Facebook launches a new PC gaming platform, Twitter introduces customer service bots

Global digital news of the day - Facebook has announced that Gameroom — its new PC gaming platform that looks like Steam for casual games, Twitter is rolling out bot-like features inside its direct messaging feature in an effort to lure more brands, and more

Facebook makes it easier for indie games to come to its casual platform: Facebook has announced that Gameroom — its new PC gaming platform that looks like Steam for casual games — will soon accept uploads from Unity developers. The app, launched last month, will let game makers using the upcoming Unity 5.6 game engine export their creations directly to the platform, playable alongside big-name Facebook and mobile games like Clash of Kings on Windows PCs outside of Facebook itself.

EA: 63% of Q2’s $898 million in game revenues were digital: Electronic Arts generated $898 million in revenue during the second quarter of its fiscal 2017, and $566 million of that — or 63 percent — was digital. During the same period last year, EA reported that 62 percent — or $502 million — of $815 million in revenues were digital. In a global gaming industry that is worth more than $99.6 billion across every platform, digital sales are growing fast.

Square reports $439 million in revenue for Q3 2016 as gross payment volume jumps 39%: Square ($SQ) has released the results of its third quarter financial earnings, revealing that it generated $439 million in net revenue, up 32 percent annually, but had a net income loss of $32 million. Its Gross Payment Volume (GPV) now stands at $13.2 billion, an increase of 39 percent yearly.

Instagram’s new shoppable photos are a glimpse at its e-commerce future: Instagram influencers have long tried to hack the app to make money by putting “purchase link in bio” when they photograph something you can buy. The company has noticed, so now it’s making it easier for users to make purchases from within the app — but only for certain brands.

Now Facebook plans to eat the $500 billion telecom equipment market: After taking on the multibillion-dollar data center equipment industry, Facebook has now set its sights on the $500 billion telecom equipment market, too. On Tuesday it revealed several details of its plans.

Medium adds supports for drag and drop images, mobile image grids, and inline code: Medium is making its publishing platform a bit more fluid to work with the needs of its content creators. The company announced that it will now support drag and drop images on the web, mobile image grids, and also inline code.

Twitter introduces customer service bots in direct messages: Twitter is rolling out bot-like features inside its direct messaging feature in an effort to lure more brands into using it as a customer service platform. The company today introduced automated “welcome” messages for customers who send a DM to a brand, along with “quick replies” that let customers choose from pre-written messages to complete common tasks.

Instapaper’s most useful features are now free for everyone: Pinterest which acquired read-it-later app Instapaper earlier this year, announced Tuesday that the app’s premium features are now available to all users for free. Those who have already paid for a yearly subscription to the app will get a prorated refund.

Mastercard Built A Payment Chatbot To Assist Their Wearable Platform: Mastercard is introducing some new methods to make their services more mobile and multichannel retail oriented. The first initiative they’re starting is that of chatbots for banks and merchants.

Babbel Speak The Language: Babbel, the online language learning company, has launched an advertising campaign centred on two commercials, “Tiny Whale” and “Messy Dress”. The campaign’s goal is to position the Babbel brand globally, and showcase the core strengths of the Babbel App. At the center of the campaign is Babbel’s primary brand message: To help people speak a new language quickly and like they’ve always wanted to.

How publishers are making money from Facebook Live: Facebook officially opened its doors to branded content this April, letting media owners publish advertorials, either co-created with brands or sponsored by them, to their verified Facebook pages. There’s also the option to run short ad breaks within Facebook Live videos, though this is just running with a handful of test publishers. And while there hasn’t been an avalanche of publishers running sponsored live videos — most are just figuring out how to develop audiences for Facebook Live — some are starting to see dollar signs.

Publishers are using their newsletters as labs for new offerings: The email newsletter has gone from being an afterthought for publishers to a platform unto itself. Today, the newsletter is a petri dish, where audience-development teams tinker with audience segments, trying to figure out what their most engaged readers care most about before investing in more similar content. The latest example of this trend arrived last week, when The New York Times launched the website version of “Watching,” a streaming video-recommendation site that began as an email newsletter.

IAB: Mobile made up nearly half of $32.7 billion record internet revenues in first half of 2016: Internet revenues surpassed another record high in the first half of 2016 to hit $32.7 billion, according to the IAB report conducted by PwC. That’s a 19-percent increase over the $27.5 billion reported for the first half of 2015. Digital growth is outpacing other media when compared to Nielsen data, thanks to mobile.

Digital Advertising Grew to a $32 Billion Industry in the First Half of 2016: According to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, revenue from digital advertising, driven largely by search and mobile, reached $32.7 billion for the first half of 2016, an increase of 19 percent from $27.5 billion last year.