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Tech News Round-up - 27.05.14

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by Startacus Admin

Welcome to the Startacus Technology News Roundup. This is your guide to all the business technology news worth sharing and caring about - courtesy of marketing and technology blogger Justin Firth.

UK Changing Tech Habits Revealed

Based on a detailed survey of 2000 UK individuals, the new Deloitte’s media habits report gives key insights into changing media consumption. According to the report the average UK household now spends £900 a year on media - including music, TV, cinema and books - with 49% owning at tech news ukleast one smartphone, one tablet and one computer. Despite having over 50 TV channels 75% regularly watch 10 channels or less with 24% preferring to ‘binge’ on several successive episodes of a programme rather than wait for broadcast. This makes streaming TV services such as Netflix increasing popular with those who already pay for TV services more likely to stump up than freeview customers.

Unsurprisingly Facebook is by far the most popular social network with 67% having a profile and remains popular with 16-24 year olds despite repeating news reports on teens ditching Facebook. Twitter is the second biggest network, followed by Snapchat, Instagram and Tumblr.

In music, twice as many songs were streamed in 2013 compared with 2012 and twice as many people now use paid-for music streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer and Google Play. Despite this, radio is still a major media with two thirds listening to the radio every day and 90% tuning in every week.

Do We Want An ‘Internet Of Things?

The ‘Internet Of Things’ is the trend towards everyday dumb objects such as thermostats, lights, appliances, clothes and watches being connected to the internet. According to many manufacturers it is the next big thing. Yet a new survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that many leading technologists doubt the Internet of Things is really a great idea. 

Chief amongst the concerns raised was security with the threat that our internet connected belongings could be easily hacked and misused. Recent news reports have included a wifi-enabled baby monitor enabling a stranger to spy on and talk to a baby, and a smart fridge guilty of sending out thousands of email spam messages. Experts also pointed to the chance of redundancy with customers choosing to ignore difficult to set-up smart features or failing to mend devices if they crash or go offline.

Your Right To Be Forgotten 

Filling all the recent headlines has been an EU ruling on the so-called Right To Be Forgotten. The landmark ruling states that individuals can have links to webpages about them removed from search engines such as Google if they are no longer relevant. It comes after a Spanish man successfully fought to have notice of his house repossession from 1998 removed from Google’s index.

Key to the ruling is that only the search engine link needs to be removed - the company or individual who wrote the webpage itself does not need to take it offline. Where the right to be forgotten will probably affect businesses most is when using Google to background check prospective employees or suppliers. On their request, information relating to bankruptcy, criminal behaviour, previous employment or other news from their past could be absent from any internet search.

The ruling reinforces a trend towards increasing web anonymity. While big social networks are cracking down on fake or misleading profiles, a number of new businesses are growing based on the concept of staying anonymous. Recent examples include Whisper, an anonymous confession app, and Secret, an anonymous news app from the US which has become a hot source for leaked company gossip.

Big Online Travel Sites In Italian Trouble

A recent report found that 85% of Brits prefer to book their holidays online. Yet court dealings in Italy reveal that online travel portals may not all be playing fair. Travel scoring website Trip Advisor is being investigated by the Italian watchdog for failing to crack down on fake reviewers posting on the site. This includes reviews posted by those who never visited, as well as positive reviews paid for by hotels and tourist attractions themselves.

Booking sites Expedia and are also being investigated after including clauses which prevent featured hotels from selling rooms cheaper elsewhere, including their own websites. Industry regulators are concerned that the booking websites’ insistence on the best deal limits wider competition.

Autoplay Advertising Coming To Facebook

Capitalising on growing ad revenue, Facebook have announced another advertising innovation coming to the UK, Autoplay adverts. These 15 second video adverts start playing as soon as the page loads, with the option to click them for enlargement and sound. They will be introduced from June as part of a trial with a handful of trusted advertisers.

Autoplay advertising is nothing new, but Facebook’s adoption shows how video banner advertising is fast becoming mainstream; especially for larger brands looking to expand beyond the limitations of image based or animated web advertising.

Groupon Grows With Gnome

Groupon is the location based voucher website which lets businesses run limited time discounts with a guaranteed number of recoups. Popular with SME’s as a quick sales boosting tool, Groupon is improving its service with a new tool called Gnome. Gnome will let businesses accept Groupon vouchers by Bluetooth or customer name removing the need for customers to bring the voucher or show it on a screen.

It’s a small innovation but Gnome might herald the beginning of the end for physical vouchers as retailers make it simpler for customers to redeem their offers in stores.

Startacus’ Technology News Round Up is written by Marketing and Technology enthusiast Justin Firth. To read more visit Justin’s blog at or follow @marketingnextuk  on Twitter.

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Published on: 24th May 2014

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