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Interesting Reads. Industry news that you may have missed.

I played the first Alexa-enabled board game and it was a real trip – Fast Company

Amazon’s Alexa is not only helpful at home, but she also makes a great board game host. A new AI-powered trivia game When in Rome takes between two and eight players on a tour around the world and tests their answers about global cities. Alexa guides the game by asking questions, determining if answers are correct or not, and keeps track of the score.

Source: Sensible Object

Mobile Apps Are Musts for Most Brands, as Long as Users Like Them – The New York Times

Brand apps have become a valuable tool for a company’s financial strategy, as long as they don’t bombard shoppers with emails, fliers, and in-store ads. In 2018, shoppers in the U.S. are expected to make $118 billion in retail purchases through their smartphones. It’s key for brands to offer a sweet spot for customers by sharing customize ads, discounts, and promotions, without overwhelming push notifications.  

Source: Getty Images

First look at Instagram’s self-policing Time Well Spent tool – Tech Crunch

Overgramming has become more frequent, so Instagram wants to manage it. The social media app aims to help users from overuse rather than leaving it to iOS and Android’s new screen time dashboards. The unlaunched version of Instagram’s Usage Insights tool provides a daily tally of minutes users spend on the app and lets users set up a time-spent daily limit. 

Source: Tech Crunch

Fashion influencer apps are tapping into beauty – Glossy

Fashion influencer apps have taken over the app store, some even expanding into the beauty market. One app, Like to Know it, partnered with Ulta, and another app, Trove, is experimenting with beauty on its platform. This trend is expected to grow as a recent report showed that there are about 200 million beauty fans on the platform worldwide, and over 25 percent of users follow at least one makeup account.