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Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s a roundup of this week’s industry news:
Amid all the fanfare surrounding the new Star Wars film, Google rolled out a promotional campaign earlier this week allowing users to decorate their Google apps with Star Wars-themed skins. In a cryptic tweet, Google also revealed an Easter egg for Star Wars fans: If you type in “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away,” you’ll be treated to a text crawl of the search results page to the film franchise’s signature opening sequence.
In other Google news, the company unveiled version 2.0 of Android Studio on Monday. Android Studio is an integrated development environment, or IDE, for writing apps for Android’s operating system. First launched in 2013, the IDE includes all the tools a developer would need to build an app, including a code editor and an emulator for all Android platforms. Android Studio 2.0 features an updated emulator that’s faster and more stable, as well as a new feature called “Instant Run” that allows developers to see changes in their code on the running app.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, Adweek spoke with Twitter’s head of retail J. J. Hirschle about advertising trends on the social platform this upcoming holiday season. Hirchle said brands are becoming more visual than ever, using GIFs and videos to show off their products. They’re also creating their own moments (like REI’s #optoutside campaign) and collaborating with online creators and celebrities to target audiences. Check out the article to see all five trends.
In a wager to fight back against ad blocking, German publishing company Axel Springer is suing Blockr, one of several new iOS 9 ad blocking apps. Axel Springer is one of Europe’s largest publishing houses, operating big-name newspapers like Bild and Die Welt, and recently purchased Business Insider. According to Blockr’s lawyers, Axel Springer wants to prohibit Blockr from offering, advertising, maintaining and distributing its services. Although the court seemed to side with Blockr in a hearing last Thursday, the final ruling is set for December 10.
Facebook Expands Free Internet Service in India – The Wall Street Journal
Mark Zuckerberg announced In a Facebook post Monday that the company is expanding its free internet service in India. As of this week, everyone in India can access free internet services through Facebook’s Free Basics program on the Reliance network. Free Basics allows users in emerging markets to access Facebook and a slew of other health and educational services. Although India is Facebook’s second-largest market outside the U.S., Zuckerberg says there are nearly 1 billion people in India without internet access.
Read anything that caught your eye this week? Give us a shout out on Twitter @WalkerSands.