Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

Twitter launches ‘buy’ button

Last week, Twitter announced the long-awaited launch of its ‘buy’ button. The move, which is set to appeal to retailers, will allow users to buy products from within their Twitter feeds, without having to visit the sellers’ websites.

Users who click the buy button will be asked to enter payment and delivery details before the purchase is confirmed. Once a buyer’s details have been supplied, these will be stored so that future purchases can be streamlined. Making shopping from mobile devices even more convenient, the new functionality will be phased in slowly and is currently only available to a trial group of users in the United States.

The move comes as little surprise to social media experts who have been following developments at Twitter over the past few months, with the microblogging platform making no secret of its plans to increase monthly active users and attract greater business revenues. In this significant evolution of Twitter’s e-commerce strategy, savvy sellers will no doubt use the new functionality to provide offers and discounts only available to Twitter users – helping to generate increased sales and social brand engagement.

Facebook market value smashes $200billiion

Facebook’s stock-market value topped $200 billion for the first time last week, with shares more than double the $38 price floated in May 2012. The milestone results see Facebook become the 22nd biggest company in the world with a higher stock valuation than IBM or Coca-Cola. Part or the success is accredited to a number of shrewd acquisitions, with chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, investing heavily to acquire any start-up competitors such as Instagram and WhatsApp.

Snapchat settles lawsuit

Last week, a lengthy legal dispute between Snapchat’s founders and a former colleague came to an end. Conceding that the college friend was integral to the creation of the popular image sharing app, the dispute was settled privately and confidentially after a year and a half of negotiations. The settlement came two weeks after Snapchat was valued at a staggering £6 billion, with the announcement quietly made when all eyes were on the launch of the iPhone 6.

Is Tiiny app, Snapchat for GIFS?

Last week saw the release of Tiiny, a new app from Digg co-founder Kevin Rose. Described as “Snapchat for GIFS”, Tiiny lets users share short videos and small 212 x 212 pixel photos that self-destruct after 24 hours. Tiiny posts appear in a grid-style feed, alongside other photos and videos posted by friends. In addition, users can browse the most popular posts worldwide.

Tiiny, which is free to use, is the latest in a long line of Snapchat rivals, including Instagram’s Bolt, Facebook’s Slingshot and ChitChat, which provides users with a new way to send voicemail messages.

Is WhatsApp voice calling feature imminent?

There have been requests from users to add voice calling functionality to WhatsApp – the world’s most popular messaging app – for some time now. While CEO Jan Kuom announced in February that plans were in the pipeline, recent developments have added more fuel to the speculation that WhatsApp has taken these calls to heart.

Not so subtly hidden within a raft of new features (including boosted location sharing and fast camera access), is a new pop-up asking users for permission to use a microphone.

With Snapchat boasting over 600 million global users, it looks like the long-awaited functionality is now imminent, something that is likely to give concern to more traditional network carriers.

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