The UK general election and Trump’s 100-day milestone seem to have contributed to a subdued week of digital news.
However, there are still some important factoids and stories to chew on, not least the appearance of emoji gargoyles in the Netherlands.
Emoji rightfully cast in concrete
For those who are bored of wonderfully contorted gargoyles or doyens of science and the arts standing in niches of old fuddy duddy buildings, you can now instead gaze up at the righteous emoji instead.
Dutch firm Attika Architekten have cast emoji in concrete on the facade of a building in Amersfoort. Architect, Changiz Tehrani told the Verge “In classical architecture they used heads of the king or whatever, and they put that on the façade. So we were thinking, what can we use as an ornament so when you look at this building in 10 or 20 years you can say ‘hey this is from that year!’”
Fake news watch out, Wikitribune is here
As with Wikipedia, volunteers will fact-check and proofread, with those giving funding allowed a say on what topics are covered. “News by the people and for the people,” is how Wales describes the venture.
Amazon launches Echo Look
Amazon has introduced a camera to the latest version of the Echo allowing you to ask Alexa to take a photo or a video. Amazon’s explainer video and product page suggests that selfie-mania amongst young female demographics is the inspiration for the product.
The new device also introduces a feature called Style Check (see image below), allowing you to upload two outfit photos and receive feedback on which is best, using a combination of machine learning and human style expertise.
The Echo Look retails at $199, which some suggest is a bit steep. However, I wouldn’t underestimate the appetite for more professional selfies amongst Instagram’s power users.
Amazon also launches ‘Subscribe with Amazon’
The self service tool allows companies to create details pages on Amazon for their subscription services. An API then allows vendors to receive order data and updates from Amazon.
Currently the service is only for those selling subscriptions to digital content, with initial partners including Disney Story Central, The Wall Street Journal and Dropbox.
Twitter shares up after user growth
Twitter shares were up on Wednesday after Twitter announced it had seen a 6% annual growth in monthly active users in Q1 (now at 328 million). Advertising revenues, however, were down 8% year-on-year in Q1.
Instagram adds 100 million users in just four months
Instagram now boasts 700 million monthly active users after adding 100 million in the last four months.
TV inventory now available in DoubleClick
US advertisers will be able to buy TV inventory in DoubleClick Bid Manager, and will be provided with “impact-based metrics” to understand how TV causes an uptick in search activity.
Ad spots on addressable, national and local TV will be avaialble, made possible by Google’s partnership with Wideorbit and Clypd.
In a blog post, Google said the move represents “the first step towards allowing advertisers and agencies to manage their video campaigns across digital and linear TV, in a more efficient and effective way.”
Pinterest ditches the Like button and plans US ATL campaign
Recode reports that Pinterest is ditching the Like button as it is confused too often with the Save button.
In the US, Pinterest is set to launch an ad campaign, as it did last year in the UK. This time the message will be that the platform is in fact now less of a social network and more of a visual search engine (see Pinterest Lens).
The IAB reports more than half US digital ad spend is now mobile
An IAB/PWC study says that mobile accounted for 51% of the $72.5bn spent on digital advertising in the US in 2016.
Facebook has another tough week
More tragic events unfolded on Facebook Live this week. As Facebook faces more questions about how it combats abuse, The New York Times ran a very interesting piece featuring an interview with Zuckerberg, ultimately suggesting that just as Facebook begins to talk about augmented reality, it may appear a little out of touch (or out of control) when it comes to dealing with the very real problems of fake news and abuse on its platforms.