Snapchat has proven to be a great resource for people to connect all over the world through the power of their smartphone.
However, a sizeable user base also brings with it a sizeable opportunity for advertising revenue, and that's exactly what the company appears to be promoting - just maybe not in the way you'd expect.
The company has filed a patent for a system using object recognition to serve users sponsored filters. The technology outlined by the company would identify items in pictures, then offer users image overlays from related brands. It's essentially tailored advertising on a pretty unnecessary in-depth scale.
Despite the application including details about the object-spying described above, its primary purpose is to offer a more general system of recognition-based photo filters.
Netflix released its earnings report for the second quarter today. The company was one of 2015's best performing stocks, but has seen its share price stumble in recent months on projections of slower growth. Today it reported $1.97 billion in revenue and net income of $41 million. Adding to worries about its growth, the company added just 1.54 million subscribers, well below its own projections of 2.5 million new customers. The stock is down around 14 percent in after-hours trading.
In its letter to investors, Netflix blamed the weak subscriber growth on churn, meaning older customers exiting. "Our global member forecast for Q2 was 2.5m and we came in at 1.7m. Gross additions were on target, but churn ticked up slightly and unexpectedly, coincident with the press coverage in early April of our plan to ungrandfather longer tenured members and remained elevated through the quarter," Netflix wrote. "We think some members perceived the news as an impending new price increase rather than the completion of two years of grandfathering."
The company stuck to its guns on the price hikes, writing that "while ungrandfathering and associated media coverage may moderate near term membership growth, we believe that ungrandfathering will provide us with more revenue to invest in our content to satisfy members, thus driving longterm growth."
After a $1.2 billion deal fell through, Opera has sold most of itself to a Chinese consortium for $600 million. The buyers, led by search and security firm Qihoo 360, are purchasing Opera's browser business, its privacy and performance apps, its tech licensing and, most importantly, its name. The Norwegian company will keep its consumer division, including Opera Apps & Games and Opera TV. The consumer arm has 560 workers, but the company hasn't said what will happen to its other 1,109 employees.
The original deal, announced in February, reportedly failed to gain regulatory approval. While expressing disappointment that it was scrapped, Opera CEO Lars Boilesen says "we believe that the new deal is very good for Opera employees and Opera shareholders." The acquisition was approved by Opera's board, and the company now has 18 months to find a new name, according to Techcrunch.
The company actually makes more of its $616 million in revenue from Opera TV and the other consumer division products that it's keeping in the deal. "For Opera shareholders we are selling approximately a quarter of the company for $600 million, which is an attractive price for this part of our business," Boilesen says.
Web browser Maxthon has been caught sending detailed information from it users, such as their browsing history and other installed applications to the China based company that develops the software.
Maxthon is a freeware web browser for Windows, OS X and Linux, developed by Chinese company Maxthon Ltd based in Beijing. It is also available on Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android platforms as Maxthon Mobile. It has an estimated worldwide market share of 1% and about 2-3% of all Chinese internet users browses using Maxthon.
Polish security researchers from the company Exatel that the browser regularly sends a ZIP files to server in China. The ZIP file contains all kinds of data about the system of the user and the internet history. Information about the system includes the CPU, memory, the adblocker status and the startpage. Also the URL of all visited websites, Google searches and a list of installed application on the system including their version number is sent to the Chinese company.
The European Commission has added new antitrust charges against Google in the areas of search and advertising as it continues to investigate into the Internet search giant.
On Thursday, the EC charged Google in a “statement of objections” that it has placed restrictions on the ability of certain third party websites to display search advertisements from the search giant’s competitors. Google places search ads directly on the its search website but also as an intermediary on third party websites through its “AdSense for Search” platform, according to the Commission.
As a result, the company has prevented existing and potential competitors, including other search providers and online advertising platforms, from entering and growing in this lucrative area, according to the Commission.
By European Commission rules, a statement of objections is a formal step in its antitrust investigations in which the commission informs the parties concerned in writing of the objections raised against them.
The Commission also added a supplementary statement of objections to earlier charges that it leveled against the company in April 2015 that Google used its dominant position to favor its own comparison shopping product in search results