Facebook puts privacy at the heart of its 2018 F8 Conference
At Facebook's annual F8 developer conference last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the two-day session by addressing the data privacy elephant in the room - dishing out a series of apologies and detailing initiatives and product adjustments to help the platform better protect user data. Zuckerberg also acknowledged that he believes it will take around three years to get the social network on the right track. Amongst the talk of privacy and data also came a few new product launches. The CEO announced a wave of new updates across the network's platforms including a new dating feature for Facebook, Spotify and GoPro integrations for Instagram Stories, and a group video call functionality for WhatsApp. Read the full story here for all the updates announced at the conference.

Instagram introduces native payments
Speaking of privacy, are you ready to turn over your credit card information to Facebook's little bro, Instagram? If yes, then you'll be happy to know the photo platform quietly launched a native payments feature to a select number of users in the US and UK. The new feature allows those select users to register a debit/credit card with their profile, set up a pin and begin "booking appointments at restaurants or salons" with a limited number of partners. The platform has confirmed plans to expand this to purchases such as cinema tickets in the future. It's hoped that this smoother checkout experience will help increase conversion rates, as users tend to back out mid-purchase due to switching sites and re-entering payment details.

Instagram Stories music feature - SPOTTED!

Not so sly, Insta! An eagle-eyed user has spotted a new music feature within the Stickers UI.  The feature will let people add soundtracks to their Stories, and music will be added using Listenable Stickers, which could lead to the platform being used more for music discovery. Admit it - your morning commute Story will be undoubtedly more entertaining with Highway to Hell playing in the background.

Snapchat has slowest user growth quarter ever

Bad times for Snapchat as its Q1 earnings report reveals that user growth has slowed to 2.13% - its slowest ever, compared to 5.05 in Q4. Low user rates also caused the share price to fall by 15% in after-hours trading. What caused the decline? Another dumb UI update? Did a Jenner declare it dead on Twitter again? This month's mystery of the disappearing ghost remains unsolved...

#Budget2018

Not enticed by the hashtag? While it may not seem like the sexiest conversation on social, you may be interested to know that the Federal Budget dropped last night with wages expected to grow over the next year. A whopping $500 million is going towards saving the Great Barrier Reef and an extra $54 million was allocated to sexual assault, domestic violence and cyber safety. However, things like welfare, foreign aid, and even "famous people" faced substantial cuts. As expected, the conversation sparked heated controversy on social...

For a far more expert analysis, check out PwC's summary.

Robo-calls...

...but not of the political kind. Google Assistant is on its way to being able to make calls on your behalf so you can book a haircut or make a restaurant reservation without the bother of speaking to someone yourself. At a product demonstration today, Google Assistant showed off its capability to deal with someone confused by straightforward questions. 🙏

This post courtesy of @benhock