Over the last few months the world has drastically changed, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting almost every aspect of our lives. I don’t know about you but my scrolling time has certainly increased as we turn to our devices to help cope with life and work under lockdown.

Here I take a look at how our favourite social platforms have adapted to the ‘new normal.’

Facebook Messenger Rooms

Video calls have taken centre-stage in many people’s lives over the last few months – my family quiz is now a weekly highlight. In response to the move towards video calls, Facebook Rooms – a feature where users are able to host a video room where they can chat to up to 50 friends at the same time.

Facebook launches Shops

Remember how people said we’d save money during lockdown? Yeah, I haven’t either. With online retail sales on the up and two in five UK shoppers saying they will make more online purchases after lockdown ends, it’s clear the pandemic is going to have a permanent impact on the acceleration of ecommerce.

As bricks-and-mortar businesses race to adapt, Facebook has announced the launch of Shops, a new update that enables users to browse and buy products directly from a businesses’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile.

Pinterest introduces Shopping Spotlight

Pinterest has rolled out Shopping Spotlights, a function which gives avid Pinners like me access to expert recommendations from fashion and home influencers and publishers. Spotlights will appear on the search tab with articles featuring product Pins linking directly to in-stock retailer product pages where Pinners can make purchases – sorry again, bank account.

Instagram announces new Guides feature

 In response to the pandemic, Instagram has launched Guides, which aims to help people discover recommendations, tips and other content from creators on its platform. Guides focuses on wellness and mental-health related content, which we all really need right now.

Workplace from Facebook gets an update

 Mark Zuckerberg recently announced Workplace from Facebook has now reached five million paid users, up from three million last October. With remote working not going away anytime soon, there’s been some updates to the platform, including Workplace Rooms, a new Live Producer tool, and the roll out of Oculus for Business.

Instagram adds to its Live offering

 Have you noticed your favourite influencers are going Live more during lockdown? Instagram has seen a surge in users going live over the last three months and has rolled out a handful of new features to make watching and saving Live content easier, including the functionality for desktop users to watch and comment on Live videos, and the ability to upload finished live streams directly to IGTV.

As we start to come further out of lockdown and businesses begin to reopen, we’re looking forward to putting these new features into practice.

Laura Stainton is a social media account director at Whistle PR which offers a range of integrated communications services including strategic consultancy, PR, social media, community engagement, internal communications and issues management. For further information, email info@whistlepr.co.uk or contact us here.