The Fresh Egg blog
Latest digital marketing news
In this fortnightly roundup, we cover updates from Twitter, Facebook, Google, and more. Find out about Twitter’s extension of its Buy Now button and a rumoured increase of its character count limit.
There’s also news of Facebook preparing to test its internet drone, Aquila, and its introduction of GIF-like profile pictures. Finally, Google has confirmed its new smartphones will use smart-search technology, Now On Tap. Read on to learn more and listen to our podcast.
Twitter has partnered with Shopify, Bigcommerce and Demandware , enabling a significant number of retailers of all sizes to take advantage of its Buy Now button.
Currently only available to US retailers and merchants, the Buy Now button, which Twitter has been testing for the past year, is designed to make it easier for shoppers to buy directly from their favourite retailers.
The new development means that any merchants who have a partnership with Shopify, Bigcommerce or Demandware will be able to access Twitter’s Buy Now capabilities. Until now, Twitter had only partnered with platform Stripe, as well as a handful of marketplaces and brands, for the initial ecommerce test.
In a blog post, Twitter said:
“With Buy Now, businesses can drive more conversions and remove much of the friction in the mobile purchasing process. Today, as we begin rolling out to a wider group of platforms and partners, people will have even more opportunities to discover and purchase products from the brands they love on Twitter.”
In other news, tech news website Re/Code reported that Twitter is investigating whether it should extend its 140-character limit within tweets. Co-founder and interim chief executive Jack Dorsey is said to be leading a project code-named 140-Plus but it is unknown what the product may look like. But Re/Code’s sources, who are unnamed, said that the move would allow users to tweet long-form content.
The 140-character limit is a key feature of Twitter but it has been a subject of debate within the company and by users whether it should be extended due to its restrictive nature.
Facebook is to begin testing flights of its internet-delivering aerial vehicle by the end of the year, as founder Mark Zuckerberg reboots his Internet.org app project under the new name of Free Basics.
Free Basics is an app designed to give limited free internet access from mobile phones to 19 countries across the world. The project aims to connect countries that are offline and its drone, Aquila, is part of this.
The Telegraph reported that Facebook vice president of engineering Jay Parikh revealed that the first full-size prototype of the drone, Aquila 1, is complete after being built in Somerset. He said:
“It is not yet certified to fly over people’s heads, so we are working with regulatory bodies and will do tens of thousands of hours of testing, induce failure, manage stresses, temperatures over the next months and years.”
The aircraft has a wingspan greater than a commercial plane but weighs less than a car. This fascinating video shows you how it was made.
In other news, Facebook has started to test the use of GIF-like video clips as profile pictures.
The looping seven-second videos are only editable via the mobile app but will still show up on your profile if it’s accessed via the web.
A blog post from Facebook product managers Aigerim Shorman and Tony Hsieh said:
“Soon, you’ll be able to film a short, looping video clip that will play for anyone who visits your profile. Profile videos will let show a part of yourself you couldn’t before, and add a new dimension to your profile.”
Watch it in action below:
Google’s new smartphones, the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X, will feature its Now On Tap search technology and fingerprint recognition when they hit the shops in a matter of weeks.
The software has been created to make it easier and more user-friendly to search via mobile.
Google’s search chief Amit Singhal told the BBC:
“When you have a 5in-diagonally-across screen - it's not designed to type.
"So, on mobile you have to fundamentally give users new ways to interact."
Google announced on Tuesday 29 September that the devices will have an Android update called Marshmallow. This will extend the Google Now personal assistant to enable it to search for information about a subject within a text or email through voice activation technology.
A user can prompt Now On Tap by saying, “Okay Google”, to the phone. The command will trigger Google to scan the screen for the most important information featured. Then the user will speak the question into the device and Google will deliver the information on that subject.
For example, a user could ask, “Who’s the lead singer?,” while a song is playing on Spotify and Google will understand and search for the answer. Check out this BBC video, which showcases the technology.
Looking for expert advice about all things digital following this fortnight's roundup? We‘re happy to help. Contact us today.