WhatsApp will lose some of its semi-independent status in the new year, as Facebook follows through on plans to introduce advertising on the messaging platform. Although the move was expected, it remains to be seen how quickly advertisers will buy into WhatsApp and its youthful user base.
A new Firefox feature will allow shoppers to track prices for desired products and snatch bargains when they appear. The experimental Price Wise feature invites users to add products to a watch list and monitor their changing prices.
IT spending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa is likely to rise 2% next year and reach $973 billion, a Gartner forecast says. Consumer demand for devices, including mobile, is not expected to grow, however.
Chinese phone-maker Xiaomi took a major step toward global dominance last week with its foray into the UK. The Western toehold is crucial for the company as it reaches a saturation point in its vast home market.
Proposed EU copyright enforcement that shifts responsibility for infringements from users to platforms would make compliance impossible for YouTube, said company CEO Susan Wojcicki. Wojcicki cited the example of one popular YouTube video with multiple copyrights that would be far too complex for the service to ensure legal conformity.
Facebook is touting Oculus Go with a 60-second spot that shows stars, including Jonah Hill, Wiz Khalifa, Adam Levine, Leslie Jones and Awkwafina, being entertained by the virtual reality headsets. The purpose of the campaign is to show consumers what's possible with VR technology and to "normalize" it, said Facebook's Rebecca Van Dyck.
Nanoinfluencers -- whom Obviously CEO Mae Karwowski defines as social users who have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers -- are gaining favor among marketers because of their authentic, approachable personas and their willingness to work with brands for low fees or free products. "Everyone who's on Instagram has that friend who is just really popular and is racking up 'likes' and comments and has great content," Karwowski says in explaining the appeal of nanoinfluencers.
Customers will be able to try on accessories from online retailers using the new Axis web-based platform for augmented reality. The product, from AR/VR ad agency and tech shop Vertebrae, draws on the power of the web to deliver AR experiences via many devices, requiring no additional apps or plugins.
Parents using Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited program can now grant their children access to hundreds of audiobooks, as well as titles from the parent's Audible account. A set monthly price for the program opens the door to a variety of age-appropriate content, which also includes videos, games and apps.