Coronavirus leads the way on Google

Google this week released its top 10 searches of 2020 and it’s no surprise to find the c word at no.1. In fact, with coronavirus symptoms, coronavirus update, and Eat Out To Help also featuring, 40% of the top 10 was directly linked to the pandemic. Politics and tragic deaths also piqued our interest with Boris Johnson US Elections, Caroline Flack and Kobe Bryant  all featuring in the top 10. 

Other key searches revealed by Google included the top ‘how to…?’ trends – all heavily influenced by coronavirus and lockdown - including how to wear a face mask, how to bake bread, and how to cut your own hair – the top delivery searches - including afternoon tea, wine and milk - as well as the top lyric searches. And if you’re wandering, that was for the lyrics to WAP…and I have to admit I had to Google that myself to find out who’s song that was (sorry Cardi offence meant!)

See all the top searches here:

Tailored rules for tech ‘giants’

On the subject of Google, they are one of the companies, along with Facebook and Amazon who may find themselves subject to more stringent anti-competition rules in the UK in the near future.

The UK is set to issue the large tech companies with sets of rules customised to each firm, and penalise them if they fail to obey. The tailored codes of conduct is part of a plan unveiled by the Competition and Markets Authority, which it says would "proactively shape the behaviour" of the companies.

For the rules, which would allow the new unit to fine tech companies up to 10% of their turnover if they fail to comply with anti-competition regulation, to come into force though legislation needs to be passed – and MPs may not vote on this until May 2022.

Read more here:

Snapchat to pay for best viral clips

First there were reports that Instagram was going to pay creators to lure them away from Tik Tok, and now it’s the turn of Snapchat, to splash the cash.

Launching their new Spotlight feature, Snapchat – itself the original inspiration for Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Stories and Twitter Fleets – is offering a share of a daily $1m prize for the most entertaining pictures and videos.

Snapchat launched the new feature in an attempt to stop its content going viral on other channels, and instead to give it a new way to be discovered where it was created first. The company said: “Spotlight will surface the most entertaining snaps from the Snapchat community all in one place, and will become tailored to each Snapchatter over time based on their preferences and favourites.”

Read more here:

Are Instagram giveaways a losing formula?

You may have noticed recently that Instagram updated its Ts and Cs (although like most of us you probably just accepted them without reading). Within the Ts and Cs though, is a section on Instagram Recommendations – content that is allowed on the platform but that it may not recommend to people through its algorithm - through Instagram Explore for example. One of these sections is ‘content that users broadly tell us they dislike’ and as well as ‘clickbait’ this section includes ‘content that promotes a contest or giveaway’.

So while many companies run giveaways as a way to reach and engage more people, it appears that, organically at least, those giveaways have less chance of reaching people than your other content. That’s not to say giveaways don’t have a place – perhaps as way of rewarding existing fans, or of launching a new product (offering people the chance to win and be the first to use it) – but clearly it appears that even consumers do not want to see so many of them. As with all activity, the key objective needs to be looked at – if you’re after a quick boost then a giveaway may help – but if you’re looking to grow the brand and gain loyal ambassadors there are often more creative, and genuine, ways to do this.

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