What we're saying


PayPal app makes further move to a wallet-free high street


A new smartphone ‘Order ahead’ and ‘Pay at table’ app unveiled by PayPal spells the end of queuing. Big chains are already signed up: Wagamama is to adopt ‘order ahead’ GBK, Prezzo, Oasis, Coast, JD Sports, Blacks and Snow & Rock are offering customers the opportunity to pay via the app without a waiter or shop assistant present.

It is the first time services like this have been available in high street stores in the UK and marks the biggest move to popularise mobile payments. With over 2,000 high street stores using PayPal, the success of these services could see the company’s dream of a wallet-less high street by 2016 realised.

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Twitter unveils new video feature


Twitter is rolling out a feature to make it easier to view videos. In recognition of the growing importance of film in engagement, the channel will allow in-line videos to be automatically previewed in the timeline.

This update follows hot on the heels of the photo preview launched in October 2013 and brings all video content inline with the features already inbuilt into Twitter’s Vine service.

This new feature looks to capitalise on ‘second screen’ experience and will be something for brands to consider to engage users while watching TV show. For example the feature was trialled this week by the NBA who posted videos from the court to encourage fans to ‘watch live now.

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Facebook algorithm reduces reach of brands’ posts


Facebook has confirmed that fewer people are seeing posts by brands.

Due to recent tweaks in algorithms – a series of computerised rules to determine which updates show up when users log in – brands’ pages are pushed lower in the news feed and fewer posts are shown to users.

While Facebook argues that the tweaks ensure “higher-quality content” – it’s becoming ever more clear that companies that rely on Facebook for marketing will have to advertise to compliment their organic activity.

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Faces drive Instagram engagement


Photos on Instagram that include faces get 38% more likes and 32% more comments than posts without. Research from Georgia Tech based the results on 1.1m randomly selected photos. Interestingly age or gender didn’t affect results with male users receiving as many comments as those of female users. However those who posted too many pictures of themselves did register a dip in engagement.

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Robots to write the news


The LA Times used an algorithm to write its report on the earthquakes that shook southern California this week.

The code was able to ask and answer the common questions that a reporter would ask resulting in comprehensive coverage.

Rather than being a world first, algorithmic journalism is widely used – although limited to simple plug-in-play stories such as financial press releases or natural events. However experts predict that robots will in time replace most jobs that aren’t considered creative and caring – and that includes journalists.

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