Instagram Adds In-App Selling Feature; Glossier Lands Massive Funding Round; Google Announces Game Streaming Service
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The game done changed. Instagram is going next level with its latest e-commerce ambitions. Brands have had the ability to tag products in IG posts for some time. But that archaic method forced users to head away from the ‘Gram to buy whatever the hell it is that an Insta-model is peddling. According to the ‘Book more than 130M users a month have been mashing the product tags.
Now, you’ll be able to purchase directly in-app from stores like Adidas, Burberry, H&M, and Zara. The feature, called “Checkout” (super original, guys) will feature 20-ish partners at launch and expand to additional brands in the coming months. IG will take a cut of sales for its troubles.
Ahead of its plan to completely blow up its current business model, Zuck mentioned on the ‘Book’s latest earnings call that it would look to expand IG and WhatsApp’s revenue streams. WhatsApp is currently developing a digital currency to facilitate payments.
You right now: “This sounds eerily familiar, but I can’t put my finger on it …” That’s because this is EXACTLY WeChat’s business model … without the government censorship of course. WeChat, a Chinese social network (a lot like Facebook & IG) allows users to chat (similar to Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp), transfer cash (coming soon to WhatsApp) and shop (not unlike IG’s new feature) all without leaving the app. Finally those meddling Chinese get a taste of their own medicine!
Hot or not?
A new Facebook product, what could go wrong?
People who still write checks at the grocery store are lining up to bring up privacy issues and ripping the idea of giving FB your credit card info.
But if anyone thinks for a second that millennials will be hesitant to hand over credit card information to Facebook, they’re sorely mistaken. These are the same people who break out the Amex at farmers markets and will share credit card info with a Nigerian prince if it means getting their hands on a bootleg copy of ‘Game of Thrones’ final season before it drops.
GLOSSIN’ ON EM
Glossier, the blog-turned-business founded in 2010 by Emily Weiss, is officially a unicorn. The direct to consumer beauty brand just closed a $100M series D funding round led by Sequoia Capital.
Where Glossier sets itself apart in the eyes of investors lies in its ability to sell direct to consumer, cutting out any middlemen (and women, c’mon guys, it’s 2019). Like so many of its DTC competitors, the millennial-focused brand has leveraged Instagram to spread the word to its more than 2M followers.
Prior to this most recent round, the make-up moguls had raised $200M, making it one of the world’s most well-funded private beauty companies. Eat sh*t, Kylie.
News of another funding round comes on the heels of the announcement that Vanessa Wittman would be taking over as Glossier’s CFO. The former Dropbox executive replaces Henry Davis, who left Glossier after a four-year stint as the company’s master of moolah.
And Glossier has proven it ain’t no one-trick-pony, having formed a spin-off brand, called Glossier Play, which raked in more than $100M last year. Now, all that’s left to do is sit back, relax, and see if/when it decides to take things public.
Code Red guzzlers and early-onset carpal tunnel patients won’t even need to leave their mom’s basement to buy new game consoles anymore. Allow me to introduce Google’s new game-streaming platform: Stadia.
The company is billing the platform as the “Netflix for gaming.” Players can access games on smartphones, iPads, and smart TVs, as long as the device has some kind of internet connectivity. Oh, and no more blowing in cartridges or “red rings of death” (the real ones know what I’m talking about) because the only gear you might need is a Stadia controller.
And it wasn’t lost on Google that high performance and crystal clarity is all the rage these days. Fear not, the platform will be able to display up to 8K resolution.
Stadia is bringing more than just great gaming quality to the man cave. It apparently integrates with websites (Chrome, naturally) and programs so a connected user can watch a game trailer on YouTube that provides a “Play” button once it is over. Within seconds the game will load and voila … headshots!
The platform is even adding a feature that allows you to join a queue and play along with famous gamers who inexplicably get paid to do something that adds absolutely zero value to society. But I digress.
Welcome to the party
The search engine who knows our deepest darkest search histories has finally joined the gaming industry and by the looks of it will be a big player. It will join well-established players Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo which all offer some kind of streaming game options (or have it in the works).
IN OTHER NEWS
- Apparently, it’s not always better to ask for forgiveness than permission. The SEC found that Elon Musk never, as in “not once,” sought pre-approval for any tweets he made that could impact buyers or investor’s interest in Tesla. In other words, the sky is blue. This is a direct violation of a court-ordered pre-approval policy that went into effect at the end of last year.
- Anheuser-Busch and Keurig are moving forward with plans to create an in-home cocktail maker called the Drinkworks machine. This JV comes at a time when both AB and Keurig face an uphill battle amid slumping sales. Coincidentally, spirit sales are at an all-time high.
- Can you say “surge pricing?” Lyft’s IPO is already oversubscribed … just two days into its roadshow. With an IPO set for March 28th, the stock looks to list somewhere between $62 and $68 per share … for now. Suck it, Uber.
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