Bloomberg: Venmo Curbs Visibility on Payments So Strangers Can’t See Them

Bloomberg: Venmo Curbs Visibility on Payments So Strangers Can’t See Them. “Venmo is ditching its global social feed, making it so users can no longer see payments between people they don’t know. The app, owned by PayPal Holdings Inc., will continue to allow users to see transactions among their friends, according to a blog post Tuesday. The move comes after Venmo has seen its customer base swell to 70 million during the pandemic.”

Ars Technica: Google delays in-app billing crackdown after wave of US antitrust lawsuits

Ars Technica: Google delays in-app billing crackdown after wave of US antitrust lawsuits. “Earlier this month, Google was sued by dozens of state attorneys general over its Play Store policies. Just over a week later, the company is essentially delaying the enforcement of one of its most significant upcoming changes: a decree that all Play Store apps must use Google’s in-app billing or face a ban. Developers can now request a six-month extension to the deadline.”

CNET: How fake reviews flood Amazon, fueled by Facebook groups like this one

CNET: How fake reviews flood Amazon, fueled by Facebook groups like this one. “Valerie Zhong, the administrator of the Club Ki-Fair group on Facebook, made a simple commitment: Join her group and get free samples of household products. The generous offer promised to put hair care products, nail polishes and coffee makers into the hands of members. There was, of course, a catch. Club members had to buy the products and write a review for Amazon, where they were sold. Then, the purchases would be refunded.”

Social Shopping: What Is It and How Is It Changing Social Media? (MakeUseOf)

MakeUseOf: Social Shopping: What Is It and How Is It Changing Social Media?. “Social shopping has become part of a number of the major social media apps, where users can make purchases on these networks without having to visit a website. While the premise for these changes is based on convenience, it changes the social media experience. Here’s a look at the social shopping trend and how it is changing the social networking apps we use…”

Engadget: Google is shutting down its iOS and Android Shopping apps

Engadget: Google is shutting down its iOS and Android Shopping apps. “Google is adding another entry to its app graveyard and this time it’s Shopping that’s getting the guillotine. After XDA Developers spotted the word ‘sunset’ in the Shopping app code, Google confirmed to 9to5 Google that it’s closing the app on iOS and Android by the end of June. Instead, it will direct users to the Shopping website.”

Vice: How Mexico’s Most Powerful Cartel Used EBay to Arm Themselves With Military Gear

Vice: How Mexico’s Most Powerful Cartel Used EBay to Arm Themselves With Military Gear. “It started with his mom’s credit card, claimed Ismael Almada in March 2020, as he voluntarily spilled his guts to U.S. law enforcement officers during an interview in the Mexican city of Guadalajara. He’d originally used his mom’s card to order weapons accessories and tactical gear off eBay for his security business that focused on anti-spyware and surveillance technology, before eventually moving to PayPal to make the trail of U.S. goods to Mexico a bit more clandestine. He needed to. Most of the illegal imports went to the infamous Jalisco New Generation Cartel, known as the CJNG for its Spanish acronym.”

New York Times: Google Aims to Be the Anti-Amazon of E-Commerce. It Has a Long Way to Go.

New York Times: Google Aims to Be the Anti-Amazon of E-Commerce. It Has a Long Way to Go.. “In the last year, Google eliminated fees for merchants and allowed sellers to list their wares in its search results for free. It is also trying to make it easier for small, independent shops to upload their inventory of products to appear in search results and buy ads on Google by teaming up with Shopify, which powers online stores for 1.7 million merchants who sell directly to consumers. But like Google’s many attempts during its two-decade quest to compete with Amazon, this one shows little sign of working.”

Search Engine Land: YouTube experiments with automated lists of products detected in videos

Search Engine Land: YouTube experiments with automated lists of products detected in videos. “Google is testing a new feature that automatically detects products in videos and displays them, and related products, to viewers as a list, the company posted on its YouTube tests and experiments page yesterday. On Thursday, it also announced a new way to watch YouTube videos directly within Twitter on iOS.”

BuzzFeed News: Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A “Rabbit Hole” Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus

BuzzFeed News: Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A “Rabbit Hole” Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus. “Conspiracy theorist David Icke’s lies about COVID-19 caused Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Spotify to ban him. But on Amazon, Icke, who believes in the existence of lizard people, is recommended reading. Despite being filled with misinformation about the pandemic, Icke’s book The Answer at one point ranked 30th on Amazon.com’s bestseller list for Communication & Media Studies. Its popularity is partly thanks to the e-commerce giant’s powerful recommendation algorithms that suggest The Answer and other COVID conspiracy theory books to people searching for basic information about the coronavirus, according to new research shared exclusively with BuzzFeed News.”

TechCrunch: Walmart to host a new livestream shopping event on TikTok, following successful pilot

TechCrunch: Walmart to host a new livestream shopping event on TikTok, following successful pilot. “In December, Walmart partnered with TikTok on the first pilot test of a new livestreamed shopping experience in the U.S. on the video platform. That test seemingly performed well, as today Walmart announced it will return to TikTok to host another livestream shopping event, the ‘Spring Shop-Along: Beauty Edition,’ which will feature TikTok creators and influencers in an hour-long livestream.”

TechCrunch: After similar moves for Shopping and Flights, Google makes hotel listings free

TechCrunch: After similar moves for Shopping and Flights, Google makes hotel listings free. “Last year, Google made a significant change to its Google Shopping destination by making it free for e-commerce retailers to sell on Google, when before the Shopping tab had been dominated by paid product listings. It also made it free for partners to participate in Google Flights. Today, the company announced it’s now doing the same thing for hotel booking links on the Google.com/travel vertical.”

Yahoo News: Booming industry for fake Google reviews has ‘evaded detection’

Yahoo News: Booming industry for fake Google reviews has ‘evaded detection’. “A booming industry has emerged in fake Google (GOOGL) reviews, with businesses across the UK paying to artificially boost their ratings online. According to an investigation by consumer group Which?, fake reviewers were employing similar manipulative tactics for a wide range of businesses – from a stockbroker in Canary Wharf to a bakery in Edinburgh.”