Top40 News for 07/23/2018

#37 Facebook hopes to launch an internet satellite in early 2019

Facebook has cooperated on internet satellite initiatives (with less-than-ideal results), but there's been precious little word of plans to make its own satellite beyond high-level promises.

Now, however, there's something tangible. Both publicly disclosed FCC emails and a direct confirmation to Wired have revealed that Facebook aims to launch an internally developed satellite, Athena, sometime in early 2019. A spokesperson didn't share details, but the shell organization Facebook used to keep filings hidden (PointView Tech LLC) talked about offering broadband to "unserved and underserved" areas with a low Earth orbit satellite on a "limited duration" mission.

This is likely just an experiment rather than a full-fledged deployment. Low Earth orbit satellite internet would require a large cloud of satellites to provide significant coverage, similar to SpaceX's planned Starlink network. However, it shows that the company isn't done building its own high-altitude hardware now that it has stopped work on its internet drone.

Whatever Athena shapes up to be, Facebook's motives likely remain the same. As with Alphabet's Loon internet balloons, there's a strong commercial incentive to connect underserved regions. Even if Facebook doesn't charge a thing for access, it could benefit by adding millions of new users who'd view ads and use services (including through Instagram and WhatsApp). It would also look good to investors, as Facebook would keep its audience growing at a time when there's seemingly no more room to grow.

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#38 Snapchat will shut down Snapcash, forfeiting to Venmo

© Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2018/07/20: The SnapChat application seen displayed on a Sony smartphone. (Photo by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Snapcash ended up as a way to pay adult performers for private content over Snapchat, not just a way to split bills with friends. But Snapchat will abandon the peer-to-peer payment space on August 30th. Code buried in Snapchat's Android app includes a "Snapcash deprecation message" that displays "Snapcash will no longer be available after %s [date]". Shutting down the feature will bring an end to Snapchat's four-year partnership with Square to power the feature for sending people money.

Snapcash may have become more of a liability than a utility. With apps like Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, and Square Cash itself, there were plenty of other ways to pay back friends for drinks or Ubers, so Snapcash may have seen low legitimate usage. Meanwhile, a quick Twitter search for "Snapcash" surfaced plenty of offers of erotic content in exchange for payments through the feature. It may have been safer for Snapchat to ditch Snapcash than risk PR problems over its misuse.

TechCrunch tipster Ishan Agarwal provided the below screenshot of Snapchat's code to TechCrunch. When presented with the code and asked if Snapcash would shut down, a Snapchat spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that it would, explaining: "Yes, we're discontinuing the Snapcash feature as of August 30, 2018. Snapcash was our first product created in partnership with another company - Square. We're thankful for all the Snapchatters who used Snapcash for the last four years and for Square's partnership!" The spokesperson noted that users would be notified in-app and through the support site soon.

Snapcash gave Snapchat a way to get users to connect payment methods to the app. That's increasingly important as the company aims to become a commerce platforms where you can shop without leaving the app. Having payment info on file is what makes buying things through Snapchat easier than the web and draws brands to use Snapchat storefronts.

We'll see how Snapchat plans evolve its commerce strategy without this driver. Earlier this month, TechCrunch revealed that Snapchat's code contained mentions of a project codenamed "eagle" that's a camera search feature. It was designed to allow users to scan an object or barcode with their Snapchat camera and see product results in Amazon. But since our report, mentions of Amazon have disappeared from the code. It's unclear what will happen in the future, but camera search could give Snapchat new utility and monetization options.

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If anyone is interested I am Top40 online. In the real world my name is David Russell Ellenberger. I am a SWM 57 and live in Louisville, Ky. I started Internettop40.com about 4 years ago. I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted the website to be about but I liked the idea of people voting on items in ranked lists. The voting on these ranked lists will move the items up or down in the rankings you vote by clicking the + or - buttons below or next to the item in a list, refresh the page and the item will then appear in it's new ranking. IMHO voting really is one of the most important things you can do. Your vote is literally worth millions of dollars and that's one thing the politicians want you to do but don't want you to think about in that way. In other words vote for me I'm the best and I'm for this I'm for that I am for all the things that you want and that's why should vote for me. In reality what its about is control over you and money. So next time you vote you should demand to get paid. But I digress that's voting on items is just one of the reasons I started Internttop40.com. I also wanted to get my point out to the people and hopefully other people will want to use my website to get their point out or at least create their own lists. I had hoped for this to be another social media website. That hasn't really happened and I have been online for almost 5 years now. More about that later.

 

Everyone thinks just put your website up and they will come but that's not really the case. Part of the problem is search engines like Google have almost complete control of the web and all the traffic on it and they want you to pay. They also don't like other social media sites or search engine type sites they are what's known in the business as viral sites or sites that mostly contain links and not much original content which is exactly what Google is. But I maintain that links are part of the branding and the way you show your links to the world is an original aspect of any website and part of the branding and is orginal content in and of itself. But Google doesn't think so, Because that's what they are and they of course want complete control and they have it and no one seems to care. I didn't care until I started this website. But again I digress.

 

Back to the point. Why I started this website. Well another reason was to make money you can sell things or you can put advertising on your website. You can go out and sell advertising yourself or simply sign up for advertising services that have already sold the advertising and put the ads on your website for you. Services like this from Google and it's advertising service called adsense. If you read up on the internet how to make money with a website You will eventually find Adsense and various websites will tell you you can make tens of thousands with website adverting its so easy. And that may be true just from a numbers point of view but then reality sets in. More coming in a few days. Thanks for reading....

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