Weekly Digital News Roundup: Jan 1 – Jan 5
Why The New Twitter Character Limit Is A Good Thing
- According to Forbes, in a move seen by many as controversial and damaging,Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is reportedly close to unveiling an update that will up the character limit in each tweet from 140 to 10,000. The change is facing a backlash on Twitter itself. Check out the comments under the hashtag #Twitter10K, with many citing that brevity of tweets is what makes Twitter unique and engaging.
- Jack Dorsey immediately took to Twitter to defend the move, highlighting his point by posting an image of the text itself. “We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it,” he said. “Instead, what if that text … was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power.”
- There are some reasons why this change may be a good thing. First, marketers can use this to full effect as a new means of content creation and thought leadership rather than paying for Twitter ads, which nobody really engages with. Search is now dramatically improved and Twitter becomes a real core asset to businesses and power users who want their content to be found. A larger limit also allows the ability to have a conversation over a topic with multiple people rather than their Twitter handles consume much of the available characters currently.
Activision Blizzard buys Major League Gaming with plans for the ESPN of e-sports
- According to the LA Times, Activision Blizzard Inc. announced a small acquisition Monday that kick starts big plans to develop a broadcast empire around electronic sports (aka video games) that rivals what ESPN has done for contact sports.
- The Santa Monica video game maker purchased Major League Gaming, an online broadcaster and events producer founded in 2002. MLG was among the first to recognize that watching others play video games was something that people would spend hours doing. Key to Activision Blizzard are MLG’s video streaming technology, relationships with rival video game companies and a workforce that’s spent more than a decade organizing shows it wants to put on as well.
- Experts see billions of dollars in potential revenue, but where it comes from is an open question. Activision Blizzard, for instance, is still figuring out how to distribute e-sports, with television, Twitch and its own apps among possibilities. legal documents leaked to trade publication ESports Observer last week said New York City-based MLG received $46 million, several million dollars less than it raised from venture capitalists over the last decade.
Identilock Is A Mobile Gun Lock That Keeps Firearms Secure
- According to the TechCrunch, launching today from CES 2016 Battlefield is Identilock, a smart gunlock that allows users to biometrically secure their gun and unlock it within a second at what their team claims is a 100% accuracy rate thanks to the company’s specialized IP.
- Something important to gun owners investing in safety tech like locks or safes is the ability to quickly access their firearm when they need to. Bulky safes can slow down gun owners when they believe they need to access their weapon most. The spring-loaded lock allows users to unlock the Identilock with their fingerprint while holding the grip of their weapon, at which point it falls right off the trigger guard, freeing the gun to be used immediately.
- Identilock has already received recognition after winning a grant from Ron Conway’s Smart Tech Foundation Challenge that sought to highlight up-and-coming gun safety tech. Kiyani tells me his lock is now the first-ever gun safety technology exhibiting at CES. The Identilock is available now for pre-order online and Kiyani says the product is expected to ship this summer. It will retail for $319. Comfortability is always important to gun owners and Kiyani detailed that the company will be offering a 90-day return policy so that customers can test out the tech and see if it’s right for them.