BIGnews in the Tech World

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What better way to welcome spring than with Boston’s fourth Nor’easter of the winter and some fresh tech news? Grab some hot chocolate and get ready to catch up on all the BIGnews from the past two weeks.

Snapchat
Snapchat is giving a shout-out to artists and creators with their plan to implement new lenses created by third party artists. The update will feature artists’ work on Snapchat’s main display, giving the artists the chance to get their designs in front of Snap’s 187 million users. This could be a small step for Snapchat to get back in the good graces of all the users who have recently felt neglected by the platform’s latest developments. The move also enables artists and creators to build an AR experience without having to develop a mobile app. Whether you’re an established artist or amateur doodler, get your designs ready to take the Snap stage!    

Facebook
Facebook is in hot water this week after news came out that London-based data mining and analytics firm Cambridge Analytica misused data from more than 50 million Facebook users. The firm allegedly used this data to provide insight for targeted ads during the 2016 US election. The data misuse was a clear violation of Facebook’s terms of service and has many people talking about Facebook’s recent failures in enforcing these rules that are meant to keep the platform safe and democratized. Mark Zuckerberg was surprisingly silent during the days following the news break, but finally released a written statement on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.
Calls to #DeleteFacebook to protect privacy are flying around the internet as users are becoming increasingly concerned over who is using and selling their Facebook content. It’ll be interesting to see how Facebook reacts to this security breach over the next few weeks and whether or not users will stay loyal.

Instagram
Instagram is making some subtle changes to prove its worth. Users can now implement hashtags and profile links directly into their bios, which will help drive more traffic to a users’ profile and create spaces for users with common interests to connect. Instagram claims the change will “make your profile the home for the things that matter most to you.” Some social media experts are claiming the change is going to spark a new hashtag revolution, which some debate has started to decrease in use and relevancy.
Users are talking and developers are listening. Instagram also just announced they’ll be making changes to its algorithm-based feed to show posts closer to chronological order. Newer posts will now be more likely to appear at the top of the feed, even with the algorithm. Cue the BIGteam anxiously awaiting an Instagram update in the App Store.

Google
Google is ramping up its competition with Amazon with their new program, Shopping Actions. The new program allows users to buy items through Google Assistant and search result ads. Through Google Assistant and search, users will have a universal shopping cart that will store their payment credentials and items whether they’re shopping via mobile, desktop or Google Home. The platform is intended for users to enjoy an effortless shopping experience. Retailers that have already signed onto join the program include Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco Wholesale, 1-800-FLOWERS, and Ulta Beauty.

Who will win in the battle of social media platforms and digital assistants? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment or tweeting us @BIGfishPR!

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