To promote their upcoming Prime Day event, Amazon had opened VR kiosks in malls in India. Limited to 10, the pop-ups will show use next-gen tech to show how retailer is transforming the future of shopping by transporting participants to a virtual city filled with Prime Day products. Viewed through an Oculus Rift headset and controlled by a Touch peripheral, the experience will let shoppers interact with products in a whole new way. According to Akshay Sahi, Amazon's Head of Amazon Prime, consumers will be able to "check the fit and fall of the latest Marks & Spencer dress on a 360 degree hologram, pick up an Amrapali necklace and inspect the intricate details up close, open a Bosch microwave placed in a kitchen countertop to visualize how it would look in their home, play with an Iron Man figurine from Hasbro in virtual reality and more."
If you noticed a dip in your number of Twitter followers this week, you're not alone: the company has begun its latest purge, directing its efforts at the "tens of millions of locked accounts" that clutter up their platform. Hitting Twitter's own account the hardest (they lost some 7.5 million followers) and impacting popular profiles owned by celebrities like Barack Obama, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, most of the removed accounts had been identified as fake, fraudulent or driven by bots. "This specific update," said Vijaya Gadde, Twitter's legal, policy, and trust and safety lead, "is focused on followers because it is one of the most visible features on our service and often associated with account credibility."
Machine learning is all the rage at Google who this week announced plans to launch a new suite of ad services powered by AI. Detailed by VP of Product Management Jerry Dischler at the Google Marketing Live event, the tools will soon be integrated into every form of campaign management, from bidding to dynamic headlines to creative and targeting. Intended to help marketers automate and optimize, they're meant to address the gaps between the "growing complexity of platforms" and the "ability of marketers to design highly effective advertising campaigns."
AR ads are coming to Facebook's New Feed! Currently in beta with a "select group of advertisers," the new units will "look like normal in-feed ads" and include a "tap to try it on" option that will give users the opportunity to experience brands in a whole new way. Presented by global marketing solutions VP Ty Ahmad-Taylor at a New York press conference, a bevy of new brands including Michael Kors, Sephora, NYX Professional Makeup, Bobbi Brown, Pottery Barn, Wayfair and King, are planning to deploy their own tests soon.
A new California regulation that puts limits on a business's ability to use and monetize customer data isn't going over so well, as privacy advocates, industry organizations and media technologists prepare to do battle. Signed by Governor Jerry Brown just two weeks ago, the bill (which has been described as a "work in progress") passed unimpeded and requires companies to "disclose data about consumers at their request." It's scheduled to go into effect in January of 2020.