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Trends

  • Even more features come to Instagram

    There are just a few weeks left in 2018, but Instagram is still not done releasing features on its platform. This week, the company has revealed three new features to help you communicate with your followers. "Starting today, you’ll see new ways to interact with your friends and form a deeper connection with the people you follow on Instagram," the company said on its blog. The first two features involve an earlier 2018 release - the Questions sticker. You can now respond to a Questions sticker using music from Instagram's music library. "Whether you want fresh music to get in the holiday mood, or...

  • Instagram’s #InstaGiftGuide lets you shop brands by 2018’s trending hashtags

    Instagram has launched yet another shopping tool in time for the festive season. Called #InstaGiftGuide, the feature gathers and lists products based on 2018's biggest hashtags. "The #InstaGiftGuide matches six popular hashtag trends from 2018 with gift-worthy products from 34 brands on Instagram", the company said on its blog. Though this may sound confusing, what it means is you can now view the guide to see all the popular brands and products on the platform, inspired by the year's trends. According to Instagram, the six most popular hashtags of 2018 were: #catsofinstagram - a trend born of cute and funny cat related...

  • Security bug brings Google+’s death forward by four months

    Google+, the company's social network, will be killed off sooner than initially planned, after a security-threatening bug reared its ugly head last month. “We’ve recently determined that some users were impacted by a software update introduced in November that contained a bug affecting a Google+ API,” the company confirmed in an announcement. “No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way,” it claimed. Due to this issue, the social network for consumers will be shuttered in April 2019,...

  • Bitcoin was stupidly cheap this weekend, now hovering around R55k

    Bitcoin didn't have a good Thanksgiving. Whether it was the dry turkey or the grainy pumpkin pie, the cryptocurrency has lost some 40% of its value in the past two weeks, falling to below US$4000 (R52 364) on Saturday. Compare this to its high water mark of US$19 666 recorded late in 2017, and the digital currency has lost three-quarters of its value in 2018 alone. At present, Bitcoin has recovered slightly, standing at just below R55 000. Other cryptocurrencies, which also didn't fare much better during the Thanksgiving-Black Friday mayhem, have largely recovered. Ripple (XRP) -- a cryptocurrency that's fast becoming a heavy...

  • Memeburn’s top tips and tricks for winning those Black Friday specials

    Black Friday is a game. Imagine that you're Mario, the sites offering specials are Princess Peach, and everything between you and the checkout is the level. Sometimes, these levels are pretty unfair, and laced with design issues. But there are ways to improve your chances of winning the game. Here are just a few. Log in to your favourite sites beforehand Once the crush begins and servers start melting, ensuring that you're logged in well before enhances your chances of successfully purchasing items. Last year, attempting to log in to any sites after 12am was impossible. Don't make that same mistake this...

  • Pick n Pay Smart Shoppers can now gain points for petrol at BP

    Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card owners can now swipe their plastic at BP service stations to earn points on their fuel spend. The retailer and fuel company had previously hinted that the extended partnership will be implemented before year-end. Today, the pair made it official. BP and @PicknPay have partnered up! Visit your nearest BP and swipe your Smart Shopper card to start earning 20 points per litre of fuel! pic.twitter.com/7TnLlRfuLx — BP South Africa (@BP_SouthAfrica) November 22, 2018 Those who swipe their Smart Shopper cards at BP service centres will earn 20 points per litre of fuel. The points here, unlike...

  • BlackBerry drops $1.4bn on cybersecurity firm Cylance

    BlackBerry -- yes, that BlackBerry -- is now the owner of American cybersecurity firm Cylance. The company paid US$1.4-billion in cash, in addition to the "assumption of unvested employee incentive awards" to snap up the Californian firm. Although BlackBerry has long marketed itself as a security leader in the smartphone and business worlds, the acquisition is the first real showcase of its repositioning from a smartphone maker and business software vendor to a cybersecurity firm. According to a press release issued by BlackBerry, Cylance uses "artificial intelligence, algorithmic science, and machine learning" in its security software to predict and prevent "known and...

  • Pick n Pay launches ‘early’ online Black Friday deals

    Pick n Pay has announced its first wave of Black Friday deals, more than two weeks before the actual day itself. In a smart marketing play, the retailer's offering visitors to its online site a number of deals on groceries and household products. Deals will be refreshed once every week from today until 25 November 2018 -- two days after Black Friday. To purchase deals, users will need to create a Pick n Pay account online, including delivery details. Shoppers will also need to book a delivery slot, arrange for a "Click n Collect" which allows users to grab the items from...

  • SASSA warns South Africans of new grocery voucher scam

    A new scam parading as an official voucher programme from SASSA is making the rounds, according to the agency. "SASSA would like to warn its beneficiary about the recent scam circulating. The below information is untrue and misleading," the South Africa Social Security Agency tweeted from its official account on Monday. SASSA would like to warn its beneficiary about the recent scam circulating. The below information is untrue and misleading pic.twitter.com/0c8nvlh8Pk — SASSA (@OfficialSASSA) 29 October 2018 According to the attached pamphlet which is adorned with UNICEF, Shoprite and Pick n Pay logos, the scam asks would-be victims to send identification documents, proof...

  • Huawei Pay’s South African launch date remains a 2019 mystery

    The question of "when is Huawei Pay coming to South Africa" has become something of a meme for local journalists. We were last told late 2018, but this date has seemingly been pushed back. The Chinese firm's contactless payments system, which is operational in some European markets and China, is set to compete against the likes of Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay in South Africa. But it can't, because it's not yet available here. Last night, at the firm's launch of its Mate 20 Pro in Kyalami, the question was asked yet again. Akhram Mohamed, Huawei South Africa's CTO, answered the...

  • Google launches new voice control app for Android

    Google has launched a new accessibility app for Android devices called Voice Access. The app “provides a hands-free experience for Android, letting people navigate through apps, compose and edit text, and talk to the Google Assistant,” Google said in the announcement. This means that you will now be able to use your voice to control and command your Android device. This accessibility does not only provide ease-of-access for all, but also helps those with physical disabilities have more autonomy when using their tech devices. In fact, Google’s Accessibility team includes impaired individuals who help test and develop products such as Voice Access. The company...

  • South Africans prefer buying products in store, even after seeing them online

    How often have you seen an item online only to purchase it in a physical store? If seems that this phenomenon, called "webrooming", is pretty popular in South Africa. According to research firm GfK South Africa's latest study, a majority -- 58% -- of South Africans use their smartphones for research, but venture into physical stores to complete purchases. 47% of consumers do the opposite -- purchase a product online after seeing it in a physical store. This is in stark contracts to the other BRICS nations, which tend to purchase items online after seeing it in a brick and mortar store....

  • Chatbots are the future, but safety and security has to be a priority

    Customer communication is evolving faster than ever. Where paper-based communications sent through the mail were once the norm, almost everything is now done electronically across a range of channels. Two technologies that are set to have a particularly big impact going forward are chatbots and machine learning. That makes a great deal of sense. Both of these technologies allow for communications that are far more immediate and personalised, at a much lower cost than many of the current alternatives. As with all forms of customer communication, however, it’s vital that both the organisation and customers can use these technologies safely. Evolving chatbots Chatbots are,...

  • The biggest ecommerce trends to watch in the near future

    A 2018 report from Statista estimates that global ecommerce sales are set to rise 246.15% by 2021, from 1.3-trillion in 2014 to 4.5-trillion in 2021. As more brick and mortar shops close their doors and the rise of online shopping continues to change the way that customers and stores interact, there is no doubt that the global ecommerce industry is not going to be slowing down anytime soon. Each year, technology continues to evolve in leaps and bounds, creating more of an experience for shoppers and more opportunity for etailers. This year alone has given rise to a number of...

  • Airbnb in South Africa: the numbers

    Airbnb has hosted two-million guests in South Africa since 2008, the company today announced. This, and slew of other numbers, were presented by the company from a report done in collaboration with Genesis Analytics at its Africa Travel Summit in Langa, Cape Town on Wednesday "Since Airbnb’s founding, hosts across South Africa have earned over US$260-million and, in the past year, the ripple effect of the activity of the Airbnb community resulted in an economic impact of US$678 million, supporting over 22 000 jobs," the company said. South Africa itself is home to more than 35 000 guests, a figure that's 65%...