TikTok Distress Signals and the Hottest Toys for the Holidays | Bolt Trend Report

November 7, 2021

We hope everyone enjoyed the extra hour from “falling back” this weekend. We’re feeling refreshed from an early sunrise and are ready to dive into a week of hot topics and trends. From the news of Meta retail stores to the collaboration between Instagram and Twitter, we have a list of the latest. But first, we start the week by preparing to pause and reflect in honor of Veterans Day. We close our Bolt offices on November 11th to take time to honor and remember all who served. We thank you for your service and sacrifice, and we are forever grateful. Let us never forget.

Upcoming Holidays & Observances

  • Veterans Day – Nov. 11
  • World Kindness Day – Nov. 13
  • National Philanthropy Day – Nov. 15
  • Apple Cider Day – Nov. 18

Must-Know Trends 

Teen Uses Distress Signal Learned on TikTok

The video-based social networking platform TikTok is doing more than entertaining users. In one recent story, it’s saving lives. A missing teenager from North Carolina was spotted in a vehicle using the hand gesture known on TikTok to signal “violence at home-- I need help-- domestic violence.” The gesture is done with one hand by tucking your thumb into your open palm and then closing your fingers to trap your thumb. This “Signal for Help” campaign with more than 3.5 million views, was made popular on TikTok in 2020 as a nonverbal cue for domestic violence victims to seek help. After the teen was seen using this signal, authorities were able to safely rescue the girl. Social media was created to keep us connected, but it just might be proving that it does far more than that.

Meta Considering Retail Stores

The Facebook rebrand is living up to its “Metaverse” name with the rollout of more expanded features and announcements. The social platform that once only existed in the digital space is reportedly planning to open retail stores. Meta, the new parent brand of Facebook, is considering opening physical stores to showcase its virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) tools and designs. This includes VR headsets, AR glasses and portal devices. The news comes from documents that were part of the Facebook internal leak. The goal of the stores is to connect the world and instill a sense of wonder and curiosity. The project is said to still be in development stages with no confirmed timeline.

Hottest Toys for the Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing! If you prefer to tackle your gift shopping ahead of time, you might be curious of the season’s hottest toys. It’s an especially good idea to get on top of those gift lists with the reports of supply chain delays. As you start jotting down gift ideas for the little ones in your life, take a look at Good Housekeeping’s list of the best toys for kids. Potato Head has been a favorite since the 1950s, and it’s still topping holiday gift lists today. Also topping the list, is a great educational sensory kit. The Sensory Bin: Ocean and Sand is a creative way for kids to play with different textured materials. The list also includes items at higher price points, like the Toniebox Starter Set that offers a screen-free digital listening experience. Check out the entire list of the hottest toys here. Happy shopping!

Twitter Welcomes Back Instagram Post Preview Cards

We love to see all social platforms playing nicely together, and this recent Instagram announcement gives us all the feels. Now, Instagram posts shared in Tweets will appear with preview cards. The highly-requested update rolled out last week and will improve cross-platform sharing. Essentially, when you share an Instagram link on Twitter, a preview of the post will appear. Previously available on Twitter, Instagram cancelled this feature back in 2012. We’re so glad that Instagram and Twitter are working together again, and we can’t wait to start sharing some IG posts to our Twitter! Thanks for starting your week with us here on the Bolt Blog! We hope to see you next Monday for the latest trending topics.

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