A short but extremely sweet digital news roundup this week.
Big moves from Amazon, Deliveroo, Apple and Spotify, and lots of fun and innovation from Google, The Guardian and Snapchat.
Google helps us ‘shop the look’
In July, Google rolled out Showcase Shopping ads - for broad queries, Google gives us a carousel of different images from several retailers, which when clicked reveal a number of products from that brand.
But Google is going further with so-called faceted search, with a Fashion Week experiment called ‘shop the look‘.
Search for a broad term such as ‘party outfit’ and Google will display photos of outfits from influencers.
Clicking through will allow you to explore each product and purchase it from the relevant retailer.
Here’s an explainer GIF.
Snapchat preparing for AR hardware?
The FT reports that Snapchat has joined the industry group that runs the Bluetooth wireless standard, which is seen as another clue the company may move into hardware.
This follows a string of new recruits with consumer electronics backgrounds, amongst rumours of augmented reality (AR) goggles.
Of course, with Snapchat Lenses, the company already has experience with groundbreaking AR.
The Guardian launches prototype Messenger bot
I really enjoyed using the Guardian Messenger service. Simply search for Guardian in Facebook Messenger and then hit ‘get started’.
You can subscribe to a daily briefing through Messenger or ask for headlines or particular topics at any time.
Stories are displayed in a swipeable carousel. The experience is uncluttered and as such I found it a nice change from using the app.
Amazon Restaurants enters the London delivery market
Amazon Prime members in London can now use the Prime Now app to get free one-hour restaurant deliveries (on orders over £15).
More than 180 restaurants have signed up to Amazon Restaurant, which will deliver to 21 postcodes.
With the takeaway market in the UK worth £9bn, there’s plenty up for grabs.
Food delivery service Deliveroo has unveiled a colourful rebrand.
The kangaroo has become more of a logo and the colours are a lot more fun.
The new iPhone 7
Nothing too much to write home about, but enough to get me mildly excited – more storage, better camera, haptic home button, no headphone jack (lightning instead).
Apple will hope its new headphones, the wireless Airpods, will be a popular option, with some pretty cool features (detailed in this BuzzFeed article).
Veggie Pret pop-up to stay
We have previously reported on what a success London’s Veggie Pret has been, due in large part to social media.
The rise in sales at the store means it is set to become a permanent feature, with Pret already looking for its next veggie site in London.
Pret is nominated for Brand of the Year in the 2016 Masters of Marketing awards and its Group Marketing Director will be speaking at the Festival of Marketing.
Is Spotify getting rid of unfettered free streaming?
In an effort to tie down long-term deals with record labels ahead of its rumoured IPO, Spotify has apparently been discussing making some music subscriber-only.
This would happen with selected new music for a set time, after which all can listen.
Spotify has 100m users, 39m of which pay $10 per month.