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#Industry News

The Store with No Queues

Hello, and welcome to the newsletter.  

This week we have 6 stories, including positive results from both Snapchat and Twitter, this year’s greatest publicity stunt, and all you need to know about self-driving cars...

Enjoy!

 

Snap’s Results showed that Snapchat is now doing much better than expected
Snapchat surprised nearly everyone by posting much better than expected results, shaking the perceived wisdom that Instagram had taken its users as well as its best ideas.  Users and revenues were both up, and there seems to be a positive effect from its re-design, which makes the experience easier for new users, although the new look has not yet been fully rolled out.  It is still making big losses, but suddenly Snapchat’s future looks much rosier.  

Oh - and Snapchat is introducing live video for the Winter Olympics

Twitter had its first profitable quarter
Twitter showed no new growth in monthly users, but a big growth in daily users, and posted its first ever profitable quarter.  I’m a very active Twitter user, and I’ve noticed it becoming much better in the past few months.  Notifications for Tweets that your friends have interacted with, and new features like doubling the 140-character limit and ‘threading’ posts, have made Twitter a better blogging platform particularly for politics.  Its share price is now at its highest point since late 2015; could Twitter’s future now be guaranteed?

Tesla in Space
Surely no one will create a better marketing stunt this year than putting a car into orbit.  It’s a perfect bit of synergy between the two of Elon Musk’s companies, and must have generated immeasurable PR coverage for the Roadster.  (Will we see him at Cannes?)  The car does not come out until 2020, but is already available for pre-orders, and let’s hope this generates some of the revenue they desperately need.  Tesla is also planning to do a coast-to-coast trip relying entirely on its autonomous driving technology soon; is there a brand better at generating buzz?

Netflix hijacks the Super Bowl 
One interesting feature of last weekend’s Super Bowl:  Netflix advertised the trailer for their film The Cloverfield Paradox, which was available to stream the same right as the game.  So, while other film studios were showing trailers for movies not out for a few months, Netflix was able to give people a call to action.  I’d love to see the viewing figures - and I suspect they would justify Netflix making this an annual event.

Also - It’s A Tide Ad

All about Autonomous Cars
A great series of videos illustrating a lecture from the VC firm A16Z.  I am sceptical over a lot of the claims for self-driving/autonomous vehicles, but this series is very well argued and persuasive.  I love the comparison of 1900 (‘spot the car’) and 1913 (‘spot the horse’) to show how quickly change can happen, and the whole series has the same level of imagination and creativity.  If you’re in a hurry just watch and first and the last video - less than 20 minutes in total.

& finally -  The latest slightly scary innovation from China
Police in China are testing new smart glasses - slightly like Google Glass - which allows officers to take pictures of ‘suspicious’ individuals, which will then be compared a database of suspects.  Apparently, the test has already resulted in seven arrests.  How long before forces in the West start using the same technology?