Facebook relaunches Slingshot
Facebook has re-launched it’s photo-messaging app Slingshot with a host of new features.
While it attracted interest from early adopters, Slingshot, which debuted in June, struggled to secure a viable user based against stiff competition from the likes of SnapChat. The app, which is reportedly one of Mark Zuckerberg’s pet projects was updated in September to more lukewarm reviews.
The latest version, which sees a complete revamp of the app, has been compared to Snapchat Stories with a move towards shared content rather than an emphasis on individual conversations.
With early critics stating that Facebook hasn’t put anything original or particularly innovative in this re-release, it seems unlikely that Slingshot will attract users away from Snapchat just yet.
Google fights British legal sanctions
The Court of Appeal is deciding whether British consumers have the right to hold Google to account for breach of privacy.
In a high-profile test case a group of British internet users have accused Google of deliberately bypassing security settings to track their online browsing and target them with advertisements.
In response, Google believes that the UK has no jurisdiction to try the claims, arguing that any action should be launched in the US, where Google is based. However, this argument was dismissed by a High Court judge earlier this year, leading to the appeal by Google.
Google has already paid fines of over $40m relating to this incident in the US.
Facebook Ad Return on Investment (ROI) doubles
Marketing software firm Kenshoo has reported that Facebook advertisement ROI has almost doubled when comparing November 2013 to November 2014.
At the same time, the figures state that advertising costs are also on the increase with CPM (the advertising cost per thousand views) up a whopping 700%.
Attributing the price rise to increased competition for Newsfeed ads, a Kenshoo spokesperson said: “By driving efficiencies and optimisations in their paid social programmes, marketers have become more sophisticated and their strategies more vigorous, thus increasing overall competition within Facebook advertising and, in turn, upping the worth of Facebook users.”
The Post Office creates Christmas Vine campaign
The Post Office has partnered with Vidsy to generate crowd-sourced Vine videos to promote its services this Christmas.
As part of its ‘Pass the Parcel’ social campaign, the Post Office has asked Vidsy’s digital community to create six-second Vines showing parcels being passed from the left side of the screen to the right. At the end of the campaign, the Post Office will reveal what’s #AllWrappedUp in the parcel.
Chancellor cracks down on tax avoiding tech firms
This week the Treasury outlined sweeping new powers to allow HMRC to investigate tax-avoiding global companies. Declaring war on tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon the Chancellor is keen to target firms that use tax structures that “artificially divert” profits.
While a popular move, tax experts have warned that the new regulations are likely to be hard to implement and may lead to rows with tax authorities in other countries.
Twitter’s former head of product leaves the company
Dainel Graf, Twitter’s former head of product, has announced that he is leaving the company. Graf, who was hired to run Twitter’s product team in April, was demoted in October for reportedly failing to generate enough growth. Twitter has declined to comment on the departure and it is not yet known where Graf will be going next.
Twitter has faced a number of high-profile departures of late with current product head Kevin Weil the third to hold the post this year.
Facebook defends advertising model
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has defended the company’s advertising model following harsh criticism from Apple chief Tim Cook earlier this year.
Following the leak of celebrity images, due to an alleged hack on Apple’s iCloud product, Cook said: “when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.”
In response, Zuckerberg has attacked the comments stating that: “A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers. I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!”