LA Tech Updates: TikTok pays Creators as Rivals Dig In, Amazon Reportedly Eyes Sears, J.C. Penny Stores
- TikTok Pays Creators as Rivals Dig In
- Amazon Wants to Use Sears and J.C. Penny Stores as Fulfillment Centers: WSJ
TikTok Doles Out Money to Creators, Batting Away Rivals
Tiktok announced today the first receipts of a $200 million creator fund including several Los Angeles-based app stars. It comes as the social app faces increased competition from those trying to lure away talent and the threat of an outright ban.
The company has promised to up their funds for rising U.S. creators to $1 billion over the coming three years.
Among the 19 selected so far is Los Angeles-based Alex Stemplewski, a photographer who shares the impromptu photo shoots he has with strangers in public with his 9.6M followers.
There's also Justice Alexander, one of the top Latino creators on the app, who captures quick video of the many pranks he plays on his girlfriend and daughter with his 5.4M followers.
Well-known TikTok-er David Dobrik recently gave away a Tesla to one of his more than 20M followers as part of a sweepstakes for the most heartfelt story.
The Creator Fund will open their applications in the middle of the month for anyone 18 years or older looking to expand their work on Tiktok. To be considered, creators must have 10,000 followers or at least 10,000 video views in the last 30 days and follow community guidelines.President Trump recently signed an executive order that will ban the Chinese-owned company by September 20th unless it's sold to an American company before that date. TikTok has responded by threatening legal action.
Amazon Wants to Use Sears and J.C. Penny Stores as Fulfillment Centers: WSJlive.staticflickr.com
Amazon is in talks with mall operator giant Simon Property Group to convert Sears and J.C. Penney department stores into package distribution centers, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
The discussions come as Amazon continues to grow its e-commerce empire which has helped contribute to the downfall of brick-and-mortar retailers including Sears and J.C. Penney, which both filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That trend accelerated with the pandemic as malls closed and millions of consumers rely on Amazon for online shopping.
Shares of Simon Property Group, which has 21 malls in California including the Del Amo Fashion Center, Brea Mall and Ontario Mills, jumped on the news. The company is set to report earnings after Monday's market close.
Adding more warehouses would help Amazon speed up deliveries as the company plans to offer its Prime members 1-day delivery of their orders. Amazon posted $5.2 billion in profits in the second quarter, doubling its bottom line from the same quarter a year ago, despite spending more than $4 billion on COVID-19 initiatives.
- Sweetgreen COO Chris Carr Joins Hilton's Board of Directors
- Snap's New Apps Aim to Get Young Voters Registered and Informed
Snap's New Apps Aim to Get Young Voters Registered and Informed<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzOTc4Ny9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTc2NDM2N30.zRjr25sXg_h7s6EK65b1XfmN4mUbbHJoA3MZc6tW6Dc/image.png?width=980" id="d7d61" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8802c6c5a71cef62c38759453559f9b8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Santa Monica-based Snap announced new features and partnerships Thursday meant to help young people vote. The announcement coincides with the 55th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act.</p><p>Two new features are Minis, simplified third-party apps that live within Snapchat, <a href="https://dot.la/headspace-and-snapchat-2646169354.html" target="_self">which Snap debuted at its annual Partner Summit earlier this year</a>. </p><p>The Voter Registration Mini will enable Snap users to register to vote from without having to leave the app. It was developed in partnership with TurboVote, part of New York-based nonprofit Democracy Works. </p><p>In 2018, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/technology/snapchat-voter-registration-midterms.html" target="_blank">Snap helped to register over 450,000 users to vote</a>, 57% of whom turned out, a company spokesperson said. </p><p>The Before You Vote Mini, developed in partnership with Chicago-based nonprofit BallotReady, is meant to help Snapchat users understand their options for voting early and by mail. Users will be able to fill out sample ballots with their friends, and look up polling locations, the spokesperson said. </p><p>Snap is also adding searchable resources for users who look up keywords like "voter registration", "vote by mail" and "voter suppression". Information will come from organizations including the NAACP and the ACLU.</p><p>Every Snap user will also have a "voter checklist" feature incorporated into their profile, which will remind them to register to vote, consider their ballot before Election Day and make a voting plan.</p><p>The new features will debut in September. </p><p>Snap's announcement highlighted several obstacles that young people face in the voting process. <a href="https://circle.tufts.edu/latest-research/growing-voters-profile-youngest-eligible-voters-2020" target="_blank">New research out of Tufts University</a> shows that many young people rely on college campuses to learn about civic engagement. </p><p>"63% of 18-21 year olds who have at least some experience with college said they learned about voter registration at their schools, and 66% said their college professors had encouraged them to vote," the spokesperson said, adding that COVID-19 will disrupt this process. </p><p>The Tufts data also show that only 24% of 18-29 year olds report having voted by mail before. And over a quarter of 18-21 year olds say they don't know where to find information about mail-in-voting. </p><p>"For a generation who grew up on smartphones, and are used to being able to do everything from their fingertips – to date technologies haven't done much to make it easier for them to vote," the spokesperson said. </p>
Sweetgreen COO Chris Carr Joins Hilton's Board of Directors<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzOTcxNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzEwMzkwMn0.hWhQsvYh9LM7C1rJAj3Im1ejatkB6QRHYDhz9wSiJgI/img.jpg?width=980" id="5e4c4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0b29083ac3d3ba80cd0e071dc2aaade3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />LA Tech Updates: Snap Releases Voting Apps; Hilton Taps Sweetgreen COO<p><a href="https://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hilton.com%2Fen%2Fcorporate%2F&esheet=52261234&newsitemid=20200805005222&lan=en-US&anchor=Hilton+Worldwide+Holdings+Inc&index=1&md5=ffc251c987d343bcc24b2e88ff514f33" target="_blank">Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc</a>. announced Wednesday that Chris Carr, who recently joined Sweetgreen as Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed to the hotel chain's board of directors.</p><p>Carr started at Sweetgreen in May after 13 years at Starbucks, where he most recently served as chief procurement officer. There, he was responsible for global strategic sourcing and supplier relationships. Prior to Starbucks, Carr spent 18 years with ExxonMobil in retail operations.</p><p>"We are delighted to welcome Chris to Hilton," said Jon Gray, chairman of Hilton's board of directors in a written statement. "When we began our board search process last year, we were looking to add world class executive leadership in global and consumer-facing organizations. Chris brings these highly relevant skills, as well as unmatched focus on customer experience and procurement. We look forward to his insights as we navigate Hilton's continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic."</p><p>Carr joins the Hilton board at what is probably the most challenging time in its storied 101 year history. <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/hilton-worldwide-hlt-reports-77-q2-revenue-decline-5073862" target="_blank">The company lost $432 million in the second quarter</a> while revenue plummeted 77.3% year-over-year as people stayed at home because of the coronavirus.</p><p>Carr also serves as a director at REI, a trustee of Howard University and a trustee of the University of San Diego.</p>
- Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor, Reels
Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor, Reels
Reels, the Instagram video-sharing product to rival TikTok and Triller, launched Wednesday in 50 countries including the U.S.
Reels lets users create short-form edited videos with filters, all set to music. Creators can share them with their followers or, on public accounts, make them widely watchable through Instagram's explore page.
Reels represents Instagram's latest attempt to draw in users loyal to apps like TikTok, the Culver City-headquartered company that's in talks with Microsoft for a potential sale after President Trump threatened to ban it in the U.S.
In a recent blog post promising more transparency, TikTok's CEO called Reels a "copycat product."
Before Reels, Facebook — which owns Instagram — tried its hand with Lasso, a similar product that shut down in early July.
YouTube is planning to release its own TikTok rival, Shorts, by the end of the year. The feature would also let users upload video featuring licensed music from YouTube's catalog.
Triller is another app that has seen user interest rise as TikTok hits headwinds. The company saw a massive uptick in users after India's prime minister banned a slew of Chinese apps including TikTok in June.
"Instagram is excited to see how the community gets creative with Reels and for members to discover + break a whole new generation of Instagram talent," the company said in a statement.
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