It’s now quicker than ever to buy the items on your Pinterest board

Pinterest has made it even easier to purchase your inspiration with a new partnership with Woocommerce.

The official ‘Pinterest for WooCommerce’ extension is now available in the WooCommerce Marketplace, allowing sellers on both platforms the ability to offer Pinterest shopping functionalities directly from a Pinterest account.

The two companies say the exchange of services means over three million WooCommerce sellers will now be connected with Pinterest’s 400 million monthly users.

Social media meets ecommerce 

According to Pinterest data, 97% of the top searches on the site are unbranded, meaning shoppers are within the discovery stage of their journey. When they do purchase, Pinterest users spend two times more than people on other platforms. 

“By partnering together we provide the best integrated Pinterest shopping experience possible for WooCommerce merchants to be on the cutting edge of social commerce,” said Aleksandra Bettin, Vice President of Business Development at WooCommerce. 

“WooCommerce is highly invested in our merchants' success. Merchants need the right options to reach the right audiences–this integration with Pinterest helps them do that.”

WooCommerce ecommerce merchants can create or connect a Pinterest for Business account and automatically sync their product catalog, turning their products into browsable product Pins. 

Similar to an ecommerce platform, users will be able to measure conversions on their Pinterest ads and optimize these ads for shopping campaigns or retargeting by installing the Pinterest tag.

“WooCommerce is a critical partner to continue to grow our support for our Pinterest business community. Pinterest supports the entire shopping journey not just for Pinners, but for advertisers, merchants, and creators too. Our goal is to make it easier than ever for WooCommerce merchants to reach and convert Pinterest shoppers,” said Rachel Hardy, Head of Shopping Product Marketing at Pinterest.

In 2015, Pinterest introduced a ‘Buy it’ button for pinners to make purchases from the collection of ideas saved on their Pinterest board. At the time, any item with a blue price tag was labeled a buyable pin, which meant you could tap it and buy it with a credit card or Apple Pay.

As a shopping platform, Pinterest plans to combine the commercial intent of its audience with the ability to visually explore products as you would in a magazine or catalog.

  • If you are looking to create an ecommerce site, we’ve featured everything you need to choose the best website builder for you 

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It’s now quicker than ever to buy the items on your Pinterest board

Pinterest has made it even easier to purchase your inspiration with a new partnership with Woocommerce.

The official ‘Pinterest for WooCommerce’ extension is now available in the WooCommerce Marketplace, allowing sellers on both platforms the ability to offer Pinterest shopping functionalities directly from a Pinterest account.

The two companies say the exchange of services means over three million WooCommerce sellers will now be connected with Pinterest’s 400 million monthly users.

Social media meets ecommerce 

According to Pinterest data, 97% of the top searches on the site are unbranded, meaning shoppers are within the discovery stage of their journey. When they do purchase, Pinterest users spend two times more than people on other platforms. 

“By partnering together we provide the best integrated Pinterest shopping experience possible for WooCommerce merchants to be on the cutting edge of social commerce,” said Aleksandra Bettin, Vice President of Business Development at WooCommerce. 

“WooCommerce is highly invested in our merchants' success. Merchants need the right options to reach the right audiences–this integration with Pinterest helps them do that.”

WooCommerce ecommerce merchants can create or connect a Pinterest for Business account and automatically sync their product catalog, turning their products into browsable product Pins. 

Similar to an ecommerce platform, users will be able to measure conversions on their Pinterest ads and optimize these ads for shopping campaigns or retargeting by installing the Pinterest tag.

“WooCommerce is a critical partner to continue to grow our support for our Pinterest business community. Pinterest supports the entire shopping journey not just for Pinners, but for advertisers, merchants, and creators too. Our goal is to make it easier than ever for WooCommerce merchants to reach and convert Pinterest shoppers,” said Rachel Hardy, Head of Shopping Product Marketing at Pinterest.

In 2015, Pinterest introduced a ‘Buy it’ button for pinners to make purchases from the collection of ideas saved on their Pinterest board. At the time, any item with a blue price tag was labeled a buyable pin, which meant you could tap it and buy it with a credit card or Apple Pay.

As a shopping platform, Pinterest plans to combine the commercial intent of its audience with the ability to visually explore products as you would in a magazine or catalog.

  • If you are looking to create an ecommerce site, we’ve featured everything you need to choose the best website builder for you 

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Google Chrome is apparently the fastest macOS web browser ever made

Google is constantly working to improve the speed of its browser and it appears these efforts have paid off as Google Chrome recently achieved the highest score yet on Apple's Speedometer 2.0 benchmark.

Since the launch of Chrome back in 2008, the search giant has set out to build the fastest browser regardless of whether you're using it on a smartphone or laptop.

In order to measure the speed of its browser, Google uses a combination of internal benchmarking infrastructure and public, industry-standard benchmarks. When it comes to comparing JavaScript performance in browsers, Apple's Speedometer 2.0 benchmark is the most broadly used tool today as it provides an accurate depiction of real world testing.

Since 2015, Google has been measuring Chrome's Speedometer scores on a 13-inch MacBook. While the browser's performance improved on Intel-based Macs, the release of Apple's M1 chips in 2020 have led to a huge performance increase.

Improving Chrome's performance

In a new blog post, Google explained that the projects it has worked on over the years have made a significant improvement to Chrome's performance. However, this wasn't the case with all of them.

For instance, with pointer compression the company was willing to take a small performance hit in order for Chrome to use less memory. This was also the case when the Spectre CPU exploit hit and Google had to trade performance to guarantee the safety of its users.

All in all, years of work on projects like fast C++ lookups, thin strings, revamping parser and more have led to an 83 percent improvement in Chrome's Speedometer score. Still though, it was the combination of Apple's introduction of the M1 CPU with Google's Sparkplug and LTO+PGO projects that helped Chrome rocket to the top of the Speedometer scores. Chrome now scores over 300 on Speedometer and this is the highest score any browser has ever achieved.

These scores will likely continue to improve as Google develops its browser further and Apple's new M1 Ultra chip will also give Chrome another big performance boost on macOS.

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It’s now quicker than ever to start a Microsoft Teams call

There could soon be no escape from a quick Microsoft Teams catch-up after the company released a new update that makes setting up a call easier than ever.

The video conferencing service will soon let users cast directly from their desktop to Microsoft Teams Rooms hardware, meaning there's no need for a formal meeting any more.

Instead, users can employ the new Teams casting feature to wirelessly connect to a Teams Room, no matter where in the world they are.

Microsoft Teams casting

In its entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company says it sees the upgrade as ideal for quick ad-hoc sessions that don't require setting up a formal meeting.

The feature will work across Windows and Mac versions of the Teams desktop client, with users able to broadcast their screen and cast content stored locally on their computer or accessible via Office 365.

The feature is still listed as “in development”, but Microsoft has listed a general availability date of March 2022, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. The tool will be made generally available to desktop users everywhere upon release.

The news is the latest example of Microsoft Teams working in harmony with other services and products in a bid for improved efficiency.

Recently, Microsoft revealed that users will soon be able to add apps built for Microsoft Teams across Office.com and the Office app for Windows, meaning there's now no need to switch between platforms in order to use specific apps.

The company is also working on a new feature that will let users run apps built for Microsoft Teams within its Outlook email service.

The move should make online collaboration and communication a much more seamless and smoother experience, meaning users shouldn't need to constantly switch between Teams and Outlook to stay on top of their work.

Microsoft Teams continues to go from strength to strength, with the latest figures from the company showing that the service now boasts over 270 million monthly active users.

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This new Microsoft PowerToys update could be the least exciting ever, but you should still install it

Microsoft has released a new update for its PowerToys utility suite for Windows 10 and Windows 11, which may be one of the least exciting for a while.

Microsoft’s PowerToys v0.55.2 is available for download now, but doesn't come with any new features or upgrades. Instead, it packs an important security update that addresses a security flaw discovered in the previous release.

That means that even though it doesn't sound particularly interesting, PowerToys users should still install the update immediately to make sure their systems stay protected.

PowerToys security

“This is a patch release to fix issues in v0.55.1. due to an installer bug and .NET 5 doing an update for the runtime,” the official changelog for the release reads. “We deemed (it) important for stability based on incoming rates.”

PowerToys users can install the update now by going to the Settings menu, then General > Updates > Check for updates.

Although perhaps not a commonly-known app for most users, PowerToys allows Windows users the chance to optimize their software for maximum efficiency and productivity.

PowerToys is an open source suite of tools for advanced Windows users, designed to help bypass certain settings and perform actions that are unavailable by default. It also offers a wider range of customization options.

Since PowerToys was rebooted in 2019, Microsoft has serviced the suite regularly with new tools and features, a pattern extended with the latest release. 

This includes the recent inclusion of a mouse crosshair tool that lets users quickly identify the location of their cursor using a keyboard shortcut, and two new File Explorer add-ons that dramatically expand the number of file types supported by the preview pane, including support for 3D printers.

A further PowerToys update earlier in 2022 also included several useful additions, including an “Always on Top” utility that allows users to toggle a window in focus to be on top with a quick press of Win + Ctrl + T. Microsoft also changed the hotkey to mute your webcam and microphone from Win + N to Win + Shift + Q to avoid conflict with an existing Windows 11 keyboard shortcut.

The latest version of PowerToys is available via both the Microsoft Store and the GitHub page.

Via: MSPowerUser

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Microsoft Teams is more popular than ever, so you’d better get used to it

The success of Microsoft Teams just keeps on growing as more and more users around the world sign up to the platform.

The video conferencing service now boasts over 270 million monthly active users (MAUs) according to the latest figures released by Microsoft.

This is up from the 250 million Microsoft Teams MAUs that the company reported just six months ago, as the hybrid working age continues to drive the platform from strength to strength.

Record Microsoft Teams numbers

In its latest quarterly financial report, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted that although the growth of Teams has been encouraging, it does expect this to slow somewhat as usage begins to plateau.

Microsoft changed how it measures Teams usage last year, switching from daily active users to monthly active users, which again possibly suggested numbers may be slowing somewhat.

The company is still busy working on updates and upgrades for Teams, however, with recent releases including a way for users to hide their own video feed whilst on a call, apply an emoji as a reaction to chat messages, and even add its Cortana voice-recognition software to the platform.

Overall, Q2 2022 was an incredibly successful one for Microsoft, with the company beating analyst predictions to record another major quarter.

The company reported a 20% increase in revenues, which hit $ 51.7 billion, with net income up 21% to hit $ 18.8 billion. Windows OEM revenue increased 25% compared to the previous year, with Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increasing 13%.

“Digital technology is the most malleable resource at the world’s disposal to overcome constraints and reimagine everyday work and life,” said Nadella.

“As tech as a percentage of global GDP continues to increase, we are innovating and investing across diverse and growing markets, with a common underlying technology stack and an operating model that reinforces a common strategy, culture, and sense of purpose.”

Recent data collected by software firm StarLeaf found almost all (97%) businesses say that tools such as ZoomWebex and Teams are now essential to their operations.

More than half (57%) of the 2,000 UK-based respondents claim their company would not be able to operate for more than an hour without access to their communications tools, while 27% admitted they would struggle to function for even 30 minutes.

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Microsoft Teams emoji are about to get more annoying than ever

If you've ever felt that you just can't express yourself enough on a Microsoft Teams call, then a new update coming to the platform could well be the answer.

The video conferencing service is set to introduce a new way to react to messages that will let you show exactly how you feel using emojis.

According to the official entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the new “Microsoft Teams Expanded Reactions” feature will “allow users to apply any emoji as a reaction to chat messages”.

Over reaction?

Microsoft says that users will be able to pick from over 800 emojis “to react the way you want”, with reactions show in the chat window.

The feature is currently listed as “in development”, with an expected release date of March 2022. The company notes that, when released, the feature will be available to Microsoft Teams users across the world, and includes web, desktop, Android and iOS users. 

It will be the latest in a long series of additions and upgrades to Microsoft Teams as the company looks to continue helping users around the world enjoy hybrid working.

This isn't the first time that emojis within Microsoft Teams have been mentioned either, as a new selection of images were released by the company as part of the launch of Windows 11. The new 'Fluent Design' look did cause concern among some users following the release of some of the new emojis, with users mocking their unclear depictions and puzzling looks.

While Fluent design is now available for Windows 11 and Office 2022, as well as key apps such as Paint and Calendar, it is still yet to appear in Teams, with Microsoft only saying that the new designs will arrive in February 2022 alongside live transcripts of calls, better meeting options, and other features.

However there were raised eyebrows across the technology world in November 2021 when Microsoft revealed that its infamous Clippy mascot was coming to Teams as part of a Retro Sticker Pack.

Recent data collected by software firm StarLeaf found almost all (97%) businesses say that tools such as ZoomWebex and Teams are now essential to their operations.

More than half (57%) of the 2,000 UK-based respondents claim their company would not be able to operate for more than an hour without access to their communications tools, while 27% admitted they would struggle to function for even 30 minutes.

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There are more malicious domains online than ever before

Thousands of new domains are registered everyday so that businesses and individuals can build websites but new research from Palo Alto Networks has revealed that cybercriminals often register malicious domains years before they intend to actually use them.

The cybersecurity firm's Unit 42 first began its research into dormant malicious domains after it was revealed that the threat actors behind 2019's SolarWinds hack used them in their attack. To identify strategically aged domains and monitor their activity, Palo Alto Networks launched a cloud-based detector in September of 2021.

According to the findings of the firm's researchers, 22.3 percent of strategically aged domains pose some form of danger with a small portion being straight-out malicious (3.8%), a majority being suspicious (19%) and some being unsafe for work environments (2%).

The reason cybercriminals and other threat actors let a domain is age is to create a “clean record” so that their domain will be less likely to be blocked. Newly registered domains (NRDs) on the other hand are more likely to be malicious and for this reason, security systems often flag them as suspicious. However, according to Palo Alto Networks, strategically aged domains are three times more likely to be malicious than NRDs.

Detecting malicious domains lying dormant

When a sudden spike in traffic is detected, it's often the case that a strategically aged domain is actually malicious. This is because normal websites typically see their traffic grow gradually from when they're created as more people visit a site after learning about it through word of mouth or advertising.

At the same time, domains that aren't intended for legitimate purposes often have incomplete, cloned or questionable content and usually lack WHOIS registrant details as well. Another sign that a domain was registered and intended to be used at a later time in malicious campaigns is DGA subdomain generation.

For those unfamiliar, DGA or domain generation algorithm is a method used to generate domain names and IP addresses that will serve as command and control (C2) communication points used to evade detection and block lists. Just by examining sites using DGA, Palo Alto Networks' cloud-based detector was able to identify two suspicious domains each day.

During its investigation, the cybersecurity firm discovered a Pegasus spying campaign that used two C2 domains registered in 2019 that finally became active two years later in July of 2021. Palo Alto Networks' researchers also found phishing campaigns that used DGA subdomains as well as wildcard DNS abuse.

We've also highlighted the best web hosting, best endpoint protection software and best malware removal software

Via Bleeping Computer

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More people than ever are installing Android and iPhone apps

It looks like both Google and Apple saw record-breaking numbers when it came to mobile app installs in 2021.

SensorTower measures the most popular app installs for Google and Apple devices, and in 2021 there was a 20% increase in users purchasing apps.

Many of the most popular apps appear to be social media apps and games, with TikTok, Facebook and Instagram being at the top of the most-installed charts, alongside games such as Honor of Kings and Coin Master.

However, we’re starting to see different ways in which we can access these apps, with Apple M1-powered Macs allowing iOS apps to be used and Chromebooks running Android apps. Windows 11 is also about to be able to download and run Android apps through Amazon.

With mobile apps coming to more operating systems, we may see a big change in SensorTower’s charts in a year’s time of how apps will be downloaded and purchased.

An App Store in more places

These charts give users a good idea of what apps were used across the year. With the global Covid-19 pandemic, people are using devices more in their homes as lockdowns became enforced, which would have influenced the charts from SensorTower in 2021.

But thanks to vaccines, users are going out again, trying different apps for different situations. This could lead to an increase in travel apps, for example, with users looking into what public transport they should use.

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) is a recent example that’s powered by Apple’s M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, which let you download previously-purchased iOS apps. This is because the CPU is the same architecture as used in the iPhone and iPad, and this has allowed apps to also run in macOS, as long as the developer has allowed for this.

This means that if you see an app on the iOS App Store, there’s a good chance that you can also use it on your Mac as well as your iPhone or iPad.

This could have a big influence on the charts that SensorTower creates each year. We use our devices in different ways in different places – for instance, an app you download from the iOS App Store may be more suited on your Mac. Games are a good example of this, with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City being available for iPhone and iPad, but can now be downloaded on an M1-powered Mac, so you can carry on your progress during a commute on the train for instance.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is also doing its own take on this, thanks to an agreement with Amazon.

Two iOS apps running in macOS 12 Monterey

(Image credit: Apple)

A Windows App Store fusion

Windows 11 was announced in June with a redesigned Microsoft Store, where you can download and install apps, much like you can in Android and iOS. But a surprise arrived in the form of Android apps from the Amazon App Store, which are also coming to the Microsoft Store.

While it’s in testing on the Windows Insider channels, where you can test features under development, it could heavily influence how the Android charts from SensorTower could appear this time next year. Users who have an Android phone could carry on their work or progress in a game on their Windows tablet and PC, as long as the app is available on the Microsoft Store.

Users have already found methods to install any Android app from Google Play on Windows 11, which showcases how other apps could be used in Microsoft’s software if the company went beyond the Amazon App Store agreement.

We’re in a time where mobile apps are about to expand to other devices in a big way, which could also encourage developers to create apps or update their existing ones to cater for these changes.

Both iOS apps in macOS and Android apps in Windows 11 throw down the gauntlet to see how developers can adapt to these upcoming changes. It’ll also be interesting to see how these new ways of using mobile apps influence next year’s charts.

Via TechCrunch

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This Gmail update just made it harder than ever to avoid video calls

Avoiding video conferencing meetings could soon be trickier than ever now that Google has made it much simpler to join a video or audio call via Gmail.

The company has announced that users can now start or join meetings and audio calls from 1:1 chats in Google Chat in Gmail on Android and iOS.

“As some teams begin to return to office, while others remain distributed, we hope this makes it easier to connect with your colleagues in the hybrid work world,” Google wrote in a blog post announcing the new addition. “This feature will allow you to seamlessly switch between chat to a video or audio call when needed, helping you collaborate and move your work forward.”

Google Chat calls

Going forward, Gmail users will now see a phone and video icon in the top right corner of a 1:1 Google chat window that, when clicked, will start a direct call with the contact.

In order to join a call, you just need to select the phone or video chip within the 1:1 chat window, and while on a call, you’ll see a banner of the person you’re on a call with, the call duration and a Meet icon in the chat roster.

Missed calls will be indicated with a red phone or video icon within the conversation and the chat roster.

Google Workspace video call

(Image credit: Google)

The feature is hosted as part of Gmail, so if you select to join a call from the Google chat app, you'll be redirected to the Gmail app. If you don't have the Gmail app installed on your device, you’ll be prompted to download it via Google Play store or the App Store

The feature, which will be rolled out to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers by default, is currently only available for 1:1 meetings so far. This means there's no group calls for the moment, but given the ongoing popularity of video calls, this can't be too far away.

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