The Hotline – October 2018

Stylist magazine has created a TV show, Women of the House, to give women a platform in UK politics. The talk-show style episodes are hosted by Isabel Webster, the Sky News presenter, and feature female MPs discussing current events. Women of the House will air on Stylist.co.uk and YouTube, with shorter edits on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The show ties into Stylist’s Visible Women campaign to encourage more women to engage in politics that has been ongoing throughout 2018.

Facebook has accelerated the growing pervasiveness of voice-powered technology in the home by launching its own voice-powered device. Facebook’s Portal and Portal+ devices resemble an iPad on a stand and have been designed primarily for video communication. It includes additional entertainment functions, like Spotify, Facebook Watch and Pandora, with more partners to come. All of this can be entirely controlled by voice thanks to its built-in access to Amazon’s Alexa.

Viral publisher Unilad entered into administration this month, before quickly being acquired by LADBible. Unilad’s parent company, Bentley Harrington, had debts of £6m prior to the buy-out, it was revealed in a court hearing this month. LADBible, one of the biggest publishers on Facebook – with more scale than the BBC, CNN and New York Times – has since purchased its rival for an undisclosed fee. While the companies are entering into an assessment period, there are no immediate expected job losses, and it is anticipated that the businesses will remain separate.

Google’s social network, Google+, was shut down this month following a wake of data scandals. After it was revealed that as many as 500,000 Google+ users had been affected by the data breach in March 2018, parent-company Alphabet will be closing the network over the next 10 months. Google+ launched in 2011, but was not able to compete with other social networks with Google recently admitting that it had low engagement, with 90% of user sessions lasting less than five seconds.

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