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FCC Chief Lays Out Net Neutrality Plans
Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, outlined a plan to repeal current net neutrality rules. According to The New York Times, Pai said high-speed internet services—like AT&T and Verizon—should “no longer be treated like a public utility with strict rules,” but instead “the industry should largely be left to police itself.”
Nonstop Video Comes to Twitter
Twitter will soon stream live video on its site 24/7, according to BuzzFeed. Per Twitter COO and CFO Anthony Noto, live video will become a core tenet of the platform’s growth and revenue strategies. Although NFL games are no longer available on Twitter, more programming is in the pipeline. eMarketer estimates there will be over 53 million US Twitter users in 2017.
South Korea’s Tmon Draws New Funds
South Korea-based mobile ecommerce platform Tmon (Ticket Monster), raised $115 million in new funding from Simone Investment Managers and other shareholders in the company. Tmon started out as a daily deals platform, but TechCrunch reports the new money will be largely dedicated to buttressing its efforts to move into online grocery sales. According to Nielsen KoreanClick, Tmon’s mcommerce app drew 6.4 million unique Android users in the country in September 2016, behind only 11Street (8.7 million) and Coupang.com (8.0 million).
London Rules UK for Instagram Posts
London is the UK’s most popular city when it comes to the number of city-themed photos posted to Instagram, according to analysis by social media analytics company Iconosquare. The UK’s capital has been the subject of 72.5 million posts since Instagram’s debut, according to numbers cited by Travolution—more than 10 times that of the next most popular city by that measure, Manchester.
US Consumers Use Digital Home Assistants with Ease
A new poll from GfK proves that digital home assistants such as Amazon Echo or Google Home are easy to use and have appeal for numerous activities. Nearly seven in 10 US internet users said they had used their voice to make commands on their smartphones, and roughly three-quarters had used any device for commands. Playing music was the top command people used on digital home assistants, with asking questions and finding out about news, weather or traffic trailing.
Singapore Sets $718 Million Startup Fund
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore is going to be bankrolling some homegrown startups in the near future. The government agency announced the creation of the Makara Innonvation Fund (MIF), which will dedicate $718 million to local startups in partnership with private equity firm Makara Capital. The effort is part of a wider plan to transform Singapore into an intellectual property hub for the Southeast Asia region.
Now TV Debuts in Ireland
Sky has launched its subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service Now TV in Ireland. Like in the UK, where the service debuted in 2012, Now TV offers viewers in Ireland contract-free access to monthly plans focused on either TV content or movies, and daily, weekly and monthly access to sports content.
Carousell Co-Founder Talks About Early Days
Siu Rui Quek, one of the founders of the popular Singapore-based mobile ecommerce platform Carousell, spoke with Jay Kim about the platform’s early days. In the interview, he explains how the service got its name—and why he thinks he should have picked a better time to break the news to his parents that his new job was startup founder.
Rocket Internet Clocks $26.3 Million in Losses for 2016
Germany-based ecommerce platform investor Rocket Internet recorded $26.3 million in losses in 2016 for its holdings in Asia, an increase from the $25.3 million in losses reported for 2015. However, the company said its Zalora ecommerce properties, which operate in nine markets in Asia-Pacific, saw annual losses shrink from $98.4 million in 2015 to $60.1 million last year. Rocket Internet was once one of the more aggressive investors in Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sector, but has been shrinking its holdings in the region.
France’s Monoprix Testing Scan-and-Go System
France-based department store chain Monoprix is working on a mobile app that would allow shoppers to skip the cashier in favor of a scan-and-go experience a la Amazon Go, according to LSA (article in French). Reportedly only company employees have tried the system, but it may be tested publically soon at a store in Paris.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick, Rimma Kats
As programmatic advertising matures, buyers and sellers no longer see it merely as a means of automating processes, but rather as an advanced method of controlling ad campaigns—and better targeting the audiences that come with them.
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