Whoever said August is a slow news month has never met a little company named Uber, who kept us all entertained this week. Some other companies did, too. Been asleep at the wheel? Today, we help you play catch up:
Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat: Kim Kardashian Crushes the Competition for Mobile Games in July - “The Kardashian title, where you start as a starlet and try to build your career in Hollywood, rose 46 slots in the month to end July as the No. 1 most-downloaded title in the world on iOS.” While some of us here at tMa can wax poetic on anything Kardashian, our response is still “SMH”.
Tim Fernholz, Quartz: Why is Uber So Scared of a Much Smaller Competitor? - “Uber, the online car service, is reportedly running a secret operation to recruit drivers from competitor Lyft that involves canceling thousands of ordered rides, and wasting drivers’ time. While some are outraged at the dirty-tricks aspect of the hiring campaign, there isn’t enough attention being paid to why Uber is going to such lengths to add drivers to its network—and what it means for the company’s future.” Who does Uber think it is - the Sopranos?
Cade Metz, Wired: With Any Luck, This Googler Will Turn More Girls into Hackers - “Her business card notwithstanding—it reads “Security Princess”—neither she nor her colleagues dwell on gender when discussing the evolution of her career...She also acknowledges that part of the problem is that our wider culture implicitly discourages young women from entering the field. Female role models can be hard to find. But she’s helping to change that.” Get ‘em girl.
Mark Fieldman, Forbes: 8 Cutting Edge Marketing Tactics that Work Better than Facebook Ads - “5% of marketers understand how to make Facebook ads work, but they need to stay on top of it, and require teams of expensive people that are constantly creating ads to fool, cajole and trick us into clicking on them. And user memory of the ad is gone in seconds.”
Steve Rosenbush, Wall Street Journal: The Morning Download: Could Facebook Be the Next Oracle? - “Today, businesses mostly use Facebook tools to target ads or develop apps for the social network’s users, CIO Journal’s Rachael King reports. But that spectrum could broaden in the future to include identity management or application development, according to a recent report by Forrester Research Inc.” Facebook for enterprise anyone?
Joshua Brustein, Bloomberg Businessweek: Why Amazon is Paying $1B to Help People Watch Video Games - “There are a few reasons Amazon would want Twitch, some of them Amazon-specific, others more general. First, a primer on Twitch. It’s a website on which people watch other people play video games. Some of the people playing are experts; others aren’t even all that good. To understand why Amazon would pay for a website such as this, you have to accept one fact: People like watching other people play video games. This consistently baffles many non-gamers, but it’s true.” An odd form of voyeurism… and also something that Google doesn’t have.
Mike O'Brien, ClickZ: Why Don't People Click on Mobile Advertisements - “Ads need to have a much lower nuisance factor and the immersion factor needs to be increased.” Everyone sees mobile ads on their smartphones, but only half of people click on them. TL;DR? They’re annoying.