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 cover Uber’s merchant delivery program, Twitter’s disappointing quarterly results getting leaked early, Secret’s shutdown, and Apple Watch’s delay being blamed on a Chinese manufacturer.
Uber is launching a merchant delivery system
Uber is preparing to launch a massive merchant delivery program where shoppers can order goods from retailers and have them delivered on the same day.
It’s rumored that Uber is in talks with over 400 retailers, including high-end merchants like Neiman Marcus, Tiffany’s, and Louis Vuitton, to pilot the program. The company has also reportedly struck a deal with mobile shopping app Spring to provide some of the brands on that platform with delivery capabilities.
Uber has been experimenting with delivery for a while now. Food delivery service UberEATS is live in Chicago, NY, LA, and Barcelona, UberRUSH is a courier service that the company launched in NY, and UberESSENTIALS was a failed experiment that delivered household goods in DC.
Looks like this program is the real deal.
Financial startup tweets Twitter’s disappointing financial results early
A financial information startup called Selerity tweeted out Twitter’s disappointing Q1 earning results early, causing the micro-blogging social network’s stock to tumble 18%.
Twitter was preparing to announce its earnings report after the markets closed on Tuesday, a common tactic used by companies with disappointing results to allow investors to “sleep on” the bad news and not immediately get rid of their shares. But things didn’t go as planned.
Selerity is a startup that scrapes companies’ web pages for financial news and provides this information to its customers to inform investment decisions. Apparently Twitter’s investor relations service, Shareholder.com, published the earnings report on Twitter’s website without making it “live,” but Selerity was able to crawl that page anyway.
Twitter continues to lose money and both its user and revenue growth rates are slowing down, which led to the disappointing results and decrease in value.
Anonymous app Secret shuts down
Just over a year after its launch, anonymous message board app Secret is shutting its doors.
Secret allowed its users to anonymously post text messages, most of them rumors and confessions, for other users to read and comment on. It was one of the hottest apps of 2014, raised $35 million from top-tier investors like Kleiner Perkins, SV Angel, and Google Ventures, and seemed to be part of the next big wave of social networking.
But the core feature of the app – anonymity – proved to be its downfall. The company did not properly handle all of the cyberbullying that came along with an anonymous app, and its user base fled.
CEO David Byttow penned a Medium post about the shutdown, writing that Secret doesn’t represent the vision that he had when he started the company, and that they are returning investors’ money instead of trying to pivot.
Apple Watch shipping delays being blamed on Chinese manufacturer
The delays in shipping Apple Watches may be because of a faulty component, and not just crazy demand.
Chinese manufacturer AAC Technologies, who builds a component called a “taptic engine” that creates a buzzing feeling to notify the watch’s owner of alerts, is to blame for the delays. Testing revealed that the component broke down over time, and manufacturing of this part has been shifted to a second supplier.
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.