Weekly Digital News Roundup: July 9 – July 13
Snapchat brings ESPN, Comedy Central, Vice and more to the forefront
- According to the LA Times, Snapchat is giving a prime position to ESPN, People, Comedy Central, Vice and about a dozen other outlets — collectively known on Snapchat as Discover. Until now, Discover was buried within the app and hard to, well, discover.
- In an update Monday, Venice-based Snapchat elevated links to those media channels, putting the Discover feature on a frequently visited app page, signaling that it thinks the mix of content on the channels is ready for primetime and that it wants a massive audience for the ads that run with the programming.
- The media networks affiliated with Discover initially reported receiving a couple of million daily viewers, but Snapchat has more than 100 million active users. Snapchat and the channel owners split ad revenue.
Darkode dismantled; hacker forum had been linked to millions of data thefts
- According to the LA Times, a global hacker forum that authorities said served as a bazaar where Internet thieves could buy, sell and trade stolen data from millions of people worldwide was dismantled Wednesday by investigators from the U.S. Justice Department and 19 other countries, officials said.
- Darkode, a password-protected forum where users could buy and sell stolen credit card information and the malware used to infiltrate personal computers, was considered “one of the gravest threats to the integrity of data on computers in the United States and around the world,” federal investigators said.
- At least 70 members of Darkode were either charged, arrested or had their homes searched on Wednesday, the Justice Department said. The takedown comes in the wake of a series of high-profile data breaches that have left Americans unsure if any of their digitized information is safe. Earlier this month, the federal Office of Personnel Management was the victim of two separate hacks, leading to the theft of more than 21 million Social Security numbers and other data.
Despite Consumer Complaints, Amazon Prime Day Sales Soar
- According to TechCrunch, Consumer demand was there for Amazon Prime Day, but the deals did not deliver. At least, that’s the sentiment being shared on social media about Amazon’s first-ever attempt at creating its own sales holiday – one which the company had promised would feature “more deals than Black Friday.”
- Typically, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers tease “door busters” to draw crowds who then scoop up other items the stores want to unload. But outside of some decent enough smart TV discounts, it seems Amazon’s best Prime Day deals were those where it had cut the prices on its own products.
- Unfortunately, by early Wednesday morning, many of these deals were already sold out, consumers soon discovered. Those who popped over to Prime Day during lunch breaks or in the early a.m. on the West Coast were out of luck. What’s interesting, however, is how significant consumer demand really was for the promotion. Amazon claimed early in the day thatits “Prime Day” peak order rates passed that of 2014’s Black Friday. In addition, Amazon’s mobile applications saw significant movement up the charts on iTunes and Google Play on Wednesday because of Prime Day.