Right now, a lot of our world is turned upside down and we have all been affected in one way or another. The recommendation to stay home and practice social distancing means that we no longer get together with our family, friends or colleagues – something that makes a lot of us feel alone and isolated. But the challenges we face today have also driven many companies and social platforms to come up with new ideas and initiatives to spread joy, share knowledge and help people feel less lonely at home. In this blog post, we will share 5 positive things we have seen happen online over the past month, so we can shine some glimmers of light into the darkness.

1. Instagram launches “Co-Watching”

In March, Instagram launched a new feature that allows users to watch content together – such as liked and saved posts – via video call. But this feature is not entirely new; according to Business Insider, Instagram reported that it had accelerated the launch of the feature in response to increased demand for online social interaction as a result of stay at home orders across the globe. How do you go about sharing an Insta-moment with someone? You start a “Co-Watching” video call by creating a chat and adding the people you want to chat with (or use an existing chat), then you click on the video icon in the upper right corner. Once the video call is started, click on the photo icon that appears in the lower right corner.

In conjunction with the release of Instagram’s Co-Watching feature, they also released a “Stay Home” sticker for Stories to help people keep in touch with one another and encourage each other to stay home. All accounts that you follow that use the “Stay Home” sticker in their stories can then be seen in an Instagram Stories overview.

2. Companies are launching new initiatives to help individuals and other industries

It is not always easy to find the right way to communicate in times like these, and all industries are affected in one way or another, including influencer marketing. When we find ourselves in the midst of a global crisis, it is important for a company to adjust its messaging accordingly, which may need to be done quickly – sometimes shifting strategy from one day to the next. One advantage of using influencer marketing as a communication channel is the unique opportunity it offers to be agile and to adjust your strategy and message quickly based on the prevailing circumstances.

One great of example of this is our customer American Express. For two days, the influencer brief was adjusted and the message was changed from their usual message to their recently launched initiative #backakrogen – an initiative created by American Express to support Swedish taverns by giving away all of their advertising space to restaurants, cafes and bars that have been negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis. A fantastic example of an agile, bold and helpful initiative!

The same applies for Zcooly, a company that combines games with education to facilitate learning for children between the ages of 5 and 12. With the current Covid-19 crisis, Zcooly is now allowing educators around the country to use the learning games for free for the rest of the term. Parents can also use Zcooly free for one month.

In response to the Covid-19 crisis and recommendations to maintain social distance and stay at home, Nike launched its “Play Inside” campaign with the slogan “If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world.”. The campaign allows you to work out at home in the comfort of your own living room with Cristiano Ronaldo in this week’s challenge, #LivingRoomCup. In conjunction with the campaign, Nike also offered the premium version of its Nike Training Club app for free. As a result of the initiative, Nike has seen an 80% increase in workout sessions in the app in China and a 30% increase in online sales.

Another great initiative comes from the learning platform Skillbreak. Skillbreak usually offers creative workshops in several different areas, but in response to Covid-19, they recently launched a concept with live broadcast workshops – which are also free for anyone over 70 years of age! The courses they are offering include cultivation, fashion and interior design, and are broadcast live to allow for interaction, discussion and a sense of community in times when many people feel isolated and alone.

3. @Dogwithsign on Instagram

Have you seen the dogwithsign account on Instagram? The account is a canine version of the viral meme account dudewithsign and posts images of a dog holding handwritten signs with a variety of humorous messages. Sometimes it doesn’t take anything all that complicated to bring a little light into an otherwise dark time.

4. TikTok’s #HappyAtHome

In times like these, we are seeing more and more companies coming up with new and entertaining ideas and initiatives to help their users feel less alone. In order to combat loneliness, create a feeling of security and emphasise everyone’s shared responsibility to stay at home due to the coronavirus, TikTok launched the livestream series #HappyAtHome: LIVE!. Every evening between 23 March to 27 March, well-known TikTok creators and celebrities such as Tyra Banks, Jason Derulo and Arnold Schwarzenegger held livestreaming events with different themes each day, such as “Motivation Monday” and “Kick Back Tuesday”. It’s not every day you get the chance to access unique content created by global celebrities!

5. LinkedIn is now on Spotify

Have you gone through your playlists one too many times and need a little help finding new focus and inspiration in your home office? You can now find LinkedIn on Spotify, with themed playlists like “Refine & Focus”, “Interview time” and “Never give up” all customised for different situations that arise in the home office – perfect for all of us who are now working from home and need a little energy boost or increased focus during the work day.

LinkedIn is also reporting that they are seeing increased user activity on the platform, as users are engaged in more discussions on topics such as tips for working from home and online learning. In the same article, the platform offers its own tips on sharing valuable content, such as offering your own insights and experiences about the changes in your day to day work routine.

Outdoors, the days are getting brighter, and here at Cure Media, we really hope we can soon say the same about the fight against the coronavirus. We hope this Easter message offered a glimmer of hope in these difficult times and that you have a lovely Easter, wherever you are.