COVID-19 is growing. And so is technology.

We are living in an unprecedented time. A time of uncertainty, and of crisis for the whole world. However, it is important to take a moment to be grateful. Grateful for those we have around us, grateful for the opportunities we have in this world, and grateful for the technological advancements in recent years which have allowed us to stay in touch with our loved ones. Here at Shoo, we’ve looked into what’s changing in the world of technology right now in these extraordinary times.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, video chat services like FaceTime, Houseparty and Nextdoor have, at no surprise, seen a large increase in traffic. Whilst they are frequently used for personal use, businesses are taking advantage of these services to bring video connectivity to their workplace. Popular remote work apps, such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom, including their video system Hangouts, have seen a large increase in user activity. Here at Shoo, we have utilised the capabilities of Google Hangouts to keep in touch with our colleagues and partners.

Without a doubt, the most popular video conferencing system in the UK right now is Zoom, allowing users to connect face-to-face over the internet with colleagues, friends and loved ones. The system also allows the capability of screen sharing, a chat feature and even fun green-screen background effects. However, in recent days Zoom has seen an increase in public talk about issues with its privacy and security. Platforms like Zoom no doubt hold consumer protection as one of their highest priority, especially when some of their users include Her Majesty’s Government, and so it is understood they have stepped up their security measures.

There have been years of hype surrounding 5G capability in the UK, and finally, on the 30th May, we will see 5G launch to the public. Network operator 5G, a subsidiary of BT, will be the first network provider to roll out the capability to its customers. 5G promises much faster connectivity speeds, lower latency and increased reliability. 5G will be most beneficial for those living in rural areas where 4G problems are persistent. When asked about the reliability of the new 5G capability, EE’s CEO Marc Allera has said “5G is like getting a seat on a packed train, or a lane of the motorway all to yourself”. It is understood that 5G will first launch at the end of May, followed by Vodafone jumping onboard on the 3rd July. This new capability is not new to the world though; Switzerland has already seen 5G capability in 227 areas, whilst countries such as the US, Argentina, China and Australia also have 5G up and running in some areas.

Internet Banking has seen a huge rise in consumer interaction since branches have begun closing. The pandemic has seen customers turn to their mobile and internet banking services for common banking queries regarding transactions, balances and payments. Some banks even allow customers advanced features from the comfort of their own home, such as locking a lost card or reporting a transaction as fraud. Consumer use of internet banking has been pushed by banks to help their contact centres with the sudden increase in telephone banking. Regarding this, most of the bank staff are working from home with secure remote access to internal systems, meaning they are still on hand to support your needs, including personal, business and private customers. This self-service way of banking from your own home could see a development in the future of banking. 

Social media platforms have seen an increase in marketing on their platforms. Due to the lockdown, business who traditionally use print methods of advertising, such as billboards, newspaper advertisements or posters, are having to find other ways to keep their business up and running; it is not doubt that the most popular method for this is through social media marketing. Platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn allow you to target a specific demographic to receive your advert, based on your target audience. You can filter by demographics such as age, location and gender, or by psychographics such as similar interests.

And finally, Facebook have launched a new dating app designed for couples. The new app, called Tuned, encourages couples to share content with just each other in a “private space”. Features include sharing their mood, music and a digital scrapbook. The app has the capability to connect to music streaming services for music sharing and couples can send photos, voice memos and notes to each other. The best part? It’s free and easy to use. No Facebook account is required to sign up for this new app. So, if you and your partner are distanced apart because of the national lockdown, why not check out Tuned for a more intimate way of connecting over the internet.

If you’re still looking for ways to increase your business’ online presence, get in touch with Shoo today. It’s what we do.