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Facebook in Talks with MLB to Live Stream Games
Facebook is in discussions with Major League Baseball to live stream one MLB game per week during the 2017 season, according to Reuters. Twitter already has a similar deal with the NFL.
Germans Grossed Out by Netflix Ad
Netflix made a faux pas in Germany with a billboard ad promoting its new series the “Santa Clarita Diet,” a show that centers around a mom zombie. Business Insider reports that the billboard showed a diced up finger doused in currywurst sauce—a popular dish in Germany (without the cannibalism, that is). Netflix pre-emptively removed the ads after the Deutscher Werberat, Germany’s advertising regulator, received over 50 complaints.
Waze to Expand Its Carpool Service
Google’s Waze is planning to expand its ride-sharing service, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company is looking to roll out the service in a number of US cities, as well as Latin America, over the next few months.
Baidu’s Video Site iQiyi Raises $1.5 Billion
China-based video site iQiyi raised $1.5 billion by issuing convertible notes to investors. The Baidu-owned platform is expected to use the capital to acquire new content. The move appears to end speculation that iQiyi was mulling an IPO.
Wallonia Eases Way for Airbnb
The government of Belgium’s Walloon region this week introduced new rules that will make it easier for people to offer rooms to travelers via home-sharing services, according to Airbnb. “The aim is to adapt the current legislation to the new forms of collaborative tourism,” said René Collin, Wallonia’s tourism minister, in a statement released by Airbnb. “It’s important to ensure a satisfying quality level for all our accommodations, particularly in terms of security and of tourist protection.”
Microsoft Launches Skype Lite for India
Software and internet services firm Microsoft announced that it had launched a data-light version of its video messaging platform Skype specifically for the India market. Skype Lite, as the product is called, is designed to run on slow internet connections and low-end smartphones. It also features integration with Aadhaar, the biometric-based identity system run by the government in India.
Instagram Introduces New Feature
Instagram users can now upload up to 10 photos or videos at once via a new carousels feature, the company announced in its latest blog post. After updating to the latest version, users will see a new icon where they’ll be able to select multiple photos and videos.
Snapdeal Confirms Rumors of Layoffs
India-based ecommerce site confirmed rumors that it was laying off part of its staff, according to a report in the Economic Times. The company declined to reveal how many employees would be affected by the move, but other local media sources reported the figure to be between 500 and 600 people. Snapdeal has had a hard time raising fresh capital in the face of increased competition from fellow homegrown firm Flikart and Amazon’s India operation.
Sohu.com Revenues Down in Q4 2016
China-based internet services company Sohu.com—which operates search engines, online portals, gaming platforms and other offerings—reported Q4 2016 revenues of $412 million, down 12% year over year. Sohu attributed the decline to drops in its advertising and online gaming revenues.
Amazon Plans to Add 15K Jobs in Europe
Amazon will create an additional 15,000 full-time jobs in Europe in 2017, the ecommerce giant announced this week, in a plan that will bring its regional workforce to 65,000. Many of the roles will be in new fulfillment centers that have been announced over the past several months and are under construction in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK.
—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick, Rimma Kats
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