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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Snapchat revives growth in Q1 beat with 190M users as share price spikes

Snapchat appears to have turned the corner after a year of flat or negative user growth thanks to a strong Q1 2019 earnings report. It reached 190 million daily active users, up from 186 million in Q4 2018 but still down from 191 million a year ago, in part thanks to its newly reengineered Android app. Snap saw $320 million in revenue and -$0.10 non-GAAP EPS, beating estimates of of $306 million and -$0.12 EPS.

One concern is Snapchat provided guidance of greater losses next quarter, ranging from $125 million to $150 million compared to this quarter’s $123 million. That’s because increased usage triggers higher Amazon AWS and Google Cloud bills for the company. This could delay Snapchat hitting profitibility, which Spiegel had set of goal of reaching by the end of 2019.

The strong beat on earnings led Snap’s share to climb about 10 percent in after hours trading to around $13.21 in after hours trading, after closing at $11.99 earlier today. That’s up from a low of $5.07 in December.


Source: TechCrunch

Snapchat fully rolls out reengineered Android app, boosting usage

After a year of its user count shrinking or staying flat, Snapchat is finally growing again, and more growth is likely on the way. That’s because it’s finally completed the rollout of Project Mushroom aka a backend overhaul of its Android app that’s 25 percent smaller and 20 percent faster. Designed for India and other emerging markets where iPhones are too expensive, Snapchat saw an immediate 6 percent increase in the number of people on low-end devices sending Snaps within the first week of upgrading to the new Android app.

Snapchat grew from 186 million daily active users in Q4 2018 to 190 million in Q1 2019, adding 1 million in North America, 1 million in Europe, and 2 million in the Rest Of World where the Android app makes the biggest difference despite rolling out near the end of the quarter. It’s been a long wait, as Snap first announced the Android reengineering project in November 2017.

“As of the end of Q1, our new Android application is available to everyone” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel wrote in his prepared remarks for today’s estimate-beating earnings report. “While these early results are promising, improvements in performance and new user retention will take time to compound and meaningfully impact our top-line metrics. There are billions of Android devices in the world that now have access to an improved Snapchat experience, and we look forward to being able to grow our Snapchat community in new markets.”

Spiegel told me in a pre-earnings briefing call that some of the growth stemmed from tweaks to Snapchat’s ruinous redesign including better personalized ranking of Stories and Discover content, as well as new premium video Shows. Now with the Android app humming, though, we might see significant growth in the Rest Of World region in Q2.

Unfortunately, since Snapchat uses bandwidth and storage-heavy video, more usage also means more Amazon AWS and Google Cloud expenditures, Spiegel tells me. That’s partly why Snapchat is predicting a slight increase in adjusted EBITDA losses from $123 million in Q1 to between $125 million and $150 million in Q2.

We first highlighted Snap’s neglect of the international teen Android market when Instagram Stories launched in August 2016. Spiegel and Snap were too focused on cool American teens, squandering this market that was Snapped up by Facebook’s Instagram and WhatsApp. Now Snapchat will have a much harder time winning emerging markets since they’re not the first to bring Stories there. But if it can double-down on ephemeral messaging, premium video, and its augmented reality platform that are leagues ahead of Facebook’s offerings, it could finally creep towards that 200 million DAU milestone.


Source: TechCrunch

New Sesame Street-themed PSA encourages kids to reduce mobile device use

Device addiction plagues us all — even Apple CEO Tim Cook. But children with phones and tablets are even more susceptible to the lures of apps and games, which often use psychological tricks keep users logging in and regularly returning. A new PSA from Sesame Workshop and advocacy organization Common Sense aims to address kids’ unhealthy use of mobile devices by focusing on one particular problem: devices at the dinner table.

This is not the first time the #DeviceFreeDinner campaign has run — previous years’ spots featured Will Ferrell as a “distracted dad” on his phone at the table, ignoring his family’s conversations.

But this time around, the organization is teaming up with Sesame Workshop, which is lending its characters to a new PSA. The spot will feature the Sesame Street muppets modeling healthy mobile phone behavior by putting their devices away.

Phones are shut up in drawers, tablets placed on shelves, other devices are put in handbags — and, you know, thrown into garbage cans and stashed in pumpkins, as the case may be.

The muppets then gather around a table and happily chatter until they notice Cookie Monster is still on his phone, texting. (Don’t worry, their disapproval sees him eating the device in the end.)

The idea, explains kids advocacy organization Common Sense, is to raise awareness around media balance and encourage families to make the most of their time together.

It comes at a time when now one-third of kids ages 0 to 8 “frequently” use mobile devices, the nonprofit explains. But taking a break from devices is shown to have positive benefits, ranging from better nutrition and focus at home to fewer problems at school, Common Sense says.

Plus, it notes, simply putting the phone down is not enough — it shouldn’t be at the table at all, as research has shown that even the presence of a phone on the table can hurt the quality of conversations.

While Common Sense puts out a lot of material for children and families like this, Sesame Workshop’s involvement on the new PSA is particularly interesting given the company’s recent connection with Apple.

A new Sesame Workshop-produced show set to air on Apple’s soon-to-launch streaming service will teach kids coding basics — an agenda Apple regularly pushes to get its programming language, Swift, into the hands of the next generation of coders. 

In the show, the same Sesame Street characters who today are telling kids to put down their phones will instead tout the joys of coding to the preschool set.

The juxtaposition of a programming-focused Apple kids’ show and the new PSA are a perfect example of how complicated the issues around kids on devices have become. On the one hand, parents want to encourage their children to pursue STEM subjects — which often requires kids to regularly use computers and other devices to practice new skills, like coding with MIT’s Scratch or building for Minecraft. But on the other hand, parents see that when kids are given devices, addiction soon follows.

The real question for parents may be, instead, whether kids should have devices at all — or whether they should take their cues from tech billionaires and Silicon Valley parents who are ripping devices from their own children’s’ hands like they’re the modern-day equivalent of sugary breakfast cereal.

Perhaps Sesame Workshop should have chosen a side on this issue, rather than teaming with the billion-dollar company that’s now trying to distance itself from fault with regard to the device addiction problem at the same time it runs PSAs about kids’ device addiction.

Or maybe it’s just as confused at the rest of us are over where to draw the line.

The new Sesame Street-themed PSAs will be distributed starting today across networks and platforms including NBC, Fox, Xfinity, Comcast, Charter, Cox, National Geographic, NCM, PBS, Univision, Telemundo, HITN, and Xfinity Latino.


Source: TechCrunch

OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro: May 14 launch, rumors, price, specs and everything else – CNET

The OnePlus 7 series is confirmed to debut on May 14. Read more about OnePlus’ upcoming flagship phones.
Source: CNET

Once you use dark mode in these 7 Android apps, you'll never go back – CNET

Dark modes are not only easy on your phone’s battery, they just look better.
Source: CNET

My Marvel 59-hour movie marathon: Iron Man down, just 21 more to go – CNET

Avengers: Endgame opens this week, so I’m getting in the mood by holing up in a theater and watching 22 Marvel films back-to-back. Keep up with the madness.
Source: CNET

Facebook’s Sri Lanka crisis page let Islamophobic post get top billing – CNET

The top video on the page came with a caption that read, “can we assume all Muslims are guilty.”
Source: CNET

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams: Yep, my mom watched that Arya scene – CNET

Fans may have been uncomfortable with that infamous scene, but not as much as the actress was. Spoilers ahead.
Source: CNET

Amazon drops deals on Razer, Netgear, and Western Digital PC accessories

Grab these deals while you can: As part of their Deal of the Day promotion, Amazon is offering deep discounts on a wide variety of PC accessories including premium gaming mice, external hard drives, and even Wi-Fi routers.

The post Amazon drops deals on Razer, Netgear, and Western Digital PC accessories appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

The master list of PR DON’Ts (or how not to piss off the writer covering your startup)

When it comes to working with journalists, so many people are, frankly, idiots. I have seen reporters yank stories because founders are assholes, play unfairly, or have PR firms that use ridiculous pressure tactics when they have already committed to a story.

There is so much bad behavior that I thought that it might be time to write up a list of “DON’Ts” on how not to work with journalists.

I compiled this list by polling TechCrunch’s entire writing staff for their pet peeves when it comes to working with PR folks and founders around startup pitches. The result was this list of 16 obnoxious annoyances.

The interesting thread that connects all of them is that these DON’Ts are almost universal across the staff — few of these annoyances seemed to be merely personal preference. Avoiding these behaviors won’t guarantee coverage of your startup, but they certainly will help you avoid killing your news story before it even gets considered for publication.

DON’T change the capitalization of your startup multiple times

SEO is important, and so there are rules about how to capitalize things to maximize your exposure on Google and DDG. That’s important to get right, but for the love of god, figure out what the hell you want your startup’s name to be before you reach out to the press.


Source: TechCrunch

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