Wow, this week’s digital news was right on trend.

Chat bots, AI, ad networks, intelligent personal assistants – one can’t help but feel the winds of change beneath our wings.

Reader, get stuck in!

Adblocker to launch an ad network?!

AdBlock Plus is reportedly testing an ad network. Yep, an adblocker starting an ad network.

The programmatic ad marketplace will see bidding for ‘acceptable ads’ on pages where ad blockers are in use. Acceptable ads are defined by their limited size, appropriate placement and labelling.

However, things have been complicated by the fact that ComboTag, which is powering the platform, has been suspended by the ad exchanges where it sources inventory (from AppNexus and Google).

The ad exchanges obviously don’t want to support a network at odds with their own products.

More from the WSJ.

Facebook Messenger bots now allow payment

Facebook’s introduced a slew of new capabilities for Messenger bots into beta.

Notably they include:

  • Payment within Messenger.
  • The ability to link Facebook ads through to Messenger.
  • Enhanced mobile websites within Messenger.

Head of Messenger David Marcus told Techcrunch, “Inside a thread you have identity, transaction capabilities, the ability to draw UI, and draw native buttons and interfaces. We’re bring all these types of experiences together.”

gif facebook payment

Amazon Echo launches in Europe

You’ve probably all seen this news. Echo, the smart, Alexa-powered speaker is available for £149 in the UK (£99 for Prime members).

Echo enables around 300 actions, such as integration with Uber and Spotify to allow voice-activated cab hailing and music selection.

iOS 10 brings Apps to iMessage

Sticking with messaging, iOS 10 brings significant updates to iMessages, with popular apps also now including add-ons to enable features within iMessage chats.

The uses are myriad, from stickers (plenty of those), to payment.

Wired showcases 11 of these new iMessage apps you should take a look at, and you can see a screenshot below from the Weather Channel integration.

weather app in imessage

Instagram allows users to filter offensive comments

The feature available to business accounts since July has been rolled out to all users.

One can choose to filter out all inappropriate comments (using a default list of commonly flagged words and phrases), or add a custom list of banned words.

instagram comments filter 

Self-driving Ubers in action

Pittsburgh’s fleet of a dozen self-driving cars, complete with human third-wheel (or should that be fifth wheel?) driver, are now operational.

The FT has a great video showing them in action.

Amazon lockers in Morrisons supermarkets

Morrisons is to add more than 1,000 Amazon lockers to its stores. The partnership should bring more footfall to Morrisons and greater convenience for Amazon customers.

amazon locker

Law firms testing AI for due diligence

Luminance is using AI to automate document processing for due diligence in mergers and acquisitions.

The company is backed by former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch, and has been working with Slaughter and May law firm.

According to Bloomberg, partner Sally Wokes said the system was 50% faster than using old-fashioned blood-and-guts humans.

Arcadia adds ‘buy now, pay later’ on its ecommerce sites

Yep, across Arcadia retailers such as Topshop, shoppers will be able to buy now and pay later. They’ll get three months with no interest and will need a credit card to take advantage

Klarna is the company that will be providing the service.

Condé Nast launches ecommerce site

The publisher of titles such as Vogue and GQ has changed its news and editorial site into an ecommerce destination.

Watch this space for a full review of the site on Monday.