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Oct 31, 2017 | 3 min read

Economy

This Week in GAFAnomics, October 31st

“This Week in GAFAnomics” features top articles from FABERNOVEL’s internal Slack discussions. Read here your weekly dose of curated news about the Network Economy.

Joachim Renaudin

Senior Project Analyst


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GAFAnomics [ga-fɑː-nom-iks], noun: A modern, networked, economic system spurred by the eponymic GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) but also encompassing Unicorns, Chinese tech giants and all other companies changing our lives through computer technology.

#The week of October 31st

So what happened this week in GAFAnomics ?!

Will Amazon overthrow Apple as leader of the Tech world ?

According to a study published by The Verge, Apple is no longer the most powerful when it comes to instilling passion and trust in its customers. Apple has long been one of America’s favorite companies, characterized by its ability to create a community of fans and early adopters that share the hype around the brand. So it would seem that the Apple Magic is not operating as well as it used to? Record-high Iphone X pre-orders seem to indicate the contrary. Apple’s products are still amazingly popular, but the company has lost credit as a corporation (attachment to the service, trust in terms of personal data use). Quite on the contrary, Amazon seems to have a great trust relationship with its customers, who are less afraid of what the company might make from their data, in comparison with Google, Apple or Facebook. Could this be a sign that Amazon might become the new King of the tech world?

Snapchat is creating an ecosystem

Early October, Snap Inc. launched its own acceleration program, Snap Accelerate, a combination of support and resources (media coupons, branded filters, technical support, access to API, early access to new Snap tools and ad products…) tailored for growth-stage mobile startups. This program – that may be seen as Snapchat’s first developer-oriented platform – is a strategic move in the mobile ad market: Snapchat, the best media company for brands targeting teens is becoming the most powerful millennial acquisition tool for mobile businesses (let’s not forget that Snapchat is 18-34 year-old’s favorite social app). Facebook copies Snapchat’s disruptive functionalities (for instance, the stories) while Snapchat uses the strategy that led to Facebook’s success. We’ll see what the most paying approach is to attract (and keep) the coming generation of users!

Facebook kills the future Facebooks

This month Facebook acquired tbh, an anonymous app for teens that has become increasingly popular in the US. It’s getting harder to succeed in the field of consumer internet because tech giants are getting bigger by the day. As a reminder, Facebook purchased Instagram and WhatsApp, tried to buy Snapchat and then copied its stories and filters to take it down. Whenever a new player emerges, Facebook just has to copy the feature or buy the company to prevent competition from growing. Does it matter? Yes. By preventing future Facebooks to emerge, Facebook kills innovation and leaves no choice to the customer but its ubiquitous platform. Because Facebook gathers the largest user base, it is able to convince all content producers to distribute news and media on the platform, and become even more ubiquitous.

Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to a robot

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced that it had granted citizenship to a humanoid robot, Sophia. The robot was created by Hanson Robotics and was showcased at a technology conference in Riyadh. Beyond the sad fact that the robot seems to have more rights (appeared on stage with uncovered body) than women in one of the most oppressive countries on earth, this citizenship echoes rising concerns about robots and AI. If future robots are granted citizenship then they must be responsible for their actions. How will courts create a legal framework for this new kind of citizen? Moreover, if they are citizens, then their work should be reclassified as employment. So should it be taxed?

What we know for sure, is that as a woman, Sophia will be allowed to drive next year since Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive in 2018.

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