November 4, 2016

Weekly Wins: Raising the digital bar

WRITTEN BY: Michelle Knight

Brands are next-leveling their experiences. This week we look at Giphy’s funding, Uber’s redesign, YouTube’s VR, Social and presidency, and finally Netfilx might give us offline playback (insert victory dance).

Welcome to the sweet spot – after Halloween and before Christmas crazy starts. Enjoy it, grab a guilty pleasure and devour this week’s edition of the Weekly Wins.

1. GIFs are now a $600 million business

Let that sink in. The platform for all things Gif just hit the $72 funding jackpot. Giphy, a NY-based search engine, started as a Hacker-in-Residence program at betaworks. They wanted to make gifs more searchable and shareable and they succeeded. Techcrunch covered the story estimating a whopping valuation of $600 million. So far, Giphy hasn’t collected any dough for its service, but the option to monetization is available.

2. Uber, driven by machine learning

Venture Beat covered Uber’s redesign this week. According to the article it’s not just a simple redesign, but an almost transformation of the entire experience. They’ve apparently added Snapchat, Uber Eats, Pandora and more. The app is also now using machine learning to further understand the customer’s routine. According to the article the goal is to eliminate seconds wasted jumping between apps. I highly recommend giving this one a read.

 

The new Uber experience is reimagined around a simple question – ‘Where to?

3. Youtube’s Room 301

Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? According to the VRScout, Youtube and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson created a haunted hotel experience like no other. The experience is called Room 301 and it uses YouTube Spaces around the world to partner with Blumhouse Productions and ‘renowned’ producer Jason Blum for the project. It’s a collaboration and global narrative that features some big stars. Don’t waste another second check it out.

4. Do celebrities make the president?

It’s impossible to stay off the topic of the American elections – don’t worry we’ll only dabble in it lightly and thankfully there’s only a few more days left. This week Broadly covered the topic of celebrity endorsement looking at Oprah’s endorsement of Obama securing him over one million votes in the 2008 primaries. Changing the game for the candidate. However, according to the article it’s not just about celebrities anymore. MIT’s Media Lab concluded that social media is more influential than ever this year, with celebrities holding the smallest fraction of the top 150 election influencers.

I doubt that many people have thought to themselves, ‘I wasn’t sure about Donald Trump until I heard that Gary Busey was backing him!

5. Netflix might actually give us offline playback

Gizmodo shared the hope of Netflix playback. And according to the article ‘an interview with CNBC, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos alluded to the sought-after feature which competitors like Amazon Prime Instant Vidoe and even YouTube RED already have’. Who knows Netflix might deliver this xmas.