This week’s digital news sees plenty from the world of social media, alongside a dose of alt-right controversy and some smashing results from China.
Elsewhere, we’ve seen gender updates from Tinder and a lovely Rube Goldberg recruitment video from AT&T.
Airbnb soon to sell flights
This week Airbnb launched trips, adding more than just accommodation to its app.
Trips include ‘Experiences‘, which are guided activities with local hosts (which have been in beta for some time), as well as ‘Places‘, allowing app users to find local recommended restaurants, amenities and attractions.
CEO Brian Chesky, at an Airbnb conference in Los Angeles, also announced that ‘Flights’ and ‘Services’ will be added soon, meaning Airbnbers will never have to leave the app.
Trips launched in 12 cities on Thursday, and will roll out to a total of 50 cities by the end of 2017.
Russia bans LinkedIn
Russia’s communications regulator blocked LinkedIn on Thursday to comply with a court ruling. LinkedIn has violated a law which stats that Russian citizens’ data should be held on Russian servers.
LinkedIn has 6m users in Russia and is the first US social media site to be blocked.
Tinder adds more gender options
A new update from Tinder allows users to choose a gender other than male or female.
Users can now choose from 37 genders in their bio. The move coincides with Transgender Awareness Week and Tinder has produced the video below to publicise the move.
The great fake news debate
Since early November, Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Google have been accused of furthering Trump’s campaign for US President by failing to prevent fake news stories from spreading on their services.
Now, both Google and Facebook have announced plans to prevent these hoax sites from generating ad revenue from their networks, thereby stamping them out.
Whether this is possible or not is hard to say, as The Guardian points out that ‘for hours on Monday, the search engine’s top news link for “final election results” led to a fabricated story on “70 News” which claimed that Donald Trump had won the popular vote by 700,000 votes. In fact, Clinton was currently in the lead by the same margin..’
A reasoned note amid the hysteria – Dan Barker in a post on the Observer points out that the saturation of Facebook timelines with a particularly notorious fake news article has perhaps been overrepresented by those outraged.
Facebook miscounts… again
On Wednesday, Facebook admitted to discrepancies in four metrics, including weekly and monthly user reach, percentage of video views to completion, and time spent within Instant Articles.
Facebook said it had ‘determined that the average time spent per article had been over-reported by 7%-8% on average since August of last year.’
Additionally, reach (circled below in red) was found not to have been de-duped for repeat views by individual users.
Only two months ago, Facebook admitted overestimating video ad views for the last two years.
Taking steps to address lack of transparency, Facebook announced it will soon launch the ‘ability to verify display impression data through our third-party viewability verification partners, including Moat, IAS and comScore.’
The network is also partnering with Nielsen to include Facebook video and Facebook Live viewership in Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings (DCR).
Check out AT&T’s new recruitment video
For more, see our other post on how companies can attract and retain talent.
Twitter suspends alt-right accounts
Twitter suspended the accounts of notable alt-right figures Richard Spencer (who runs an alt-right think tank and had a verified account), Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn and John Rivers.
Twitter declined to comment whilst Spencer called the move “corporate Stalinism”. More from USA Today.
WeChat ads grow Tencent revenue
Q3 2016, Tencent reported a net profit of RMB 10.6bn ($1.5bn), up 43% year-on-year, on revenue of RMB 40.4bn ($6bn), up 52%.
WeChat monthly active users now number 846m, up 30% year-on-year.
Online ad revenue of RMB 7.5bn was up 51% on Q2 2015, with ‘performance marketing’ sales up 83% to RMB 4.4bn.
Tencent said advertising in the WeChat timeline, mobile news app and from official accounts for brands was key.
Single’s Day takes $17.8bn
Alibaba took $17.8bn in sales during Single’s Day, up 32% on last year.
An incredible 82% of sales were made on mobile devices.
Apple Glasses in the offing?
Bloomberg reports that Apple is considering moving into digital glasses.
Though still exploring the possibility, the augmented reality market is considered potentially lucrative.
Snap files for IPO
Snap Inc. has confidentially filed for an initial public offering. It may mean that the company is valued at $25bn, which would be the biggest US debut since Facebook.
And to think we scoffed when Snapchat rejected Facebook’s $3bn cash offer in 2013.
Google to build £1bn offices in London
Google has confirmed a new £1bn headquarters at London Kings Cross is being built, designed by Heatherwick Studios.
Google already has a Kings Cross campus, but the new building is estimated to create a further 3,000 jobs by 2020.
SapientNitro and RazorFish merge
Publicis.Sapient has decided to merge digital agencies Razorfish and SapientNitro to form a new entity called SapientRazorfish that will allow greater scale for clients.
Twitter lets users mute offensive words
Twitter users can now block specific words from notifications, much like Instagram’s recently introduced feature. The social network has been under pressure to clamp down on abuse.
The ever-reliable Dan Barker shows us how to enable the feature.
Twitter have added the ability to mute words/phrases in your notifications. Here’s how to do it. pic.twitter.com/PAFyspo7TL
— dan barker (@danbarker) November 15, 2016