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All posts by Stuart Thomas

  • Meet Reactions, Facebook’s solution to the ‘like’ conundrum

    This has been a long time coming. Facebook on Wednesday announced a new product aimed at resolving the strange phenomenon whereby people end up liking a sad status. Called Reactions, the new solution allows you to respond to a status with a variety of, well, reactions. To add a reaction, hold down the like button on mobile or hover over the like button on desktop to see the reaction image options, and then tap either Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, or Angry. It's an interesting move, but unlike some of Facebook's previous updates, is likely to be welcomed by...

  • BBC Click to air 360 degree video episode

    This is pretty cool. BBC World News' flagshsip technology programme CLICK is set to launch its its first ever 360 degree programme on Saturday 12 March. The episode, which is set to feature never before broadcast views of CERN’s famous Large Hadron Collider, will also include a number of other 360 degree firsts. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, viewers will also be privy to the world's first 360 degree magic trick -- created in concert with Derren Brown’s trick designer Anthony Owen -- and the world's first 360° game review. They will also explore a remote Swiss glacier...

  • Yahoo puts up the ‘for sale’ sign

    This is big. Yahoo, one of the oldest internet companies still around, is exploring selling its assets. The move, announced by the company's board on Friday, is a clear sign that investors are running out of patience with CEO Marissa Mayer. The announcement comes at a turbulent time for the collapsing internet giant, with Mayer laying off large numbers of staff and purging unprofitable products in the Yahoo portfolio. While Mayer believes these moves will help bring Yahoo back into a state of profitability, investors remain frustrated at continued drops in the company share price. In response to that...

  • SONA interpreter, Uber expansion, social media fire: 5 Memeburn articles you loved this week

    Hello there dear reader. Congratulations, you've made it to the end of the week and while you may feel a little frazzled, you're still alive. So why not celebrate by using the little time you have left at work to catch up on some of the most popular articles published over the past week. They're a pretty varied bunch, ranging from social media and marketing tips to news about freshly launched agencies, and Uber's plans for Indian expansion. Check them out: 5. Extinguishing a social media fire: what you need to know When a brand has thousands of followers and likes online, it’s...

  • Logistics: the backbone of South Africa’s ecommerce boom

    South African ecommerce is in a better place today than at any other time in its history. According to research released by PayPal earlier this week, online shopping in South Africa is expected to reach R37-billion this year and to jump to R46-billion in 2017. While much of that growth has been fueled by increased spend digital goods, such as apps, ebooks, digital music, films and videos, we're also buying a larger number of physical goods -- including fashion and consumer electronics. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • These data scientists think they can predict who’ll win at the Oscars

    Data or, more specifically, increasingly open and accessible data has completely changed the way we look at the world. Far from being a record of what has happened, it's become an increasingly good indicator of what might happen. Heck, data has been used to predict everything from the Rugby World Cup to US presidential elections and now... the Oscars. At least that's Pricipa, the company that beat the vast majority of SuperBru players during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, is hoping to do. The results? Well, it looks like Leonardo DiCaprio could finally get his...

  • Havas launches new service design agency in SA

    Havas Village South Africa and Boondoggle, a European service design and creative digital agency on Wednesday announced that they had teamed up to launch a new, Cape Town-based, service design and digital communications agency. Called Havas Boondoggle, the new property aims to bring the ingredients that made Boondoggle successful to Cape Town. Boondoggle has been a Havas Worldwide property since 2012, when the US-headquartered agency bought it out. Currently employing more than 150 people in Belgium and the Netherlands, this is Boondoggle's first foray into the African continent. Read more: The uncomfortable humanity of digital marketing Interestingly, Boondoggle founders Pieter Goiris...

  • King James, Gloo@Ogilvy, Native VML dominate Bookmarks shortlist

    The IAB South Africa has announced its shortlist for the 2016 Bookmarks Awards, to be held on 3 March in Newtown, Johannesburg. Now in their eighth year since inception, the annual awards showcase aims to reward the best in digital advertising, marketing, and publishing. “The calibre of this year’s Bookmarks entries shows a nation embracing digital in fresh, innovative ways," says IAB CEO Josephine Buys. "The overwhelming response to the awards, and the preceding IAB Digital Summit, illustrates that digital is a priority across a multitude of sectors, and that our organisation has established itself as the...

  • #GoSandile: the South African Twitter campaign that’ll warm your heart

    Here's something to bring a little hope to your Monday morning. It's an inspiring Twitter campaign aimed at giving courage to a double amputee as he learns to walk again. Four years ago, 17-year-old Sandile lost his legs due to a bacterial infection. Since then, the Johaneesburg teen has battled to get around on wheelchair, with taxis frequently refusing to stop for him. As a result, his confidence began to slip, along with his performance at school. In a bid to restore Sandile's confidence and make everyday life easier for him, non-profits One School At A Time and Jumping...

  • #SONA2016: social media full of sound, fury…and Nando’s

    On Thursday night people across South Africa were alternately glued to their TV screens, watching president Jacob Zuma deliver his 2016 State of the Nation Address (SONA), and their mobile screens tweeting about said address. After the drama of the 2015 address, expectations were high for this year's edition. And while there may have been less drama inside the house -- COPE's ejection and the EFF's walkout seemed fairly par for the course on the night -- there was plenty enough action to set social media alight. In fact, data put together by social media insights company YouKnow shows...

  • This sign language interpreter had the best time during #SONA2016

    While many South Africans were left depressed by Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night, there was at least one person having a little fun. As the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were disrupting the address with their calls of "Zupta Must Fall!", it was left to one TV sign language interpreter to figure out the best way to convey what they were saying. Read more: #SONA2016 looks set to smash 2015’s massive social media traction The result? One of the best pieces of parliamentary TV...

  • #SONA2016 looks set to smash 2015’s massive social media traction

    It's difficult to imagine how the this year's State of the Nation Address (SONA) could provide any more drama than the 2015 edition, with its signal jammers, white shirt brigades, and walkouts. But if the social media chatter in the lead-up to president Jacob Zuma's speech is anything to go by, the South African public is expecting fireworks. According to data collected by social media insights and analytics company YouKnow, conversation around SONA 2016 could be at least 24% up on last year's record-breaking figures. Read more: #SONA2015 reached 30 tweets per second in SA’s first true social TV...

  • Reach Trust launches mobile tool to ‘fast-track’, reward learning

    The Reach Trust, an NGO which was birthed out of Mxit and holds all of the once might mobile social network's remaining IP, this week announced the launch of a new service aimed fast-tracking learning among high-school pupils. Called LevelUp, the new service aims to tackle some of the most critical education challenges in South Africa. Available as both an Android app and mobi site, it is designed to help high school learners to improve their academic performance, strengthen their social skills and foster good learning behaviour. According to a press release sent to Memeburn, it does so by giving pupils...

  • The latest addition to the ‘C Suite’? That would be the Chief Data Officer

    Companies today are in a race to drive competitive advantage and improved efficiency through better use and understanding of data. That makes sense. We live in the era of the Zettabyte, with the devices we carry around with us producing reams and reams of data. Someone has to make sense of it. Enter the Chief Data Officer (CDO) According to technology research house Gartner, there's been a sharp spike in companies with chief data officers (CDOs) over the past few years. So sharp has the rise been that Gartner predicts that 90% of large companies will have a CDO...

  • Twitter to ditch chronological timeline for algorithms [UPDATE]

    Update: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has taken to the social network to say that it has no intention of ditching the current timelines for ones based on algorithms. Hello Twitter! Regarding #RIPTwitter: I want you all to know we're always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week.— Jack (@jack) February 6, 2016 Twitter can help make connections in real-time based on dynamic interests and topics, rather than a static social/friend graph. We get it.— Jack (@jack) February 6, 2016 It remains unclear however why the small group of users testing the algorithmic timeline could not change back or...