Facebook, News

Facebook Messenger joins the free phonecall brigade

facebook messengerIf you're a Facebook Messenger fan, then you'll probably be relieved to find out that the social network hasn't stopped work on the app just because it's bought WhatsApp.The latest update to Messenger has seen it add free phone calls to its list of features.Anyone observing the various moves between the world's various mobile instant messaging apps will know that Facebook's messaging apps aren't the first to include this feature. WeChat and Viber for instance both allow users to ...

Online journalism

Data journalism is changing the way we report elections: here’s how

DataWhenever there's an election in any democratic country, its -- and sometimes the world's media -- goes tends to be put on full alert. That said, traditional reporting is generally limited to the political issues in the campaign and to winners and losers. Data journalism tools open a new perspective, offering the possibility for in-depth reporting and analysis.As renowned professor of journalism Stephen Doig notes, data journalism is something like “social science done on deadline”. As is the case with ...


Chevrolet MyLink review: more than just a smartphone mirror

Chev MyLinkIf you've got pudgy fingers that tend to leave greasy smudges on glossy displays, best you get into the habit of regular hand-washing. Why? Because touchscreens are becoming increasingly popular in modern vehicles. Well, that and hygiene. Hygiene’s important, too.Cleanliness considerations aside, even technophobes have to accept that the latest infotainment systems are no longer built around the relic known as the CD loader, but instead centre on that roughly rectangular device seemingly glued to the end of your arm. ...


Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review: high end Android goodness

Xperia-Z-1-compactSmartphones are getting bigger every year and everyone excepts Apple to hop on the mega screen bandwagon. If you keep on asking yourself for a device which is high-end yet fits in your hand, your options are pretty limited. Until the launch of the Xperia Z1 Compact, there was no real competition to the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S which come under ultra-premium compact smartphone category with high-end features.Unlike other "mini" versions of flagship smartphones such as Galaxy S4 Mini and HTC One Mini, ...


How SA’s SteadiDrone is bringing awesome flying copters to the world

SteadiDroneThe concept of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) is one of those terms which has ruled the headlines over the last few years. These flying machines, also known as drones, have captured the imagination of Silicon Valley geeks and anti-NSA activists paranoid about their privacy, and caused the US military some controversy.Fitted with a camera such as a GoPro, commercial examples of media innovation include the ability to get top-view shots of chaotic protests. More lighter, friendlier examples include capturing monkeys ...

Advertising & Marketing, Mobile

Mass mobile marketing campaigns: why basic tech works better

Mobile phonesThe emerging markets mobile landscape does not, as yet, reflect those of more mature economies. Indeed, the smartphone penetration levels in a mid to high tier emerging economy still sit at approximately thirty percent. Moreover, the most popular mobile activities in those markets have nothing to do with downloading apps or making in-app purchases. To use the example of South Africa again, the most popular activity is still sending and receiving “Please Call Me” messages. Coupled with relatively ...

Advertising & Marketing, Video

New Pepsi football ad lets viewers take control of the plot

Pepsi interactive adExcitement for the Soccer World Cup is building fast and Pepsi is doing its bit to add to it. The soft-drink mega company has released an ad that celebrates both the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro and football while letting you take a few detours along the way.Starring footballing heroes like Robin van Persie, David Luiz, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Agüero, Jack Wilshere and Leo Messi, the ad features allows viewers to explore a series of scenarios with their ...


Emerging markets catching up slowly as digital adspend to hit $137.53bn

Digital marketing imageIf you're looking for a decent slice of the global digital advertising pie, you're still much better off being in North America than pretty much anywhere else on the planet. If you're in an emerging market country meanwhile, you can take solace in the fact that the market will grow in the next few years, but not all that quickly.According to online marketing research company eMarketer, adspend across desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets will reach US$137.53-billion this year. ...


The reason Facebook won’t roll out its swanky new News Feed? Netbooks

new news feedRedesigns are something Facebook doesn't take lightly. With more than a billion users, there is mass revolt every time the design team moves as much as a pixel. So when it organised an event last year to announce that it would be revamping its precious News Feed, people sat up and took notice. And the redesign was, well, very pretty -- lots of focus on photos and imagery, simple uncluttered space and functionality that just 'got out of the way'. ...

Advertising & Marketing, Facebook

Yes, Facebook’s killing your page… now grow up and stop moaning about it

Crying BabyThis may be something of an unpopular opinion, but I honestly don’t understand why everyone’s up in arms over Facebook’s decision to be what it always has been and always will be – an operation to make money.Since late last year, I’ve been amused to watch the gradual rise in hysteria as community managers and various other marketing types noticed that Facebook was getting serious about making money from brands. They’re doing this by essentially forcing brand pages to buy ...






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