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Happy Friday! Here’s a round-up of industry news for the week.
Twitter gives co-founder Jack Dorsey a 2nd chance as CEO - Business Insider
After a three-month search for a new leader, Twitter has high hopes Jack Dorsey (the interim CEO) will help them expand their audience and end the decade-long parade of financial losses. More than nine years ago, Dorsey had his first shot at CEO when he helped start the San Francisco company. What makes this time around any different? Well, its board of directors is now convinced he no longer lacks the maturity and expertise to fix the problems that have caused Twitter’s stock to drop to nearly half its value in the past five months.
It seems two is Dorsey’s lucky number. It is his second shot at CEO, but what he already is CEO at Square Inc. Don’t worry, Twitter and Square headquarters are within a block of each other. Plus, while running Apple, Steve Jobs was also CEO of computer animation pioneer Pixar. If Jobs could do it, why can’t Dorsey?
When it comes to the transportation-technology space, Uber pretty much dominates, but Lyft is not about to give up. Lyft is aiming to hit ‘em where it hurts: drivers. Drivers are a hot commodity and expansion is constrained by the availability of drivers. Lyft announced a handful of product announcements aimed to draw in drivers.
● Partnership with car-rental giant Hertz. This partnership will allow drivers to rent cars if their car is unavailable or if they don’t have a car.
● Partnership with Shell. A discount on gas at any of the 12,500 Shell gas stations in the U.S. is sure to draw some driver attention. The more a driver logs on the road, the bigger the discount.
● “Express Pay” No more having to wait a week for your money, this perk allows drivers to deposit their earnings directly to their bank accounts once they make $50. The catch: there is a flat 50-cent charge.
It turns out the one feature many of us passengers enjoy about Uber - not having to tip - is the a selling point for drivers. Lyft announced it had thus far distributed $40 million in tips to drivers. Watch out Uber, Lyft is coming for you!
Look out Apple and Google, Microsoft is upping their game. On Tuesday, the giant software company introduced a suite of new products. The one that attracted the most attention: the Surface Book. The company’s new laptop, running at $1,500, is Microsoft’s first laptop. What’s so special about it? You can pull it apart at the hinge so that the screen turns into a large tablet.
It doesn’t stop there, phones, tablets and laptops all made by Microsoft use some form of Windows 10. Keeping it the same across the board gives consumers and developers a more seamless experience. Sales for the devices are still falling behind those of the competitors but props to Microsoft for getting our attention.
Wall Street Journal
The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived… well kind of. Facebook is getting more emotional. The feature is called Reactions. Users can hold down the “like” button of a post and choose between seven different emojis: angry, sad, wow, yay, haha, love, and the traditional like. Facebook is working out the kinks in an initial rollout in Ireland and Spain.
There is business side to Reactions. Facebook product manager Chris Tosswill hopes this will be an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content. But will it work? Facebook’s former chief technology officer, Bret Taylor, says it can be tricky adding features. He added users love the “like” buttons simplicity.
Last but not least, more Twitter!
Twitter is preparing to expand Twitter Amplify. Since the service launched two years ago, more than 200 publishers, sports leagues and TV networks have joined to make money on their videos. What is different now? With a beta test in the U.S. advertisers no longer have to forge direct deals with publishers like the NFL, MTV and Fox Sports. Any publisher who wants to make money on the videos it posts can participate. Publishers have the option to use Twitter’s ad-targeting technology to serve ads.