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Facebook is about to get a huge facelift with new feature



Facebook Shops: the tech giant is on a quest to build the world’s largest shopping social media platform

This morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went live to detail changes to Facebook’s ‘Shops’ feature. The feature will allow new ways for users to shop across Facebook and Instagram.

Last year, both platforms launched their Shops tab to help businesses go digital amidst worldwide lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The feature allowed shop owners to set up a unified, customisable store across Facebook and Instagram. Since then, Facebook has gained over 300 million visitors to Shops per month, and over 1.2 million active Shops.

Facebook Shops will expand to WhatsApp and Marketplace

The update announced today will give businesses in select countries the option to showcase their Shop in WhatsApp.  The update will also allow users in the US to list their Shops products in Marketplace.

“We’re launching the ability for a business to send shoppers to where you’re going to be most likely to make a purchase based on your shopping behaviour,” Mark Zuckerberg said this morning.

“We are making the online shopping journey more personalised, more entertaining, and more seamless.” said Kate Box. Head of Retail at Facebook Australia and New Zealand.

“Instagram and Facebook are a new Westfield!”

Kate Box, Head of Retail at Facebook Australia and New Zealand.

The Facebook Shops update will also include new visual discovery tools on Instagram, which will help shoppers find new products. The Visual Search feature will help users find visually related products, similar to Pinterest.

“In the future we’ll make it possible for people to take photos from their camera to start a visual search,” Zuckerberg said.

“While it’s still early, we think visual search will enhance mobile shopping by making even more pieces of media on Instagram shoppable.”

Augmented Reality try-on tech

Additionally, new AI and AR features will allow users to visualise and virtually try on items before they buy through API integrations with Modiface and Perfect Corp.

The company is also introducing new tools for brands to include AR product catalogs in ads. These ads will automatically show relevant products to people based on their interests. 

“AI and AR will further evolve how customers discover products they love. Australian’s will be able to find products online, with visual search and try-on immersive experiences available before making a purchase,” said Box.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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Companies to pay extra for verified Twitter accounts



Elon Musk has announced that companies and brands will have to pay $1,000 per month – plus an additional $50 per sub-account – to get verified check-marks on Twitter

The new pricing falls under the new Twitter Blue for Business service.

Within the next few months, only paying Twitter customers will have verified status.

Twitter has stacked on $12.5 billion in debt, and this move hopes to increase subscription revenue to meet Musk’s obligations.

Advertisers halted spending on Twitter after the takeover, but Twitter has since announced partnerships with two brand-safety vendors to win back marketers.

Musk also announced that Twitter would start sharing ad revenue with creators for “ads that appear in their reply threads”, but didn’t provide further detail.

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BMW to invest €800 million in Mexico



BMW is set to invest €800 million in Mexico, to produce its next generation of high-voltage and fully electric batteries

The carmaker is looking to convert more than half of its sales into all-electric cars by 2030.

Construction will begin next year with production beginning in 2027.

The announcement follows several other major expansions from the automaker in recent months, including a $1.7 billion investment in the United States.

The move will add around 1,000 new jobs to its Mexico operations.

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A British digital currency “later this decade”



The Bank of England and Britain’s finance ministry think the UK is likely to need to create a central bank digital currency later this decade.

“On the basis of our work to date, the Bank of England and HM Treasury judge that it is likely a digital pound will be needed in the future,” the Telegraph quoted BoE Governor Andrew Bailey and finance minister Jeremy Hunt as saying in the joint report.

“It is too early to commit to build the infrastructure for one, but we are convinced that further preparatory work is justified,” the Telegraph quoted the report saying.

The BoE declined to comment on the Telegraph article, but said a joint consultation on CBDC issues would be published shortly.

A government source said the report would be published next week.

BoE Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe is due to give a speech on Tuesday to update the finance industry on the BoE’s CBDC work.

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