Need to know: the 7 top stories for Asia comms, media and marketing pros on Wednesday, 18/5/16

PRWeek Awards shortlist revealed; Twitter gets longer; insurance accelerators in Asia; new APAC budget airline alliance; Singapore wants innovators; China's growing US investment; VR in thin air?

Twitter is removing pictures and links from its 140-character message limit.
Twitter is removing pictures and links from its 140-character message limit.

PRWeek Awards Asia 2016 shortlist published

After judging earlier this month, the jury for the 2016 PRWeek Awards Asia has released the shortlist for the awards, which take place on 15 June in Hong Kong.

Freedom! PRs rejoice as Twitter to exclude photos and links from 140-character limit

A forthcoming update will mean multimedia such as photos, links and videos will no longer be part of Twitter's 140-character limit, giving users the chance to post longer tweets.

Insurance accelerators: Not just brand practice

In Asia, rising healthcare costs, the ageing population and the disruption from startups force insurance companies to ‘accelerate’.

Scoot CEO hints at cheaper prices with Value Alliance

A newly-minted alliance among eight major Asia-Pacific budget carriers could translate into cheaper prices for customers, according to one of the founding members.

Innovators, Singapore wants you, Smart Nation boss says

The government can't create a Smart Nation alone, the head of Singapore's innovation agency says - it needs individuals, businesses and investors.

Chinese investors may be going on a big US shopping spree

China may be in the middle of a growth slowdown, but its investors will find a way to keep pumping money into the United States over the next decade, according to a new report.

Start-up lets you control VR in thin air

A start-up that makes technology to allow you to control devices touch-free with gestures has raised US$20 million.

Brought to you by PRWeek Asia with additional editorial support from CNBC

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