical morning routine involves the daily application of 16 beauty products to their face that average a total product cost of US$229.

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Interested in what drives this and other beauty habits, Facebook IQ commissioned TapestryWorks to survey 4,158 and interview 64 women in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea.  These respondents provided insights about their beauty regimes in the cultural context of living in their respective countries, and then our experts enriched the study with Facebook and Instagram behavioral data.

We found that while women in these markets share similar beauty goals, their visions of beauty vary widely. We also found that Asian beauty shoppers like to experiment with new or alternative looks—and most are still on a quest to find their perfect beauty match. Although many visit the beauty counter, nearly 40% ultimately make their purchase online or on mobile.

Read more

Facebook and Instagram: A Tale of Two Feeds

It’s early evening in the US. A 55-year-old checks Facebook to laugh at her grandchildren’s latest antics, then she scrolls through Instagram to spark ideas about her upcoming kitchen remodel. Across the world, a 23-year-old in Japan opens Instagram on his way to work, eager to see what his favorite pop stars are up to. Then he browses Facebook to see if his friends have agreed on a karaoke location for that night.

While people turn to both Facebook and Instagram throughout the day to connect with family, friends and the world, it’s clear that each platform plays a different role in their lives. But what, exactly, are those roles? And do they vary based on people’s age, gender and geography? Read more

The New Mobile Primer for Beauty

Mobile devices and the visual web are making beauty more transparent and accessible than ever before. With that, real women are rewriting the rules of beauty and shaping trends in equal measure alongside big beauty brands and esteemed beauty experts. Today, our beauty inspiration not only comes from runways and glossy-magazine spreads, but from a friend’s selfie, a blog on this season’s hot look or a time-lapsed “how to” video on the latest make-up trick. And, the once linear path to purchase is much more complicated—Facebook data reveal that 34% of beauty and personal care purchases took place on mobile during Holiday 2015. Read more