April 2024

Platform news

Here’s to another month of WNOS – our monthly report where we update you on the latest news, trends and tips in Social & Digital – helping to keep you constantly in the know. We’ve made a few changes to our tried-and-true recipe, and we hope you love our update as much as we do. 

April Highlights

Welcome to TikTok Notes 

Credit: App store

TikTok has announced that it very quietly launched a brand new app. Called ‘TikTok Notes’, the platform is a space for people to share and create text and images, but not videos, on a personal feed. This all sounds suspiciously similar to the Meta app Instagram, which has so far held its popularity in the new TikTok dominated world. What does this mean for Meta? For TikTok? For consumers?

Discordant future

Credit: Discord

By now, most people have heard of the real-time chat and call app Discord. It shares a lot of its platform stylings with Slack, but originated as a way for gamers to interact and hang-out in game. Over time, it has evolved into the go-to hangout for people who are already friends, and those who want to make new ones, living in password protected ‘servers’.

Tik Tok is taking Notes

Another clone? Really? After Meta’s Threads, and Insta’s Reels, we suppose it’s only fair that TikTok gives the whole app clone a go too. TikTok have launched Notes, which is essentially Instagram without the Reels (because that’s just TikTok, isn’t it?). How do we think this is going to go? Well… 

Most app clones haven’t worked particularly well, with Meta’s Threads being quietly brushed under the carpet and Instagram Reels being the subject of mockery from the TikTok crowd. With the popularity of slideshows on TikTok as a format (our favourite being the Mrs Mantis series) showcasing the ingenuity and weirdness of TikTok’s audience, we understand how this would be an easy jump for the brand to make. 

However, the best part of TikTok is its in-the-moment, collaborative nature. A photo gallery loses that appeal, as it implies selection, posing, a caption; it suddenly becomes performative and earnest, rather than off the cuff and casual. We’ve seen this issue before with another TikTok spinoff, Lemon8, which lacks the spontaneity and carefree nature that attracts users to TikTok. 

The takeaway? We think that TikTok is definitely coming for Meta’s crown, but, really, there’s no need to worry. Consumers aren’t likely to jump ship if they’ve had a profile and posting history on Instagram (look at all the people who still use Facebook!), even less so for a clone of something they already have. But who’s to say? We just have to wait and see…

Jump on the chat?

Discord truly does feel like you’re on the internet of old. There’s something antiquated about it, a bit Stranger Things-y, a bit LAN party. It’s exactly this dinosaur approach to the internet that makes the app just so appealing to young users, who are turning to it as an alternative to texting and hanging out IRL. 

Why? Well, consumers today are overwhelmingly aware of the fact that the internet is bad for them. They know that blue light keeps them from sleeping, that doomscrolling is making them anxious, and that their attention spans are shortening with every TikTok they watch. We’ve seen movements for the return of dumb phones, no-phone parties, and calls to keep social media away from children until they’re at least sixteen. 

Discord’s niche is that it truly feels like a group of friends hanging out, either in voice chat or over text. There isn’t a feed to keep up with, or a way to get ‘famous’, it’s genuinely just one big group chat that feeds off of communal energy. As social media and the internet develops further, we think that maybe this might be the way that the world goes. Look at the brief success of Bondee, the social media app that sold itself on being a way to ‘hang out in your room’, or PI.FYI and Spread the algorithmless apps. Even videogames are moving to be third-spaces, with friends just sitting around in Fortnite and chatting or watching videos. 

Young people know that social media is bad for them, and that face to face connection is good, but they’re also beholden to the restrictions of their lives – the current rallying cry on TikTok for the return of community spaces like churches, parks, and coffee shops. For now, Discord exists as the only place that fills this gap between socialising and social media, but we bet it won’t be long until other apps take its place.

Brand inspiration

The Boring Phones

Heineken and Bodega just launched their all new ‘boring phone’ at Milan fashion week. It is a flip phone with almost no capabilities, other than texting and calling, and is set to sell out among those curious for an unplugged life. But what exactly does that mean for brands?

April Fools! 

Last month saw an array of fun jokes and pranks played by brands. The brand that made the biggest splash was Duolingo, having had a finger on the pulse of prank ads since 2019. We’re going to unpack today why Duolingo’s April Fools day ads never fail to make a stir.

Embrace the Hate

Duo the Duolingo owl is probably the last mad fae trickster of our time. It gets into fights on social media, threatens to shoot its users (?), and is in a lifelong unrequited relationship with Dua Lipa due to the fact that their names sound similar. Its whacky marketing strategy is immensely popular with audiences, helping it stand out from the sea of sameness that advertising can devolve into. But everyone is doing weirdness and absurdity now – so what is it that is making Duolingo different from the rest? Easy. It listens to its haters. 

On social media, people would joke for years that the Duolingo owl was violent, threatening to hurt them if they didn’t complete their streaks, or that it would break into your home after too many missed notifications. Instead of trying to sanitise the app’s image, Duolingo decided to lean into it – such as this year’s Duolingo On Ice performance which implies that the owl actually eats children. 

Last year’s ad was the famous Love Languages sketch, which riffed on reality shows like Love Island and Married At First Sight – but still included a moment where the Duolingo owl was able to go on a murderous rampage. Any other brand would have brushed this sort of grassroots opinion about them (that the owl mascot looked creepy and the notifications were too pushy) under the rug, but Duolingo decided to spin them to their advantage. What do haters say about your brand? How can you own that?

Keeping Up

with the trends in April

Chappell Roan


Chappell Roan has been blowing up! After opening for Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS tour, this artist has been exploding across TikTok and social media for catchy lyrics, LGBTQIA acceptance, and astounding visuals. If you want to be ahead of the curve, you’d better listen tto Chappell Roan. 

Wild garlic season has come


It’s wild garlic season here in the UK, and foraging has become the go-to activity for spring. People are making their own wild garlic butter, pesto, chimichurri, you name it! Is it tied to longing for cottagecore, or is it just a cost of living crisis-fuelled alternative to pesto?



It’s game, set, and match to tennis stylings right now. As the new film Challengers came out, the allure of Wimbledon on the horizon, and Gen Z’s interest in preppiness, tennis skirts and white sweater vests are popping back into fashion. It’s preppy, it’s playful, and it ties into nostalgia – what more could a young fashionhead want?



We are in the throes of a stylistic revolution as younger Millennials break away from the trends of older Millennials and Gen X. Goodbye, Japandi minimalism, and hello midcentury modern! The hottest items on these styling lists? The Togo sofa, the Akari light sculptures, and, of course, the ubiquitous green kitchen tiles.

Further Readings

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