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Sale or No Sale: As Twitter tries to broaden its appeal to more people, Users are bound to see Changes
NEW YORK, October 29, 2016: Sale or no sale, Twitter users are bound to see changes as the beleaguered communications service tries to broaden its appeal to more people and advertisers.
A new owner could clean up Twitter and curb some of the nastiness that’s become synonymous with it. Or perhaps a new owner would just show more ads. Or let it languish while it moves the best of what Twitter now has into its existing products and services.
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All of this is speculation, of course, and there might not even be a new owner. Twitter’s stock plunged after rumored bidders were, well, rumored to be no longer interested, but the company’s third-quarter adjusted earnings of 13 cents per share on revenue of $616 million beat analysts’ expectations. The company also said Thursday that it would lay off about 350 people, or 9 percent of its global workforce, as part of a restructuring.
A new parent could inject fresh life into a 10-year-old company that’s never turned a profit and remains confounding to many people. But even if Twitter stays independent, drastic changes to its service might just be what it needs to be competitive with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
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[bctt tweet=”Twitter has never turned a profit, and whoever buys it will need to fix this.” username=””]
How might it change? Facebook’s absorption of Instagram and WhatsApp in recent years could offer clues. Both services have kept separate identities, to an extent, and have experienced user growth. But slowly, they are acquiring Facebook-like features. For example, Instagram no longer presents feeds chronologically; they are now sorted much like Facebook’s news feed, using some secret formula known only to Facebook.
Though the change has turned off some early Instagram users, its user base has soared, to 500 million as of June. That’s nearly 200 million more than Twitter, even though Instagram is three years younger.
Twitter has never turned a profit, and whoever buys it will need to fix this. That means boosting the user base, so advertisers would follow. That also could mean better targeting, so that ad rates go up.
Search giant Google is the leader in online ads. Imagine what its might and muscle could do to Twitter’s ad business. YouTube hardly had any ads when Google bought it; now, ads are so prevalent that YouTube is able to charge $10 a month for an ad-free version called Red.
Instagram has also inserted ads into users’ feeds of perfectly composed snapshots featuring everything from cappuccino foam to seafoam. It started out slowly with a carefully curated ad here and there, but today you’re not likely to avoid ads when opening the app.
Salesforce, a company that provides internet services to businesses, has also been mentioned as a contender to buy Twitter, leading to a lot of head-scratching among users. Would Twitter become a business product, used for customer service and marketing instead of revolutions, neo-Nazi memes and political outbursts?
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“Salesforce is a very technology-driven company,” eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said. “It seems they would want [Twitter] mostly for the data that Twitter has.”
Remember once-popular MySpace? News Corp., the stodgy media conglomerate, bought it for $580 million in 2005. But users started falling off as MySpace failed to keep up with Facebook’s speedy innovations. After layoffs and failed relaunches, News Corp. sold the fallen giant for $35 million in 2011, and that was just about the end of it. It’s not unthinkable that Twitter could suffer the same fate under a big media company.
What about Disney?
Walt Disney’s reputation as a squeaky-clean, family-friendly company is perhaps the clearest antithesis to Twitter’s soul, as many users see it.
“My chief fear is that Disney will wield Twitter as one large PR machine to prop up their image and squash dissent,” said Timothy Hayes, an Ohio State University student who says he fell in love with Twitter in high school. “The Mouse is not above silencing [its] opponents.”
Some users, on the other hand, might welcome some thorough housecleaning that goes beyond the steps Twitter is currently taking to curb abuse and nasty behavior on its service.
One Twitter user, New York attorney Danny Mann, says that while Google has improved YouTube “in ways that were unimaginable at the time,” he finds many of his fellow YouTube users difficult to deal with. In this sense, it’s possible that even with Google’s weight behind Twitter, the abusive and nasty nature of many Twitter comments would remain as is. (VOA)
Khadi is no longer a dull, drab fabric meant only for politicians' wardrobes. A fashion show organised by the Khadi Gramodyog Board as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to mark the 75th year of India's Independence showcased the use of Khadi in traditional, as well as, contemporary and festive wear. From lehengas in resplendent Khadi silk to western clothes and casual wear, the models on Thursday night displayed new facts of the fabric.
Several well-known Indian designers including Ritu Beri, Farah Ansari, Rina Dhaka, Asma Husain, Aditi Rastogi and Himmat Singh showcased their designs. Gaurav Gaur directed the fashion show with clothes like lehengas, kurtis, kurta pajamas and partywear.
Lucknow's chikankari and silk artisans also participated in the event. A wedding collection in Khadi was the highlight of the show. "The show was based on the concept 'Khadi for nation, Khadi for fashion' and the fabric for all costumes was provided by Khadi Gramodyog Board," said a spokesman. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: lucknow, clothes, lehengas, fashion, fabric
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Intel saw its stock tumbling by more than 8 percent after the chipmaker said the industry-wide component shortage affected its PC chip business during the third quarter (Q3). Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told CNBC late on Thursday that he didn't expect the semiconductor shortage to end until 2023. "We're in the worst of it now, every quarter, next year we'll get incrementally better, but they're not going to have supply-demand balance until 2023," Gelsinger was quoted as saying.
The company delivered its Q3 results with revenue up 5 percent (year-over-year) driven by strong demand in its DCG and IoTG businesses, despite the highly constrained industry-wide supply environment. "Q3 revenue was $18.1 billion slightly below our guide due to shipping and supply constraints that impacted our businesses," George S. Davis, Chief Financial Officer, said in a statement. He also announced plans to retire from Intel in May 2022. In the third quarter, the company generated $9.9 billion in cash from operations and paid dividends of $1.4 billion.
| Photo by Slejven Djurakovic on Unsplash
According to the company, the demand remains strong in its PC business with particular strength in commercial, desktop, and higher-end consumer notebooks. In an earnings call, Gelsinger said that the digitization of everything accelerated by the four superpowers of AI, pervasive connectivity, cloud to edge infrastructure, and ubiquitous compute are driving the sustained need for more semiconductors. "The market is expected to double to $1 trillion by 2030. In that timeframe, the market for leading-edge nodes will rise to be over 50 percent of the total, while the market for leading-edge foundry services will grow at twice the rate of the semi-industry overall," he envisioned.
PC demand remains very strong, and "We believe the 2021 TAM (total addressable market) will grow double digits even as ecosystem shortages constrain our customer's ability to ship finished systems," Gelsinger added. "Customers continue to choose Intel for their datacenter needs and our third-gen scalable Xeon processor Ice Lake has shipped over 1 million units since launching in April, and we expect to ship over 1 million units again in Q4 alone," he informed. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Intel, Chip, processor, Desktop, AI, Semiconductor, PC, Processor
Micro-blogging site Twitter has announced that its audio chatroom Spaces is now open to anyone who wants to host. The Spaces team in a tweet said that the users on both Android and iOS will now be able to host Spaces. "The time has arrived -- we're now rolling out the ability for everyone on iOS and Android to host a Space," the firm said in a tweet.
Earlier this year, the company had limited access to hosting Spaces to accounts with at least 600 followers, saying that it found these accounts would be more likely to have a good experience due to the existing audience. Twitter recently announced a new accelerator programme for creators on its audio conversation platform Spaces, to "discover and reward" around 150 creators with technical, financial and marketing support.
The 'Twitter Spaces Spark' programme is a three-month accelerator initiative. Those selected will get a stipend of $2,500 per month, $500 in monthly ad credits to spend promoting their Spaces on Twitter and early access to new Twitter features. They will also get support from Twitter's official social media handles, and "opportunities for prioritised in-app discoverability for well-performing Spaces".
Twitter has also announced plans to roll out paid Ticketed Spaces for iOS users where some hosts on its live audio feature can now sell access to Ticketed Spaces. Twitter had previously said that it will take a 3 per cent cut of creators' earnings from Ticketed Spaces. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: android, creators, ticketed, access, twitter, spaces