Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of MG OMD FWD.

COVID-19 once again dominates this week’s news with user behaviour continuing to shift and tech platforms racing to keep up.

  • Google has temporarily rolled back same-site cookie changes in Chrome to ensure some websites continue functioning during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • Zoom has announced a 90-day freeze on new features while it scrambles to fix security and safety issues. The company have also announced that password requirements will be made stronger to prevent “Zoombombing”
  • YouTube are moving to limit the spread of the false coronavirus 5G theory the Guardian reports
  • Facebook has finally released a desktop app for Messenger making it easier for users to message and video-call their friends and family via PC and Mac
  • YouTube has begun rolling out a new feature called ‘Shorts’ a move is seemingly aimed at competing directly with short-form video platforms such as TikTok
  • The IAB reports that ad blocking rates in the UK have remained steady with the added positive that usage amongst 18-24s has fallen from 37% to 29%
  • Video conferencing apps continue to see phenomenal growth with weekly downloads up by as much as 90% compared to 2019
  • Google has released mobility data reports showing how behaviours have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The UK report shows that the population are spending 85% less time in Retail & Recreation locations since the ongoing situation began
  • Snapchat has reported a rise in app usage with video calls up more than 50% month-on-month
  • Sales of jigsaw puzzles have soared by more than 240% in the UK
  • UK supermarkets are changing the music played in their stores in response to COVID-19 Wired reports
  • Quibi (short for Quick Bites) the short-form video streaming app has launched in the UK with a generous 90 day free trial. All content on the site is less than 10 minutes in length
  • Spotify has launched an ‘At Home Hub’ curating content to help users as they spend more time in the house. The company has seen a shift in streaming habits, as detailed in this press release
  • Technology companies are moving to reassure users that COVID-19 related data made available to governments is completely anonymous and does not breach privacy laws, Bloomberg reports
  • Matt Bush Google’s UK Director of Agencies was this week’s guest on the IAB podcast discussing coronavirus related trends that have emerged over the past few weeks. Listen here
  • And finally… Take a look at The Social Distancing Project, the Instagram account giving a sneak peek into other people’s experience of quarantine

NHS introduces vivid imagery from front line of crisis in latest ad

The NHS has launched a TV ad featuring scenes in intensive care and hard-hitting messaging, as the daily number of coronavirus cases and deaths continues to increase.

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