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(Re-issuing  to fix a small but crucial typo: WhatsApp does 42bn messages/day, not 42m)

Industry news

WhatsApp announced its first operating metrics in a  year: it now has 1bn monthly active users, sending 42bn (unduplicated) messages a day, with 57 engineers. For comparison, the entire global SMS system does around 20bn messages a day. Software means you can stand on the shoulders of giants, and do it with very little capital. (I do think MAU is pretty meaningless for these kinds of service, though - you use them daily or you're not a user) Link

Unsurprisingly, Google is making a VR headset to use with smartphones - a version of the Gear VR but for a wider range of phones. My basic VR thesis is that its all about smartphones, and that will take a while. One puzzle, especially for Android with its blizzard of devices, is whether you can use any headset (such as Google's) with any phone. Link

After missing December numbers, GoPro has now slashed Q1 sales guidance. Selling commodity hardware and adding network (or software) is Hard, but I suspect that this is more about addressable market - everyone who needs one has got one. Link

You can now use an Amazon Alexa (voice-recognition box) to order an Uber. The plan old neutral web isn't coming back any time soon. Link

Google may be doubling down on building residential fibre in the USA. Link

Facebook is pushing forward with 'Facebook for Work'. Facebook is already effectively a consumer version of Lotus Notes but with modern tech, so it'll be interesting how far it can make an enterprise version. But we certainly need new connective tissue for the enterprise. Link

Microsoft continues to buy cool iOS productivity startups - the latest is SwiftKey, which makes an AI-based predictive (software) keyboard. Link

Cisco bought Jasper, a cloud IoT platform with some MVNO stuff. Moving down he value chain towards managing gear as well as making it? Link   

The FT now has the highest paying readership in its history. Remember how 'pay walls' were a staggeringly stupid idea? The Times is also now breaking even. Link 

Samsung made an ad-blocker app for Android. Google removed it from the Google Play store. Shenanigans. Link

Yahoo is effectively putting itself up for sale. Missed search, then missed mobile. Link

Blog posts

The team behind Amazon's plans for building a chain of shops. Link

Intex - India's third biggest phone maker. Link

The growth of Time Out. Link

The internet is the densest city you've ever set foot in. Link

The essential guide to electronics in Shenzhen. Link

Non-obvious UX issues around autonomous cars. Link

The better bathroom mirror - what was once science fiction becomes a weekend hobby project. Link


ComScore has been substantially over-estimating its time-spend numbers for Facebook on iOS. Link

Caribou survey of where developers are and development happens around the world. Link

OpenSignal survey of US mobile network quality. Link
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