Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Katie.
1. Amazon AdSense
Amazon are looking to muscle in on Google’s success with their own version of an expanded ad network. A Wall Street Journal article has stated that Amazon is planning to replace Google ads with their very own Amazon ads. These will be generated from an Amazon platform called ‘Amazon Sponsored Links’ which they hope will one day challenge Google’s grip on the ad world.
2. Google & Zync + Amazon & Twitch
This week saw Google acquire Zync Render, a service that makes it easier for film studios to render their visual effects using the Cloud. Google has said that it will use the technology to help film studios use the Cloud as it integrates Zync into its own Cloud platform. As they are going to offer per-minute billing for the service I can only imagine that this will be a money-spinner.
Not to be left out of the weeks news, Amazon (who also own a platform for Cloud rendering) acquired the gaming platform Twitch for a whopping $970 million. If you are not a gamer then you’ve probably never heard of Twitch before… It’s a live streaming platform for people who want to stream video games (which basically means it lets people watch other people play video games – sort of a gamer TV channel).
It may be relatively unknown outside of gamer circles, but in July it had more than 55 million unique visitors and over 15 billion minutes of content produced by more than 1 million broadcasters. Whew. Amazon are the second top digital distributor of video games in the world and an acquisition such as Twitch sees them open a massive ad stream straight to their potential customers.
You might be wondering if getting these gamers onside was worth $970 million, but Google were reportedly offering $1 billion for Twitch back in May. Twitch said they chose Amazon so they didn’t have to compete with the Google owned YouTube. And the gamers? They’re just happy it wasn’t taken over by Google – whom they don’t trust, don’t like and thought would ruin their platform by thrusting copyright law onto gamers who are sharing content that doesn’t belong to them.
3. Oh Vicar!
The Google ‘right to be forgotten’ saga continues on this week after Google removed a link to an article on The Telegraph about a drunken, naked vicar. The news piece was old news – the Rev got drunk and lewd back in 1999 and so fitted nicely into the “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” category that the EU ruling passed. This means that while the news story remains on the Telegraph website, it no longer appears on Google – so here is a direct link for your convenience.
In my opinion, I can’t see the point of this – because the vicars name is now featured in news stories (which do show in Google) about the link removal, which state why he was in the news in the first place… It all seems a bit backwards. But as over 250,000 removals have been requested so far, I’m clearly alone in this opinion!
On Wednesday night the dream of having a bearded bake off champion ended as Iain Watters lost his place in the Great British Bake Off tent. There was much disgust on Thursday in the office about the actions of Diana, a rival baker who appeared to be the key to Iain’s downfall – because she left the ice cream part of his Baked Alaska out of the freezer.
By 9am on Thursday morning there were plenty of hashtags floating about on twitter, including #dirtyDiana, #getDianaoff, #bingate, #freezergate, #bincident, #bringiainback and #justiceforIain. Diana claims to have been made a scapegoat and even Mr Hollywood himself waded in, but the internet has proved to be a quick and harsh judge.
All of this scandal was incredibly good hype for the show, and this weeks show attracted an average audience of 8.1 million. Apparently this was four times more than any other show on at the same time, which is quite impressive for a programme about a bunch of people putting things in an oven inside a tent.
5. Fake pregnancy causes ‘pandamonium’…
Now I love a pun or two, so I’ve very much enjoyed the news story about a panda who faked a pregnancy in order to have her every need ‘pandered’ to. She apparently ‘bamboo-zled’ her keepers into giving her the air conditioned living quarters and extra buns that all expectant panda mothers get. But it’s not all ‘black and white’ – the giant panda Ai Hin did have the raised hormone levels associated with Panda pregnancy, but is now thought to have suffered from a phantom pregnancy which can be common among pandas.
There are thought to be less than 1,600 pandas living in the wild and only around 300 in captivity and with their natural habitat disappearing and a notoriously low reproductive rate, a captive panda birth would have been great news for the species. Still, a fake panda pregnancy was good news for Twitter, who embraced this story with gusto. Aside from the Daily Mail and Celebrity Big Brother comments, there were plenty of other jokes, puns and pictures that showed the enjoyment the world was getting out of a bit of light relief in the news.
The breeding centre in China where the panda is kept are to be congratulated on this fantastic bit of PR.
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) August 27, 2014