Friday Five: Airbnb stories and sharing on Insta

Each week Zone’s Letty Key handpicks and shares the five best stories on new trends and technologies…

1. What I did on my Airbnb holiday…

Airbnb is trialling a ‘travel stories’ format, designed to inspire users through storytelling and encourage them to browse the site in a more casual way, rather than just searching and booking.

Though some are saying the stories format is too copy-heavy, this article argues they are the most natural format for mobile content consumption. As a photo slideshow/video montage/travel diary of a destination, rather than a review of a property, this format suits it to a T — if the public are interested in personal stories.

2. Insta finally rolls out sharing feature (sort of)

After trials earlier this year, Instagram has now officially launched a feature to let users share others’ posts as stickers in their own stories. Sharing is a core pillar of the Facebook and Twitter offering, but while there’s third party tools to regram, as well as DIY screenshotting, Insta has steadfastly never introduced a sharing feature.

And it still hasn’t really, not in the usual sense at least. This is a very convoluted and restricted way of sharing — by the nature of confining it to appearing in stories, shared content won’t be part of a user’s normal output or gallery, and will of course disappear. So it’s clear that Insta still wants to keep users very much as creators.

3. Analysing the data about data privacy

The Global Alliance of Data-Driven Marketing Associations has released a report called ‘Global data privacy: What the consumer really thinks’. The key finding is that 51% of consumers are ‘data pragmatists’, who are happy to share personal data with businesses on a case-by-case basis if there are clear benefits in doing so.

My main takeaway is that there’s lot of nuance in people’s relationships with data — it isn’t a case of care or don’t care. Levels of data handover requirements should be as flexible and adaptive to the user as the personalised experience the organisation ideally aims to deliver.

4. Amazon bans breakers of unspecified rules

Accounts are surfacing of Amazon banning some users for taking advantage of the free returns system. This article explores the implications of this development, both for ecommerce and the idea of companies having ‘contracts’ with customers that it doesn’t tell them about.

This seems an unwise move by Amazon, because if people become wary of returning an unspecified number of items because it might tip them over an invisible threshold, they are potentially going to do their shopping elsewhere.

5. Porsche drive forward AR communication

Porsche has introduced a communications and repair-enabling tool called ‘Tech Live Look’ to dealerships across the US. The tool is a pair of AR glasses, worn by the repair technician and connected to not only manuals to be pulled up and viewed within the glasses, but also to Porsche repair experts at their HQ, who can talk to the technician and draw on their screen to show them what to do.

It’s a great example of using AR to augment and enhance what the users are trying to achieve. One of AR’s best assets is its ability to support — not replace — experts, and efficiently connect their skills. As a communication tool, this is important.

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We write about customer experience, employee experience, design, content & technology to share our knowledge with the wider community.