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BIGnews in the Tech World

by Meghan Gabel

consumer electronics facebook social media technology

September is officially here, which means the BIGfish team is busier than ever preparing for holiday gift guide season. But don’t worry; we’ve still carved out enough time from our schedules to give you the latest round-up of all the tech news you have to look forward to this fall.

Apple

It’s happening! This is not a drill: Apple’s latest phones will (likely) be unveiled on September 12th at 10 a.m. PT. While nothing has been officially confirmed yet, there are rumors flying about everywhere on what exactly will be announced at the keynote event. All we know right now is that the annual event will be held at the brand new Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California and is rumored to launch the new iPhone 8 as well the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus. The iPhone 8 is suspected to include features such as a larger OLED display, wireless charging and possibly even a facial recognition camera. Unfortunately, this will be Apple’s most expensive iPhone to date at a whopping $1,000. If you’re like me and you’re still waiting for your next phone upgrade, there are other products rumored to be launched at the event, including the Apple Watch 3, 4K Apple TV and possibly (finally) the launch date for the Homepod. We’ll be covering the event in full detail next week, so be sure to check back here on Tuesday for the whole lowdown!

Facebook

Facebook really wants you to watch videos with its latest feature: Watch. When it comes to video content, Facebook has not succeeded as well as Youtube, Netflix and other apps. In an attempt to drive users to watch its publishers’ videos, Facebook launched its Watch feature on August 10th. You can find Watch at the top left hand corner on your desktop or at the bottom of the mobile app. Watch basically replaces the previous video tab, but Facebook is taking it one step further by rolling out several funded shows and videos. The content will range anywhere from “It’s Cool, But Does It Really Work” from Insider, to “Food to Die For” from Tastemade, to videos from popular viral accounts such as “Humans of New York.” Some of these shows will be fiction, some will be scripted, and some will be live. The episodes will still be rather short at roughly 10 minutes each, but demonstrates Facebook’s attempt to drive video ads and interest in a new centralized content hub.

Disney v. Netflix

As we discussed last time, Disney has been up to quite a lot recently. The company announced a few weeks ago that they would be pulling all streaming from Netflix and would launch its own Disney-branded and ESPN streaming services. And now the Walt Disney Company announced yesterday that it will also be pulling all Marvel and Star Wars films and TV shows from Netflix as well. Disney CEO Bob Iger has said the Disney streaming services will likely launch in 2019, and it is rumored that the price will only be around $5 per month in attempt to sway users away from Netflix. Though this is a substantial blow to Netflix, Netflix has also seen recent success in creating its own branded shows in an attempt to move away from its dependence on outside content and licensing. In a #savage move, after Disney announced its plans, Netflix responded by hiring Shonda Rhimes of Disney’s ABC and creator of shows such as “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” in an exclusive deal. If you need us, we’ll be over here with some popcorn watching the rest of this drama go down.

Snapchat v. Instagram

It’s the never-ending battle for social media domination: we’ve covered the Snapchat v. Instagram rivalry since Instagram first launched its stories feature back in 2016 (click here for our latest verdict on the competition). While Snap Inc.’s stock may be struggling recently, new data from comScore reports that Snapchat still holds its own in popularity with the Gen Z crowd. Among 18-24 year-olds, Snapchat is ranked #3 in app usage, while Instagram comes in at #5. Gen Z is a huge target audience for brands to interact with in today’s technological age, so these findings show that Snapchat may have the potential to pull young users away from Instagram, Facebook and other social apps. However, when compared to the most used apps across all audiences, Snapchat falls to #7. Though Snap has not had its best year, something tells us we shouldn’t count it out of the running just yet.

 

That was a lot to catch up, and we only suspect tech news to take off for the rest of the year. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with more happenings in the tech industry, PR world and beyond!

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