The latest changes this week in the ever-changing world of social media. Many thanks to Google Allo, no thanks to WhatsApp.

Allo Allo

Google has launched a new messaging app for Android and iOS including Smart Reply and a AI helper named Google Assistant. Google Allo integrates Google search with a messaging platform and is a strong contender against Facebook’s Messenger. Google Assistant has removed the necessity to leave the chat if a user wants to look up something online, such as an address of a restaurant or a news article. It can also be summoned into group chats by typing ‘@Google’ so that it can help answer any pertinent questions you may have. 

The Smart Reply feature which is another brilliant add-on, seeks to learn your speech habits over time so that when you are on the go, Google Allo can offer a choice of responses to choose from. Additionally, the app also lets you change the size of font, scribble on photos, and use custom-designed stickers. Our favourite new feature is the Incognito mode which lets messages to be set on a timer and expire after a set period of time.

Google Allo will be available worldwide in the next few days from time of writing.


Yours, furious of Essex

Next time you want to tweet a rant to a company, you may have your issue resolved with a bit more haste. Twitter has always been viewed as a customer service tool, from answering enquiries to dealing with complaints. However, a new update is now making it a lot easier for brands and customers to communicate on any tricky matters. Companies can now activate their ‘Provides Support’ button on their Twitter profile so that it can be clicked on by customers to initiate a conversation. Additionally, profiles can now also display a business hours to help set people’s expectations for when they may get active support. This is a great way to improve customer service on social media, and hey, might even win you some more business in the process. Who da thunk it.


WhatsAppening to our privacy?

Messaging service WhatsApp is being threatened with legal action by the German watchdog over its data-sharing deal with Facebook. Both companies have received huge numbers of complaints when they announced that personal information from WhatsApp would be passed on to Facebook for paid search targeting purposes. “We are extremely concerned about this insidious trend: consumers are losing step by step the ownership of their data. Their private sphere is in danger,” the watchdog’s statement reads. Us too *sad face*.


Suits you sir

Facebook’s extension of its dynamic mobile ads should appeal to businesses with brick-and-mortar stores. Based on a user’s online activity and interests, Facebook can now incorporate this data to marry local product indicators, pricing and special offers into more targeted ads. So instead of just showing an image of a particular product, these ads can now locate what stores the product is available at and at what price. Retail therapy just got that bit smarter.