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

Navigating the Multidevice Travel Path to Purchase

Who doesn’t love a weekend getaway? Escaping the pressures of our increasingly busy lives to indulge our thirst for wanderlust will always be one of life’s greatest pleasures.

But the way people plan and book their getaways is very different than it used to be. People increasingly use (and switch between) multiple devices along their paths to purchase. But only one device is progressively growing in importance—and that is mobile. Read more

Marking Milestones: Women on Facebook in Indonesia

Social network usage among Internet users is higher in Indonesia than in any country in Southeast Asia, and Facebook is cited as being one of the country’s most popular social networks.1

We wanted to understand what this meant for a key segment of people in Indonesia: women ages 18–45. As a sister study to Portraits of Women on Facebook in Thailand, Facebook IQ commissioned TNS to conduct a study of the unique role Facebook plays in the lives of these women as they mark key life milestones. Read more