Didi-SoftBank taxi-hailing joint venture expands to 13 cities across Japan

Didi Mobility Japan, a joint venture (JV) by China’s Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Corp, said it would expand its taxi-hailing service to 13 cities across Japan. It is expanding into Tokyo and Kyoto from Wednesday, with a further 10 locations to follow in the current financial year. Despite SoftBank’s oversized presence in the global ride-hailing industry, such services are effectively banned in Japan, leaving SoftBank portfolio companies like Didi and Uber limited to offering services that match ta


Didi Mobility Japan, a joint venture (JV) by China’s Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Corp, said it would expand its taxi-hailing service to 13 cities across Japan. It is expanding into Tokyo and Kyoto from Wednesday, with a further 10 locations to follow in the current financial year. Despite SoftBank’s oversized presence in the global ride-hailing industry, such services are effectively banned in Japan, leaving SoftBank portfolio companies like Didi and Uber limited to offering services that match ta
Didi-SoftBank taxi-hailing joint venture expands to 13 cities across Japan Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-24  Authors: kiyoshi ota, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, softbank, expands, taxihailing, services, didisoftbank, venture, japan, joint, cities, softbanks, didi, companies, service, portfolio, 13


Didi-SoftBank taxi-hailing joint venture expands to 13 cities across Japan

Didi Mobility Japan, a joint venture (JV) by China’s Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Corp, said it would expand its taxi-hailing service to 13 cities across Japan.

The app was first rolled out in September in Osaka, a popular destination for Chinese tourists, where it has tied up with 40 taxi firms in an increasingly crowded market for such apps that includes rivals backed by Sony and Toyota Motor.

It is expanding into Tokyo and Kyoto from Wednesday, with a further 10 locations to follow in the current financial year.

Despite SoftBank’s oversized presence in the global ride-hailing industry, such services are effectively banned in Japan, leaving SoftBank portfolio companies like Didi and Uber limited to offering services that match taxis with customers.

Didi is among a growing number of SoftBank Group Corp-backed companies launching JVs with SoftBank’s domestic telco.

Other startups doing so are shared co-working firm WeWork Cos and Indian hotel startup OYO.

As part of SoftBank’s efforts to drive synergies between its portfolio companies users will be able to access the taxi-hailing service through Yahoo Japan’s route-finding app and pay via PayPay, an app that uses tech from India’s Paytm.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-24  Authors: kiyoshi ota, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, softbank, expands, taxihailing, services, didisoftbank, venture, japan, joint, cities, softbanks, didi, companies, service, portfolio, 13


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Google and Amazon have ended their war over the YouTube app

Google will relaunch the YouTube app and release a new YouTube TV app on Amazon Fire TV devices in the coming months, Amazon said Thursday. At the time, Google said it decided to remove the app due to a “lack of reciprocity” from Amazon. It said Amazon refused to sell Google products such as the Google Home speaker, a competitor with the Amazon Echo, and the Nest camera, which competes with Amazon’s Ring system. Amazon still does’t sell the Google Home, but it does sell Nest cameras and thermost


Google will relaunch the YouTube app and release a new YouTube TV app on Amazon Fire TV devices in the coming months, Amazon said Thursday. At the time, Google said it decided to remove the app due to a “lack of reciprocity” from Amazon. It said Amazon refused to sell Google products such as the Google Home speaker, a competitor with the Amazon Echo, and the Nest camera, which competes with Amazon’s Ring system. Amazon still does’t sell the Google Home, but it does sell Nest cameras and thermost
Google and Amazon have ended their war over the YouTube app Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-18  Authors: todd haselton, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, youtube, google, amazon, tv, support, streaming, app, war, echo, sell, nest, ended


Google and Amazon have ended their war over the YouTube app

Google will relaunch the YouTube app and release a new YouTube TV app on Amazon Fire TV devices in the coming months, Amazon said Thursday.

Amazon Prime video will also soon support the Google Chromecast, ending a streaming spat between the two tech giants that started in 2017.

Google pulled its YouTube app from Amazon’s Fire TV and Echo Show in December 2017 as competition between the two companies began to heat up in the streaming space.

At the time, Google said it decided to remove the app due to a “lack of reciprocity” from Amazon. It said Amazon refused to sell Google products such as the Google Home speaker, a competitor with the Amazon Echo, and the Nest camera, which competes with Amazon’s Ring system. Amazon still does’t sell the Google Home, but it does sell Nest cameras and thermostats.

Fire TV users have been able to use a third-party YouTube app that simply linked folks to the YouTube website. But a new version should offer a more feature-rich experience with support for 4K HDR content.

The addition of YouTube TV also means customers who subscribe to Google’s streaming TV service will be able to tune in on the Fire TV, which supports additional services including Hulu, Sony’s PS Vue, AT&T DirecTV Now and Sling TV.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-18  Authors: todd haselton, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, youtube, google, amazon, tv, support, streaming, app, war, echo, sell, nest, ended


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Inside bikini-photo startup Six4Three’s scrappy battle to put Facebook on trial

For years, Kramer, 35, founder of the now-defunct startup app developer Six4Three, has been involved in a high-stakes legal battle with Facebook. The case started small, and initially attracted little notice beyond tech blogs, but it has grown into a massive headache for Facebook. Facebook reiterated its view that Six4Three’s lawsuit is “meritless” and in an emailed statement questioned the startup’s claims about what the internal documents show. As a result of the lawsuit, Kramer fears becoming


For years, Kramer, 35, founder of the now-defunct startup app developer Six4Three, has been involved in a high-stakes legal battle with Facebook. The case started small, and initially attracted little notice beyond tech blogs, but it has grown into a massive headache for Facebook. Facebook reiterated its view that Six4Three’s lawsuit is “meritless” and in an emailed statement questioned the startup’s claims about what the internal documents show. As a result of the lawsuit, Kramer fears becoming
Inside bikini-photo startup Six4Three’s scrappy battle to put Facebook on trial Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-16  Authors: olivia solon, cyrus farivar, drew angerer, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, startup, documents, kramer, bikiniphoto, six4three, user, privacy, facebooks, scrappy, line, six4threes, inside, lawsuit, trial, facebook, battle, app


Inside bikini-photo startup Six4Three's scrappy battle to put Facebook on trial

Ted Kramer seemed on edge. While sitting at a Starbucks store recently talking to a reporter, he kept looking over his shoulder mid-conversation, scanning people and cars passing by.

For years, Kramer, 35, founder of the now-defunct startup app developer Six4Three, has been involved in a high-stakes legal battle with Facebook. He suspects the technology company has hired people to surveil him, because he says he has seen people taking photos outside his San Francisco apartment.

Facebook says the surveillance claim is “absolute fantasy” and denied monitoring Kramer.

Kramer’s concern is far from the most bizarre thing about his lawsuit, which has prompted an investigation by the British Parliament and shows no sign of resolution.

The David vs. Goliath contest pits Kramer’s small startup, which in 2013 built a short-lived app to identify Facebook photos of users’ friends in bikinis, against one of the most powerful technology companies in the world. Six4Three sued Facebook in 2015 in state court in San Mateo County after Facebook restricted its access to the user data that its app, called Pikinis, and thousands of other apps, relied on to function.

The case started small, and initially attracted little notice beyond tech blogs, but it has grown into a massive headache for Facebook. Over the course of the case, the social media giant was forced to turn over thousands of pages of internal documents, which show Facebook’s years-long efforts to control its competitors by sharing or withholding Facebook user data. The documents — some of which were published by the British Parliament last year and more of which were recently obtained by Duncan Campbell, a British journalist who shared them with NBC News and other media outlets — show how Facebook publicly described its decisions as driven by user privacy concerns, while the company was actually focused on threats from competitors.

“It’s like we are fishing in this tiny boat with no one else around and we somehow managed to hook a massive great white shark on our line,” Kramer said in his first extensive public comments on the case, a lengthy emailed response to questions that were screened by his attorney. The emails were exchanged between meetings in San Francisco and Redwood City.

“We’ve kept it on the line for four years and have been slowly but surely reeling it in,” Kramer continued in one of the emails. “The more we reel it in, the more tricks it finds to try to yank itself off the line. But it’s still on that line. It has almost tipped our boat over a few times and it may end up tipping the boat over very soon. But we will hold onto that rod even while drowning. We’ll keep pulling that line in. We might go down, but the shark’s coming with us.”

Facebook reiterated its view that Six4Three’s lawsuit is “meritless” and in an emailed statement questioned the startup’s claims about what the internal documents show.

“As we’ve said many times, Six4Three — creators of the Pikinis app — cherry-picked these documents from years ago as part of a lawsuit to force Facebook to share information on friends of the app’s users,” Paul Grewal, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, told NBC News in a statement. “The set of documents, by design, tells only one side of the story and omits important context. We still stand by the platform changes we made in 2014/2015 to prevent people from sharing their friends’ information with developers like the creators of Pikinis.”

NBC News has not been able to determine whether the documents represent a complete picture. Facebook declined to provide additional evidence to support its view that they were cherry-picked.

Facebook has publicly painted Six4Three as an unsuccessful company that sought to exploit the same privacy vulnerabilities in Facebook’s platform as the data-harvesting boogeyman Cambridge Analytica.

But some experts believe the significance of Kramer’s lawsuit goes far beyond an app that might be viewed as unsavory.

“Ted is at the center of one of the most important questions of our decade: How can personal information and privacy be used to harm competition?” said Ashkan Soltani, who previously served as the Federal Trade Commission’s chief technologist and is now an independent privacy researcher based in Oakland, California.

Still, Kramer’s crusade has found few public allies in the tech industry.

At least half a dozen prominent investors and startup founders told NBC News in private conversations that they’re rooting for Six4Three, but that they would not say anything publicly that could harm their relationship with the social network.

As a result of the lawsuit, Kramer fears becoming an outcast in Silicon Valley. But his goal has not changed: to put Facebook’s entire business model on trial — particularly what he views as the company’s bait-and-switch of offering Facebook user data to apps like Pikinis and then removing it.

“This is all because I am standing up for what is right and trying to hold Facebook accountable for its fraud,” Kramer said in an email, “something state and federal governments should have done a long time ago.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-16  Authors: olivia solon, cyrus farivar, drew angerer, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, startup, documents, kramer, bikiniphoto, six4three, user, privacy, facebooks, scrappy, line, six4threes, inside, lawsuit, trial, facebook, battle, app


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If you are a ‘Game of Thrones’ fan, this app will teach you how to speak in High Valyrian

While only one character can speak native High Valyrian on “Game of Thrones,” viewers nationwide are picking up a few words and phrases from an unlikely source: Duolingo, the free language-learning app. High Valyrian isn’t the only fictional language Duolingo has to offer. That’s not the case when it comes to High Valyrian, where Peterson is a contributor and develops the courses for free. The origins of High Valyrian come from the book that inspired the show, written by George R.R. While users


While only one character can speak native High Valyrian on “Game of Thrones,” viewers nationwide are picking up a few words and phrases from an unlikely source: Duolingo, the free language-learning app. High Valyrian isn’t the only fictional language Duolingo has to offer. That’s not the case when it comes to High Valyrian, where Peterson is a contributor and develops the courses for free. The origins of High Valyrian come from the book that inspired the show, written by George R.R. While users
If you are a ‘Game of Thrones’ fan, this app will teach you how to speak in High Valyrian Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-14  Authors: noah higgins-dunn, source, george kavallines
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, course, valyrian, thrones, speak, peterson, game, teach, created, develop, app, high, feinberg, fan, duolingo, language, languages


If you are a 'Game of Thrones' fan, this app will teach you how to speak in High Valyrian

“Skorverdon zaldrīzoti Daenerys ēza?”

Translation: How many dragons does Daenerys have? It’s not a ridiculous question if you’re a fan of the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones,” which returns for its eighth and final season on Sunday. The language? It’s called High Valyrian, the tongue of the ruined Valyrian Freehold empire, and it’s one of four languages created by linguist David J. Peterson spoken on the show.

While only one character can speak native High Valyrian on “Game of Thrones,” viewers nationwide are picking up a few words and phrases from an unlikely source: Duolingo, the free language-learning app.

Duolingo first offered lessons in High Valyrian in 2017 and, since then, 1.2 million people have started the course. In the last two weeks leading up to the premier of the final season, Duolingo has seen a near 65% increase in people taking the course, said Sam Dalsimer, a spokesman for Duolingo.

High Valyrian isn’t the only fictional language Duolingo has to offer. Star Trek fans can find Klingon, a language constructed by Marc Okrand and centered around spacecraft, warfare and weaponry.

To offer languages on Duolingo, the company usually relies on hundreds of volunteers and employees to develop course material and monitor users’ experiences. That’s not the case when it comes to High Valyrian, where Peterson is a contributor and develops the courses for free.

“We teach over 30 languages and most have thousands of people who speak them and are capable of helping us teach them.” Dalsimer said. “There’s only one person on planet Earth who knows the language, and that’s David Peterson.”

The origins of High Valyrian come from the book that inspired the show, written by George R.R. Martin. Peterson won a contest to develop the more common language used on “Game of Thrones” called Dothraki but was asked to build High Valyrian later in the series. His goal was to create a classic language that could give birth to many others, similar to Romance languages, and Peterson noted it had to fit with the names Martin created for the book, such as Daenerys, Viserys and Rhaella.

There are now 824 words of High Valyrian that users can learn on Duolingo, and that number continues to grow. Peterson said there are now 2,000 words in the full version of the language he maintains.

“With every single language I create I keep working on it for the rest of my life or until I’m not happy with it,” said Peterson, who has created more than 50 languages. “It will basically just be another one of my languages, it’s not like it’s going to get any special treatment.”

When Peterson first encountered Duolingo, he felt it could revolutionize the way people learned languages. It had a great interface, it was free and, as a linguist, it’s the dream for people like him to create languages people would have access to, although he didn’t foresee how popular High Valyrian would become.

Today, High Valyrian has 822,000 active learners, or those who have used the course in the last 12 months. That’s more than Czech, Norwegian, Vietnamese and Hungarian.

“I imagined it would attract casual interest, but I never imagined there would be that many people who would actually be interested in taking the course,” Peterson said.

There is one statistic Peterson is particularly proud of: 44% of users who came to Duolingo to learn High Valyrian went on to practice other languages. While users may not perfect High Valyrian, Peterson sees the language as a “gateway drug” to learners discovering other cultures.

“As we become more economically focused, people view language as a tool as opposed to an art piece in and of itself or cultural history,” Peterson said.

More than 40% of the world speaks one of eight languages, although there are more than 7,000 worldwide. UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has labeled 2,680 languages in danger as it celebrates the International Year of Indigenous Languages, designed to raise awareness to disappearing languages.

“It’s nice that the UN is putting this emphasis on indigenous languages because people need to start addressing this issue,” Peterson said. “We’re losing them and we’re losing them quickly, and once they’re lost, they’re lost.”

Duolingo has worked with communities and volunteers like Peterson to develop courses in endangered languages, such as offering lessons in Hawaiian, Irish and Navajo, Dalsimer said.

“Those courses are driven entirely by volunteer contributors and for them it’s more about a desire to preserve their language and their culture because they see it as being endangered, and it is,” Dalsimer said. “Languages die every year and Duolingo can help them preserve it.”

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“I remember thinking that if David Peterson ever taught the ‘Game of Thrones’ language I would definitely check it out,” said Andrew Feinberg, a volunteer for Duolingo who has used the app since its beta version nearly seven years ago.

Except when Duolingo announced it would offer High Valyrian courses, Feinberg thought it was a joke. He helped Duolingo develop its Norwegian and Japanese platforms, and he’s witnessed the company’s pranks in the past, like when it offered pirate and zombie languages.

But Feinberg noticed the only contributor to the course was Peterson. That’s when he realized it wasn’t a joke.

Peterson, dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as “Hollywood’s go-to language guy” has created languages for many film and television projects, including the movies “Thor: The Dark World” and “Doctor Strange.”

“I had sort of stalked him on YouTube and watched all those videos on how he created those languages,” Feinberg said. “I was really excited for it. I knew that he was a serious linguist who had complimented Duolingo before.”

Now Feinberg manages learning groups on Facebook for Japanese, Chinese, Norwegian and, a day after its introduction, High Valyrian, which has amassed over 200 members learning alongside Peterson himself, who encourages people to use and develop the language in conversation with each other even if that means moving beyond what he imagined.

“It’s always a little different since I did create High Valyrian and, in a sense, there is an arbiter to determine what is right and what is wrong,” Peterson said. “But as long as I’m here I feel like not only do I want to, but I should be there to try to help people out.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-14  Authors: noah higgins-dunn, source, george kavallines
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, course, valyrian, thrones, speak, peterson, game, teach, created, develop, app, high, feinberg, fan, duolingo, language, languages


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Why advertisers are excited about Snap’s new gaming platform

Snap made a slew of announcements, including a new ad-supported gaming platform, at its first partner summit Thursday as it casts a wider net for ad revenue. Although the announcements also included a new ad network, advertisers say the real compelling opportunity is in gaming. One way is trying to get its users to use the app even more, which gaming should help with if executed right. Details aren’t clear yet on brand safety measures in the gaming platform, but advertisers said it seems likely


Snap made a slew of announcements, including a new ad-supported gaming platform, at its first partner summit Thursday as it casts a wider net for ad revenue. Although the announcements also included a new ad network, advertisers say the real compelling opportunity is in gaming. One way is trying to get its users to use the app even more, which gaming should help with if executed right. Details aren’t clear yet on brand safety measures in the gaming platform, but advertisers said it seems likely
Why advertisers are excited about Snap’s new gaming platform Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-05  Authors: megan graham, mark lennihan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, research, platform, users, agency, gaming, ad, excited, snap, snapchat, snaps, advertisers


Why advertisers are excited about Snap's new gaming platform

Snap made a slew of announcements, including a new ad-supported gaming platform, at its first partner summit Thursday as it casts a wider net for ad revenue. Although the announcements also included a new ad network, advertisers say the real compelling opportunity is in gaming.

Snap has proven popular with its young audience. Onstage Thursday, CEO Evan Spiegel claimed the company reaches 90 percent of 13-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. But what has been less clear is how Snap’s revenue will grow as its audience growth has sputtered.

One way is trying to get its users to use the app even more, which gaming should help with if executed right. The mobile games market was expected to hit $63.2 billion in 2018, according to research from gaming, esports and mobile market analytics firm Newzoo. Snap’s market cap had risen by about $600 million Friday to about $15.5 billion.

Advertisers will have the ability to buy non-skippable, six-second video ads on games like “Bitmoji Party,” an original game that lets users compete as their Bitmoji avatars. The company will soon also roll out third-party games.

Although advertisers were still curious on some aspect of the game integrations, they were eager about the gaming platform’s ability to raise engagement in an area of Snapchat that’s actually ad-friendly. It also seems to offer brand-safe opportunities, advertisers said.

For Noah Mallin, head of content and experience at media agency Wavemaker, the gaming component is compelling since he said Snap needs to find engaging places for its user base outside of messaging, which is popular but also “really isn’t an advertising-friendly space,” he says.

What’s yet to be seen is how the ad experience will be designed. Mallin said Snap should make sure the ads aren’t too interruptive. He added the gaming space has tried out constructs like being able to watch one full video ad in exchange for an extra life or the ability to play ad-free for the next several rounds.

Details aren’t clear yet on brand safety measures in the gaming platform, but advertisers said it seems likely to have friendly spaces for brands.

“The tone of it appeared to be very brand-friendly and very brand-safe,” said Meghan Myszkowski, VP of Social Activation in North America for media agency Essence. But she noted her agency still needed more details. “We’ll investigate that before we recommend it,” she said.

The new announcements in gaming as well as augmented reality — like a partnership with Photomath that will allow users to point the Snapchat camera at a math equation to see the solution appear within the camera — indicate a focus on keeping people on the app longer, said Ilan Ness, chief strategist at digital ad agency Taktical.

“You’ll note that the company proudly touts its active user base and the age demographic, but they consistently seem [to] overlook the time spent in the app, which is probably not that great,” he said in an email. “These updates are a step towards increasing the time spent on Snapchat, which is exactly what we as advertisers need in order to effectively run ads. We need extended periods of attention.”

According to data from digital market intelligence company SimilarWeb, in February 2019 in the U.S., individuals spent just over 45 minutes on the Snapchat Android app on average, compared with nearly 53 minutes on the Facebook Android app and nearly 22 minutes on the Twitter Android app.

Simona Marmina, senior director of social for media agency Mindshare, echoed the desire for more details around brand safety but said the gaming platform seemed promising.

“They obviously made it clear they have an advantage compared to other even pure-play gaming platforms, in the sense that they’re a community already established, and a lot of people use it to talk to their friends,” she said.

Morgan Stanley analysts said in a research note they see the mobile in-game advertising as a big opportunity, but say it will be challenging to execute. Research analysts said Snap’s challenge will be creating scalable ad units that aren’t disruptive to a user’s experience. Where a game like “Words With Friends” monetizes well since it’s turn-based and creates natural periods to show ads, researchers said Snap’s first six games don’t appear to be “turn-based.” That “could limit ad impression opportunities … and monetization,” the research note says.

Also, analysts say if Snap scales its games business, the upside might be limited by the fact that they would have to give 70 percent of any revenue generated to the game developers — using a figure it refers to as the industry standard split.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-05  Authors: megan graham, mark lennihan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, research, platform, users, agency, gaming, ad, excited, snap, snapchat, snaps, advertisers


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Why advertisers are excited about Snap’s new gaming platform

Snap made a slew of announcements, including a new ad-supported gaming platform, at its first partner summit Thursday as it casts a wider net for ad revenue. Although the announcements also included a new ad network, advertisers say the real compelling opportunity is in gaming. One way is trying to get its users to use the app even more, which gaming should help with if executed right. Details aren’t clear yet on brand safety measures in the gaming platform, but advertisers said it seems likely


Snap made a slew of announcements, including a new ad-supported gaming platform, at its first partner summit Thursday as it casts a wider net for ad revenue. Although the announcements also included a new ad network, advertisers say the real compelling opportunity is in gaming. One way is trying to get its users to use the app even more, which gaming should help with if executed right. Details aren’t clear yet on brand safety measures in the gaming platform, but advertisers said it seems likely
Why advertisers are excited about Snap’s new gaming platform Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-05  Authors: megan graham, mark lennihan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, snap, excited, users, platform, ad, snapchat, agency, gaming, research, snaps, advertisers


Why advertisers are excited about Snap's new gaming platform

Snap made a slew of announcements, including a new ad-supported gaming platform, at its first partner summit Thursday as it casts a wider net for ad revenue. Although the announcements also included a new ad network, advertisers say the real compelling opportunity is in gaming.

Snap has proven popular with its young audience. Onstage Thursday, CEO Evan Spiegel claimed the company reaches 90 percent of 13-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. But what has been less clear is how Snap’s revenue will grow as its audience growth has sputtered.

One way is trying to get its users to use the app even more, which gaming should help with if executed right. The mobile games market was expected to hit $63.2 billion in 2018, according to research from gaming, esports and mobile market analytics firm Newzoo. Snap’s market cap had risen by about $600 million Friday to about $15.5 billion.

Advertisers will have the ability to buy non-skippable, six-second video ads on games like “Bitmoji Party,” an original game that lets users compete as their Bitmoji avatars. The company will soon also roll out third-party games.

Although advertisers were still curious on some aspect of the game integrations, they were eager about the gaming platform’s ability to raise engagement in an area of Snapchat that’s actually ad-friendly. It also seems to offer brand-safe opportunities, advertisers said.

For Noah Mallin, head of content and experience at media agency Wavemaker, the gaming component is compelling since he said Snap needs to find engaging places for its user base outside of messaging, which is popular but also “really isn’t an advertising-friendly space,” he says.

What’s yet to be seen is how the ad experience will be designed. Mallin said Snap should make sure the ads aren’t too interruptive. He added the gaming space has tried out constructs like being able to watch one full video ad in exchange for an extra life or the ability to play ad-free for the next several rounds.

Details aren’t clear yet on brand safety measures in the gaming platform, but advertisers said it seems likely to have friendly spaces for brands.

“The tone of it appeared to be very brand-friendly and very brand-safe,” said Meghan Myszkowski, VP of Social Activation in North America for media agency Essence. But she noted her agency still needed more details. “We’ll investigate that before we recommend it,” she said.

The new announcements in gaming as well as augmented reality — like a partnership with Photomath that will allow users to point the Snapchat camera at a math equation to see the solution appear within the camera — indicate a focus on keeping people on the app longer, said Ilan Ness, chief strategist at digital ad agency Taktical.

“You’ll note that the company proudly touts its active user base and the age demographic, but they consistently seem [to] overlook the time spent in the app, which is probably not that great,” he said in an email. “These updates are a step towards increasing the time spent on Snapchat, which is exactly what we as advertisers need in order to effectively run ads. We need extended periods of attention.”

According to data from digital market intelligence company SimilarWeb, in February 2019 in the U.S., individuals spent just over 45 minutes on the Snapchat Android app on average, compared with nearly 53 minutes on the Facebook Android app and nearly 22 minutes on the Twitter Android app.

Simona Marmina, senior director of social for media agency Mindshare, echoed the desire for more details around brand safety but said the gaming platform seemed promising.

“They obviously made it clear they have an advantage compared to other even pure-play gaming platforms, in the sense that they’re a community already established, and a lot of people use it to talk to their friends,” she said.

Morgan Stanley analysts said in a research note they see the mobile in-game advertising as a big opportunity, but say it will be challenging to execute. Research analysts said Snap’s challenge will be creating scalable ad units that aren’t disruptive to a user’s experience. Where a game like “Words With Friends” monetizes well since it’s turn-based and creates natural periods to show ads, researchers said Snap’s first six games don’t appear to be “turn-based.” That “could limit ad impression opportunities … and monetization,” the research note says.

Also, analysts say if Snap scales its games business, the upside might be limited by the fact that they would have to give 70 percent of any revenue generated to the game developers — using a figure it refers to as the industry standard split.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-05  Authors: megan graham, mark lennihan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, snap, excited, users, platform, ad, snapchat, agency, gaming, research, snaps, advertisers


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Snap introduces ‘app stories’ for third-party apps

Snap introduces ‘app stories’ for third-party apps22 Hours AgoCNBC’s Julia Boorstin reports on the new Snapchat feature that will allow third-party apps to have “app stories.”


Snap introduces ‘app stories’ for third-party apps22 Hours AgoCNBC’s Julia Boorstin reports on the new Snapchat feature that will allow third-party apps to have “app stories.”
Snap introduces ‘app stories’ for third-party apps Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-04
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, introduces, apps, reports, app, snapchat, feature, snap, thirdparty, boorstin, julia, hours


Snap introduces 'app stories' for third-party apps

Snap introduces ‘app stories’ for third-party apps

22 Hours Ago

CNBC’s Julia Boorstin reports on the new Snapchat feature that will allow third-party apps to have “app stories.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-04
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, introduces, apps, reports, app, snapchat, feature, snap, thirdparty, boorstin, julia, hours


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Snap is taking on Apple in the multi-billion dollar mobile gaming business

Snap announced a new ad-supported gaming platform Thursday, joining Google and Apple in a quest to grab attention and dollars from the multi-billion gaming industry. Snap announced six new original and third-party games that will begin rolling out on its flagship Snapchat app Thursday. Shares of Snap were up 1.1 percent following its series of announcements at the Snap Partner Summit Thursday. Snap’s advertising model stands in contrast to the subscription gaming service Apple plans to launch th


Snap announced a new ad-supported gaming platform Thursday, joining Google and Apple in a quest to grab attention and dollars from the multi-billion gaming industry. Snap announced six new original and third-party games that will begin rolling out on its flagship Snapchat app Thursday. Shares of Snap were up 1.1 percent following its series of announcements at the Snap Partner Summit Thursday. Snap’s advertising model stands in contrast to the subscription gaming service Apple plans to launch th
Snap is taking on Apple in the multi-billion dollar mobile gaming business Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-04  Authors: julia boorstin, lauren feiner, adam galica, justin sullivan, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, mobile, taking, multibillion, apple, games, game, announced, app, platform, snap, dollar, users, gaming, business, launch


Snap is taking on Apple in the multi-billion dollar mobile gaming business

Snap announced a new ad-supported gaming platform Thursday, joining Google and Apple in a quest to grab attention and dollars from the multi-billion gaming industry.

Snap announced six new original and third-party games that will begin rolling out on its flagship Snapchat app Thursday. The feature is a way for Snap to entice its Gen Z audience in a new way as other free-to-play games like Epic Game’s “Fortnite” and EA’s “Apex Legends” continue to capture teens’ interest and time. Shares of Snap were up 1.1 percent following its series of announcements at the Snap Partner Summit Thursday.

Snap is betting that engagement with games will also lure more advertising dollars to its platform with non-skippable, six second video ads. Analysts were still skeptical about the company’s ability to maintain its user base even after posting better than expected earnings with stabilizing user engagement in its fourth quarter 2018. Snap’s stock is down about 23 percent over the past 12 months, but has seen a significant rally over the past six months, rising 45 percent to trade around $11.28 on Thursday.

Snap’s advertising model stands in contrast to the subscription gaming service Apple plans to launch this fall. Apple Arcade will feature over 100 games exclusively on Apple devices, the company announced at a media event last month, though it has yet to name a price for the bundle.

Google has also gotten into the gaming space, announcing last month it will launch a new streaming service called Stadia this year, which will let users play high quality games without expensive gaming consoles or computers. But like Apple, Google has yet to name a price for the service.

Snapchat users will be able to access games directly from the chat feature of the app and invite friends to join them. In prepared remarks for Thursday’s announcement, Snap Director of Product Will Wu said the company wanted to create a gaming platform that made it easier to play games with friends on mobile.

“We wanted to build something that makes us feel like we’re playing a board game with family over a long holiday weekend,” Wu said. While there are several steps involved in getting a group of friends to join a game together on a separate app, Wu said Snapchat’s existing platform gives it “the right ingredients to break down these barriers.”

The first of Snap’s games to launch will be Bitmoji Party, an original game that lets users compete as their Bitmoji avatars, which are cartoon-like characters designed by users. Snap will soon roll out its third-party games as well, including two battle-royale games, the same style as “Apex Legends” and “Fortnite.”

In addition to Snap Games, the company announced several other new features at its event Thursday. Snap will also introduce “app stories” that let third-party apps like Tinder, HouseParty and AdvertureAide allow their users to create custom stories through the Snapchat app. It also plans to launch a new lineup of original shows and a new augmented reality feature.

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Watch: Google announces new game streaming service called Stadia


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-04  Authors: julia boorstin, lauren feiner, adam galica, justin sullivan, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, mobile, taking, multibillion, apple, games, game, announced, app, platform, snap, dollar, users, gaming, business, launch


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Snap stock pops after company announces plan to run ads in other apps

Snap stock popped to close up more than 1% on Thursday after the company announced its forthcoming launch of a Snap Audience Network, which will sell ads that appear in apps other than Snapchat. Aiming to gain an advantage over Facebook, Snap has tried to position itself as more focused on user privacy. Facebook has its own “Audience Network,” which lets advertisers extend campaigns beyond Facebook into other mobile apps using the same targeting available for ads on its own platform. Snap’s vice


Snap stock popped to close up more than 1% on Thursday after the company announced its forthcoming launch of a Snap Audience Network, which will sell ads that appear in apps other than Snapchat. Aiming to gain an advantage over Facebook, Snap has tried to position itself as more focused on user privacy. Facebook has its own “Audience Network,” which lets advertisers extend campaigns beyond Facebook into other mobile apps using the same targeting available for ads on its own platform. Snap’s vice
Snap stock pops after company announces plan to run ads in other apps Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-04  Authors: megan graham, lucas jackson
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, user, plan, audience, quarter, stock, run, snap, ads, pops, facebook, network, summit, announces, apps, company


Snap stock pops after company announces plan to run ads in other apps

Snap stock popped to close up more than 1% on Thursday after the company announced its forthcoming launch of a Snap Audience Network, which will sell ads that appear in apps other than Snapchat.

The news of the ad network comes as Snap made a slew of other announcements at its Partner Summit in Los Angeles, as it tries out new ways of making money.

Snap’s descriptions of the network so far have been light on details, but the network may help Snap broaden its appeal to advertisers without having to gain users.

Snap has struggled with user growth — its worldwide average daily active user base was 186 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, the same figure as in the third quarter. Snapchat’s average revenue per user was $2.09 when it reported fourth-quarter earnings in February, while Facebook made $7.37 per user during the fourth quarter. Aiming to gain an advantage over Facebook, Snap has tried to position itself as more focused on user privacy.

The company said the launch will come in the coming months.

Facebook has its own “Audience Network,” which lets advertisers extend campaigns beyond Facebook into other mobile apps using the same targeting available for ads on its own platform.

Snap’s vice president of partnerships Ben Schwerin announced the new audience network during the keynote address of the summit. The offering gives third-party app makers a new revenue stream with Snap’s full-screen, vertical ads with “advertisers included,” indicating it might make sense for companies that don’t have the resources or background in selling ads. In online materials, Snap says its audience network is “built with our privacy-by-design principles top of mind.”

Beginning Thursday, app makers can apply to get access to its Ad Software Development Kit, beginning with iOS integrations in the U.S. only. Snap didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether the ad network already had any partners.

The company also announced a new ad-supported gaming platform during the summit Thursday. Six new original and third-party games are set to begin rolling out to the Snapchat app.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-04  Authors: megan graham, lucas jackson
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, user, plan, audience, quarter, stock, run, snap, ads, pops, facebook, network, summit, announces, apps, company


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Records of millions of Facebook users are reportedly found on Amazon’s cloud servers

UpGuard said it found a database backup for a Facebook-integrated app called “At the Pool,” which included passwords for that app, among other details. This database contained passwords for just 22,000 users, according to UpGuard. “Storing information you get from Facebook on insecure locations is specifically prohibited by our policies,” Facebook told CNBC. Cultura Colectiva said it was “concerned about the privacy and security” of its users’ data. We are aware of the potential uses of data in


UpGuard said it found a database backup for a Facebook-integrated app called “At the Pool,” which included passwords for that app, among other details. This database contained passwords for just 22,000 users, according to UpGuard. “Storing information you get from Facebook on insecure locations is specifically prohibited by our policies,” Facebook told CNBC. Cultura Colectiva said it was “concerned about the privacy and security” of its users’ data. We are aware of the potential uses of data in
Records of millions of Facebook users are reportedly found on Amazon’s cloud servers Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-03  Authors: lauren feiner, jordan novet, marlene awaad, bloomberg, getty images, courtesy of facebook
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, security, data, amazons, company, users, records, servers, upguard, reportedly, s3, cloud, privacy, facebook, access, app, millions


Records of millions of Facebook users are reportedly found on Amazon's cloud servers

UpGuard is a commercial firm that sells products for companies to prevent and detect data exposures.

The company said in a blog post that the data it found on Amazon’s S3 service included over 540 million records with Facebook user information like comments, reactions and account names that appear to have been uploaded by Mexico-based media company Cultura Colectiva.

UpGuard said it found a database backup for a Facebook-integrated app called “At the Pool,” which included passwords for that app, among other details. This database contained passwords for just 22,000 users, according to UpGuard. That app ceased operations in 2014, UpGuard said.

UpGuard did not find Facebook passwords.

The data was stored in unsecured portions of Amazon’s cloud service that could easily be accessed by outsiders if they had the right information and knew where to look, UpGuard said.

“[AWS] S3 buckets usually have a name,” said UpGuard’s vice president of product Greg Pollock. “In this case, the names were Yeti DB and the other one was CC Data Lake. If you guessed those names and have access to a browser, that’s how easy it is.”

A Facebook spokesperson said the company is investigating the case, and added that UpGuard had not reached out to the company directly as far as she knew. The spokesperson claimed Facebook first became aware of the exposure when a Bloomberg reporter reached out about the story it planned to write on UpGuard’s findings.

“Storing information you get from Facebook on insecure locations is specifically prohibited by our policies,” Facebook told CNBC.

In a statement, Amazon noted that certain security safeguards of AWS can be overridden by customers, such as the app makers in this case:

AWS customers own and fully control their data. When we receive an abuse report concerning content that is not clearly illegal or otherwise prohibited, we notify the customer in question and ask that they take appropriate action, which is what happened here. While Amazon S3 is secure by default, we offer the flexibility to change our default configurations to suit the many use cases in which broader access is required, such as building a website or hosting publicly downloadable content. As is the case on premises or anywhere else, application builders must ensure that changes they make to access configurations are protecting access as intended.

Cultura Colectiva said it was “concerned about the privacy and security” of its users’ data. The company also said in its statement:

The UpGuard Cyber Risk team revealed that some of our datasets containing publicly available data were exposed, which included 540 million interactions such as likes, comments, and reactions. However, neither sensitive nor private data, like emails or passwords, were amongst those because we do not have access to that kind of data, so we did not put our users’ privacy and security at risk. We are aware of the potential uses of data in current times, so we have reinforced our security measures to protect the data and privacy of our Facebook fanpages’ users.

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Watch: How Facebook makes money by targeting ads directly to you


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-03  Authors: lauren feiner, jordan novet, marlene awaad, bloomberg, getty images, courtesy of facebook
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, security, data, amazons, company, users, records, servers, upguard, reportedly, s3, cloud, privacy, facebook, access, app, millions


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