Digital Download: Chatbots and Emoji Makeovers

From Facebook’s annual F8 conference to yet another exciting Snapchat update, this week has been a big one for the digital world. With things seeming to change on an almost daily basis, it’s hard to keep up. That’s why we here at Lessing-Flynn help you stay on the cutting edge by summing all the week’s biggest digital news in our “Digital Download.” So without further ado, here’s what you need to know this week:

The Future of Facebook

Facebook held its annual F8 developer conference this week where it made several product announcements and talked about the future of the social network. Perhaps the most noteworthy announcement was the planned launch of a Messenger platform with chatbots. The bots will be able to handle customer service for businesses or even help you make a reservation at your favorite restaurant. Other announcements included Instant Articles opening up to all publishers, the introduction of sponsored message ads and an open source virtual reality camera. I wonder if those chatbots will eventually be able to do my laundry for me…

Go for the Goal

The Google Calendar app for iOS and Android has a new feature that helps you stick to your resolutions. It’s called Google Goals and should be rolling out to users in the next week. Basically the new function will help you set up a time to accomplish your goal — like exercising, studying or cleaning out the litter box — by finding free time in your schedule and penciling it in. Great, one more thing to make us feel guilty about not going to the gym!

Snapchat Stickers Get an Upgrade

Have you ever used Snapchat to slap a funny emoji sticker to your friend’s face? How about adding that pizza emoji sticker to a snap of your empty plate? Well now inserting stickers into reality just got a whole lot snazzier. In its latest update coming to users this week, Snapchat is adding 3D sticker functionality. Now you’ll be able to pin stickers to objects (or people and pets) around you and watch as they stay glued to the object even if you move your camera.

Emoji Revamp

Android users rejoice. New emoji designs are coming. It appears the days of the yellow lumps with faces are numbered. According to those familiar with the next iteration of the Android operating system, the blobs are being replaced with emojis that look a little more human and shrinking the emoji design gap between Apple and Android. As long as the poop emoji doesn’t get any more realistic, I’m all in favor.

Snapping into the Lead

If you want to reach teens on social media these days, Snapchat is a great place to start. According to a new study, Snapchat now ranks as the favorite social media network among teens with 28 percent saying it’s their top choice. It’s followed by Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The study also showed teens are generally more interested in looking at pictures and videos than text. Snaps for Snapchat.

Have something to add? Something you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below!