This week’s tinder box of digital news has included Shakespeare, Slack, AI (as usual), Vine, a humongous acquisition and Donald Trump (as usual).

Why not read it while eating some seasonally-appropriate porridge with a topping of your choice?

The withering of Vine

Twitter will shutter the Vine app in the “coming months”.

No date was given in Vine’s statement but it did say that users would be given notice and will have the option of downloading their Vines beforehand. The website will remain live, too.

Vine has 200m monthly active users and many of them are unhappy at the news. Check out the #RIPVine hashtag on Twitter.

Twitter announces layoffs

More Twitter turmoil. The company has decided to cut 9% of its staff, despite Q3 revenue up 8% YoY

300 jobs will go from the sales, marketing and partnerships teams.

Slack hits 4m daily users

Slack has announced it has more than 4m daily active users worldwide (1.25m of which are paying).

The workflow tool is considered the fastest growing business application ever. Daily users have increased by a million since May this year.

Outside North America, the UK is the top Slack-using nation.

Chart via Slack

slack daus

In other Slack news, the company has announced it will partner with IBM Watson to improve its own bots.

Slackbot will ultimately be better able to help users and Slack will also use the functionality to centralise troubleshooting.

An Application Starter Kit will be provided for developers and a Botkit Watson plugin released on Github.

More from Wired.

Big data reveals Christopher Marlowe is Shakespeare co-author

Shakespeare’s three Henry VI plays were written in part by Christopher Marlowe.

The association has long been speculated about, but academics including Gary Taylor from Florida State University have used big data to analyse phraseology from both authors to as near as prove their involvement. 

Databases of plays and Elizabethan writings from a host of authors were used to look for distinctive words and combinations.

More from Reuters.

MasterCard launches AI bot

Mastercard is launching a bot that will allow consumers to manage their money via messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger.

The chat, messaging and natural language capabilities will be provided to Mastercard’s merchant and bank partners to help their consumers.

As Marketing Week reports, the bot will provide consumers with personalised service and contextual offers and rewards.

40% of FT readers agree to disable their ad-blocker when asked

The Financial Times has revealed that 40% of online readers using ad-blockers agreed to whitelist (and thereby view ads) when asked, across a sample of 5,000 users.

Other tests showed that when some words were obscured from articles, 47% of ad-blocker users agreed to whitelist in order to view content. A further sample saw 69% agree to whitelist when articles were obscured entirely.

A sample of 15,000 registered readers were split into three groups of 5,000 each for the test and asked to “whitelist” the website, meaning adverts would show up, through varying degrees of access.

More from the Press Gazette.

BT to replace phone boxes with free WiFi stations

BT is placing 750 WiFi stations across the UK and London as it gets rid of many redundant phone boxes.

The ‘Links’ kiosks will provide free calls, alongside WiFi, maps and information, as well as advertising.

BT is partnering with Intersection and Primetime on the new infrastructure.


Donald Trump is on Tinder..

..sort of. And so is Hillary Clinton.

Tinder has collaborated with non-profit Rock the Vote to allow users to swipe left or right on the two candidates’ policies.

The Swipe the Vote feature lets users find out more about some of the policies being debated then approve or discard them before being told whether their views match their voting intention.

The app then directs the user to the nearest polling station ahead of November 8th.

tinder swipe the vote

AT&T in agreement to buy Time Warner

You can’t have missed this one?

AT&T has agreed to buy Time Warner for $85.4bn – a vertical merger combining the network with premium content.

Time will tell whether regulators approve the deal. Donald Trump has already said he would block the deal if he becomes President.

The FT reports that Time Warner’s chief exec Jeff Bewkes believes that AT&T Time Warner could be in a position to take on the “duopoly” of Google and Facebook when it comes to digital advertising.