Cool Things I’ve Seen This Week

This week saw the ever resurgent Amazon launch its Pantry service in the UK. The service is currently exclusively available to Prime customers, which is their standard staggered role out, and they have signed up brands including Heinz, Pantene and Nescafe to offer over 4000 products to customers. They also sold their first car through the site. Teaming up with Toyota, the Italian outpost of the tech behemoth has co-designed an exclusive version of their successful Aygo marque.

Another busy week in Mountain View with several updates happening. Google search is imminently releasing its latest update to Penguin, they have bought the successful mobile video editing app house Fly Labs in a vain effort to boost their third attempt at making Google+ relevant and they have launched a YouTube kids app to ‘hook em while they young’, or deliver child friendly content. Most interestingly though, they have taken their app indexing within search to the next stage, meaning users don’t even have to have the app downloaded to search within it. This is where they can blow Facebook search out of the water.

Zuckerberg spent this week taking over saving the world with their announcement that his cash cow is partnering with Airtel Africa to bring basic Facebook Internet to 17 countries. They also released their charity donation fulfilment engine meaning that users can donate without ever having to leave Facebook.

Facebook lite, or Twitter as it is also known, seems to be having a change of heart over their much maligned switch to a like button. They are trialing emojis instead. They should probably spend a bit more time on recruiting people than their emoji strategy, but to be honest CEO, Jack Dorsey probably has bigger things on his mind considering his other business Square has lost over half of its value in 12 months on the eve of its IPO.

Another week and another brand/fauxlebrity tie up through social media is banned. This time it is MIC ‘star’ Millie Mackintosh and J20. But, interestingly, old media is being clamped down on too with BT Sport getting the knuckles wrapped over their Champions League ad.

Match Group, the owners of Tinder have filed for IPO this week after having to distance themselves from Tinder CEO after a awful interview with the evening standard. What is interesting is that like Square, Match were at the low end of estimates for their IPO. The bubble may not be bursting, but it is definitely deflating.

Uber competitor Lyft this week had financial documents leaked that showed just how much fighting against Uber is costing them. $127m to be exact. Uber’s sabotage strategy may have had something to do with it…

Always ahead of the curve, The Minkoffs have created what they think is the future of retail, and it’s pretty epic.

In the first of a new section called Longer Reads here is an interesting piece in The New Yorker that discusses whether AI advaces with bring us the utopia that markers tell us or the destruction that naysayers fear.

Stat of the week – 94% The amount that Apple takes of the total profit from the entire smartphone industry.

And finally….

The evergreen David Attenborough was filming a new documentary series called ‘The Hunt’ when they noticed that their wine stock had taken a hit. Turns out Polar Bears are partial to Merlot…

 

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