News Hub – summer solstice edition

Microsoft hopes to grow Bonsai and other stories; June 15 -22

Yesterday was the longest day of the year and the be-flip-flopped tourists are pinker than the flamingos down at the delta. It’s definitely summer.

With that in mind, we hope you’re ready for a fresh look at some of the biggest startup and tech stories of the week

In this second edition of News Hub we look at an interesting acquisition, a shake up in social media (Instagram, what are you doing?) and paid subscriptions to Facebook groups. Is the world going crazy? Let’s find out.

Unilever wags a finger at influencer marketing

Highlighting fraud in the influencer space, Unilever is asking marketers to clean up their acts. That influencers are buying fake followers is perhaps no surprise, but according to Points North Group up to 20% of an influencer’s fanbase can be made of bots. Icky. 🤖

Read more in the Wall Street Journal

Published June 17

Google, Lyft Uber and others work together to measure impact of self-driving cars

Would you get in a self-driving car? It seems that nearly three quarters of Americans would not.

True, we’re not talking Herbie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Knight Rider. These things can kill you. The catch is, they’re probably a lot better drivers than we are. At least, that’s what Google, Lyft, Uber and other companies investing in self-driving cars are hoping to show.

Read more on VentureBeat

Published June 19

The town that Amazon Built

This article looks at the impact of tech giant Amazon has had on one small town on the US Canadian border. Examining the consequences of the company’s presence on business and people’s lives, it’s a positive feature – and worth a read.  

Read more on the Verge

Published June 20

Instagram now allows 60 minute videos

Could you handle a 60 minute portrait mode video on Instagram? IGTV is betting on it. In a world of shortening attention spans #IG is going in another direction.

I think we like it. What do you say?

Read more on the BBC

Published June 20

Microsoft hopes to grow Bonsai

Bonsai, a Berkeley-based AI startup, is having all the luck this week after Microsoft fixed a beady eye in its direction. The company focuses on machine learning, using trial and error to train intelligent systems to complete tasks,

Microsoft wants to further its own research in the area.

Read more on Tech Crunch

Published June 21

Facebook testing paid subscriptions to groups

Big news for Facebook group owners. The marketing platform is now trialling paid subscriptions to groups, offering premium users the chance to enjoy exclusive content.

This monetisation model is a first for Facebook – and could be a game changer. Presently only a select few groups are participating in the pilot.

Read more on Engadget

Published June 21

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.


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