Weekly Digital News Roundup: Sept 25 – Sept 29
EBay to Spin Off PayPal Into a Separate Company in 2015
- According to the Mashable, EBay has announced a plan to split its PayPal business into a separate, publicly traded company in 2015. The movehas been advocated for some time by minority shareholder Carl Icahn, though his January 2014 proposal for the spinoff failed in April. Icahn, known for his willingness to make big bets on companies and publicly push for new strategies, had argued that making PayPal a public company would raise needed capital and help it compete in the increasingly crowded digital payments industry.
- After the two companies are separated into two entities, Devin Wenig, currently the president of eBay Marketplaces, will become the CEO of eBay. Dan Schulman, previously the President of American Express’ Enterprise Growth Group, is joining the company to become president of PayPal; following the spinoff, he will become the CEO of PayPal.
Ello, the Social Network with a Manifesto
- According to the Wall Street Journal, the Internet is abuzz over Ello, a new social network that launched this past summer and is enjoying a spike in sign-ups. Ello describes itself as “simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network.” But others are calling it the “anti-Facebook,” partly because it doesn’t require people to use real identities.
- Ello is a free social network builtby artists and programmers. Ello doesn’t show ads and claims it won’t sell data about you to third parties. Anyone who signs up for Ello can opt out of Google Analytics when visiting the site, which stops Google Analytics from using any data Ello may have collected about you. Ello also respects do not track settings in browsers, something other tech leaders like Yahoo have given up on recently.
- The last 10 years has seen challengers both big (Google+) and small (Path) fail to knock Facebook from its perch. It is too soon to tell if Ello is just a timely fad or a social network here to stay, but its buzz suggests there are pockets of people on the social web interested in alternatives.
GoPro gets a little cheaper — and fancier — with new Hero4 camera
- According to the LA Times, GoPro hoisted its high-end offering further into the age of high-definition video with the introduction of the Hero4, its latest line of participant-sports-oriented video cameras. The company also lowered the price of its cheapest camera to $129 from $200, and freshened up parts of its entire lineup.
- At the mid-range, the company is attempting to broaden its appeal by putting a touch-screen on the back of GoPro camera for the first time. Normally, users connect their GoPros to smartphones to program them. For the higher price, buyers of the $399 Hero4 Silver get better video quality and photo-shooting abilities on par with the best smartphone cameras.
- The company is on pace to ship more than 3 million cameras this year and near $1 billion in annual revenue. The company went public in June at a $3-billion valuation. Shares of GoPro, already up more than 52% between Labor Day and Friday’s close, shot upward another 8% early Monday to about $89.