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Aug 9, 2016

WeChat and VR in China

I toured with a talk about messengers [link / German] in the first half of 2016, speaking about their differences to social networks and the opportunities that may open up through bots, and the feedback was great. But the most interesting thing for the audiences was the part about WeChat - given its size and impact on life in China it gets surprisingly little coverage in Europe and the US, and since we can't experience the services ourselves from here, there are a few myths about it, but also many chin-dropping facts that most people are simply not aware of. Here is one good, newer article about WeChat:  

Also, speaking of China, it has a short but great history about hardware, and WeChat shows that software and platform development have caught up to our standards. Put the two together and don't be surprised that there's a myriad of VR hardware and platforms we have never heard of, and that some of the big innovations in VR may come from the far east.

7 futurists predict the next decade

We have read all those things 20 years ago, and 10 years ago, only now they seem to be more realistic: Futurists predicting that wearable tech will change our understanding of our bodies, that better diagnostics will change the way we treat diseases, that scientists will be able to hook our brains to computers and so on. The most interesting bit in my eyes is the last statement by Mark Stevenson: It is not the technology, but what society does with it - and in the end, it is about how we organize ourselves. Facebook organizes information in a unique way (although that's Google's mission, and Facebook wants to connect the world - but it does so by organizing information), Uber organizes empty car seats, Airbnb organizes empty beds, Amazon is less an online seller than an excellent organizer of stock and logistics. It's all about using information technology to organize our lives, our societies, us.

Instagram portrait

This article is from before Instagram introduced stories, but it's a great read and gives some nice insights and numbers about the service. They make over 1 USD per user annually and still have the biggest growth momentum among all social networks.

App & Bot Discovery

The app ecosystem is somewhat dysfunctional, and many people think that bots might replace apps in the mid term. We're nowhere near of being able to predict that, but at least bots seem to have that potential - and that's huge in itself. Still, as long as bots have to be discovered like apps and "installed" inside your messenger, we may run into the same dynamics as with apps - that people will spend 80% of their time with 5 bots instead of five apps. Nice read about how a bot ecosystem could / should be designed:

[German] Onefootball Portrait

Die Headline des Artikels - "Wie Onefootball zur weltweit größten Medienmarke im Fussball werden will" ist ein wenig übertrieben - zur weltweit größten Medienmarke im Fussball wird es ohne Medienrechte an Bewegtbild nicht kommen, und Onefootball ist davon so weit entfernt, dass dieses Szenario im Artikel gar nicht erst auftaucht. Aber ein sehr interessanter Einblick in die Funktionsweise einer erfolgreichen App in einem Markt, in dem jeder gesagt hätte "Finger weg, viel kompetitiver geht es nicht". Geht eben doch. Vor allem die Entwicklung tragfähiger Geschäftsmodelle in einer Welt, in der Display Banner keine Rolle mehr spielen werden und in der - in einem schiefen Verhältnis von Video-Rechtekosten versus Video-Werbeeinnahmen - auch Prerolls wenig beitragen können, ist Onefootball eher zuzutrauen als einem der Giganten aus den großen Verlagshäusern.

How Facebook prevents office politics

There's not much to say about this article. Really interesting read about Facebook's approach to get things done in a fast growing, huge corporation. Anyone with some experience in bigger organisations will find some inspirational thoughts there:

First numbers on PokemonGo

Slice Intelligence and App Annie were among the first to put together some statistics around PokemonGo. Since the game is so new - not even a month old, we have to be careful with these numbers, but they give us an idea about the impact the game may have. Slice points out that PokemonGo lures new players into the mobile gaming market - 53% of those who made a purchase in the Niantic-run AR game had "one or fewer" in-app purchases within the last six months. App Annie assumes the game makes around 10 million USD a day - and does not cannibalize other games (which supports the Slice observation in some sense). It could be a real breakthrough for location based /alternate reality / augmented reality apps of all kinds.