F-F-Focus on Me

Superzoom on My Nose Hairs

Instagram Stories is introducing Superzoom, which lets you make your own “dramatic chipmunk” style video. With a single tap, Instagram will shoot a stuttered zoom-in on your lovely face and pair the flattering video with sound effects. The video lasts three seconds, but you can extend it to 15 seconds by holding down the shutter button. Since Snapchat and Instagram both have AR masks, Instagram has been pushing for differentiating features like Superzoom, Boomerang GIFs, Hyperlapse time-lapse, and Layout collages. Hooray for having more toys to play with! (Source: TechCrunch)


Amazon Books Aren’t Flying Off the Shelves

Remember the hype around Amazon Books physical bookstores? As part of its Q3 earnings results, Amazon reported that all physical stores sales, including Whole Foods and Amazon Books, were $1.276 billion; they later stated that Whole Foods alone brought in $1.3 billion. Basically, Amazon Books sales are a rounding error compared to the non-GMO dough that Whole Foods makes. Granted, Whole Foods has been around for decades and has around 460 locations, compared to two-year-old Amazon Books with 12 stores. Hmmm… I wonder if there’s enough room to pack in a tiny Amazon Books store in each Whole Foods market? (Source: CNET)

Oversharing is Caring

The Verge and Reticle Research recently conducted a survey on people’s attitudes towards technology. Here are some of their key findings:

  • People trust Amazon almost as much as they trust their bank
  • Most people think news on Facebook is about as accurate as news found elsewhere
  • Fewer people say Twitter has a positive effect on society
  • Most people don’t know that Facebook owns Instagram
  • Passion for Apple lags behind Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook

Click here for the full report and other great nuggets of information. (Source: The Verge)

Prime Time

Amazon launched Prime for businesses to replicate quick delivery in the workplace. Shares of industrial suppliers Grainger and Fastenal dropped upon the news of Business Prime Shipping. Makes sense since if I need a certain bolt or pair of safety goggles and can get them faster from Amazon – why would I go to Grainger? Amazon’s new feature, available in the U.S. and Germany, provides two-day delivery to companies paying $499 to $10,099 annually (depending on their size). While B2B transactions have been slower to transition online than retail, they could provide a great revenue opportunity for Amazon in the long run. (Source: Bloomberg Tech)

WeWorked It Out

WeWork, now valued at $20 billion, acquired Flatiron School, a coding education platform that helps students pursue a career in tech. Their motto is: Learn. Live. Code. WeWork employees and members will now be able to expand their skillsets and resumes through online and in-person Flatiron School courses. This acquisition serves as yet another valuable asset that WeWork can use as an incentive to keep their members around. “In Flatiron, we have found a partner who shares our vision of connecting people – through space, design, technology and community – and understandings that those connections are what humanizes the way we work and live,” CEO and founder Adam Neumann said. (Source: TechCrunch)

Hopkins’ Tale

Mike Hopkins, Hulu’s CEO since 2013, will leave to run Sony TV. His replacement, Randy Freer, comes from an extensive executive background with Fox and, like Hopkins, is currently a Hulu board member. This shift in leadership comes less than two months after Hulu’s big win with Handmaid’s Tale at the Emmy Awards. During his four year run, Hopkins transformed Hulu  from last night’s television to a streaming necessity. “Hulu is at the center of transformation in entertainment,” Freer said. “Hulu’s management team and employees have positioned Hulu to be a leader in defining the future of content creation, distribution and monetization – all while putting the viewer first.” (Source: Recode & Los Angeles Times)

Apple Wins Big in Chicago

Apple’s 497th retail store just got a makeover. This “Town Square” location in Chicago, replacing the company’s flagship store from 2003, sits alongside the Chicago River and contains massive slabs of glass for customers to enjoy the view. This is just one glimpse into the company’s plan to build a more close-knit relationship between the company’s stores and the communities where they reside. The plan, developed by Apple’s senior VP of retail, Angela Ahrendts, includes revamped Genius bars, “boardrooms” for local businesses to meet, rotating product displays, and of course an ample stock of $1,000 iPhone X’s. (Source: TechCrunch)

Binge Watching Adds Up

A new service, Nielsen Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) Content Ratings, will now measure streaming services comparable to linear TV. Nielsen’s measurements will include ratings, reaches, and frequency and segmentation reporting. The company’s service currently only works with Netflix but plans to expand to Amazon Prime and Hulu next year. A batch of testers are already eager to try it out including Disney-ABC, NBCUniversal, and Warner Bros. Now you and the rest of the world will know how much time you’ve been wasting on Netflix. (Source: TechCrunch)

Suit Up, Silicon Valley

Two years ago, Tina Huang resigned from Twitter Inc. and sued the company after being denied a promotion, asked to take a leave of absence, and then was criticized for taking the leave of absence. Since then, the ex-Twitter engineer has been collecting data on gender and pay for her peers at the company and claims she can prove that Twitter stacks the deck against women. By 2018, Huang plans to request permission from a state judge to represent 133 female engineers at Twitter, which would be the first group case of its nature in Silicon Valley. Twitter messed with the wrong girl gang. #dang (Source: Bloomberg Tech)



About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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