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Friday Five: 3/20-3/24

Alex Jonker


TGIF! Check out some of the top tech headlines from the past week before you head out:

Walmart Is Launching a Tech Incubator in Silicon Valley - Fortune

To stay ahead of retail tech trends, Walmart has launched its own tech incubator, Store No 8. The Silicon Valley center, coined as an “innovation cluster,” is encouraged to grow, think and invent independently of the nation’s largest retailer and its influence. Walmart hopes this incubator will modernize e-commerce strategy with the production of robots, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and other tech trends.

Instagram now has 1 million advertisers, will launch business booking tool this year - VentureBeat

Instagram announced Wednesday that it now hosts more than 1 million advertisers on the app each month, which is a 400 percent increase from last year’s numbers. This growth has inspired the app to create innovative ways for businesses to interact with consumers, such as the ability for users to book appointments directly through the app, which is set to appear later this year. Technology and improvements that convert fans and followers into paying customers are the app’s “next steps.”

Here's everything Apple announced on Tuesday - Business Insider

Tuesday saw the release of multiple new Apple products – unaccompanied by a large media event. The company instead unveiled a handful of new products and some “refreshes” of existing models on their website. Among the new offerings was a 9.7-inch iPad, a special edition iPhone 7 (RED) benefiting HIV/AIDS prevention and research and product updates to Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases. Most notable was the release of Apple’s new app, Clips, which is described as a hybrid of both iMovie and Snapchat.

Facebook tests an enhanced local search and discovery feature offering business suggestions  - TechCrunch 

Facebook’s newest search feature is essentially an in-app Yelp. The enhanced search capabilities allow users to inquire about “dinner nearby” or “best bars in Chicago” within the app itself. The search results also come with star-ranked reviews, pricing, location and a list of friends that have visited – all similar to services like Yelp, Foursquare and Google Maps. This is currently in the testing stage, but users can expect to see it in the coming months.

AT&T and Johnson & Johnson Pull Ads From YouTube - New York Times

YouTube has found itself in a not-so-pleasant situation. Industry giants Johnson & Johnson and AT&T have both opted to pull their ads from Google properties after being paired with sites that promote hate speech and extremist views. This comes after a series of European entities (the British government, The Guardian and GSK) pulled their ads for similar reasons. Google has promised an “extensive review” of its ad policies and pledges to give brands more control over ad placement in the future.

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