What’s trending socially in the GCC

Here’s an overview and analysis of the latest social media news and trends in the GCC



The top three most discussed topics were health, politics, and education in that order followed by technology, and entertainment.

Health discussions revolved around supporting healthcare workers and reports around the dangers of Covid-19.

Political discussions were about the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson contracting coronavirus, Joe Biden becoming the Democratic Party’s front runner in the US, and comparisons between the poor response towards the pandemic by US President Donald Trump and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro.

Conversations about Education were mainly around memes of online education becoming the new normal and the safety of Zoom for education. Other hot topics discussed under technology and entertainment included Google and Apple collaborating to develop a contact tracing system, and Netflix and YouTube capping video quality to relieve network strain.

The latest updates to social media platforms include:

LinkedIn:

  • Launches Spotify playlists with inspiring music choices for all steps of your career
  • Releases ‘Conversation Ads’ that can include multiple interactive CTAs to private message Ads
  • To provide free job listings for essential services
  • Launches a new ‘Featured’ section in profiles to display top achievements and links
  • Is trying new ways to launch ‘Stories’ aimed at making users engage in productive conversations
  • Expands access to ‘Events’ tool allowing all pages to foster virtual connections

Twitter:

  • Is providing expert crisis communication advice to brands
  • Enhances live broadcasts by allowing users to invite guests to live videos before they start streaming
  • Ramps up account verification for authoritative figures like epidemiologists and doctors
  • Localises the content ‘Explore’ tab making content more relevant to your location
  • Is taking away your choice to share ‘ad measurements’ with ad partners
  • Eases restriction on Covid-19 mentions

Facebook:

  • Introduces a connecting your social activities with brands’ loyalty programmes
  • Rolls out ‘Mood’ mode to utilise GIFs as focus in stories
  • Launches Coronavirus Information Centre
  • Allows you to explore social trends through its subsidiary CrowdTangle
  • Introduces new measures to limit forwarding of misinformation
  • Enhances Live features adding closed captions and fund-raising functions
  • Launches Covid-19 support hub on Messenger for emotional support
  • Is testing adding a Covid-19 reaction button to posts
  • Adds ‘Auto-status’ on Messenger to automatically update your status based on your location
  • Ramps up Ads Manager with a new ‘Experiments’ section including A/B and holdout tests
  • Introduces ‘Community Help’ where people can volunteer or request assistance within their community
  • Introduces more video features like playlists, series, and bulk uploading
  • Rolls out Messenger app for desktop
  • Introduces ‘Quiet Mode’ to help you better manage your time
  • Allows you to cross post your stories on Instagram

YouTube:

  • To monetise videos discussing Covid-19 relaxing its ‘Sensitive Event’s policy’
  • Is replacing ‘Trending’ with ‘Explore’ to expand the videos you can discover
  • Limits default video quality to avoid straining bandwidth capabilities at this time
  • Is preparing to launch ‘Shorts’ a rival product to TikTok

WhatsApp:

  • Is testing disappearing messages

Google:

  • Launches real-time language transcription for Android users

 

Fadi Khater is the founder and managing partner of digital marketing agency Netizency