Advertisers Are Finally Coming to Instagram
The popular picture and video social media app Instagram, acquired
) earlier this year, announced today that it has reached 150
million active users. To monetize that growth, Instagram will begin
to introduce advertising on its platform. According to Emily White,
the company's Director of Business Operations, who spoke with the
Wall Street Journal
, the Instagram ad service will begin within the next year.
Facebook had actually already
plans to monetize its prime photo and video sharing app, but
today's news is the first explicit mention of ads from Instagram
itself. Reportedly, White met with representatives of
) last week to discuss brand relationships and how advertising for
those companies might play out on Instagram.
Said White to the
Wall Street Journal
, "We want to make money in the long term, but we don't have any
Sony Announces PlayStation Vita TV, a Mini Console Designed
to Compete Against Apple TV
) PlayStation Vita TV is tiny; at a mere 6 x 10 centimeters, the
new console has been designed to compete head-to-head with
streaming media players like
(AAPL) TV hardware, Roku, and
(GOOG) Chromecast. For $95, the new mini gaming and TV console will
also play games for Sony's handheld systems Vita and PSP, as well
as classic games from the company's original PlayStation.
The device was announced in Japan, where the company said that
PlayStation Vita TV will support Japan-specific content providers
like Hulu, Nico Nico Douga, Tsutaya TV, and Sony's Video Unlimited.
If Sony can set up a comparable lineup of American content
providers, it will likely be a realistic competitor to Apple TV,
particularly for the gaming crowd. In fact, at Apple's big event
tomorrow, the company may announce the expansion of functionality
for Apple TV, and that may include gaming.
The new system will also feature cross-functionality with the
imminent PlayStation 4. For example, gamers will be able to use the
device as an extender for PlayStation 4, which will allow them to
play on another TV screen with only one PlayStation 4 and one
PlayStation Vita TV.
Nissan's Nismo Smartwatch
Joining the coming wave of wrist tech led by Apple's supposed
(OTCMKTS:SSNLF) Galaxy Gear, Japanese car maker
(OTCMKTS:NSANY) has announced that it will be launching its own
smartwatch, the Nismo, later this month at the Frankfurt Motor
The device will show the car's average speed and fuel consumption,
and provide biometric data on the driver. For example, the
smartwatch will measure heart rate data, and Nissan has hinted that
it may also take ECG, EEG, and skin temperature measurements, all
for the sake of keeping track of user's ability to drive safely. An
ECG reading could help identify early fatigue, an EEG measurement
could help measure levels of concentration, and a skin temperature
reading could help measure hydration levels.
It's a fine idea to keep track of driver health and concentration
while on the road, but having real-time information come up on your
wrist while you're driving sounds like a big distraction. More
details on how the Nismo will work can be expected soon, as the
Frankfurt Motor Show runs from September 10-22.
Carl Icahn Backs Out of Dell Deal
After a heated and dramatic battle to block the proposed buyback of
(DELL) by founder Michael Dell, the billionaire activist investor
Carl Icahn is bowing out. In a letter to shareholders, Icahn wrote
that the battle for the future of the company "would be almost
impossible to win," citing a change of record date for stockholders
allowed to vote on Dell's proposed takeover. Since Icahn sued the
company and its board on August 2 in an attempt to derail the
buyout, he and Southeastern Asset Management have opposed Dell's
$25 billion takeover bid, which is being organized in conjunction
with private equity firm Silver Lake.
Icahn has been arguing that a $25 billion takeover bid simply
undervalues the company. As he said in his letter to investors,
"The Dell board, like so many boards in this country, reminds me of
Clark Gable's last words in
Gone With the Wind
; they simply 'don't give a damn.'"
BlackBerry Shares Up on News That a Canadian Investor is
Closing in on a Rescue Deal
(BBRY) stock is up 5.07% today because the so-called "Warren
Buffett of Canada," Prem Watsa, is supposedly closing in on a
rescue deal to acquire the struggling smartphone company. Watsa has
already amassed billions of dollars in backing from some of
Canada's largest pension funds in order to make the BlackBerry
Last month, Watsa stepped down from BlackBerry's board when it
announced it would be exploring strategic alternatives such as
acquisition. At the time, he cited a "potential conflict that may
arise during the process."
Fairfax Financial Holdings
(OTCMKTS:FRFHF), has a 10% stake in BlackBerry, making it the
company's largest shareholder.
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Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville
Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.