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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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Amazon employees walk out to protest office policies



Staff at warehousing giant Amazon have walked off the job to protest the company’s return-to-office program

Over 1,900 Amazon employees pledged to protest globally over proposed changes to the company’s climate policy, layoffs and a return-to-office mandate.

The activist group behind the rally is known as Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), who are seeking a greater voice for employees.

“Our goal is to change Amazon’s cost/benefit analysis on making harmful, unilateral decisions that are having an outsized impact on people of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable people,” organisers said.

Over 100 people gathered at the heart of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters on Wednesday. The company said it had not witnessed any other demonstrations.

AECJ said the walkout comes after Amazon made moves “in the wrong direction”.

The company recently has recently overturned a desire to make all Amazon shipments net zero for carbon emissions by 2030.

The company maintains a pledge on climate change.

Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser told Reuters the company is pursuing a strategy to cut carbon emissions.

“For companies like ours who consume a lot of power, and have very substantial transportation, packaging, and physical building assets, it’ll take time to accomplish.”

AECJ protesters also sought support for the 27,000 staff, who had lost their jobs in recent months —around 9 per cent of Amazon’s global workforce.

The company has also mandated a return-to-office program.

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The Great Resignation vs. The Great Burnout



As employees recover from the height of the pandemic, the Great Resignation has come to light

The pandemic saw the term ‘the great resignation’ coined as thousands of people resigned from their jobs across the U.S. in 2021 and 2022.

Karin Reed, the author of ‘Suddenly Hybrid said the great resignation was a period of employees taking control of their future.

“A lot of people realised in their current environment they were not happy with what they were doing with their job. They chose to vote with their feet and go elsewhere,

In other parts of the world, a spike in resignations was not reported.

However, a higher degree of workers began reporting post-Covid burnout, as they made a return to the office.

“There’s been a blurring of the lines. You have work that’s not confined by a physical space.

“Instead of closing the computer and walk away, our computer is in the next room.”

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When will airfares begin to fall?



As the global aviation market rebounds, airlines are changing their service offerings

Over 46 million workers in the global aviation sector lost their jobs as global aviation came to a grinding halt at the onset of the pandemic.

However, Geoffrey Thomas from said passengers have returned to airport terminals and boarded flights in droves.

“When travelled returned, many of us wondered what sort of low airfares will we have to be charged to entice people back onto airplanes.”

In February 2023, total traffic (measured in revenue passenger kilometres) rose 55.5 per cent when compared to February 2022.

Globally, traffic is at 84.9 per cent of February 2019 levels.

“It was a stampede, the likes of which we have never seen before,” Mr Thomas said.

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