1. Brands use guerrilla tactics to break into ad-free Vine
With sights set on its 40 million users — many of whom are teenagers — advertisers are getting crafty in their efforts to break into ad-free Vine. Brands are using a number of stealth advertising, paying the platform’s most popular users to ‘organically’ push products.
2. Twitter spells out Hashtags for users
Twitter appears to be testing a new feature that would be a welcome relief to those users fed up of trying to understand some of the most popular but confusing hashtags.
The new feature, tested on Twitter’s app for iOS, allows certain hashtag searches to be expanded to show the full meaning, such as #tbt (Throwback Thursday), #manutd (Manchester United) – a move that may help twitter appear less daunting to prospective new users and it easier to search for conversations.
3. Deliveries made easier
Hate missing deliveries and then having to wait in an endless queue at the post office? Enter the SmartBell, an interactive doorbell that connects delivery drivers or other visitors to an app on the homeowner’s smartphone, activated when they hit the door bell. Callers are connected via video chat or, the homeowner can leave a pre-recorded message, to direct delivery drivers where they would like their parcel leaving.
4. Twitter’s transparency report
Twitter’s latest transparency report has recently been released, and the new data show a 46% increase in government requests for user information since it issued its last report.
Governments request information from tech companies for many reasons, from law enforcement to national emergencies. The increase in requests from new countries including Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago, seems to indicate that these countries – now adopting new technologies and media – are taking the information, that is freely available, seriously.
5. Google+ photos to go it alone
Recent reports suggest that Google will be splitting their popular photo app from Google+ to create a standalone product.
If reports are accurate, this will mean that the Google+ photo app will be accessible to all users, even those who don’t have a Google+ account, in an effort to lure more users for the service without the additional investment that comes with maintaining a Google+ account.