Snapchat’s Extreme Makeover: Do Not Read Until Monday

While the holidays see many doing some decorating, Snapchat opted for the full makeover read about that and more in Do Not Read Until Monday.

This Week in Snapchat Vs. The World: Extreme Makeover Edition

Announced simultaneously with a third consecutive disappointing earnings call, Snapchat’s makeover arrived for December. The update divides the ‘social’ element of the app – friends’ stories and messages – from media content in the Discover section, which will now be determined by an algorithm. It also makes creepy handy features such as Snap Maps more accessible. Overall, it should make the app easier to navigate, potentially driving more engagement and thus revenue.

CEO Evan Spiegel announced the revamp himself in an article for Axios, in which he eviscerated They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named for fueling fake news through a lack of curation.

Snapchat’s image recognition capabilities also took a leap forward – it can now recognize things like food or pets, then suggest specific filters to users.

Who ripped them off? YouTube, which now has a Stories-esque feature called Reels for content makers.

The Verdict: Easy win.

 

Google may use Nest to crack the smart home market, but Amazon may poach its ad business

Unaccustomed to being the underdog – okay well except maybe in social – Google may be orchestrating a way to combat Amazon’s dominance in the connected home: Merging Nest and its hardware business. It would be a smart move: Nest thermostats were arguably the first runaway hit of the smart home, and the company has built steadily on that reputation with security cameras, alarms and more.

Integrating Google Assistant directly, or co-branding products, would leverage this and Google’s search dominance, which could upset the market.

Amazon responded by drowning its sorrows in chicken wings. Just kidding. It was more like ‘lol idgaf here’s alexa for business’, beating Google (and everyone else) to the lucrative enterprise market.

And while Google looks to encroach on Amazon’s smart home stronghold, it’s likely Bezos & Co. will cut into Google’s ad business, as they’ve patented a potentially game-changing ad-views-for-discounts technology.

 

Facebook on pre-roll ads: No, No, No, No, No, No … OK, we’ll see

Reversing a long-standing policy on the platform, Facebook will be testing pre-roll video ads, sources told AdAge. Though it’s not a complete 180 – the ads will initially only be tested on Watch content – CEO Mark Zuckerberg panned the use of pre-rolls as recently as this past summer.

However, it appears even Mighty Mark is vulnerable to publisher demands for his new pet project, as Watch content creators are reportedly unimpressed with ad revenue thus far. Rather than ceding control of current ad sales to the publishers to make nice, pre-roll would offer a way to bump up income but keep the ball in Facebook’s court.

 

Odds + The End

  • It’s settled – gramming is an art form.
  • Uber’s still paying for its past – this time via lawsuits related to a data breach involving 57 million passengers and drivers.
  • Hoping to retain its reputation for breaking artists, SoundCloud launched enhanced analytics capabilities.
  • Lego has an AR app.
  • Get ready to put your friendships to the test: You can now draw all over pictures sent to you on Instagram.
  • Facebook has a new way to authenticate accounts after suspicious activity: Selfies! Is there anything they can’t do?

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