elproducto 0.7 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness for humans
Facebook’s efforts on video, taxing robot jobs, in-car payments, Musk’s tunnels, Skype’s in-call reactions, AppleTV goes 4k & more.
Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto!
📰 Seen on the news
- Google to remove unskippable 30-second ads next year. This is seen as a move to keep users engaged. Google explained that it will instead focus on other formats (it’s assumed the shorter but eventually more frequent 6-sec bumper ads launched last year).
- Meanwhile Facebook keeps pushing on video content, to the extent of getting broadcasting rights for the Mexican Soccer League. They are also redoubling efforts to get music rights, aiming to become a Youtube alternative to music labels.
- Mark Zuckerberg publishes a 6k word manifesto, pledging Facebook will become a place for unifying the global community; he cites five areas for the company to focus on, including building a safe community and encouraging civic engagement. In a conversation with Recode’s Kara Swisher; Zuckerberg says that social structures are necessary to underpin economic systems; he also suggests nuance needs to be a bigger part of communications, and that headlines alone are a problem.
- Facebook rolls out support for job listings on business pages; firms can add a description and an “Apply now” button that will be seen by all page visitors
- Samsung will use Sony batteries in the upcoming Galaxy S8; the firm will be sourcing power cells from three manufacturers, including its own subsidiary Samsung SDI. To complete the menage a trois, Apple will be buying Samsung displays, for what everyday looks more like a touchscreen with fingerprint scanner.
- Skype adds in-call reactions to its beta apps for iOS and Android; lets users add emoticons, live text and photos during a video call; also adds reactions to chat messages and an integrated camera to capture photos for immediate sharing.
- Meanwhile, Amazon launches Chime, a video conferencing service aimed at enterprise customers; available on Windows, macOS, iOS and Android
- Google’s ballon-powered internet, aimed to help parts of the world with poorer connection, is getting closer to reality thanks to machine learning. Improved altitude control and navigation will enable the balloons to loop over a land mass rather than circumnavigate the globe; will result in greater connectivity from fewer balloons.
- Google is also getting serious in voice shopping with the launch of Google Assistant features on Google Home that will let users order from their participating Express retailers.
- Both Amazon and Google are considering adding voice calling to their home speakers; Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home could see the feature this year. Who would ever think you would want to use a voice assistant to…talk?
- Apple is testing an updated Apple TV capable of streaming 4K content. It is expected to support more vivid colors and likely to launch later this year. They also announced “Planet of the Apps”, a new original show and shared teaser for Carpool Karaoke spin-off.
- Elon Musk talks to Bloomberg about the tunnels that started out of a random tweet, and are now happening without a defined strategy or full-time employees, but under SpaceX director’s supervision.
- Figures for Q4 2016 show iOS and Android account for 99.6 percent of all smartphones sold globally, according to Gartner; Android has an 80.7 percent market share, while iOS has 17.7 percent; Windows is third with 1.1 percent, and BlackBerry has 0.2 percent.
- Jaguar and Land Rover partner with Shell to launch in-car payment system. The system will be triggered via geolocation and will let drivers pay for gas without getting out of the vehicle.
- A municipality in the Netherlands is testing sidewalk-embedded LEDs to notify smartphone users when a road is safe to cross; officials in Bodegraven-Reeuwijk say people are distracted by their devices, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Bill Gates on taxing robot’s jobs. Bill Gates argues non-human labor should be taxed as human workers are; notes that those taxes could be used to pay salaries for low-supply positions, such as elder care and working with special needs children. French presidential candidate Benoit Hamon is of the same opinion.
- WeChat begins testing a paywall platform for use by media firms and independent bloggers; the pay-per-read system is intended as an alternative to hosted ads and sponsored content; it’s unclear when publishers will gain full access. The 800-million-user App, like Facebook, has brand accounts used by media outlets, celebrities, bloggers, and companies of all sizes.
- Baidu acquires AI assistant firm Raven Tech; the China-based startup created Siri-like flow. Alongside, Baidu has created a dedicated unit to its Duer digital assistant and related products such as AR.
📚 Good reads
- Craiglist will always be there. Justin Peters from Backchannel writes about what makes Craigslist unbeatable after years of, well, not changing.
- Reflections on being a professional drinker (and doing usability test). Why TheUserIsDrunk has decided to sober up.
- How Amazon removes (or intendedly adds) friction on their products. Some examples on different types of friction and practical cases on how Amazon goes about them.
- Tips on designing habit-forming products. InVision walks us through what takes some popular Apps and Products to become addictive. Recommended read on this topic: Hooked.
🖲 Tools & features
- Cassette; an iOS App to record, transcribe, annotate and share user interviews.
- MetaList; a machine-learning powered process of research and curation to let you stay up to date on your market. I was pretty amazed by the amount of relevant data they get. See examples on their website.
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elproducto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product Manager’s perspective.
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