Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

A five minute digest of the latest social media news from the Professor.

Google buys artificial intelligence app Emu

Google has acquired start-up app Emu for an undisclosed sum in a bid to solidify the multinational’s position in the predictive app market. The app, which uses artificial intelligence and monitoring technology to provide help to users, is essentially a messaging tool with learning capabilities.

Operating in a similar way to Apple’s intelligent personal assistant Siri, Emu currently focuses on the supply of information rather than advertisement placement, making recommendations based on contextual information it obtains from a user’s phone. It doesn’t take a professor, however, to work out that it’s Emu’s revenue raising potential that is likely to be the key reason for the purchase.

If, for example, you are messaging a friend about getting a drink after work, advertisers could bid on keywords related to your conversation that Emu will then promote via the app.
While the mining of emails and web searches by advertisers is nothing new for Google, the potential to take such monitoring to a new level by scanning and scrutinising conversations in real time is clever, if not unnerving stuff!

Is Twitter close to adding payments to its app?

Several Twitter users have reportedly spotted a new ‘payments and shipping’ option in its Android app settings. While it doesn’t as yet appear to do anything, rumours are rife that Twitter may soon be launching a native purchasing platform. The move has yet to be confirmed by Twitter.

In last week’s update, I mentioned that Facebook is currently testing its very own ‘Buy’ button in what is set to become a significant game changer for retailers. The introduction of e-commerce arms into these social media platforms would certainly see them lure more advertisers, increase user engagement and drive sales. Surely it is just a matter of time…

Snapchat and WhatsApp dominate photo sharing

According to a recent report by venture capitalists KPCB, apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp have stolen a march on the more established social media players when it comes to photo sharing.


Beating Facebook (that incidentally owns WhatsApp), Flickr and perhaps more surprisingly Instagram (also owned by Facebook) hands down, with over 1.8 billion photos uploaded and shared every day, it seems that the new generation of social media tools are a force to be reckoned with.

Beware Facebook colour change scam

An app that promises to change the colour of a user’s Facebook page has hacked over 10,000 Facebook accounts by redirecting people to a malicious phishing website and installing malware on their computers.

The scam, which has affected users across a number of countries, has been attempted by cybercriminals a number of times over the last few years. Users who have fallen for this latest scam should immediately uninstall the ‘Facebook colour changer’ app and reset their Facebook password.

Cheetah Mobile, the company that detected the threat has also advised that users turn off Facebook Platform to prevent such apps from being installed in the first place. However doing this will prevent users from using Facebook to login to third party services.

LinkedIn plans to have a new billion-dollar business in just three years.

Last week, I shared news on a number of impending changes to LinkedIn which aim to help businesses to connect better.

In a new report in Business Insider, these developments have been revealed as part of a bigger vision by the team at LinkedIn.

According to leaked internal documents acquired by Business Insider, LinkedIn plans to break into the fragmented $50 billion b2b marketing space in just three years, with its recent purchase of marketing company Bizo, an essential component in its strategy to do just that.

Combining data, publishing tools, sales intelligence and nurturing and media products, LinkedIn has set out its stall to become “the most effective online platform for marketers to engage with professionals”.


About the Author

  • The Professor

    The Professor is head of the Social Media Faculty and leads a strong team of experts on social media. The Professor is unable to accept public speaking engagements. The Professor enjoys reading, riding and rheumatics.


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