Binky Can Help You Break Your Social Media Addiction

Are you addicted to social media? Do you spend your days checking Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and the numerous other social platforms in existence? If keeping up with everything that is happening on social is giving you anxiety, or is overwhelming you, then the app Binky is here to help. Created by Developer Dan Kurtz in response to his own experiences with social media, Binky features an app interface full of random images in the format of a fake news feed. Any action taken, such as swiping on images, adding stars to images, sharing (i.e. re-bink), or comments have no effect on well, anything. There are no algorithms studying your behavior. Instead, Binky fills the need to be engaged on a platform, without any of the consequences of real social media. Sure, it may seem like a joke, or a humorous cultural commentary, but for the social media addicted, Binky may bring some sweet relief and a nice hiatus from the domination of the news feed.

Read more about Binky and Social Media at Forbes


Direct Message Bots Now Available for Twitter Direct Messages

For brands hoping to engage with consumers on Twitter in real time, direct message bots are now available. Brands can add up to three buttons in direct messages to customers, featuring call-to-action requests such as the option to make a purchase, link to a website, and other conversational cues. Although Twitter has been using buttons in ads for years, this marks the first-time Twitter has brought this functionally to direct messages putting the platform on par with similar offerings from Microsoft, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram Messenger. According to Twitter, anyone can utilize these new bot capabilities through Twitter’s APIs or by using a tool built on Twitter’s APIs, such as API.ai, Sproutsocial, or Conversocial.

Read more about Twitter Direct Message Bot Functionality at VentureBeat


New App MealConnect Helps Stores and Restaurants Donate Extra Food

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the extra food that businesses do not consume or sell? Usually, it gets thrown away. According to current statistics, 72 billion pounds of edible, safe to eat food is tossed out yearly, with around 52 billion of this total coming from manufacturers, restaurants and grocery stores. To help combat hunger, the organization Feeding Hunger has developed a new app, MealConnect to help these organizations donate their extra food supply. Feeding America currently helps to feed 42 million people in the U.S., through its work with 600,000 partner organizations, including soup kitchens, pantries and meal programs. Feeding America believes that MealConnect will bring much needed organization to the processes of food donation and distribution. Businesses with extra food to donate, can upload information about their donation to the app or to the website and arrange a pickup. The app also using an algorithm to match the donor with a representative from an organization in need to come and collect the food. Feeding America currently saves around 2.8 billion pounds of food yearly and hopes to end food insecurity by 2025.

Read more about Feeding America and the MealConnect app at Fast Company


Apple’s iOS 11 Update will Support Business Chat in Apple iMessage for Retailers

Now, businesses who directly communicate with customers, such as retail, can look forward to Apple’s new Business Chat feature with the iOS 11 update. Business Chat is expected to give chatbots a run for their money, by bringing more personal interaction into these direct conversations. With Business Chat, conversations are started by users and appear as a person-to-person chat, instead of as a typical communication with a chatbot. Business Chat can be used from Safari, Siri, and other Apple applications via the text message platform. Another useful feature of Apple Business Chat is its ability to integrate with CRM and other customer service platforms, such as Salesforce, Nuance, LivePerson and Genesys. Through this new feature, Apple is attempting to bring more value to retailers who can use these messages for frequent, direct communication with customers.

Read more about Apple Business Chat at RetailDive


Facebook Messenger’s AI Assistant is Now Bilingual, Communicating in English and Spanish

It’s never too late to learn a new language. Now Facebook Messenger’s AI assistant, aka “M,” can now understand and offer recommendations in Spanish. With this new capability, “M” can recognize if a person is writing in Spanish by scanning the message and looking for certain words. Once recognized, “M” will offer feedback and information. For example, if a user types, “Dónde estás?” into the window, then “M” will pull up the location sharing feature inside Facebook. This feature is currently available to U.S. Facebook users with their primary language set to Spanish and users in Mexico.

Read more about Facebook Messenger’s AI Assistant at TechCrunch