Welcome to this week’s edition of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we highlight Amazon’s purchase of Twitch and their preparations for an online ad program, Google testing delivery drones, Facebook’s changes to avoid click bait, and Uber’s continued sabotage of Lyft.
Amazon buys Twitch and prepares to launch online advertising program
In May, we wrote about how YouTube was in talks to buy Twitch, the video game streaming website. Instead, Amazon has scooped up the site for $970 million to add to its current video game initiatives. The company develops games in its Amazon Game Studios department and launched a game called Sev Zero for its Fire TV platform.
Amazon is also prepping to go head-to-head against Google AdWords by launching its own search-based advertising program. With its treasure trove of consumer data from its shopping website and newer products like food delivery and the Fire phone, Amazon is in a great position to take market share from Google’s cash cow.
Google is building delivery drones
Google has apparently been working on Project Wing for two years now and has recently tested drone prototypes by delivering packages to farmers in Australia, which you can see below.
Pretty sick stuff.
Facebook changes News Feed algorithm to avoid click bait
The world’s largest social network wants to clean up your News Feed by eliminating click bait and stories that have links shared within status updates or in photo captions.
Basically, they want you to stay on Facebook, and to do so, they need to make sure the content you see in your News Feed is of the highest quality. So you may see fewer article headlines like “You’ll never guess which celebrity got caught taking selfies with his ex!” or “Is Taylor Swift secretly making fun of Miley Cyrus in her songs?”, which is a good thing.
Facebook’s algorithm will place more emphasis on time spent reading the content they clicked on, as opposed to the number of clicks the link received. The company argues that the longer someone reads the article, the more valuable the content is, the higher that content should show up on News Feeds.
Uber’s plan to crush Lyft is revealed
The battle between ridesharing rivals Uber and Lyft is getting pretty ridiculous.
First, the two companies launched carpooling services within a day of each other. Then they accused each other of booking bogus rides and canceling them. Now, Uber’s insidious plan to recruit Lyft drivers to their platform, named Operation SLOG, has been revealed.
The startup hires independent contractors, arms them with credit cards and burner phones, and asks them to book rides with Lyft to convince their drivers to join the Uber team. There is a specific playbook on what questions to ask the driver and how to avoid suspicion. Though it’s ruthless and evil, it’s a well thought-out and comprehensive plan.
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.