Industry News 27/09/18

27 September 2018

Reading time 4 minutes

Instagram founders announce departure

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the two Stanford University alumni who founded Instagram eight years ago, announced their departure from the company this week. In a joint statement the founders said they are, “leaving Instagram to explore our curiosity and creativity again” and that they “remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook”. The photo-sharing app, inspired by polaroid cameras, allows users to transform into photographers with a range of filters for customising images, which can then be quickly uploaded on the site. The app has since grown astronomically with the development of Stories, Instagram TV and the option to tag products with purchase links making the app a lucrative business tool, too. Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012 and now boasts over a billion users. Critics have speculated whether the departure of Systrom and Krieger is linked to clashes with Mark Zuckerberg and concerns that Instagram was becoming too integrated with its parent company.

Google search engine updates in 20th anniversary

In celebration of Google’s 20th anniversary the search engine announced some exciting new features to revamp the user experience. The next phase of Search will be centred around visual exploration, acknowledging the shift in how people now find information and browse content. Google will be incorporating more AI to enhance its image search, videos and AMP Stories feature, with the technology helping to anticipate what users will want to see and surface the most relevant content. Users will also be able to organise their searches better with the Activity Card feature which is designed to help keep track of queries and page history. The new Google Feed renamed Google Discover, is being refreshed with a different design, topic headings and a multilingual feature to further personalise content for users on their mobile devices.

Twitter software bug leaks direct messages between users and businesses

A software bug in Twitter’s Account Activity API (AAAPI), the feature which helps third-parties communicate with customers, may have resulted in some direct messages between users and companies being leaked. Direct messages or protected tweets could have been sent to another registered developer as a result, although Twitter is yet to confirm instances where this occurred. The leak is estimated to have affected less than one percent of Twitter users. Twitter patched the security flaw within hours of identifying it, however, the bug had been in its systems for over a year- since May 2017. Potentially affected accounts will be notified and developer partners have been contacted to ensure they delete any user data which they mistakenly have access to, according to the company’s official release.

Apple pays millions for music app Shazam

Apple has completed its acquisition of Shazam for a reported $400 million. The popular app allows users to record audio samples and identify songs, helping them to discover and enjoy new or forgotten music. Shazam has long been a mainstay of the App Store, being one of the first apps to be featured and has since been downloaded over one billion times globally. As a result of the acquisition, the app will soon be available ad-free according to Apple’s announcement release. Oliver Schusser, Apple Music Vice President, said, “With a shared love of music and innovation, we are thrilled to bring our teams together to provide users even more great ways to discover, experience and enjoy music.”