The Hotline – March 2019

Instagram is testing a feature which will allow users to buy products within the app. Checkout, a feature currently in beta in the US, may be rolled out if successful. It was previously suggested that Instagram would be launching a standalone app, IG Shopping, but it is unclear whether these plans are now on hold. Nike and Uniqlo are among the 20 brands involved in the test.

Apple announced the launch of its streaming service AppleTV+ this month. An updated version of the Apple TV app will be released in May ahead of the launch of Apple TV+, an ad-free subscription service set to host Apple’s original TV content. Apple’s TV app allows users to make a single payment from an account to access content from multiple streaming and pay-TV services, such as HBO, Showtime and Amazon Prime in the US.

Twitter has announced the launch of a new prototype app Twttr to allow the testing of new features. Currently the social media platform is testing a feature to make it easier for users to follow and join conversations, while also hiding abusive messages. The announcement comes after a feature roll-out earlier this month allowing users to hide replies to their tweets from specific users, with Twitter’s senior product manager suggesting it will give users “more control” over the conversations they start.

TI Media has announced the closure of Now magazine, with the final issue to go on sale on 2nd April. The publisher has described “changing dynamics of the celebrity market” since the launch of the magazine in 1996 and has seen falling circulation and a drop-off in advertising revenue in recent years. In the latest ABC figures Now’s circulation had been down 11.9% period-on-period to just 45,000.