Is Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp on the brink of collapse?
In February this year Facebook announced that it was purchasing WhatsApp for $19 billion. However, seven months on, while the deal has received approval in the US, it has yet to be sanctioned by European regulators and a recent development has thrown the proposed acquisition into question.
In what’s been described as an “unusual move” by EU lawyers, European Union antitrust officials have sent a second wave of extremely detailed questions to the competitors and customers of Facebook and WhatsApp.
Leading to speculation that the merger could be vulnerable, it seems that the EU is looking to set a precedent with regards to EU competition law in the new world of social media; particularly in light of broader concerns regarding the power of U.S. technology companies over Europe’s digital economy.
No comment has yet been made by any of the parties involved. Facebook representatives had previously stated that they expected the acquisition to be finalised later this year.
Pinterest introduces a new analytics platform for businesses
Visual discovery and bookmarking site Pinterest has launched a real-time analytics tool for businesses users. Providing marketeers with actionable intelligence on the content they post to the service, the tool will provide reports on traffic and engagement, will deliver audience insights and will offer advice for improving customer interactions.
The tool is available to all business account users free of charge. For businesses that purchase ads from Pinterest, data about the performance of these ‘promoted pins’ will also appear in the analytics.
Snapchat to share photos and videos taken at public events
Over the past few days a new sharing feature called ‘Our Story’ has been rolled out by popular messaging app Snapchat.
Making a bold move directly into Twitter’s territory, users will now see a collection of public images and videos via the ‘Live’ section of the app. This stream or ‘Our Story’, will be available during major public events and will only show the content, not the names of the users who have shared it.
To add an image to the feed, users will need to turn on location-based services to prove that they are actually at the event in question. When a snap has been submitted to a particular ‘Our Story’, the event will then be added in the same way as a friend for 24 hours. It’s not yet clear where the new feature will be used.
Snapchat trailed Our Story during a number of large public events to phenomenal success; with users sharing approximately 350 hours of content during the test period.
RIP MSN Messenger
Windows Live Messenger, formerly known as MSM Messenger, will shut down at the end of October this year.
Launched by Microsoft in 1999 as a chat tool to rival AOL’s AIM service, over the years a number of new features such as social feed connections, photo delivery, games and emoticons were added to the platform. While not as sophisticated as the social media channels we depend on today, MSM Messenger was the first step into the world of online interactions for millions of people.
Despite boasting 330 million users only five years ago, the death of Windows Live Messenger is not unexpected. Switched off for most people in 2013 following Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype (with the exception of China which didn’t have an active Skype presence), this icon of the chat era has, for most of us, outlived its use.