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Talk Social: 5 September, 2017

Cortana and Alexa  now speaking to each other

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Amazon and Microsoft’s digital assistants are teaming up, allowing users to access both from either device.

This will increase the number of commands that either device is able to carry out, such as getting Amazon’s Alexa to book a meeting, read work emails or confirm calendar appointments.

By uniting Alexa with Cortana, Microsoft and Amazon hope they’ll be able to take on the might of Apple’s Siri assistant and become the go-to voice assistant.

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Thanks for even more memories

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Facebook thinks we’re not sharing enough, so is introducing even more features to attempt to get us to engage with the social platform.

In addition to the on this day memory prompt in users’ feeds, there will now be monthly and seasonal reminders of activities and places, posts and photos.

Memories are key to Facebook’s policy of user engagement, with more than 60million users visiting their personal On The Day page daily and 155million opting to receive notifications for the feature.

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Instagram telling Stories on desktop

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Instagram’s hugely popular Stories feature is now to be made available to social media users on desktop.

This will expand the reach of Stories to all users of Instagram and not just those on mobile devices. This is especially relevant in developing parts of the world, where connectivity is less reliable.

There are also unconfirmed reports that Instagram will allow users to post Stories from their desktop devices, greatly increasing the scope for the feature, which already has 250million daily users, far outstripping Snapchat.

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New app for smarter smartphone photos

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If your smartphone photos aren’t all they might be, and you’re posting on social on behalf of your business or brand, a new app might just help you out.

Called Quickshot, it has a number of features to enable you to take vastly superior smartphone photos.

The neatest feature is the one that gives the app its name. Quickshot mode setting automatically detects how the user is holding the camera and will crop, reframe, and even edit photos as you take them. This is especially useful if you’re prone to taking crooked photos that you have to edit later on.

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How to learn more about ‘how to’s

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What are people most looking to learn how to do on the internet? Google has the answers.

The search giant has released data of the most popular ‘how to’ searches globally and region by region across the world.

They’ve even collated their findings into a website that shows off the power of search – how-to-fix-a toilet.com

Interestingly, in the top 10 ‘how to’ searches worldwide, how to tie a tie comes in at no1, with how to make pancakes and how to make French toast also in the top 10, alongside weight loss and love advice.

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