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Talk Social: 26 March, 2019

Instagram adds in-app checkout

Instagram has taken a step to becoming an e-commerce platform, by announcing it is adding a checkout feature to its mobile app.

The new feature will allow users to buy items straight from the app rather than being taken to an external pop-up link. It will also store a user’s payment information so that it is easy to go back and buy again.

More than 20 brands – such as Nike, Adidas, MAC cosmetics and Zara – will be taking part in an initial trial.

Instagram hopes that this will make users more inspired to shop, as well as creating big business for parent company Facebook. Facebook believes e-commerce and payments represent the future of the company as the public shifts the way it uses social in everyday life.

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Snapchat under scrutiny over ‘addictive’ streaks

Snap Inc has told British MPs it will consider making changes to the friendship streaks in its mobile app after the feature was labeled as potentially addictive.

Streaks are created by two users exchanging messages for more than three consecutive days. This rewards users who message their friends at least daily with in-app emoji-like badges, driving up traffic on the platform.

MP Damian Collins, chairman of a committee exploring the addictive nature of social and gaming platforms, compared streaks to likes on Facebook and retweets on Twitter. ‘‘It seems that the value of a relationship are measured in the length of a streak.’’

The firm also faced questions on how it makes sure children under the age of 13 are not joining the platform. It was acknowledged that it is difficult to keep under 13 year olds off platforms as they can easily get around parental controls – making it even more important that brands know who they are talking to on social at all times.

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Google fined by EU for advertising violations

Google has been fined €1.49bn (£1.28bn) by the EU for breaching competition laws with its AdSense advertising service.

Announcing the fine, the EU’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google had abused its power in shopping comparison services, its Android mobile phone operating system and now search adverts.

Ms Vestager said the company had been fined for its ‘illegal practices in search advertising brokering to cement its dominant market position’.

This is the third large fine Google has had to pay the EU since 2017, taking the total amount to more than €8.24bn.

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LinkedIn adds new meeting planner tools within its messaging stream

To save time switching between apps, Linkedin has introduced a built in app calendar which is automatically synced to your mobile calendar, meaning users don’t have to re-input all of their data.

The new calendar will include a host of new features, including the ability to share availability at a given time within an in-app conversation. If your proposed time works for the person you are arranging to meet, a confirmation is sent via the app.

Last year, LinkedIn announced a 60 per cent increase on users sending messages on the business focused platform. Since then, it has catered for this expansion with a range of updated features, including message attachments and a GIF library.

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Live photos are coming to Twitter

Just as Facebook allows you to post a live photo straight onto the platform, Twitter is now testing its own feature

The current cumbersome way to upload a live photo to a tweet would involve adding a ‘loop’ or ‘bounce’ effect to a video and converting into a GIF. The new feature will allow the user to simply upload a live photo the same way they would a normal photo.  

The test was revealed by people examining twitter’s IOS code. As such, it is unknown if this feature will make it past testing phase.

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