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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Mailchimp teams up with Square to launch shoppable landing pages

Mailchimp, the popular email newsletter service and marketing platform, today announced a partnership with Square that will allow its users to create landing pages with built-in e-commerce features. These shoppable landing pages are meant to give businesses a new sales channel to sell things like limited-edition goods or run-targeted promotions.

Mailchimp’s landing pages have been around for a few years now. Until now, though, they were mostly meant to capture additional email addresses or link people to a store. Now, with this new partnership, customers will be able to build a full shopping flow with built-in payments right into these pages.

To make this easier, Mailchimp is offering a number of pre-designed templates and a drag-and-drop builder. Square will handle all the payments and Mailchimp will offer this service for a flat processing rate.

Right now, this only works for a single product per landing page, though. That means there’s no shopping cart functionality, but also makes for an easy setup. That’s why the company is currently marketing this as a feature for limited-edition items, for example. Over time, though, the company plans to add additional functionality to these pages.

Mailchimp tells me that 50 percent of its revenue now comes from e-commerce. In total, its customers sold over $22 billion worth of products in the first half of 2018 alone.

It’s worth noting that Mailchimp went through a rebranding exercise earlier this year that was explicitly meant to highlight its feature set outside of its core email services. Today’s new shoppable landing pages are a good example for the kind of new features the company was surely thinking about when it went through this process.


Source: TechCrunch

Space Photos of the Week: A Star Is Born After Gases Crash

Stellar nurseries seem cute, but they’re actually mini-Big Bangs.
Source: Wired

Facebook Messenger is building a ‘Watch Videos Together’ feature

Netflix and chill from afar? Facebook Messenger is now internally testing simultaneous co-viewing of videos. That means you and your favorite people could watch a synchronized video over group chat on your respective devices while discussing or joking about it. This “Watch Videos Together” feature could make you spend more time on Facebook Messenger while creating shared experiences that are more meaningful and positive for well-being than passively zombie-viewing videos solo. This new approach to Facebook’s Watch Party feature might feel more natural as part of messaging than through a feed, Groups or Events post.

The feature was first spotted in Messenger’s codebase by Ananay Arora, the founder of deadline management app Timebound as well as a mobile investigator in the style of frequent TechCrunch tipster Jane Manchun Wong. The code he discovered describes Messenger allowing you to “tap to watch together now” and “chat about the same videos at the same time” with chat thread members receiving a notification that a co-viewing is starting. “Everyone in this chat can control the video and see who’s watching,” the code explains.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that this is an “internal test” and that it doesn’t have any more to share right now. But other features originally discovered in Messenger’s code, like contact syncing with Instagram, have eventually received official launches.

Watch Party exists on Facebook, but could be more popular as a chat feature

A fascinating question this co-viewing feature brings up is where users will find videos to watch. It might just let you punch in a URL from Facebook or share a video from there to Messenger. The app could put a new video browsing option into the message composer or Discover tab. Or, if it really wanted to get serious about chat-based co-viewing, Facebook could allow the feature to work with video partners, ideally YouTube.

Co-viewing of videos could also introduce a new revenue opportunity for Messenger. It might suggest sponsored videos, such as recent movie trailers. Or it could simply serve video ads between a queue of videos lined up for co-viewing. Facebook has recently been putting more pressure on its subsidiaries like Messenger and Instagram to monetize as News Feed ad revenue growth slows due to plateauing user growth and limited News Feed ad space.

Other apps like YouTube’s Uptime (since shut down) and Facebook’s first president Sean Parker’s Airtime (never took off) have tried and failed to make co-watching a popular habit. The problem is that coordinating these synced-up experiences with friends can be troublesome. By baking simultaneous video viewing directing into Messenger, Facebook could make it as seamless as sharing a link.


Source: TechCrunch

Uber’s financials, Qualtric’s $8B exit and what’s going on at WeWork

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we had the excellent Connie Loizos on the air, we had Danny Crichton on the horn from New York, I was in the studio mostly hacking up one lung or the other and we had Matt Howard of Norwest Venture Partners.

And so, with smoke in the Bay and snow in the Big Apple, we dug into what we love. Namely, dollars.

Uber was first in line due to the scale of its results. The firm disclosed its third-quarter results, including slowing growth (in percentage terms), steep losses on a GAAP basis (GAAP means that all costs were counted) and adjusted losses that fell in the period.

So, a mixed bag. I found it to be somewhat negative (more of my view here); our guest was more bullish. Feel free to write in and let us know who you think is right.

Next up was the big deal of the week, effectively. The Qualtrics exit to SAP for $8 billion in cash, a portion of which it borrowed, as we point out. The deal meant that the company didn’t actually go public (boo), but it still made a hell of a splash all the same.

I chatted with the CEOs of SAP and Qualtrics, and have the notes here if that’s useful.

Finally, we riffed on the latest WeWork numbers, which include a $3 billion warrant and a massive third-quarter loss. WeWork lost more money in the quarter than it generated in revenue. That is, as they say, not great.

Many companies lose money while growing and work out great! But for every Facebook, there are a few Snaps, and I can’t tell which side of the coin WeWork lands.

Oh, and this Instacart story happened. What’s up with that?

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.


Source: TechCrunch

The Best Laptops of 2018: MacBook Pro, Chromebook Pixel, Surface Laptop

One of these portable PCs is just your type.
Source: Wired

What Is a Bot?

Our in-house Know-It-Alls answer questions about your interactions with technology.
Source: Wired

A New *Overwatch* Hero and Telltale’s Death Throes Top the Week in Gaming News

Also, an indie gem makes a surprising showing on the Game Awards’ shortlist.
Source: Wired

Surveillance Kills Freedom By Killing Experimentation

When we’re being watched, we conform. We don’t speak freely or try new things. But social progress happens in the gap between what’s legal and what’s moral.
Source: Wired

Popular Chinese selfie app Meitu now includes 3D editing

You’ve probably had the experience of posing awkwardly for a photo while everyone else looks great. Now China’s top photo-editing firm Meitu has a solution that helps you resist the urge to trash that photo.

Meitu’s namesake app, which claims over 100 million monthly active users as of August, recently launched a feature that lets users virtually rotate their faces up, down, to the left or to the right. There’s already a plethora of editing apps out there that allow people to polish their shots like a pro, but Meitu wants to take retouching to another level.

“Traditional image processing technology can only perform plane stretching in two dimensions, and the image has no depth information and therefore is unable to truly reflect the changes in the posture of real life,” says a spokesperson for the company.

The feature, called “3D Reshape,” takes hints from a static portrait and applies face recognition and reconstruction technologies to generate 3D information of the user’s face. In other words, it simulates how the user’s head tilts or rotates in real life, yielding results that the firm claims are more “natural” and “realistic.”

meitu

The process is a bit eerie, but the result looks satisfying. / Credit: Meitu

The feature also works for group photos, so users can choose to fix a particular person’s unflattering pose. The Chinese company isn’t the only photo app that’s come up with 3D editing. Google’s Snapseed has a similar offer.

Meitu goes all out to perfect portraits by maintaining an in-house R&D team of 200 staff. For the 3D project, the researchers collected 18 unique facial expressions from 1,200 people who were primarily Chinese and aged between 12 and 60.

Despite being a dominator in its space, Meitu has had to look beyond photo editing for monetization since its early days. For the six months ended June 30, the firm generated 72 percent of its revenues from selling smartphones designed to take outstanding selfies, while internet-related services brought in the rest of the money.

Nonetheless, Meitu has seen its hardware revenues drop as smartphone shipments slow in China and competition heats up. By contrast, internet-based revenues jumped 132 percent year-over-year thanks to growth in advertising and “value-added” services. The latter stands for virtual items sales on Meitu’s video streaming app Meipai.

Meitu’s trove of users may have other practical use. In July, the firm shelled out $30 million for an undisclosed stake in Gengmei, a social media platform that connects customers with plastic surgeons who offer them advice. It’s not hard to imagine a future where Meitu links its beauty-seeking users to not only virtual tools but also long-lasting, real-life means.


Source: TechCrunch

Get a Tile Pro four-pack and Echo Dot for $100 – CNET

It’s the end of our 10 Days of Deals, and we leave you with Tile’s best trackers and Amazon’s latest smart speaker for a great price.
Source: CNET

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