Halloween heebie-jeebies, Facebook’s feed fiddling and Xi Jinping’s extraordinary elevation

27th October 2017

Halloween heebie-jeebies, Facebook’s feed fiddling and Xi Jinping’s extraordinary elevation

All Hallow’s eve, or Halloween, is the day when spirits roam the earth. It is traditionally when children gorge on sweets and people of all ages dress to impress. According to an analysis of Google data, this year’s hottest costume is Wonder Woman. As festivities go, it is second only to Christmas in terms of consumer spending. There can be only one question: trick or treat?

China’s communist party has elevated President Xi Jinping to the same status as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, writing his name into the party constitution. The move sets Xi up for an indefinite stay down in power and his ideology will now be compulsory learning for all Chinese school children. What will this elevation mean for the world stage? Will Xi’s brand of communism prove appealing to other nations?

Entertainment behemoth Netflix announced it is raising another $1.6bn from investors to finance new shows. It expects to spend between $7 billion and $8 billion on original content in 2018, up from around $6 billion this year. Will this investment be enough to keep Netflix ahead of its fast-growing rivals? Will all its original content be enough to protect it from taking a hit when the likes of Disney pull movies and TV shows and start their own streaming services?

Facebook is trialling splitting users’ news feeds. The move would shift non-promoted posts out of the news feed and could be catastrophic for publishers that rely on the social network for their audience. Is this really, as Facebook claims, a way to make it easier to see what our friends and family are up to? Or is it a canny and calculated move to increase advertising revenues?

What’s on your shopping list? Milk, eggs and a three-piece suit? Sainsbury’s is confident that shoppers will grab a garment bag alongside their groceries as they launch a smart men’s clothing range. Will this new line of bargain priced formalwear be a real rival to men’s high street retailers? Or will Sainsbury’s suits sit stubbornly on the shelves?

Do snakes give you goosebumps? Do big hairy spiders have you quivering in your boots? New research from Sweden has found that a phobia of snakes and spiders may be innate. Babies shown photos of snakes and spiders exhibited signs of internal stress. It seems some threats are scary no matter what your age. Remember that when planning your Halloween scare fest…