SRAX Recap: Facebook rolls out news feed insights, Amazon lowers Whole Foods prices, Snapchat tests status feature

In this week’s digital news, Facebook enables a “Why am I seeing this?” feature in users’ News Feed, Amazon announces 20% price cuts on Whole Foods groceries, Snapchat shares progress on a new Snap Maps feature, and more.

New Facebook feature explains why you see each post

Facebook launched a new descriptive feature earlier this week which effectively grants users specific insights on every post appearing in their News Feed. The feature, displayed as “Why am I seeing this?,” was developed to clear up confusion that users had in the past. Confusion specifically regarding Facebook’s news feed algorithm and how it works. To introduce the feature, Facebook released an informative video that breaks down three simple factors that help decide which posts appear on users’ feeds.

As the video explains it, the first element of the algorithm has to do with who a specific user typically engages with online. The second factor is the media included in any given post. If a specific post includes photos, links, and/or videos, there’s a higher probability that it’ll float to the top of the pile. Lastly, users see posts on their Feed based on relative popularity. So if a status or share is getting a lot of engagement, it’ll come to your attention quicker as well. In addition, the feature equips users with tools to manage their News Feed, giving a level of control over the content they see.

Via Pexels

Amazon Slashes Whole Foods Prices

Amazon recently announced a new round of price cuts on Whole Foods groceries that will take effect soon. First off, this change will effectively double weekly grocery deals for Prime members. After Amazon merged with the high-end grocery store chain a few years back, they devoted their efforts to providing customers with various weekly discounts. If users link their Prime memberships to their Whole Foods accounts, they’re able to access these deals.

Since the merger took effect, Whole Foods customers have saved a reported “hundreds of millions of dollars” with Prime’s weekly discounts. With this further update, Whole Foods shoppers will see a significant price drop on fresh produce. In addition, the grocery retailer will offer Prime members access to over 300 deals on the season’s most popular produce. Although Prime members still receive the usual 10% on other items within the store, they now have the ability to save as much as 35 to 40% within the store.

Snapchat’s new feature lets friends see what you’re up to

Snapchat revealed insights on an upcoming feature geared towards enhancing the app’s Snap Map function. For the uninitiated, the Snap Map feature lets users see where their friends are currently located. The new feature, dubbed as “Status,” allows Snapchat users to check in to places and see what their friends are doing based on their Snap Map location. Status appears as a button on the bottom left of a user’s screen, then offers a list of locations to choose from. Users can choose whichever option fits best, or create their own. In addition, Status will store users’ previous locations in a private list, titled “passport.” For the privacy-minded folks out there, the passport option will grant users the ability to delete previous locations at any time. As of now, Snapchat claims the new feature is currently being tested by select users in Australia.

Via Pixabay

Walmart Double Downs on Voice Grocery Shopping

Walmart recently announced that customers will have an easier grocery shopping method using voice command on any device linked to Google Assistant. Users have access to Google Assistant on devices such as Google Home, iPhone, and Android. They also disclosed that more platforms will follow, which likely means Alexa. Although voice command grocery shopping has been tested previously by Walmart, the company had yet to roll out the feature in any measurable way.

This new announcement is a step forward, however, and a reinvigorated effort to prioritize existing loyal Walmart customers. Using saved customer data, the Walmart voice tech will remember which specific brands you like the most. That way, when you say “Ok, Google, add a gallon of milk to my shopping cart,” it’ll know exactly which milk you prefer. The end goal, as Walmart sees it, is that users will be able to slowly build up a grocery list over the course of a week, and have it ready for pickup at a convenient time.

Luxury electric rivals race to catch up to tesla

After a slew of announcements, the luxury electric car competition has begun to flourish. Most notably, Jaguar introduced its first electric model, the I-Pace. And within the next 12 months, rival electrics will be available from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volvo. The Audi E-tron S.U.V. is now available for reservations, and will ship next month. Then there’s the Mercedes’s EQC, which will hit the market in 2020. Porsche’s electric Taycan vehicle will arrive at the end of this year, with registrations already available.

And as we reported a few weeks back, Volvo’s Polestar 2 five-door fastback will ship in 2020. These are just the big names, however, as many smaller companies have new models in the works as well. Byton will unveil its S.U.V. States in late 2020, while the Amazon-funded Rivian expects to begin production of its electric truck and S.U.V. next year. These vehicles will charge faster, perform better, and in many cases offer sleeker features than currently available Tesla models. Only time will tell if the brand buzz around Tesla’s vehicles will keep the company on top of the market.

Published on April 5, 2019

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