This week’s digital news pales into insignificance against the backdrop of today’s inauguration.

However, we’ve still rounded up the best bites, including a Zuckerberg ‘burn’, Twitter’s ecommerce functionality and that schoolboy dream, the flying car.


Twitter Buy button finally dead

According to Techcrunch, the Twitter Buy button (available to partners with ecommerce platforms such as Shopify) is being withdrawn as the social network moves away from ecommerce.

The ‘Donate’ functionality will remain. We discussed the reasons behind the failing Buy button back in March 2016, but it seems time is finally up for the underperforming call to action.

An example of the Twitter buy button

twitter buy

Netflix double Q4 estimate for new subscribers

Netflix added 7m subscribers in Q4, well above the 3.8m projected. 5m of these new subscribers were outside of the US, where half of its subscriber base resides.

The streaming company is on target for 100m subscribers this year (currently 93.8m), with strong growth on the back of 1,000 hours of original content in 2017.

More from the FT.

rick and morty

Vine has not withered

The Vine app has become Vine camera. The app is a stripped down version of its former self (no Soundboard, Snap-To-Beat or Featured Track audio functions) that simply posts resulting video directly to a Twitter account.

Any videos under 6.5 seconds will automatically loop, just like the Vine videos of old (“gerrout me car!!”).

vine camera

Live partners expect the Facebook money to dry up

Recode reports that publishers currently being paid by Facebook to produce live video fear the partnerships (which include a reported $3m to BuzzFeed) will not be renewed.

Facebook spent $50m in 2016 on the initiative but Facebook Live is less of a priority in 2017. It is expected that longer, premium video content will be incentivised. 

Deliveroo invests in London global HQ

Deliveroo is adding 300 new hires to its existing 125 staff in London, which will become its global headquarters.

Orders grew 650% in 2016, when riders became a common sight on many city’s roads. The company employs approximately 1,000 people worldwide.


The Airbus flying car

Airbus Group will test a self-piloted flying car prototype by the end of 2017.

The company’s Urban Air Mobility division is exploring multiple concepts, with the ‘flying car’ earmarked as an app-led solution, where travellers can book a journey via their phones.

“We are in an experimentation phase, we take this development very seriously,” CEO Tom Enders told Reuters, also stating that the technology should be designed to be clean and not further pollute cities.

AI improves AI

The Google Brain AI research group has designed software that itself designed a machine learning system to benchmark yet another form of software for processing language.

The results surpassed those from software designed by humans. This is a growing area of research, with OpenAI, MIT, DeepMind and others also designing similar systems.

More from MIT Tech review.

Alibaba sponsors the Olympic Games

Alibaba has paid a reported $800m to sponsor the Olympic Games until 2028. More from Bloomberg.


Facebook partners with Station F, the world’s biggest startup hub

Facebook is partnering with Station F, a startup generator in Paris which has 3,000 desks.

Facebook will take 60 desks, hold weekly workshops, and work with 10 to 15 startups every year.

More from Techcrunch.

station f

Zuckerberg in court for Oculus case

There’s a suit going on with an Oculus Rift employee accused of stealing technology from a former employer.

Mark Zuckerberg took to the stand earlier this week, with Gizmodo reporting some of his ‘sick burns’ (be prepared to be underwhelmed).