Mobilizing for Summer

Summer is a season for people to connect with family and friends, stay active and feel good. And mobile has created opportunities to stay connected beyond the moments we share in person. On Facebook, we saw that 92% of Summer-related conversations in the US took place on mobile in 2016—that’s 12.38x more conversation on mobile than on desktop.

With mobile as our constant companion, it’s more important than ever to connect with people on the go. Check-in locations can offer a glimpse into the ways people stay active and engaged during the season.
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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.

How to Reach People During Back-to-School Season

From July through September, parents and children alike buzz with that one-of-a-kind Back-to-School energy. It’s a time of joy and stress—a time to make a lot of decisions. And with nearly half of parents of school-aged children in the US saying mobile devices help them make family purchases,the role of mobile in reaching people during Back-to-School season is bigger than ever.

Facebook IQ was interested in how the Back-to-School conversation has evolved since the rise of mobile, so we studied what people are saying on our platforms and how they are saying it. 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.

Cooking Up a Crave: The Role of Mobile in Fast Food Dining

You’re going about your day, maybe feeling a little hungry. Suddenly it strikes—the crave! You need that taco, burger or french fry, and you need it now. So you whip out your smartphone to check out the clos­est fast food joint. Craving your favorite food might not be a new feeling, but the way you act on it? That’s changing, thanks in large part to mobile.  Read more

Super Bowl LI on Facebook and Instagram

Fans turned to Facebook and Instagram during Super Bowl LI as the Patriots beat the Falcons 34–28 in overtime at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Worldwide, 64 million people joined the conversation on Facebookenough to fill the stadium almost 900 times over. 44 million joined the conversation on Instagram.

People discussed everything from New England’s incredible comeback to Lady Gaga’s halftime show to Audi’s “Daughter” ad. All in all, Facebook recorded 240 million interactions and Instagram saw 150 million interactions.1
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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

Awards Night on Facebook and Instagram

During the biggest night in entertainment, the party is on Facebook and Instagram. We took a look at how conversations played out on our platforms surrounding the 2016 show.

During the 88th Academy Awards®, 24 million people worldwide generated 67 million event-related posts, likes and comments on Facebook.1 And on Instagram, 19 million people worldwide generated 64 million event-related interactions.1

So it’s no surprise that surrounding this cultural moment, the winner is … mobile. In 2016, the conversation was bigger than ever on Facebook and Instagram, growing 15% globally year over year.1 And the vast majority of related posts, videos and photos (89% in the US and 78% in Canada) were shared on mobile. 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?

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