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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

BMW to debut new production car at Pebble Beach, M850i too – Roadshow

While the folks from Munich are keeping mum about what car they’re debuting, we’re still excited to see the new 8 Series on US soil for the first time.
Source: CNET

Facebook's newest problem: Business is slowing – CNET

Mark Zuckerberg’s got another headache.
Source: CNET

2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan: Entry-level, elevated – Roadshow

With a bevy of standard tech, the A-Class Sedan might be the least expensive Merc, but it won’t feel cheap.
Source: CNET

Windows 10 didn't quite fix forced updates — but Microsoft's trying again – CNET

It’s the worst thing about Windows 10.
Source: CNET

Facebook, Google, Twitter execs to head back to Capitol Hill – CNET

Sheryl Sandberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey have been invited to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, regarding Russian meddling in US elections.
Source: CNET

Apple’s Search Ads expand to six more markets in Europe and Asia

In December, Apple introduced a new pay-per-install ad product called Search Ads Basic aimed at smaller developers, to complement the existing Search Ads product, which then became known as Search Ads Advanced. Today, the company is expanding Search Ads to more countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Spain, bringing the total number of countries where Search Ads is available to thirteen.

In addition to the U.S., Search Ads Advanced had already expanded to Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the U.K.

Developers in the newly supported countries will be able to create campaigns using Search Ads Advanced starting on July 25, 2018 at 4 PM PDT, with those campaigns appearing on the App Store starting August 1, 2018 at 4 PM PDT.

Meanwhile, Search Ads Basic will be available across all thirteen supported countries starting on August 22, 2018 at 10 AM PDT.

To encourage sign-ups, Apple is offering first-time advertisers a $100 USD credit to try out the product.

While the first version of Search Ads launched back in October 2016 in the U.S., the idea behind the newer “Basic” product was to offer developers a different – and simpler – means of reaching potential customers.

Search Ads was originally designed to allow developers to target users’ keyword searches, combined with other factors like location, gender or whether or not they had installed the app in the past. Developers would pay when users tapped on those targeted ads.

With the launch of Search Ads Basic, it’s easier to set up campaigns.

Developers only have to enter the app to be advertised, the campaign’s budget, and how much they want to pay per install. Apple helps by suggesting the max developers should pay using historical data. Then, developers only pay for actual installs, not taps.

Although the App Store was redesigned with the launch of iOS 11 to offer improved discoverability, search is still a key way people find out about apps.

Apple says that over 70 percent of App Store visitors use search to discover apps, in fact, and 65 percent of all downloads come directly from an App Store search.

The ads work well, too, as they have an over 50 percent conversion rate, on average, says Apple.

Apple’s advantage over the pay-per-install ads found elsewhere on the web isn’t only the ads’ placement – at the top of App Store searches, where they’re identified with a blue background and “Ad” icon – it also manages this without violating user privacy. That is, it doesn’t build specific profiles on individuals for ad targeting purposes, and it doesn’t share user data with developers. By its nature, this makes the system GDPR compliant.

In addition, Apple only places an ad when it’s relevant to a user’s search – developers can’t pay more to have their ad shown more often across less relevant searches, which offers a more level playing field.

Apple didn’t say when Search Ads would reach other countries, but with the new expansions it has some of the top markets now covered.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook loses $120 billion in market cap after awful Q2 earnings

Facebook’s share price fell over 20 percent in after-hours trading today after the company announced its slowest-ever user growth rate and a scary warning that its revenue growth would rapidly decelerate. Before today’s brutal Q2 earnings, Facebook’s share price closed today at $217.50 – a record high — but fell to around $172 after the earnings call. That’s a market cap drop of roughly $123 billion. In two hours, Facebook lost more value than most startups and even public companies are ever worth.

Here’s the full story on Facebook’s disastrous Q2 2018 earnings:

So why did Facebook’s share price sink like a stone? There are five big reasons:

Slowest-Ever User Growth Rate – Facebook’s monthly user count grew just 1.54, compared to 3.14 last quarter. Daily active users grew even slower at 1.44 percent, compared to 3.42 percent last quarter. For reference, 2.18 percent was its previous slowest DAU growth rate back in Q4 2017. Suddenly hitting this wall could limit Facebook’s total user count over the long-run, and its revenue with it. Facebook tried to distract from these facts by announcing a new “family of apps audience” metric of 2.5 billion people using at least one of its apps, which will hide the shift of users from Facebook to Instagram and WhatsApp.

User Count Shrank In Europe, Flat In US & Canada – Facebook saw its first-ever decline in monthly user count in Europe, from 377 million to 376 million. It got stuck at 241 million in the US & Canada after similarly pausing at 239 million in Q4 2017. Those are Facebook’s two most lucrative markets, with it earning $25.91 per user in North America and $8.76 in Europe. If those markets stall, even swift growth in the Rest Of World region where it earns just $1.91 per user won’t save it.

Decelerating Revenue Growth – Facebook’s revenue grew a remarkable 42 percent year-over-year this quarter. But CFO David Wehner warned that metric would decelerate by high single-digit percentage per quarter over the coming quarters. Wehner said a combination of currency headwinds, new privacy controls, and new experiences like Stories will contribute to the deceleration. This news is what caused Facebook’s share price to drop from -7 percent to `-20 percent.

Privacy And Well-Being – Q2 saw the debut of Europe’s GDPR that forced Facebook to change its privacy policies and get users to agree to how it collects data about them. Wehner blamed GDPR for Facebook loss of users in Europe. That law and Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal led the company to have to improve its privacy controls. These could make it tougher for Facebook to target people with ads or show their content to more people.

Meanwhile, Facebook has continued to adopt the “Time Well Spent” philosophy, removing click-bait news and crappy viral videos that lead to passive internet content consumption that studies say is unhealthy. Instead, Facebook is pushing features like Watch Party where users actively interact with each other. Those might not produce as much time on site and subsequent ad views, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the changes are “positive and we’re going to continue in this direction.”

The Shift To Stories – Facebook estimates that by in 2019, sharing via ephemeral vertical Stories slideshows will surpass sharing via feeds. The problem is that advertisers may be slower than users to make that shift. “Will this monetize at the same rate as News Feed? We honestly don’t know” COO Sheryl Sandberg said. Stories ads might be full-screen and more immersive, but they don’t show off links to online stores as well, nor are they as well optimized from decades of banner ad experience by the industry.

Luckily, even though Snapchat invented the Stories format, Facebook has far more people using it each day, with 150 million Stories users on Facebook, 70 million on Messenger, 400 million on Instagram, and 450 million on WhatsApp . If Facebook does manage to figure out Stories ads, it could dominate, but it could take years for its advertiser count and ad prices to rise to offset the shift away from feeds.


Source: TechCrunch

FameGame wants to recreate reality TV for a mobile age

The pre-social media phenomenon that was early 2000s American Idol might be a weird place to spend a lot of focus when it comes to thinking about the future. But it’s also worth noting how little these types of shows adapted to build themselves into the fabric of live social commentary. Twitter has offered a nice second screen for thirsty users, but what would reality TV look like if it was built for the smartphone?

The team behind FameGame is aiming to answer these very fascinating/worrying questions with their new app which envisions the rebirth of live reality TV on your smartphone. The company’s first offering seems to be a mix of American Idol, Musical.ly and HQ Trivia with young users vying to flex their talents and social media prowess to win cash and glory.

The startup sees live gamified engagement as a social outlet that existing apps and platforms aren’t making much of a dent in. FameGame CEO Alexandra Botez grew interested in the concept after getting into live-streaming herself playing chess on Twitch and seeing the potential of bringing users closer to less gaming-focused verticals.

“We thought that the interactivity of live gaming could also be applied to make conventional TV more entertaining,” Botez tells TechCrunch. “We think Musical.ly and Instagram are pretty big so it’s hard for them to change their infrastructure in such a way that they make the type of immersive experience that we’ve created with FameGame.”

FameGame plays the game of fame by getting users to submit self-shot smartphone videos of their talents. The challenges differ by week but one contest may be focused on dance skills while another may be focused on lip-syncing. After an initial submission period, users can check out what’s been uploaded and vote for their favorites which will be included in a live show that’s hosted at 5:00 PM PT every day.

Cash prizes are at stake, but the real emphasis seems to be on social validation. Winners will also get a shoutout from a Musical.ly “celebrity” user and a big emphasis is put on the host shouting out users and their handles to drive attention their way. The whole design seems to take some pretty clear, erm, inspiration from HQ Trivia but the live voting component adds a more impactful community vibe to it though once users see they aren’t included amongst the finalists, it might be hard to hold onto viewers.

The startup’s efforts are going to start with a focus on the crowd that has helped catapult apps like Instagram and Musical.ly to rabid success. “We decided to go with young teenage girls because they are really obsessed with becoming famous on social media and they spend a lot of time on Musical.ly posting videos and not necessarily getting the gratification that they might want,” CTO Ruben Mayer-Hirshfeld tells me.

There are certainly some unique challenges with catering to such a young user base, especially from a safety standpoint. The company is going to curate the few videos that go into the live show, but there isn’t any screening happening in between user submission and user voting aside from a reporting button so the burden is ultimately put on a young user base to decide what crosses the line.

FameGame is just the start for the company’s ambitions. Botez tells me that there are a number of different TV show formats that seem ripe for the live social mobile elements, but that the main focus is getting excited teens on FameGame right now and seeing whether the format can catch steam and move beyond what’s out there already.


Source: TechCrunch

European Ruling Could Slow Africa’s Push For Crispr Crops

Court says crops using new gene-editing tools should be regulated just like older GMOs.
Source: Wired

El cambio climático podría provocar decenas de miles de suicidios más

Por cada grado que aumenta la temperatura, la tasa de suicidio crece un 0,7 % en Estados Unidos y un 2,1 % en México, según una investigación en ‘Nature Climate Change’. Dado el calentamiento global estimado para 2050, este fenómeno podría causar 40.000 suicidios, solo en estos países
Source: MIT

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