New Emoji Week! Apple released iOS 13.2 this week, and the update includes 398 new emoji. Updates include new skin color combinations, emoji to represent people with disabilities, gender-neutral emoji and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. See the list here, or update your iOS to get them!
HBD Banner Ads: This week marked the 25th birthday of the banner ad! Brands like AT&T, MCI, Volvo, Club Med, 1-800-Collect and Zima were the first to place digital display ads on a site called Hotwired (now known as Wired Magazine). According to Ad Age, AT&T’s ad lured 44 percent of readers to click, a miracle click-through rate by today’s standards.
HBD Internet: This week marked the 50th birthday of the internet! Gizmodo has a copy of the “birth certificate” record of the moment when two host computers at UCLA and Standford Research Institute started communicating. Marking the anniversary, the inventor of the web Sir Timothy Berners-Lee wrote: “It’s astonishing to think the internet is already half a century old. But its birthday is not altogether a happy one. The internet — and the World Wide Web it enabled — have changed our lives for the better and have the power to transform millions more in the future. But increasingly we’re seeing that power for good being subverted, whether by scammers, people spreading hatred or vested interests threatening democracy… This birthday must mark the moment we take on the fight for the web we want.”
Twitter Bans Political Ads: Although it only makes up a fraction of their revenue, this week Twitter announced it will no longer allow political advertising on the platform starting next month. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company will halt all political ads globally starting on Nov. 22, explaining that “political message reach should be earned, not bought.”
Snap 3D Doodles: This week Snapchat for iOS added a 3D Paint feature that uses the camera to draw augmented reality visuals on top of whatever you see. The feature is available through a “Create” button in the AR Bar next to the other face filters.
Facebook News: This week Facebook introduced Facebook News, a dedicated tab for news articles from news publications that will appear as an icon at the top of your app. If you don’t have it yet, update your iOS and Facebook app and then give it a few days while they are rolling it out. Here’s how to find it.
“Alexa, how much is my power bill this month?” According to Amazon’s research, 70% of U.S. consumers are not on autopay, which creates extra time for consumers and additional work for billers each month. So this week they announced Amazon Pay is launching the ability for U.S. consumers to query Alexa devices about their bills and eventually pay them by enabling access. Forty million households living in 95% of U.S. zip codes can now use the voice-based bill query capability, according to Amazon.
Twitter of the Week: @GiantCat9 takes photos of military hardware, like tanks and naval ships and jets, and inserts photos of giant cats into them. Because that’s a thing you can do. Follow here.