A period emoji is finally on its way and it’s about time

A period emoji is finally on its way and it’s about time

That only took two years…

gigi hadid instagram
Credit: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

What did we do before emojis? We can’t remember, with emoticons now able to illustrate every aspect of our lives – well, almost.

While the avocado and the ginger haired emojis have finally landed in our keyboards, there are still some very important icons missing.

From transgender emojis to period icons, people have been campaigning for important symbols to break down stigma, and today it seems we took a step forward.

As of this week it has been announced that the period emoji, shaped like a blood drop, has received the go-ahead and is expected to land in smartphone keyboards worldwide this spring.

A period emoji is a long time coming, with over 55,000 people calling for the icon to be added to the global emoji keyboard last year, with Plan International UK leading the campaign.

Why? To help break down the silence, stigma and taboos surrounding periods, with Plan’s findings revealing a need for more accessible ways of talking about menstruation.

‘The inclusion of an emoji which can express what 800 million women around the world are experiencing every month is a huge step towards normalizing periods and smashing the stigma which surrounds them,’ announced Lucy Russell, Head of Girls Rights and Youth at Plan International UK.



‘For years we’ve obsessively silenced and euphemized periods. As experts in girls’ rights, we know that this has a negative impact on girls; girls feel embarrassed to talk about their periods, they’re missing out, and they can suffer health implications as a consequence. An emoji isn’t going to solve this, but it can help change the conversation. Ending the shame around periods begins with talking about it.’

‘A period emoji can help normalize periods in everyday conversation,’ agreed Carmen Barlow, Digital Strategy and Development Manager at Plan International UK. ‘For an organisation like Unicode to recognize that menstruation should be represented in this new global language is a huge step towards breaking down a global culture of shame around periods.’

While there has been dispute over the icon itself, there’s one thing everyone can agree on – this is definitely a step in the right direction.

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The Motorola Razr is making a comeback and we can’t wait

The Motorola Razr is making a comeback and we can’t wait

Flip phones = big news in 2019

motorola razr
Credit: Sipa/REX/Shutterstock

Think back to the first phone you ever had. If you were a Nokia kinda gal, chances are you opted for the classic face-off before upgrading to the 3310 when the noughties were in full swing.

But the coolest phones on the market back in the day were undoubtedly the flip phones. You’d be having a chat with your mate about whether or not you’d finished your science homework before (aggressively) flipping your phone just because that’s what Paris Hilton did.

So what if we told you that you could get the same snapping satisfaction now?

According to Dutch tech blog Mobielkopen, a patent has been filed for a new Motorola Razr – meaning that your favourite noughties flip phone could be making a huge comeback this year. Hurrah.

motorola razr

Credit: Masatoshi Okauchi/REX/Shutterstock

It reports that the updated Razr will still retain the beauty of the original with a technological update, making it a flip smartphone.

Wall Street Journal also reports that the Lenovo Group (which owns Motorola) will launch the product with Verizon, a US mobile operator, and that it will launch later this year.

So what can we expect from the new Motorola Razr if it does hit shelves once again in 2019? The publication claims it will have a high-end camera, a Snapdragon 855 processor and the same OLED foldable touchscreen that we all know and love.

However, it won’t be cheap. If you want to get your hands on a flip smartphone – and let’s be honest, who doesn’t? – it’s rumoured that the handset will cost around $1,500 (£1,160).

We’ll just be watching The Simple Life re-runs while we wait for Motorola to confirm this sweet news.

The post The Motorola Razr is making a comeback and we can’t wait appeared first on Marie Claire.

The ultimate vlogger event is coming to London for the first time

The ultimate vlogger event is coming to London for the first time

If you’re serious about becoming a big name in the vlogging world, make sure you’re at VidCon London

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Buchan/REX/Shutterstock (5736762b)
Michael Buckley, Tyler Oakley, Grace Helbig, GloZell and Niomi Smart
VidCon 7th Annual Convention ‘Behind the Book’, Anaheim, USA – 24 Jun 2016

In 2009, brothers Hank and John Green founded a grassroots movement in sunny SoCal to celebrate the vlogging community. Now, ten years and 90,000 attendees later, Vidcon, the ultimate vlogging event is hitting London for the first time on 14th February.

The four-day event will include featured creators such as lifestyle vlogger and podcaster Marcus Butler, the UK’s top female gamer on YouTube, LDShadow Lady, and Mark Hoyle AKA LadBaby.

Even the uninitiated should recognise the Hoyle, who as well as being voted Celebrity Dad of the Year in 2018, also bagged the 2018 Christmas No.1 spot with his spoof song ‘We Built This City… On Sausage Rolls’ and donated all proceeds from the sale of the track to The Trussell Trust, a foodbank charity.

With the line-up also including names such as American YouTuber Joey Graceffa (who has over 2.2 billion views on his YouTube channel) and Family Fizz (who have 1.5m subscribers), you can learn the tricks of the trade from those who know them best. There’ll even be brand activations from huge companies including Facebook and Instagram.

This year, VidCon have introduced single day tickets, meaning that even more fans can watch the exclusive panels on Saturday and Sunday. The events will showcase the best online video has to offer, thanks to a huge range of creators. With panel topics including My Online Life vs. My Offline Life, Gamers Unite and LGBTQ+: Coming Out Online, there is truly something for everyone.

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Too much pink? 🙈

A post shared by LDShadowLady (@ldshadowlady) on Mar 9, 2018 at 10:53am PST

This year, VidCon is also keen to highlight the role of women as online creators, and also has a series of panels set to inspire the next generation of female creators and leaders, with Featured Creators including Patricia Bright and Hannah Witton/

For those who opt for the full four-day experience, there is even more to look forward to, whether that’s the Meet & Greet Lottery, or the Friday night Opening Show on the main stage.

The full line-up is available here and tickets are available to buy on the VidCon website.

VidCon has been at the forefront of video creation and vlogging since its foundation in 2009: this is the event for any budding influencer.

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Audi has taken in-car entertainment to the next level

Audi has taken in-car entertainment to the next level

We’re so in


It seems that boring car journeys filled with endless games of I-Spy and fighting over the AUX cord might be coming to an end, thanks to Audi. Last week at CES 2019, the world’s premier consumer electronics show, Audi and Disney blew our collective minds with the reveal of their newest entertainment initiative: in-car VR

In front over 160,000 attendees in Las Vegas, Audi, Disney Games and Interactive Experiences team and Audi-co-founded startup Holoride unveiled their newest contribution to in-car entertainment, using Audi’s new electric SUV, the suitably sci-fi named e-tron.

The experience debuted at CES was an Avengers-themed game called ‘Marvel’s Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run’. Simply put on your VR headset and team up with Rocket Racoon to blow up asteroids in the way of your ship… while listening to advice from Robert Downey Jr in his Iron Man guise.

So, how does this differ from your average VR experience, except you’re sitting in the back of a brand new car? Well, this is where things get very clever: the VR tech is linked to the car and reflects the movement of the car within the game. That means whether the car is cruising on a straight road or making a hard left, you’re doing exactly the same thing in the game.

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Startup Holoride is developing new technology to let car passengers experience immersive virtual reality games and movies. A demo at CES in an Audi E-Tron with Disney's Marvel content shows just how much fun the Holoride system could be. The idea is to give people something interesting to do when they're riding as a passenger in a car, says Nils Wollny, Audi's head of digital business, who will also be CEO of Holoride. That initially applies to human-driven cars, but it's easy to imagine this type of entertainment working well in autonomous vehicles down the road. #tech #technews #audi #disney #marvel #holoride #vr #autonomous #ces Source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/audi-disney-holoride-vr-marvel-avengers-in-car-entertainment/

A post shared by InnovationCore (@innovationcore) on Jan 8, 2019 at 12:44pm PST

Feeling nauseous? No need. According to Audi research, people are much less likely to get VR sickness (i.e. motion sickness) when they’re using a VR system in the car, as your brain and your body are experiencing the same motions

Moving forward, Holoride has decided to make the tech available to all automakers, via an open platform, once it has been fully integrated into the e-tron.

Audi is looking to the future, too. Jalopnik is reporting that the car brand is hoping to develop even more VR games, from space exploration, to underwater adventures, to education content.

Road trips will never be the same again.

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Top tech for everyone on your gift list

Top tech for everyone on your gift list

Promotional feature with HONOR

Turn Xmas into techmas with great gadgets galore

If buying for those last few people on your Christmas list is proving tricky, you’re sure to be inspired by one of the sleek, smart gift ideas from HONOR. Whether they’re into keeping fit, are always listening to carefully crafted playlists or are a keen photographer or blogger, HONOR has a present that they’ll love to unwrap.

A smartphone for budding photographers

Selfies, lush landscape shots and more have been made even easier to snap and share thanks to the super sleek  HONOR 8X smartphone. It has a large screen to body ratio, high definition display and a dual 20 megapixel AI camera that has multi-scene recognition for breathtaking photos no matter where you are. You can get a blurry bokeh effects for selfies, plus it eliminates blur on night-time pics, and features super slo-mo for awesome action shots.

The HONOR 8X also has a reduced shutter speed and motion detection for capturing better action shots and creating backlit portrait selfies.

For the fitness fan

A fitness tracker is the perfect way to get more active, so we’ve found one that’s packed with useful functions as well as being ultra-stylish. HONOR Band 4 isn’t just for gym bunnies – it’ll also recognise swimming strokes, is pool-proof to 50 metres, and records your swimming speed, distance and calories. You can take it outside with confidence as well – it’ll track outdoor and indoor running, walking and cycling.

Beyond fitness, the HONOR Band 4 gives accurate heart rate monitoring with high rate alerts and infrared technology so you can wear it at night. Plus, if you suffer from insomnia, light or irregular sleep, it’ll track this and provide advice. Another reason to love it? The band can locate your phone if you’ve lost it and works as a remote to take selfies!

For the music lover

Clever headphones mean the music fan in your life can take their tunes wherever they go, and few come as clever as the HONOR Sport Bluetooth Earphones. Not only are they water and sweat-proof , they provide 11 hours playback (around 220 tracks) and last up to 10 days on standby so they won’t let you down during your favourite song. Wireless, comfy to wear and secure, each earbud is magnetic too, so when they’re not in, they snap together neatly around your neck. There’s no compromise on sound quality either as they feature a penetrating bass and high definition audio.

So what are you waiting for? Consider your Christmas shopping complete.

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Phantom ringing syndrome is the millennial condition you probably suffer from

Phantom ringing syndrome is the millennial condition you probably suffer from

But what is it?

Instagram pods

Living life day to day as a millennial is like navigating a minefield.

You can’t even date without being confronted with a modern phenomenon – Kittenfishing, Scrooging, Roaching, Submarining, Stashing, Haunting – the list goes on.

And if you thought avoiding online dating would make you immune, we have some bad news for you, because millennial phenomenons aren’t limited to dating apps, just to technology, something we all use every day.

The latest issue everyone’s talking about? Phantom Ringing Syndrome.

No don’t worry, this has nothing to do with ghosts. But it does have everything to do with your phone.

What is phantom ringing syndrome?

Phantom ringing syndrome is the belief that your phone is ringing when it actually isn’t, and repeatedly checking. It is also called ringxiety, a term coined by psychologist David Laramie, and linked to phantom vibration syndrome – the mistaken sensation that your phone is vibrating when in your pocket.

Is phantom ringing syndrome common?

Yes, phantom ringing syndrome is very common, especially among millennials. In fact, according to CBS news, one study of over 290 US college students showed that ’90 percent of them sometimes felt the phantom phone sensations’ and 40% said it happened ‘at least once a week’.

gigi hadid instagram

Credit: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

What causes phantom ringing syndrome?

According to The Independent, Dr Robert Rosenberger at the Georgia Institute of Technology reported that the phenomenon is caused by ‘learned bodily habits.’

‘Through bodily habit, your phone actually becomes a part of you, and you become trained to perceive the phone’s vibrations as an incoming call or text,’ he reportedly explained. ‘So, due to these kinds of habits, it becomes really easy to misperceive other similar sensations.’

Recognise the symptoms? Yup, us too.

Maybe Christmas is time for a screen break.

The post Phantom ringing syndrome is the millennial condition you probably suffer from appeared first on Marie Claire.

These are the trends that took over Instagram in 2018

These are the trends that took over Instagram in 2018

The hashtags, emojis and thriving online communities

gigi hadid instagram
Credit: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at all the things that have happened in 2018. The top Google searches of the year show that we were most interested in Meghan Markle (no surprises there) and Love Island (again, not shocked) – but what were we up to on Instagram?

The social media platform has evolved from the early days of basic dinner pics with a Valencia filter. Now, we can upload clips of our lives to Stories, stream videos on Instagram TV and use the explore tool to find the content we most want to see.

And what have we been looking at in our millions?

When it comes to hashtags, the most used was #metoo, with around 1.5 million people selecting to join the movement on Instagram. Next was #timesup with 597,000 tags, followed closely by #marchforourlives with 562,000. So while we’re finding out about celebs and reality TV on Google, it looks like we’re using Instagram as a political platform, raising awareness for campaigns and movements that mean something to us.

It also seems that we’re sharing the love on Insta, with the Heart Love Sticker by Arata being the most-used Giphy sticker in Stories, and the heart eyes was the most-used Face Filter. In terms of comments, the heart emoji was used over 14 billion times – does everyone know the real heart emoji meanings? Regardless – it’s a lot of love.


Credit: Instagram

The platform also saw interest rise in online communities. ASMR was the top niche community trend of 2018, with soap cutting, slime popping and makeup shaving all coming in as top players. Fornite also made its mark on Instagram, with the hashtag becoming the fastest growing tag globally.

K-Pop saw an increase in popularity, with the BTS ‘Army’ being the top fandom community, and Drake’s #InMyFeelingschallenge also did the rounds – remember when people were dancing alongside moving cars? Yeah, that. Even Will Smith got involved.

What are your trend predictions for 2019?

The post These are the trends that took over Instagram in 2018 appeared first on Marie Claire.

These are the must have best Tech Gifts for Christmas 2018

These are the must have best Tech Gifts for Christmas 2018


Words by Megan C. Hills and Sunil Makan

From the wireless headphones to speakers with built in Alexa and fitness trackers to hair straighteners these are the best tech gifts for Christmas 2018.

Fitness trackers

Oura Heritage Ring

tech gifts 2018

Prince Harry is known to wear one of these and if it’s good enough for the Duke, it’s good enough for us. Smaller and sleeker than a chunky tracker bracelet, these stylish Finnish rings are packed with a ton of sensors and other tech. The Oura ring tracks your activity, sleep and keeps tabs on everything from your body temperature, steps and even your breathing. Available in several different shades, it’s a pretty nifty piece of tech and syncs to an app on your phone.

Rings start at £279, available at Oura

Buy now

Hair straighteners

ghd Gold – Glacial Blue Professional Styler

tech gifts

A great hair styler is a total investment piece and luckily, ghd’s released a luxe icy blue version of their best-selling product. Designed to both curl, straighten and keep your hair looking smooth and sleek, it’s as tech-forward as they come with two heat sensors to optimise the temperature.

Priced at £139, available at lookfantastic

Buy now

Tech teen gifts

Super Mario Party

tech gifts

Nintendo stans have been waiting a long time for this classic party game and it’s finally dropped. If you thought Mario Kart could get competitive, you’ve obviously never given Mario Party a go as you’ll have to compete with one another to win mini games and collect the most stars.

Priced at £49.99, available at Nintendo

Buy now

Tech geek gifts

Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Enabled Droid

tech gifts

If you or someone you know is a massive Star Wars buff, this little droid is the perfect gift. Perfect for if your landlord won’t let you have a pet, you can instead grab BB-8 from the new gen of Star Wars and make him roll around from an app on your phone. For those who are more old school, there’s also an R2D2 version.

Priced at £96.48, available at Amazon

Buy now

Tech gifts for kids

littleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

tech gifts

It doesn’t get much cooler than this. This Avengers-themed kit both teaches kids how to code and make their own superhero identity a reality. It syncs up to an app which will help walk them through step by step how to assemble the electronic building blocks to create circuits and bring cool new powers to life.

Priced at £149.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

Tech gifts under £50

Echo Dot (3rd Generation) Smart Speaker with Alexa

tech gifts

Ever wanted to channel your inner Tony Stark and have your own computerised butler? Amazon’s upgraded their voice-controlled speaker and it’s enabled with Alexa, their digital assistant. If you give her a shout, she’ll be able to do things like help you stream music from Spotify, check the weather, set alarms and even work with your other smart home products if you’ve got them.

Priced at £49.99, available at Amazon

Buy now


Shark DuoClean Cordless Upright Vaccum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet IC160UKT

Shark DuoClean Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet IC160UKT

The new Shark DuoClean Cordless Upright With Powered lift-Away and TruePet, is designed for homes with pets. You wouldn’t expect such great performance from such a lightweight and cordless vaccum bit it really does make light work of the whole vacuuming thing. And, with an impressive battery run time to boot. Huge thumbs up from us.

£479.99 from Shark.

Buy Now


RIVA Concert Speaker, Compact & Portable Smart Speaker, £199

RIVA Concert Speaker, Compact & Portable Smart Speaker, £199

This powerhouse of a speaker which features RIVA’s Patented Trillium Audio Technology – which means impressive surround sound without distortion at any volume – has Alexa built-in and several methods of connectivity.

£199 from Amazon.

Buy Now.


Mophie power station plus 600 Universal Battery with Lightning Connector, £69.95

Packing an impressive 20 hours of extra life in here (around 4 charges) this handy Mophie power station with integrated Lightning cable is a real game changer.

£69.95 from Apple.

Buy Now.

The post These are the must have best Tech Gifts for Christmas 2018 appeared first on Marie Claire.

This is the most influential person on Twitter (and thankfully it’s not Donald Trump)

This is the most influential person on Twitter (and thankfully it’s not Donald Trump)

He’ll just have to shake it off.

most influential person on twitter
Patricio Murphy/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Twitter’s long been the bastion of global discussions, sparking huge conversations with breaking news, silly memes and candid celebrity thoughts (some hilarious and amazing, others Kanye West). Well it turns out there’s a few big names on the platform that wield the most influence over the Twittersphere and new research by a company called Brandwatch revealed who was queen of the social media platform’s hearts. We’ve already given it away slightly, but yes – it turns out a female celeb was the most influential, so congratulations are in order for Taylor Swift.

The study looked at ‘a selection of criteria that added together to create [a celeb’s] influence score’, which took into account things like ‘followers, retweets and replies’ and ‘genuine engagement’. The named celebrity would also get bonus points depending on how influential the people they were engaging with were, so for instance if Chrissy Teigen and Michelle Obama started having a natter then it would bump their score way up.

Taylor Swift’s account @taylorswift13 came in at first place with the top influencer score of 98 and an eye-watering following of 84 million at the time Brandwatch’s study was published.

most influential person on twitter

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Besides being the most influential female celeb, she was the most popular of all time tailed closely by Liam Payne (yes, really) at 97.

Liam Payne, whose account @liampayne had a following of 33 million at the time of the study, actually responded to the news – on Twitter, obviously. He screenshotted the research and said, ‘Wow can’t quite believe this. Couldn’t have done it without you….thanks for listening.’

Following closely behind Taylor Swift and Liam Payne were Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian West, Demi Lovato and President Donald J. Trump who shared the same influencer score: 96. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama slid in neatly behind him with a score of 95 alongside Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo amongst others.

There were a few surprising names we expected to be on the list but weren’t, including Twitter’s unofficial monarch Chrissy Teigen and Kanye West whose controversial tweets about slavery sparked a huge debate.

Marc Patrick/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Women also dominated the game as Brandwatch claimed ‘the women in our lists had a higher influencer score than the men’ and especially female musicians. On the flip side, women on the lists were typically younger than the men on the platform with the average age for women being 36.5, nearly 10 years younger than the men’s influential score of 44.7 years old

Pretty wild stuff, hey? We just wish Brandwatch’s research had honed in on which were the most talked about moments of all time as well, as it feels like there have been so many this year. Maybe something to consider for 2019.

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The Google Digital Garage is here to upskill Londoners

The Google Digital Garage is here to upskill Londoners

Offering totally free classes in a variety of online skills, the Google Digital Garage is creating a tech revolution in the capital

google digital garage

Promising Londoners a chance to change their life, Google Digital Garage, in partnership with the Evening Standard’s Future London project, has arrived in the capital in the most British way possible: via double-decker bus.

After huge success in UK cities such as Manchester and Leeds, the award-winning platform is bringing its workshops on digital and personal skills to London. Whether you need to brush up on social media, digital marketing or just want a reminder of how to stay safe online, Google Digital Garage has a course for you. The best part? It’s free.

Google Digital Garage

Ronan Harris, Vice President and Managing Director for Google in the UK and Ireland

The strong emphasis on accessibility is something that Google Vice President and Managing Director for the UK and Ireland Ronan Harris highlighted at this morning’s launch, ‘At Google, we’ve always been about organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible… we saw an opportunity to bring some of the work that we’ve been developing over the last number of years to the citizens of London.’

Since launching in 2015, the Digital Garage has visited over 500 UK locations and trained over 300,000 people, and some of those success stories sharing their experiences today.

Seyi Ayinla, founder of LoveWeddingsNG, at today’s launch

Seyi Ayinla, 30, spoke to Marie Claire about the huge benefits Google Digital Garage has given her. The founder of LoveWeddingsNG, an online portal that helps Nigerian couples connect with brands and vendors for their weddings, shared her favourite take aways from the course: ‘First thing, use your data: find out who’s coming to your website and find out who your clients are… when you know who your audience are, try and find ways to bridge the gap between you and them. That could be creating a service or product, or putting on an event.’

Alex Sharp and Jessica Wise, co-founders of ConservationWise, at today’s launch

Wildlife biologists Jessica Wise, 25, and Alex Sharp, 33, also spoke about how Google Digital Garage had helped them. As co-founders of ConservationWise, an online community encouraging sustainable choices in all aspects of life, the skills they gained with the scheme have been indispensable: ‘Building our business plan as part of the five-week Start Your Own Business course has been really amazing. The other course we did was centred on social media: as scientists we can sometimes be a bit technical with the language we use, so [Google] really helped us shape our message.’

Google’s Digital Garage bus is touring London throughout November and December, stopping in 10 locations and offering training to hundreds of people. Book in, turn up, and log on.

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