It was a short week with big news, as tech headlines saw two monster enterprise acquisitions, Mary Meeker released the annual Internet Trends Report and Uber got its biggest round of funding yet. These are the stories to catch you up on this week’s tech news.
1. In the first of two major enterprise acquisitions this week, marketing automation giant Marketo was bought by Vista Equity Partners for $1.8 billion in cash. This ended speculation that Marketo would be snapped up by Microsoft or SAP.
2. If that weren’t enough for one week, Salesforce took a big step into e-commerce with the $2.8 billion purchase of cloud-based provider Demandware. The deal will spearhead a new business division: the Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
- Advertisers are not spending enough on web and mobile.
- In commerce, emerging Gen Z cares about experience, ease, personalization and aligned values (compared to millennial focus on price and comprehensiveness).
- Hyper-targeted native ads built for social networks are more effective than spraying ads at everyone.
- The rise of video and image sharing is driving more usage to visual apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
- Voice is the next big interface.
- U.S. innovation by Tesla and Google could make the U.S. the home of the auto industry again.
- Internet companies like Netflix and Amazon are crushing old-school competitors, while new leaders like Slack and Uber are growing much faster than the last generation of enterprise apps.
- Cybercrime remains a huge global problem, with individuals and businesses needing to beef up security.
4. Uber took its most significant investment yet: $3.5 billion from Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s main investment fund, as part of its latest round.
5. Several photos surfaced showing what is supposed to be the next iPhone and MacBook Pro. These leaked photos themselves are not surprising. Apple spy photos are big business and a staple in tech journalism. But if these photos are to be believed, radical changes are about to hit two of Apple’s flagship products. And it’s about damn time.
6. Facebook’s artificial intelligence systems now report more offensive photos than humans do, marking a major milestone in the social network’s battle against abuse. This means that AI could quarantine obscene content before it ever hurts the psyches of real people. If only Twitter could follow suit. Regarding social live video, Josh Constine also wrote that Facebook and Periscope should take cues from other forms of mass media and build a way to stoke interest and assemble viewers before a live stream starts — a waiting room, if you will.
7. Your old emo selfies may no longer be safe. Myspace (yes, it still exists) confirmed a hack in which a large set of stolen username and password combinations were made available for sale in an online hacker forum.
8. There are millions of apps out there, yet the number of apps that actually get used is still quite small. A new study on mobile app usage showed that nearly 1 in 4 people abandon mobile apps after only one use.
9. On the gadget front, Samsung debuted truly wireless exercise earbuds and a new version of the Gear Fit.
10. Sirin Labs showed off a $14,000, super-private Solarin smartphone. Any takers?
11. Lost item tracker Tile raised $18 million in a Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Tile makes square tags that employ Bluetooth low-energy radio and GPS tech to find objects they’re attached to, like wallets, keychains, purses and gym bags.
12. Instagram officially announced the launch of its tools for business users, including new business profiles, analytics and the ability to turn Instagram posts into ads directly from the Instagram app itself.
13. Ron Miller wrote a feature on Diane Greene, the executive VP of Google Cloud Enterprise.