This week’s digital news has veered from the salacious to the mundane.
But you must know all of it, lest you become suddenly irrelevant.
Here you go…
Zuck is paranoid
Probably justifiably so. Chris Olson draws our attention to Mark’s laptop in a recent Instagram post.
3 things about this photo of Zuck:
Camera covered with tape
Mic jack covered with tape
Email client is Thunderbird pic.twitter.com/vdQlF7RjQt
— Chris Olson (@topherolson) June 21, 2016
Top 100 Digital Agencies announced
Econsultancy’s annual rankings are out.
Congrats to IBM Interactive, which tops the pile.
Gary Vaynerchuck apologises
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia and well-known author and speaker, has apologized for the Cannes party invite shown below, calling for “attractive females and models only”.
It seems the gaffe wasn’t Gary’s fault, indeed was likely the work of an unscrupulous promoter.
— Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop) June 22, 2016
Twitter buys AI company Magic Pony
Magic Pony is a UK-based company that uses machine learning for visual processing. Twitter has bought it for a figure thought to be $150m.
This fits with Twitter’s ramping up of video functionality over the past months.
Grey Singapore refugee app is fake
An app developed to allow the crowdsourced assistance of refugees has been shown to be fake.
The app, developed by Grey Singapore and called I SEA, purported to allow users to search satellite imaged sections of the Mediterranean and flag refugee boats.
It seems every user was sent the same picture, and the information wasn’t live.
PopSci interviews satellite imaging expert, confirms “I SEA” app functionally impossible without billions of dollars https://t.co/Smwjrqb9JG
— SecuriTay (@SwiftOnSecurity) June 21, 2016
Twitter updates video functionality
Twitter has announced two fairly big changes to video that will roll out soon on its platform.
As ‘video tweets on Twitter have increased by over 50% since the beginning of 2016’, Twitter is allowing users to post a full 140 seconds of footage (up from the previous 30 seconds).
What’s more, ‘tapping on a video tweet or Vine on your timeline will take you to a new, full-screen viewing experience, where more great video and Vine tweets will be suggested below’.
Explore more videos and Vines that are lighting up Twitter. Our new viewing mode will let you watch more with a tap. pic.twitter.com/XyBaes37T7
— Twitter Video (@video) June 21, 2016
Vice Media expands in Asia
Vice Media has struck content and distribution deals across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The Times Group of India will launch online, mobile and TV content in the country, out of new production offices in Mumbai.
In the Middle East, Vice’s deal with Moby Group will bring its programming to 12 countries. (Read more from the FT.)
Burner launches Ghostbot
The lighter side of bots, a word you’re no doubt sick of already.
Burner, the app that provides temporary disposable phone numbers, has released sister app Ghostbot.
Ghostbot detects texts from people you want to get rid of and will send automated responses designed to cool their ardour.
Instagram hits 500m users, will soon offer translation
Instagram now has more than 500m users, adding 100m since September last year.
Daily active users currently number 300m.
CNET reports that Instagram is soon to offer translation of bios, comments and captions, further enhancing its international appeal.
Bank of England to launch fintech accelerator
The bank is interested in a range of ideas, but highlighted the following as definite areas of interest:
- Finding new ways to structure and analyse large datasets.
- Machine learning, particularly in relation to anomaly detection and pattern recognition.
- Protection of the Bank’s sensitive data.
Read more about it over on the BoE’s website.
Twitter launches Engage app for influencers, creators and public figures
Twitter already has apps for public figures, such as Q&A and Camera, but the launch of Engage feels like a step forward.
The app is for those with unwieldy follower counts and allows a range of analysis and new functionality.
Facebook has new ad solutions
A creative interface for designers, an insights API, updates to its Canvas ad format and updated slideshow ads.
Read more on the Facebook Ads news blog.
Amazon launches Prime Now in Paris
Predictably, the French aren’t keen on the disruption of local trade and see plenty of other downsides to Amazon’s same-day service, too.
The Guardian reports that the Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, released a statement on Sunday 19th that reads like a war cry.
“While this operation is likely to seriously destabilise the balance of Parisian trade, this large American company saw fit to inform the City of Paris just days before its launch,” she said.
Hildago added she would fight on the following fronts – “the preservation of local shops, the quality of life of local residents, the level of pollution generated by vehicles, and Amazon’s human resources policy” – and seek to establish laws against unfair competition.