Instagram launches shopping

This week, selected iPhone users in the US may be seeing shoppable Instagram posts from the likes of Kate Spade, JackThreads and Warby Parker.

According to Instagram, these new shoppable posts will ‘have a tap to view icon at the bottom left of a photo. When tapped, a tag will appear on various products in the post – showcasing up to five products and their prices.

‘Once a tag is selected a new detailed view of the product will open.’

For now, the functionality is free to the brands selected to take part, but apparel retailers in particular will be waiting with bated breath to see the results.

instagram shopping

Admiral (almost) analyses Facebook profiles to adjust car insurance premiums

Perhaps the most interesting story of the week comes from Admiral, which launched a car insurance product and app for young drivers who are asked if they are willing to grant the insurer access to their Facebook profile.

If the driver’s Facebook profile showed them to be low risk they would be offered a 15-20% lower premium.

The signs of a low risk driver? They include such surefire signals as fewer exclamation marks, and rendezvous arranged for specific dates and times (rather than ‘next Tuesday’).

However you feel about this Black-Mirror-esque development, Facebook vetoed the product on the day of its launch, saying: “Protecting the privacy of the people on Facebook is of utmost importance to us.

“We have clear guidelines that prevent information being obtained from Facebook from being used to make decisions about eligibility.”

The app was launched wth reduced functionality.

admiral firstcarquote

Facebook predicts revenue growth slowdown

Facebook shares fell 8% after trading on Wednesday after Facebook warned of revenue growth slowing in 2017.

After 14 consecutive quarters surprising investors with higher-than-predicted revenue growth, Facebook feels it will soon have an ad-saturated news feed.

Image via The FT

facebook ad revenue

However, Facebook also makes $7bn in Q3

It’s worth detailing Facebook’s Q3 results, with a staggering $7.01bn in revenue, 56% up on Q3 2015.

1.79bn monthly users is up 16% year-over-year, and 4.67% this quarter.

84% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from mobile, up from 78% in Q3 2015.

Twitter adds ‘bot’ customer service functionality

Twitter has included new functionality for brands and consumers when direct messaging.

Automated welcome messages and quick replies will speed up interaction, with brands such as TfL already using the new tools.

Microsoft launches Slack competitor

Microsoft unveiled Microsoft Teams on Wednesday. The real-time chat functionality will be part of Office 365 and therefore has a potential user base of some 22m.

It is, of course, intended to ward off competition from Slack when it comes to workflow tools.

To coincide with the launch, in a Mad Men style letter to the NYT, Slack has gone on the offensive, letting Microsoft know that this kind of thing isn’t easy to do (the unicorn doth protest too much?).

The letter is also on Slack’s blog, should you want to read it.

Image via Slack boss @Stewart

slack letter

Amazon Prime launching in China

Amazon is soon to launch Prime in China, with the service revealed to be costing 388 yuan and including free delivery on thousands of international products (for transactions over 200 yuan).

No access to digital content is to be included, with Amazon focusing on international ecommerce and delivery as its USP.

PornHub offers to buy Vine

Insert ‘six-second’ gag here. The less written about this, the better.

NYT sees print ad revenue fall, digital rise

Slack full-page ad notwithstanding, print advertising revenue fell 19% at the New York Times over Q3, pushing total ad revenue to an 8% decline.

Q2 had already seen a 14% drop in print ad revenue. 

Digital ad revenue was a bright spot, increasing 21% in Q3. Digital ads now make up 36% of total ad revenue.

The Times added 116,000 digital-only new subscriptions hitting 1.3m in total.

More from the NYT.


WHSmith profits

Profits are up 8% at the venerable retailer.

YouTube star Zoella’s book club has played its part in revitalising the brand. See more from our own Nikki Gilliland.

Pasties go all ‘dark social’

Sticking with British high street institutions, Greggs has launched a festive WhatsApp group that is limited to 250 people.

The group will give superfans prior knowledge of its festive bake launch date, as well as offering exclusive content and competition opportunities.