Google has recently teamed up with Sephora to showcase its new Home Hub smart display a way to call up tutorial videos on YouTube.
“The fact that this is hands-free is actually pretty great,” says Sephora’s beauty director Myisha Sewell. “You’re not going to get makeup all over your phone, you’re not going to have to balance your laptop on top of your bathroom cabinet and have a disaster happen. It’s something really easy that you can integrate into your life.” Yoice control via the Google Assistant–new this year inside of YouTube–not only pulls up videos and plays and pauses on demand, but can also fast forward to the right spot.
Sewell begins by asking the Assistant for an eyebrow tutorial by Sephora. While she’s keen to promote the Sephora brand as part of this marketing stunt, the beauty of putting YouTube on your vanity is that it offers a full library of makeup tutorials by both amateurs and influencers.
In fact, tutorials of all sorts are a big driver for YouTube. A smidge more than half of all users say YouTube is an important source for learning how to do something they’ve never done before, according to a recent survey from Pew Research. The data suggests that tutorials, more than time killers or product reviews, lure people to the platform.
That’s why it wasn’t particularly surprising when, in October, Google decided to put $20 million into educational videos. When that news was announced, there was much fanfare about the company trying to fill out its platform with content that brands will feel safe putting ads against.
There are, of course, other things the Home Hub can do on one’s vanity, however, shopping is limited to shops on Google Express, which means that choices are scarce. Sephora, for example, doesn’t sell its products through there, as yet.
Google’s Home Hub has the advantage here for sure, though, Facebook’s similarly styled video messaging device, Portal, also has YouTube access (and Alexa). While these devices are not all specifically jockeying for the most well-lit spot on the vanity, they all want to be a part of the home, and there may not be space for them all.
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