Tech Bites #6
Number 6. This weeks report looks at WhatsApp, Mozilla and Amazon!
WhatsApp Fact Checker
Earlier this year WhatsApp introduced limits to the amount of people that a message could be forwarded to. The aim of this was to cut the spread of misinformation on their platform. They later reported that this cut the spread of viral messages by 70%. Success!
The next step that they’re taking is introducing a new feature that will fact check forwarded messages. Whenever a user receives a forwarded message, it will come with a magnifying glass icon. Pressing this will take the user to a Google Search query about the relevant information, so that they can make up their own mind.
The new feature has already been rolled out in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US for those on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web.
Amazon Mall Takeover
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is currently in talks in the US to takeover space in ailing malls to use as mini fulfilment centres. The eCommerce giant is in talks with Sears and JCPenney. The move would see next day delivery become more feasible in some underserved regions in The States.
This isn’t the first time that Amazon has done this. The Wall Street Journal also reported a similar move last year in Ohio. The move itself unsurprising as Amazon’s tendrils continue to spread across all things commerce. It is, however, a clear indicator that the traditional high street and mall culture is still shifting away from buying in stores. Mashable reported that mall owners have seen this coming as early as 2017, pivoting away from retailers, towards gyms, restaurants and supermarkets.
Mozilla to lay off 250 employees
Mozilla has announced that it is laying off a quarter of its entire workforce, roughly 250 employees, in a blog post on Tuesday. The company behind the internet browser Firefox, Mozilla has stated that it is not structured properly to compete with their peers. It was later revealed that the layoffs include both the DevTools and MDN (Mozilla Developer Network) teams.
This is troubling news for those of us who favour a diverse web. With Google Chrome already operating in a league of its own, the loss of this many staff from one of their competitors cannot bode well. At least in the short term. Mozilla has justified the layoffs as part of a restructuring of their business, in order to ‘strengthen our ability to build and invest in products and services that will give people alternatives to conventional Big Tech.‘