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October 7, 2014

Yahoo ‘to invest in Snapchat’

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Snapchat’s rise continues as the appeal of its ‘disappearing’ messages has now caught the attention of Yahoo.

The search engine is preparing to invest millions into the mobile messaging app, which has a massive global base of younger users and is still in its infancy when it comes to link-ups with brands.

Yahoo is attempting to position itself as a content provider and last week bought the app MessageMe. A link-up with Yahoo would catapult Snapchat firmly into the mainstream – but brands would need to consider whether Snapchat’s current audience would stay with it after such a development.

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Unhealthy obsession with health

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They know our tastes in clothes, films, food, our banking habits, our movements, our friends and networks – now our health data is the latest obsession among tech giants. Following Apple and Google’s creation of health apps, Facebook is close to unveiling its health spin-off, which will monitor users’ health and fitness as well as creating several support communities on the platform to increase user engagement. However, after criticism of Facebook’s attempts to manipulate users’ emotions with stories in their timelines, it will be interesting to see if the community trusts FB with such sensitive and personal data.

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Money transfers on FB Messenger

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Staying with Facebook, its Messenger app is ready to offer money transfers between friends. Money would be transferred in the same way that pictures are currently sent, with debit card details stored on the app or on the main Facebook site. A pincode would be entered for added security. The move is not confirmed yet, but leaked screenshots appear to show it in operation – and following the appointment of a former PayPal executive to head up Messenger, this move appears logical for Facebook, who would likely monetize the transaction by charging a small handling fee.

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Google gets chatty

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Social sharing is a lucrative business and one company left behind by the explosion in popularity of messaging apps, such as Facebook’s and also Whatsapp, has been Google. However, the search engine giant is planning moves to rectify that with its own free app. It plans to test it first in India before a global launch in 2015. Never ones to be left on the outside looking in, are they?

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Old phone boxes get new powers

 

Public phone boxes in London are being put to use for the mobile generation with their conversion into phone charging stations. Currently free to use, the Solarbox units have been repurposed by two entrepreneurs and users will be shown ads while they wait for their batteries to charge. A 10 minute session can provide a 20% battery uplift.

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