Some things that caught our eye this month…

The virtual waiting room that gave you free beer 

BrewDog’s newest lager – the first supposed carbon-friendly beer – was gifted out to thousands of people early this January. If you remembered to claim your free four-pack, you will be somewhat familiar with Queue-it, the product that enables websites to keep up with surges in online sales through introducing an online waiting room. BrewDog saw 50,000 people at one time queueing for their free beer. Is this the best solution to high-demand website traffic control? 

The WhatsApp public relations setback

We were reminded this month of just how volatile usage trends for certain messenger apps can be when WhatsApp’s update announcement, misunderstood by many as a new policy regarding data-sharing to Facebook, resulted in millions of users switching to other encrypted apps such as Telegram and Signal. It comes as little surprise that data security is the most sought-after app feature.   

WhatApp’s original implementation deadline for the new services, February 8th, has now been extended until May, to make time to regain the trust of its users and explain the real purpose of the updates, which include the ability to offer features such as shopping and payments. 

Everyone is online – is the broadband holding up?

With the masses taking to their screens over the last year, it’s funny to think how different our path could have been had we not had sufficient broadband and data availability to cope with the demands. Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2020 Interactive Report demonstrates how well national broadband is coping with the surge in demand from COVID-19, and how 96% of the UK still has access to high speed internet, the same as was recorded in 2020 before the first lockdown. 

Crowdsourced UK Snow Map

Weather forecasts aren’t the most accurate of things, but one inventive website harnesses the power of Twitter users to map snowfall in the UK. Twitter users can tweet #uksnow, the first half of their postcode, and a rating out of 10 for intensity of snowfall, for it to appear on a live map, and let the rest of the nation know they’ll be getting out the sledge. Visit when it’s snowing to see how the rest of the country’s doing.

And finally, for a satisfying stretch of the imagination, check out the elastic man graphic on the site that brought us Family Guy: 


Author: Chloe Agar

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