Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.

1. TikTok Promotes Kindness

TikTok has launched new tools to deter bullies and “promote kindness.” Why should you care? The rollout includes comments and keywords filters for creators and notifications that asks users to think twice about posting offensive comments. In addition, they’re also partnering with the Cyberbullying Research Center (CRC) to help keep the kindness going on their platform. Nothing new as other apps such as Twitter and YouTube already have similar tools, but nice to see an effort to foster a more welcoming environment for all. [MakeUseOf]

2. E-Commerce Shift

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to e-commerce by five years. Why should you care? According to data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, specifically the pandemic has accelerated our shift from physical brick-and-mortar stores to digital shopping by about five years. Notably, department stores have been seeing significant declines with the first quarter of 2020 seeing their sales drop by 25% and by the second quarter – to 75%, while e-commerce is projected to grow by nearly 20 percent. The acceleration of the e-commerce shift is not alone – as we’ve seen the health crisis create similar shifts in other industries such as streaming, gaming and social media. According to the IBM report, the shift seems to be here for the long-term. [TechCrunch]

3. GIPHY Hire Me Button

GIPHY has launched a new “Hire Me” button to help get artists paid. Why should you care? Though GIPHY has been paying artists for direct commissions and sponsorships since the inception of GIPHY Arts five years ago, this is an effort to drive even more paid opportunities to artists. The “hire me” button is making it easier than ever for brands and professionals to reach out to artists whose content/work they like. Work commissioned by GIPHY artists include partnerships with some big brands such as HBO Max, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and even from the non-profit sector with work commissioned by the U.N. It really goes to show that art can be found everywhere (or in everything) including in GIF’s. [GIPHY/Medium]

4. $69 Million Dollar JPG File

An artist by the name of Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million. Why should you care? That puts Beeple among one of the “top three most valuable living artists” surpassing bids for works of art from Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali. In another first, Christie’s auction house was the one that facilitated the purchase being the first ever of its kind to sell a completely digital NFT. First came the Kings of Leon album, and now this million-dollar art deal – showing that this new way of buying and selling in the digital age is picking up steam. [NYT]

5. New Words

Dictionary.com has added new words that reflect on the impact of social justice movements and COVID-19 in the past year. Why should you care? Some of the new entries include doomscrolling, Zoom and BIPOC, along with 7,600 updated entries, 450 new words in total and 94 new definitions for existing words. In addition, they will no longer use the term “slave” to accompany related names/phrases such as underground railroad, plantation etc. In a press release, Dictionary.com said, “the changes reflect how words act as an opportunity for discovery and education and focus on the themes of race, social justice, identity, and culture.” We welcome this change as we all know more than ever, language matters and glad to see it officialized in our dictionaries. [Mashable]

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