Thursday, August 16News For London

Business

Twitter has a new hope: “resurrected users”

Business
Twitter is stuck: its user growth is flat for the first time ever. It is even shrinking in the US, while Facebook and Instagram are growing at rocket pace. Twitter disappointed investors and media with its financial results on Thursday. Last quarter, Twitter had 320 million monthly active users, and this quarter was very similar. However, excluding SMS fast followers, the audience actually fell quarter-on-quarter from 307 million to 305 million. Some Americans have even abandoned Twitter: its US audience fell from 66 million to 65 million. Twitter spokesperson Sam Hodges refused to break down their numbers by country. In total, the international monthly audience is flat – 254 million users in the fourth and third quarters of 2015. So where is Twitter's user base growing? Answer

Nestle ends sponsorship of athletics body IAAF

Business, Sport
Confectionery giant Nestle has withdrawn its sponsorship of the IAAF, the international athletics body, following the doping scandal which came to light last November. Media reports on Wednesday said that Nestle was concerned about damage to its reputation after the IAAF was accused of widespread corruption and bribery. The Swiss company said it had terminated its partnership with the IAAF Kids Athletics programme “with immediate effect” but it is understood the contract still had a year left to run. “This decision was taken in light of negative publicity associated with allegations of corruption and doping in sport made against the IAAF,” Nestle told the BBC. “We believe this could negatively impact our reputation and image and will therefore terminate our existing agreement

Courier Hermes steps up competition with new delivery slots

Business
Parcel service Hermes is to introduce four-hour delivery slots, meaning customers will no longer have to wait at home all day for their online shopping.   The new feature will apply to both next-day and standard delivery purchases, as well as returns, according to retail trade press reports. Hermes is the first delivery company to offer such a narrow timeslot. Around ten companies now operate in the UK’s rapidly growing courier market, which is worth £7.8 billion annually. Hermes’ delivery window has been launched following a trial with UK retailers, and will be shortened to just two hours later this year. According to the company’s CEO Carole Woodhead, around two thirds of consumers worry about leaving their homes when they are expecting a delivery. “A Retail Week st

Users angry about Twitter changing its design

Business, Tech
Twitter changed its design to show tweets in a popup window. Many users, however, did not like the new feature. The new feature is called popup tweets. Before, Twitter users clicked it would just slide out to display inline. Now it pops open an entirely separate modal to show you a single tweet. The new popup model led to confusion. Some users accidentally unfollowed people. I keep on almost accidentally unfollowing people because of Twitter's stupid popup bollocks — Mermaid Princess (@Pastel__Mermaid) February 8, 2016 Others found that posts are difficult to read now. Wow that new @twitter POP UP box sure makes threaded tweets/stories hard to read, huh. What a piece of shit. Why do you do this, Twitter? — Angie Manfredi (@misskubelik) February 7, 2016 Twi

London housing crisis takes average price to new record

Business, News, Uncategorized
London’s house prices saw the largest monthly growth in more than a year in December as prices rose by 2.1% on November.   It was the biggest monthly increase since August 2014, figures from the Land Registry show, and took the average price for a home in the capital to a new record level of £514,097. The report shows that December prices were also up by more than 12% year-on-year, the fastest rate of growth since last February. The increases were largely fuelled by growth in suburban areas, such as Hillingdon, Croydon and Bexley, as more and more Londoners are forced further out of town to find affordable housing. London mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan tweeted his reaction to the report. https://twitter.com/SadiqKhan/status/693124526624903169 By contrast, prices in

Ever ‘liked’ a Facebook post? Now you can ‘love’ it, too

Business, International, Social media, Tech
Facebook will soon feature ‘Reactions’, a range of responses which will sit alongside the traditional ‘like’ function, according to media reports.   Since its launch, Facebook users have just been able to ‘like’ pictures, posts and pages published on the site. But they will now be able to react more accurately using Reactions, which include “sad”, “angry”, “love” and “wow”. Facebook announced the move yesterday after the company announced its full-year financial results, which revealed a 44% year-on-year jump in revenues to just under $18 billion. “You can love something, you can be sad about something, you can laugh out loud at something,” said Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer. “We know on phones people don’t like to use keyboards, and we also know that the l

Online rental fraud up – renters at risk

Business
The number of reported cases of rental fraud across England and Wales jumped by nearly 50% last year, latest figures show. With a third of Londoners living in rented accommodation, it means those living in the capital are at higher risk of becoming victims. A BBC investigation, carried out in conjunction with Action Fraud, found 3,193 cases of rental fraud in 2015, up from 2,216 the year before. Fake landlords advertising very cheap accommodation on legitimate websites such as easyroommate.com or spareroom.co.uk demand cash deposits, and then disappear without trace. The BBC cited one case where a Kensington flat was advertised for rent at just £700 per month and the property was already occupied; the ‘owner’ nevertheless tried to convince a researcher to transfer £1,400 to s

Boris Johnson defends Google

Business, Tech
Google is due to pay £130m extra in a decade’s worth of back taxes to the UK. The Mayor of London, however, defended Google in his column for the Daily Telegraph on Monday. Johnson claimed that it is the manager’s job to pay as little tax as possible within the law. He wrote: “It is absurd to blame the company for ‘not paying their taxes’. You might as well blame a shark for eating seals. It is the nature of the beast; and not only is it the nature of the beast – it is the law it is the fiduciary duty of their finance directors to minimize tax exposure.” The Mayor of London further explained that the companies have legal obligations to their shareholders, not to public opinion or to politicians. Boris Johnson is a known advocate of the tech sector. He recently launched a cam

Star Wars: how businesses in the UK benefit from the premiere?

Business, ReportingWeek2
A number of businesses in London, including a shoe manufacturer, have been gearing up for the premiere of The Force Awaken, the latest addition in the Star Wars franchise. The shoes with Yoda and Darth Vader were on display at Schuh, the footwear retailer located in central London, since September. However, UK customers, as Jordan, the salesman at Schuh, told Westminster World are buying them “rarely, despite they are so cool”. Their number is limited, the offer is almost unique, because only two other shops in London sell these shoes, but the price is £209. Jamie Swan, the manager at Irregular Choice, the designer's shop selling these models, said that different people, both young and old, female and male, have actually been buying them, especially close to the premiere. “So

The Death of the Tax Return: blessed relief or nagging pain?

Business, News, Politics, ReportingWeek2
Image Courtesy of Phillip   Today HM Revenue and Customs bought in a new system to help self-employed taxpayers work out how much tax they owe, but opinion is divided over the change. The Personal tax account is an entirely online system that will allow self assed tax payers to manage their payments more regularly online. Tax expert Guy Bridger believes the changes are long overdue and that the old system was “a big panic for people who are self-employed”. He said:  “It’s going to make people’s lives easier. Yes it’s going to be more regular clicking on buttons hitting keypads and calculating things but it’s not rocket science to do these things. If it can be somewhat automated in the sense that it’s all more manageable and things can be assessed more easily then yes it ju