Travel essentials - July digital updates

These July digital updates are red hot, even if the UK summer is not

While Brits escape their desks in droves to burn sun themselves in the Med, the internet continues to work tirelessly at producing an endless stream of dancing hot dogs, cat videos, celebrity break-ups and, useful and interesting digital updates. So here they are.

  1. Facebook beats Snapchat at its own game

Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp this February has done the app wonders. WhatsApp Status, the messenger app’s own version of Snapchat Stories, now has 250 million daily active users – with Snapchat only reaching 166 million. With the help of its growing list of features, WhatsApp’s total usage has risen to a whopping 1 billion total users a day.

  1. Data Never Sleeps

How much data does the world generate every minute? To put it simply: a lot. It’s currently estimated that we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes a day. Data platform Domo has released its fifth annual infographic looking into the world’s data generation. It’s worth a read, but only if you’re mentally prepared – highlights include 46,740 Instagram posts a minute, and 45,787 Ubers taken every 60 seconds.

  1. I get by with a little help from my… LinkedIn Mentor?! 

The working world can be a daunting place for fresh-faced graduates, but LinkedIn has stepped in to make life a little easier by trialling a mentoring scheme. Mentors and mentees are matched by criteria, like industry and type of advice, and the mentoring can happen either online or in person. According to Fast Company, LinkedIn is billing the scheme not as a replacement for long-term mentorship, but as a service for “quick question” advice requests, such as whether you are taking the right approach in different scenarios.

  1. Google introduces SOS Alerts

The new feature aims to alert users with relevant updates during major disasters. This includes maps, news reports, translations of local phrases and emergency telephone numbers. Level of detail displayed to users differs depending on how close they are to the incident – for example, those close by may see a banner notifying them of the crisis, providing details of local resources, whereas those not in the immediate vicinity may instead see an emergency phone number or a link to make a donation.

  1. Getting GIFhy with it

Although previously adverse to their use, Facebook has extended its support of GIFs beyond users’ news feeds and comments. It is now testing a new mode where users can create GIFs of their own using their camera. Here’s to plenty of homemade GIFs of dancing cats!

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