Digital news this week has been corking - nothing massive, but all very interesting and plenty that has flown under the radar.

Updates come from Google, Uber, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Alibaba and Tencent.

Here's what you missed...

Olympics going well on Snapchat

In the first seven days of the Olympics, 49m unique users viewed content on Snapchat.

That's an astonishing number, bearing in mind the platform has 150m daily active users.

Live Stories is showing footage from international broadcasters, and Discover includes a channel using BBC, NBC and BuzzFeed created content.

This Discover content is exclusive (see a still below from a video with Britain's gold-medalling synchronised divers).

Advertisers have been running spots within Discover, with the revenue generated shared between the content creators and Snapchat.

olympics snapchat

Pinterest introduces Promoted Video

Pinterest ads now allow for video. The blog post announcing the move stated that 'In the last year alone, we’ve seen a 60% increase in videos on Pinterest featuring everything from workouts and home projects to hair & beauty tutorials'.

Video ads are therefore an increasingly natural fit. Featured Pins sit below the video, for the user to engage with - the video below shows all.

Tencent now worth more than Alibaba

Tencent (owner of WeChat) is now China's most valuable tech company.

This comes in the wake of promising second quarter results for Tencent, 52% up year-on-year at $5.4bn. Monthly active users (MAUs) on WeChat were up 34% YoY to 806m.

CNBC reports data from IG showing Tencent's market capitalization at $246bn on Wednesday morning, compared to Alibaba's market capitalization of $242bn. 

Pepsi to be first Twitter Stickers partner

Pepsi will get prominence in the Twitter Stickers library across 10 countries as the first sponsor brand, a move that fits nicely with Pepsi's PepsiMoji campaign.

Instagram starts rollout of business profiles

Instagram has begun the rollout of the business tools it announced in May, across Europe.

Business Profiles feature a 'contact' button so users can connect with brands.

The other major feature is Insights, an analytics interface. See the video below for highlights.

McDonald's was giving out activity trackers in Happy Meals, had to withdraw the toy

As part of McDonald's increasing promotion of a healthy lifestyle (including sponsorship of the Olympics), the restaurant was giving away a pedometer with every Happy Meal.

Due to complaints about skin irritation, the product has had to be replaced with a more conventional toy.

mcdonald's pedometer happy meals

Nationwide first UK financial services brand to advertise on Snapchat

A-Level results were released yesterday, with Nationwide seizing the opportunity to promote its FlexStudent account.

To do this, Nationwide became the first UK financial services brand to advertise on Snapchat, sponsoring both a Lens and a Geofilter.

I'm not exactly a power-user of Snapchat, but below you can see a creepy picture of me pretending to be an ecstatic 18-year-old.

snapchat nationwide

Google Cloud Platform ready for enterprise use

On Tuesday Google announced that Google Cloud Platform is no longer in beta, and is effectively ready for enterprise use.

Database management, machine learning and big data analytics are all now open to brands, putting the big G into Amazon Web Services' territory.

google cloud platform

Alipay accelerates push into Europe

Ingenico Group has signed a deal with Alipay allowing the app to be used across Europe through the Ingenico payment gateway.

Alipay has 450m active users. 10m Chinese visited Europe in 2014, with purchasing power of $21bn(!) according to Ingenico.

New Instagram Events channel

Instagram Explore now has a new video channel called Events, currently available in the US only.

The content (sourced from users) will be personalized according to each user's interests and include videos from live events.

instagram events

Cisco cutting 14,000 of 70,000 jobs

The tech beast is pushing into software and the cloud, away from hardware.

Hike valued at $1.4bn

India's Hike messaging app (handy introduction here) has announced funding of $175m led by Tencent and Foxconn.

This points the apps valuation at $1.4bn.

hike messenger

Uber to use 100 self-driving cars in Pittsburgh

CEO Travis Kalanick revealed as such to Bloomberg. Each car will have an engineer to take control where needed and monitor the drive.

The rides will be free.

Ben Davis

Published 19 August, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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