#TechTop3 – Our top tech stories of the week

By June 10, 2016UK

By the London technology team

Antisocial media

Internet users are abandoning social networking apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in favour of more private apps such as Whatsapp, a study has found. Instagram showed the biggest drop in global usage – down 23.7% year-on-year.

The researchers believe the trend is linked to the development of number of niche apps which are competing for users’ attention – apps such as Periscope and Telegram. The trend is also linked with user’s desire for greater privacy. Whatsapp is one such example and the company’s recent decision to provide users with end-to-end encryption may be a factor.

In a world of increasing surveillance, prompted by fears of terrorism and the increasing proliferation of digital communication which is much harder to track and trace, perhaps the move to more private apps is here to stay. Read more about the study in the Daily Telegraph.

The ‘Snoopers Charter’ clears the Commons

The Investigatory Powers Bill moved a step closer to becoming law as it cleared the House of Commons this week. The Labour Party voted with the Government after winning concessions and only the SNP, Liberal Democrats and the lone Green MP voting in opposition.

The bill will have a tricky time in the Lords as the Liberal Democrats still have over 100 members opposed to it in the upper chamber plus a number of leading human rights judges and veteran civil liberties campaigners.

The tech sector expressed concerns over the bill and civil society NGOs have been campaigning vigorously. However, despite it’s relatively high profile, a recent survey carried out by Liberty showed that most voters were completely unaware of the Bill. A good write up can be found in SC Magazine.

Amazon Freshens up the grocery market

This week saw Amazon launch a full online supermarket service in a select number of postcodes in central and east London in a move that is likely to worry the UK’s major supermarket chains.

Amazon Fresh is only available to Amazon Prime customers who will need to pay an additional £6.99 a month, but Amazon plans to roll out the service, which has been available in a number of US cities since 2007, across the rest of the UK.

Online grocery sales are growing well ahead of the overall market, and with the established supermarkets still focused on their longstanding food price war, there is a clear opportunity here for Amazon to exploit.

The story was well covered in TechCrunch.