Do Not Read Until Monday: Alexa + Cortana = BFF

I mean, you can read this Monday if you want, but I’d recommend you check back Tuesday instead.

Alexa + Cortana = BFF

In a major, shock announcement, Alexa and Cortana are now on speaking terms. The two voice assistants, properties of Amazon and Microsoft, respectively, can now communicate – but the depth of this integration remains to be seen.

The strategic partnership likely manifested due to the relatively small overlap between the two companies’ offerings: Microsoft has a foothold in software solutions, plus some hardware, but no significant smart home or mobile presence. This means limited conflict between the two assistants, more opportunity for Alexa to work with enterprise solutions, and Cortana can … seem a little more relevant.

Should the companies collaborate further, things like Microsoft’s search capabilities could help Alexa maintain its grip as rivals from Google and Apple seek to gain ground.


Watch Out: Facebook’s Video Offering’s Already Evolving

Facebook announced Watch, a dedicated home for episodic streaming video, only a few weeks ago, and it’s now debuting shows it paid to produce. These include shows from Business Insider, Attn and Refinery29, the latter of which will provide the first scripted series on the service. Watch shows will feature high profile appearances from Jessica Alba, Danny McBride and T.J. Miller, who – regardless of the quality of his appearance – should really learn how to say no to his agent.

But these big names aren’t necessarily the biggest news surrounding the feature. Business Insider and Attn, along with Tastemade, have already been discussing creating native content for brands on the barely-launched platform. So Watch out: brands may have some opportunities coming here.


This Week In Snapchat Vs. The World

In the lead-up to the holiday weekend, all things Snapchat have been … pretty quiet actually. There’s been some rumblings that it’s finally seeing the value in its influencers, and Vice launched a dating show as part of its effort to make absolutely certain the world knows Action Bronson exists.

Mashable also ran a pretty good think piece on Snapchat’s cultural value vs. it’s … actual value. It also included this wonderful illustration:

It did have a good showing in data released by BTIG Research, which showed its daily active users are spending more time with the app – and like, a lot more for those under 25. One analyst noted the Snapchat-Instagram rivalry should not be thought of as “Winner-take-all”, but rather that they could easily co-exist.

Who ripped them off? Well, YouTube did announce it would have vertical video soon, but it’s not here yet.

The Verdict: Users spending more time with the app is enough for a slim W.


Odds + The End


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