When you log on to your social platform of choice these days, you may be hit with a familiar feeling: you're drowning in the headlines. There's so much news - and current events happen so quickly - that it's hard to take it all in. Fear not, my friend, because the information you can use is here to help. It's your bi-weekly digest of the latest tech and marketing headlines, where we break down
the most important current events and explain what they could mean for your business. And if you're a returning reader, you already know that we're not much into throat clearing here — let's get to the news. 1) EU targets Google with new tech regulations (Reuters) After months of deliberation, the EU has decided to formally adopt a new set of regulations regarding online platforms and app stores. Under the new Platform-to-Business (P2B) laws, limits will be placed on the ability of companies like Google and Amazon to promote their own services on their own platforms.
The Employee Email Database move is seen as a direct challenge to the dominance of big tech companies and aims to stem what European lawmakers consider unfair practices in online advertising and e-commerce. "Our goal is to outlaw some of the most unfair practices and set a benchmark for transparency, while preserving the great benefits of online platforms for both consumers and businesses," said the digital chief. of the EU, Andrus Ansip. The tech industry should be largely happy with the light-handed approach of the EU, which, contrary to analysts' fears, is not trying to impose a single regulatory regime on an entire continent. Companies should also prepare for other countries to start following the EU's lead, as we are currently seeing with Japan. 2) JP Morgan Announces Bank-Backed Blockchain Initiative Pegged to the US Dollar (JP Morgan) Blockchain, long seen as an investment gimmick, may finally catch on. Investment bank JP Morgan has announced the launch of 'JPM Coin', a digital currency which they claim can be used by customers for wholesale payments. This trial represents the first real use of a digital currency by a US bank and represents a clear reversal from previous comments by JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon, who called the cryptocurrency a "fraudulent" investment. “The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger involving corporations or institutions can use it,” said Umar Farooq, head of JP Morgan's blockchain initiative. For now at least, it remains to be seen whether JP Morgan's initiative will just be an interesting experiment, or the starting gun for other financial institutions to start taking cryptocurrency seriously.
Amazon will offer user-created smart device customizations for "Alexa Blueprints" (TechCrunch)Last year, Amazon released its much-vaunted Alexa Blueprints customization program, which allows users to create their own voice triggers and custom responses for Alexa-enabled smart devices. Now users will be able to share their Alexa customizations on the US Alexa Skills Store. This rollout seems to be aimed specifically at bloggers and content creators – many of the plans featured on the new Skills Store are for integrations with content publishing platforms, such as WordPress. We strongly believe in the marketing potential of this new wave of AI-based assistive technologies. This latest offering from Amazon is just one more example of how AI and smart devices will be fundamental to the future of marketing. 4) Despite a "Record Year" and Best-Ever Profits, Activision-Blizzard Lays Off 800 Employees (Kotaku) 2018 was another straight year of record sales for Activision-Blizzard, the publishing giant behind game franchises video behemoths like Call of Duty and Overwatch. But despite a huge revenue windfall, the company announced it would restructure due to missed sales targets in 2018 and lowered expectations for 2019. Layoffs amounted to more than 8 percent of the workforce. company workforce - some 800 out of nearly 10,000 total employees. And although there have been rumors for months, analysts