BA’s in-flight comic relief, the future of maps and demise of Microsoft Paint

British Airways in positive PR shocker!

Our favourite viral video of the week was definitely the new British Airways in-flight safety instructions. Not just any old demonstration of the airline’s safety features and procedures, this video, in conjunction with Comic Relief, is a star-studded affair. The video features a host of British film stars, comedians and television personalities as though auditioning for a part in the safety video and certainly makes for an engaging way to get the safety message across. The humorous Comic Relief collaboration also marks the launch of BA’s Flying Start charity. So far it’s had almost 4 million views and if you’ve not watched it yet, do treat yourself to a Friday afternoon chuckle.

Mapping the (not too distant) future

Apple iOS developer Andrew Hart posted two new videos to Twitter recently which showed possible uses for the upcoming ARKit, a framework which “blends digital objects and information with the environment around you”. The videos demonstrate recent advances in augmented reality by embedding engaging animations within live on-screen camera views, guiding users to points of interest.

One of Hart’s videos showed the London city skyline where superimposed bubbles hover over the Shard, labelling it and calculating its distance from the user’s current location. The second video showed Hart typing in ‘Starbucks’ and then being directed by red arrows and a blue trail appearing on his screen and guiding him to the nearest shop. It seems this new software puts the user in the map itself and may make it a lot quicker to find your nearest coffee.

Paint lives on

Microsoft made a shock announcement that it would no longer support MS Paint in future Windows updates. There was an outcry and immediate campaign across social media to save Paint from its demise.

Paint has been a key part of Microsoft for 32 years and has been on every version of the Microsoft Windows operating system since 1985. 100 million people still use the programme regularly.

Following the online outpouring of love for the vintage digital design tool, Microsoft has announced that it will not be completely getting rid of Paint. For those who do want to continue using Paint you can download it from the Windows Store.

Is this Twitter’s swansong?

Twitter is not having a good time of it at the moment. All the rage only a few years ago, the bluebird’s song is less chirpy than it used to be. The social network revealed this week that, despite adding an extra nine million monthly users, its total user base has not in fact grown in the last quarter, remaining static at 328 million users. Worse news, in the United States two million users stopped using the platform.

The social network has struggled to generate all-important advertising revenue and has seen its share plummet 10 per cent this week. Why the world is falling out of love with Twitter is up for debate… Perhaps commercialisation put users off? Or maybe as competing networks like Instagram and Snapchat hoover up younger users with different networking priorities, the Twitter model can’t keep up.

We’re not sounding the death-knell just yet, but it seems that the bubble (though not exactly bursting) is becoming a bit saggy. With some commentators believing this is the time that Twitter will either thrive or die, we should expect changes to the platform to entice new and lapsed users to share their thoughts in 180 characters.

Leave a Reply