Happy Friday – welcome to your weekend! To get you in the mood for a brilliant* weekend, we’ve gathered some of the best digital marketing and tech related stories from the last few days for this week’s Epic Friday. Kick back, relax and enjoy!
Earlier this week Firefox CEO Chris Beard announced in a blog post that Firefox was about to set out on a five-year partnership with Yahoo for Firefox users within the United States.
Yahoo will become the default search provider for American users from December, but other search engines such as Google, Bing, eBay, etc., will still be available as alternative options.
As Chris Beard writes:
When we instituted a default search option, we broke from the industry standard by refusing commercial terms that demanded exclusivity. [...] Google has been the Firefox global search default since 2004. Our agreement came up for renewal this year, and we took this as an opportunity to review our competitive strategy and explore our options.
Beard explains that the upcoming changes are dependent on region, and while countries such as Russia and China are given their own explanatory sections (Yandex becomes default in Russia, while Baidu remains default in China) it is not yet clear what changes - if any - will take place for European countries.
This may well be another blow for Google, as eBay has also broken their AdWords habit recently, which has surprised the tech industry.
Twitter has relaunched their ‘Buy’ open this week, allowing businesses to bring their followers directly to a payment landing page, thereby increasing conversions substantially.
For example, AMC Theaters in the US are offering their followers (currently over 251,000) a $30 gift card via Twitter. Those interested, who click the tweet’s ‘Buy’ button will be brought to a landing site, where they can enter their credit card details. After purchase, the card will be posted within 5-7 days.
While Twitter’s ‘Buy Now’ button first appeared back in September, and while the initial reaction to the feature was positive, it seemed to quickly fade into the background. This relaunch is proving different, however, as Twitter Cards are in full swing.
Online messaging service WhatsApp has teamed up with Open WhisperSystems to ensure that all messages sent and received via WhatsApp are encrypted ‘end-to-end’ by default. In other words, soon messaging via WhatsApp will be more secure than ever. Open WhisperSystems are behind previously released apps such as Redphone, and the company has been praised highly by Edward Snowden in an interview with the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer.
The team behind Open WhisperSystems blogged:
“The most recent WhatsApp Android client release includes support for the TextSecure encryption protocol, and billions of encrypted messages are being exchanged daily. The WhatsApp Android client does not yet support encrypted messaging for group chat or media messages, but we’ll be rolling out support for those next, in addition to support for more client platforms. We’ll also be surfacing options for key verification in clients as the protocol integrations are completed”.
— Ryan Lackey (@octal) November 18, 2014
Don’t you just hate it when you’re a savvy (and stylish!) female computer engineer, but you need the help of two men to complete a task? Oh no!
Even though it was published last year, the children’s book the 2013 children’s book, Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer, was reviewed by novelist Pamela Ribon earlier this week, and brought the internet’s attention to a serious dose of non-sensical sexism. What resulted was a group of people redesigned the book (see sample tweet below) to empower young girls to learn about all aspects of computer engineering, and to do so with confidence.
TechCrunch‘s Sarah Buhr described the book perfectly in her coverage of the story:
Barbie is featured in the book as a stylishly pink-clad computer engineer that somehow breaks everything and doesn’t know how to code. She does draw puppies though. This lady hacker needs the help of two dudes named Steve and Brian to do the real programming work cuz she’s just, “creating design ideas.” Ha ha ha…what?
Meanwhile, Mashable decided to see what some top female tech engineers had to say about the less-than-independent Barbie, but this quote is a particular favourite:
“If a dude in engineering tells you it will go faster if he does the work for you, the correct response is to give him the Medusa-gaze until he turns into stone and the noise stops”
- Brianna Wu, head of development at Giant Spacekat
Compare the original version to mine. Barbie can’t even code, and the book is called “Barbie is a computer engineer” pic.twitter.com/CholDn2oVE
— InfoSec Taylor Swift (@SwiftOnSecurity) November 18, 2014
Something tells us Mattel (the makers of Barbie) need to go back to the drawing board on this one, and they’ve already started: Mattel has pulled the book off Amazon’s shelves.
That’s it for another round of Epic Friday! Let us know what you think of these stories and more in our comments section below!
(*TinderPoint cannot guarantee that your weekend will be brilliant. We can, however, guarantee some amazing results on any digital marketing campaign that we do. Get in touch with us for more information!)