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Tuminds Newsflash – April

Picture for Rene Looper Rene Looper

April 30th 2016

WhatsApp Brings In Encryption

At the beginning of the month WhatsApp enhanced its encryption technology, meaning that only the senders and receivers of messages can read the content. The Facebook owned messaging platform has been working on this technology since 2014, ensuring that it works across various mobile platforms.

The secure encryption is available to all one billion users and covers chats, group chats and voice calls on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Nokia. In order to access this new and advanced tech, users have to upgrade to the latest version of WhatsApp. Additionally, the network plans to inform users whether they are chatting with an authentic contact, as opposed to an imposter by verifying the encryption session using a QR code.

Promoted Pins Go International

First announced back in 2014, Pinterest launched Promoted Pins, which allows businesses to pay to have their Pins (products) placed high in people’s feed and can target specific demographics. Up until now, this has only been offered in the US, but the social media platform is now opening it up intentionally and they are starting with the UK, expanding further to other english-speaking countries later in the year.

Reddit Says Hello To 2016

The online message board known as the retro “Internet soapbox”, has launched a set of mobile apps for iOS and Android users in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. This is a first for community-based site and the developers explained that it was time to do what everyone else in tech are doing; build a dedicated mobile version of their product. This move to smartphone apps is a strategic move for the company who are looking to expand their 243 million monthly users and become a more mainstream social media platform. 

The new apps allow users to all of their usual Redditing behaviour like browsing news feeds, commenting, up-voting and down-voting stories and exploring AMA (ask me anything) Q&A sessions.

Facebook Explores Chatbots

Chatbots have suddenly become the biggest thing in tech. Their ability to provide personalised, interactive communication akin to talking to a human customer service or sales rep, but at a much cheaper rate than call centres, is attracting businesses from every industry.

However, Facebook is the first social network to embrace the chatbot frenzy. Facebook will now allow businesses to deliver automated customer support, e-commerce guidance, content and interactive experiences through a chatbot powered chatting system on their Messaging app.

Facebook announced a number of chatbot partnerships with developers including 1-800-Flowers which enables users to order flowers by just sending its Messenger bot a friend’s name. Or CNN are now able to send people a “daily digest” of stories that match the user’s interests, whilst skipping the topics they don’t care about.

Mark Zuckerberg explained that with a combination of AI (artificial intelligence), natural language processing and human help, people will be able to talk to Messenger bots just like they talk to friends. Furthermore, Facebook also plans to earn money from this new venture by allowing businesses to send “Sponsored Messages” ads to people who have already voluntarily started a conversation with a brand. Advertisers can also buy a “Click To Message” news feed that initiates conversations with their bot. Both services could allow bots to push users to buy products and ultimately become a revenue booster for brands.   

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