Do Not Read Until Monday – July 31

Let’s not all tear our hair out – it’s the weekend. Enjoy it, and catch up on the week’s happenings by not reading this until Monday!

 

Facebook Triumphs, Twitter Fails and Amazon Misses Mark as Q2 Earnings Reports Begin to Roll in

Facebook’s Q2 earnings report revealed that yup… it’s STILL killing the mobile game. The OG stalker platform, which now has more than 2 billion (!) regular users, has been squeezing more ads into its News Feed, while adding even MORE ads to its Snapchat clone photo-sharing network, Instagram. (You’re next, Messenger.) Facebook’s mobile ad revenue accounted for 87% of the company’s total advertising revenue of $9.16 billi last quarter 👀. Safe to say, Facebook and mobile are here to stay.

Ad dollars could quickly rise further for Facebook, given what it has in the pipeline, but – hey, speaking of a billi, how about the $90 billion of the world’s richest person, Jeff Bez—wait, he’s not the world’s richest person anymore due to market uncertainty over Amazon’s Q2 decreased profit? Back to you, Bill.

Bill Gates

Amazon’s fortunes weren’t as dire as some others though, as the perennially trampled Twitter reported no user growth during the quarter. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Though its stock nosedived on the news, MAU isn’t the only metric that matters – daily active users rose 12% year over year to an estimated (by Recode) 157 million. But it’s clear it will take a lot more than doubling down on its annoying push notifications to right the ship.

 

AI – it’s learning!

Plus, Apple finds itself between The Rock and a hard place.

Facebook made moves to suggest it wants in on the smart speaker / voice assistant market, with a Messenger update to improve natural language recognition. Though it has stated its personal assistant will remain text-based, it would need to give M a voice to be a major player if it’s really planning to sell a smart speaker. But Zuck’s “understanding of the subject is limited” so maybe not.

Elon Musk’s warnings on AI may hold true, especially if the robots go rogue. Oh wait. iRobot already has its cute Roomba horde silently mapping our homes, happy to sell to … well, pretty much anyone. Is that better or worse than Amazon drones scanning your house?

Alexa would need some improvements in order to process that data, but its next ones may be to make it more conversational, according to product head Dave Limp. And, though Amazon and Google are currently running away with the market, Apple’s Siri is running away with The Rock. (Maybe they’ll get him to model an Earable next time.)

 

This Week in Snapchat vs. The World: No News is Good News?

Snap had a relatively quiet one, though it’s exec team and investors are likely already pouring sweat ahead of its August 10 earnings report. The return of Game of Thrones – and its large, successful Lens buy – brought some attention, as did Nicki Minaj’s naïveté. However, the platform was largely overshadowed by Twitter, Amazon and Facebook’s earnings, the latter of which included a jab that WhatsApp – which draws on an international market Snap needs to tap to succeed – has reached 250 million daily active users with its Snapchat clone, Status.

Its core demographic, teens, seems to be unshaken, and even appear to be embracing its new linking feature – even if for dubious purposes. A left-field smash hit app, Sarahah, which provides a variant of YikYak or Formspring, has gotten a huge boost by younger users combining the apps.

Who ripped them off? Well, WhatsApp, but also now Telegram, an encrypted messaging app.

The Verdict: Not much to work off here, so we’ll mark it a tie.

 

Other notes

 

 

By Jason Morton & Kaitlyn Lee

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