UK Media & Consumer Market Update — 26 November, 2020
Accurate as of: 25 November 2020
Current UK status:
Visit https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ for all official information.
- As of 6pm on 24 November 2020, a total of 38,834,497 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 1,538,794 were confirmed positive.
- 55,838 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
- England remains under a national lockdown. The guidance is to stay at home, and all non-essential shops have closed. On 2 December, at the end of the period, the Government guidance will return to a regional, tiered lockdown approach, based on the latest data.
- Guidance for the current national lockdown can be found
UK travel restrictions:
Visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office for all official information.
- The new lockdown guidance states that travel is not permitted, this includes both domestic and international travel, unless for business purposes.
- From 2 December, mandatory quarantine upon returning to the UK following travel will be reduced to 5 days, upon receipt of a negative test on day 5.
- The government has announced a Christmas plan for COVID-19 restrictions. At Christmas, restrictions will be eased to allow people to mix with a slightly wider circle of family and friends. Across the UK, people will be able to form “bubbles” of three households over a five-day period. This will not be extended to New Year’s Eve (BBC)
- The Prime Minister has set out plans for the end of lockdown in England, and a return to a tougher three-tier system of restrictions. Full details of regional lockdowns are to be announced on 26 November (BBC)
- Travel industry leaders and travel agents say the government’s day five Test to Release scheme is “good news for travel agents” and a welcome step towards removing the “massive barrier” of quarantine (Travel Weekly)
- The government is set to impose stricter rules on hotel closures when the UK returns to a tiered system of regional lockdowns (Telegraph)
- Commentator Simon Calder gives his advice on domestic and international travel once lockdown ends, highlighting the differing rules across tiers (Independent)
- Consumer group Which? has released research confirming package holidays “are likely to work out considerably cheaper than DIY bookings” (TTG)
- France’s ski resorts will not be allowed to reopen this year, President Emmanuel Macron has said. Macron said to plan for a re-opening of the resorts in January “under favourable conditions” (TTG)
- Emirates says it has finally cleared its backlog of COVID refunds after repaying £1.3 billion to customers. The carrier dealt with more than 130,000 refunds-related queries from customers and agents and made status changes to nearly four million flight coupons (TTG)
- The White House is considering lifting its entry bans for non-US citizens who have recently been in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other EU countries (Telegraph)
- Millions of Americans are traveling and gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday, despite dire and urgent warnings from US doctors, nurses, health authorities and hospitals not to do so. The travel raises the possibility of a “surge superimposed on a surge”, in the words of Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and of a wave of deaths as Christmas arrives (Guardian)
- Long-haul adventure tour operators have reported a spike in bookings starting before the announcement on quarantine reduction (TTG)
- Like TikTok’s Creator Fund, Snapchat’s launching their own $1 million-per-day fund through to the end of the year to encourage creators to stick with the platform. The fund will distribute the money through the new Spotlight section and creators’ content will first go to 100 users who ‘vote’ with their attention on what’s good/not good before going up to 1,000 then to 10,000, and so on.
- Snapchat’s also made a few other moves this week, acquiring music creation app Voisey as part of social’s apparently endless trend to just replicating each other’s functions. To digress: this sounds like a cynical take on the situation — and might be — but it’s more likely related to the realisation that the actual value of each of these social channels is not in the technical elements of their UI but instead in the kind of audiences that use the platforms. TikTok is important to people who use TikTok because they use it for a different reason than people use Instagram even if a lot of 9:16 15-second videos fit on both platforms, for example. Facebook and Twitter serve similar functions to different audiences as another example, although one is much better monetised. Perhaps as consumer social expands it will also converge in many ways. Look to the Mac vs. PC: ultimately similar but aesthetically different and used by different people for different purposes. And don’t forget Linux still kicks around.
- Some more Snapchat news: they’re adding a few new ad options for app marketers.
- Twitter’s looking to reopen its verification process and is looking for feedback on the new guidelines. Verification can feel pretty random at the moment and there’s not a clear roadmap to verification after the public process was scrapped back in 2017. Feed into the draft policy here.
- The bird app’s also adding new warning popups when you like tweets which contain disputed information. They’ve been doing this for retweets on that kind of content for a little while but now they’re cracking down even on simple likes, which does make sense given that there’s plenty of algorithmic distribution based on likes as well as retweets.
- Ever watched a long YouTube video to learn something new and wished they’d added chapters so you knew when to skip to? YouTube’s staff have so they’re testing automated chapters to help you get to where you’d like to go.
- Instagram’s testing an FAQ feature for Instagram Direct. Messenger’s already got something pretty similar for Business Pages but this new four-option tool will be a good way to help bigger brands combat those pesky FAQs you’ve probably already got in your Notes app to copy and paste whenever someone asks.
- As we get nearer and nearer to an available COVID-19 vaccine, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are partnering with various independent fact-checking bodies to fight conspiracy theories and misinformation so we can all get healthy and vaccinated and back to normal.