Sustainable practices on cruise lines, FB.GG., Instagram’s algorithm, a tour of Scotland through augmented reality and emoticons. Read on for these stories and more of the week’s trends and news on today’s Friday Five.

1. Cruise lines are placing a “straws upon request” policy

Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line

Beginning in 2019, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (“RCL”) will be eliminating plastic straws from 50 ships under the Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, TUI Cruises and Pullmantur Cruceros brands. Guests who request a straw will receive a paper straw instead of plastic and the ships will also incorporate wood coffee stirrers and bamboo garnish picks.

How is your brand implementing sustainable practices into the guest experience?

2. Watch out, YouTube, Twitch and Mixer, a new broadcast channel is in town

Photo Credit: Digital Trends

Facebook is attempting to keep gamers glued to the social website by introducing FB.GG, a live-streaming platform that combines live and pre-recorded gaming videos posted on the social network. Facebook is also planning to fund content creators and esports coverage.

How could you promote your brand through live-streaming?

3. Instagram answers our questions about how its algorithm works

Photo Credit: Anastasia_Prish | Getty Images

We’ve all experienced the uproar and struggles caused by Instagram changing its algorithm that prioritizes one account’s content over another. While Instagram has no plans to give users the option to revert to a chronological feed, they have decided to educate and answer questions users had about how the algorithm works.

Now that you’ve received answers, how will your brand work on engagement and audience building?

4. Explore Scotland from the palms of your hand with a new augmented reality app

Photo Credit: Travel Pulse

Step Into Scotland is a collaboration between VisitScotland and Google that enables users to explore Scotland through an immersive experience using an augmented reality (AR) app! As one of the first countries to develop an app using AR technology, users can “travel” the county from a motorbike, check out Edinburgh Castle and tour whiskey distilleries! Unfortunately, the technology doesn’t support real-life whiskey samples.

How would your destination introduce an AR experience to potential travelers?

5. Emoticons: Whether you hate them or love them, you’ve seen them 😁

Photo Credit: Neil Patel

Though they started as a collection of colorful characters mainly exchanged in text messages, emoticons have squeezed their way into the world of social media, emails and even marketing strategies. From Chevrolet’s emoji-only email to Dominos allowing customers to use the pizza emoji to place an order, these expressive cartoons have completely infiltrated our lives as general communication tools.

How does your brand use emojis to express emotions and set your brand’s tone of voice? What are emojis you could use to boost your brand engagement?

That’s all for this week! Scroll below to check out other Friday Five stories and subscribe to stay up-to-date. Now, time to enjoy the weekend!

Julia Brodnick

About the Author, Julia Brodnick

As a Digital Media Coordinator with McCue Communications, Julia puts her experience and instinctive understanding of online communities to work for the agency’s social media clients, creating and sharing content that inspires audiences to engage and learn more. Since her ever-expanding world of interests also includes travel, food experiences, craft beer and wine discoveries, she throws herself into representing McCue’s tourism, culinary and wine clients with genuine enthusiasm and a keen interest in sharing what makes each brand special.

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