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Month: March 2015

Facebook’s Messenger Platform Must Be Open And Useful To Realize Full Potential

Facebook’s move to turn Messenger into a platform for third parties has been one of the company’s most important decisions to date. Mobile messaging is a pivotal trend that will shape the way billions of people consume the Internet.  It has the potential to overhaul the dynamics of digital distribution, but Facebook’s own embryonic platform must to develop in a more open and useful way if it to have a shot at mainstream success. Smartphones have long been heralded as the great leveler that will bring Internet access to billions of new users for the first time. With that shift now starting to take place — among both younger and older demographics in Western markets, and beyond the more affluent consumers in emerging markets — mobile is now radically changing the way that the Internet is used. Today, it is inherently a mobile-first model, to the point that many people don’t consider the apps on their phone — and primarily Facebook — to be part of the Internet. With that backdrop, the ‘platformization’ of Facebook is designed with the aim of owning the smartphone Internet experience in a way that is unprecedented so far in the West. Disruption New in the West it may be, but there are already examples that Facebook can follow for its blueprint. Messaging apps in Asia have been platforms for games, camera apps, multimedia, and more for a couple of years now. The most striking example...

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Welcome Matthew Lynley, Nicole Wilkes, Andrew Sweeney And New TCTV Director Sarah Lane

We talk about sharks a lot here at TechCrunch.  We sympathize with the sea hunters in a lot of ways. Not everything people say about us is true; we’ve got thick skin; we dance to our own rhythm; we like to hunt for our food and become disinterested if it’s fed to us. And, most importantly, we have to keep moving or we die. And part of moving involves hiring, so we’re proud to announce four of our newest sharks hires. Matthew Lynley Writer Matthew Lynley comes to us from Buzzfeed via the Wall Street Journal, where he wrote in-depth pieces...

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Alibaba Signs Distribution Deal With BMG, Its First Music Partner Outside Of Asia

In a bid to increase its online entertainment offerings, Alibaba has struck an agreement with music publisher BMG, which gives it access to over 2.5 million tracks. The partnership is notable because it represents the first time Alibaba’s digital entertainment unit has signed with a music partner outside of Asia. The business already has agreements with Taiwanese music companies Rock Records and HIM International Music. The deal gives Alibaba access to BMG’s catalog, which includes tracks from Bruno Mars, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and Kylie Minogue. Music will be made available to consumers through streaming apps Xiami and TTPod, both of which are operated by Alibaba’s digital entertainment business. It’s important to remember that Alibaba is more than just an e-commerce company. It is also one of China’s biggest mobile Internet players, competing head-to-head with Tencent, which has already struck similar arrangements with Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Alibaba’s growth plans include selling other online services to the huge user base it has grown by operating China’s top e-commerce platforms and online payment service Alipay. In addition to online entertainment, the company and its subsidiaries also has aspirations in healthcare management, cloud computing, and financial services like a credit scoring system that uses data from Alibaba’s family of e-commerce platforms. Streaming music is a potential growth market for Chinese Internet companies, but only if they succeed in...

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Nike SB Janoski "Black/Gold Wingtip"

Nike has translated a familiar design aspect of formal dress shoes to a pair of Nike SB Janoski sneakers. The “Black/Gold Wingtip” Janoski skate shoe flaunts a suede upper, and a tailored wingtip design along its outer shell and across its toebox. Gold eyelets add a fancy touch to the otherwise gritty design, intended to reliably endure the wear and tear of ollies and kickflips. Grab your pair from Sneaker Politics for the retail price of $100 USD. Article source:...

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Lincoln 2016 Continental Concept

Ford is showing deep commitment in its efforts to bring the brand back to the forefront of luxury automaking. The company’s subsidiary Lincoln is bringing back the esteemed Continental name for its new sedan vehicle, replacing the old MKS line. Careful not to tarnish its reputation, the revamped car will aim to rekindle the brand’s timeless elegance, featuring a new Lincoln polished aluminum grille, e-latch door handles, LED matrix headlights with laser assisted high-beams, tinted glass roof, and an 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. The concept Continental is set to be revealed at the New York Auto Show this week. Enjoy the photos above. Article source:...

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