The U.S. economy is still on a tear, but businesses have stopped taking out loans from banks despite predictions that banks were bound to have a big year from that department.
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) and Time Inc (NYSE:TIME) all made headlines during the weekend by developing a new feature, updating its social media app and agreeing to be bought out respectively.
Here’s the skinny of it:
Alphabet Inc (GOOG,GOOGL)
Google has been granted a patent for a new feature that can track its user’s faces.
Future Alphabet devices may come with the company’s latest technology, which consists of a smart, motorized lid attached to its Pixelbooks, which are laptop-tablet hybrids.
The functionality hones in on the device’s user when they are nearby and opens up in the right configuration. It unlocks the device when necessary, while also keeping track of a user’s face as the lid is always aligned to the owner’s face.
The patent — which Google filed for in 2013 — may be in a future Pixelbook and it works in a number of ways. It can tell when a user is nearby or when they are leaving the room. Its technology may use a wide-angle rear camera, a proximity sensor, a Bluetooth sensor or multiple of these. Users may also have the option of tapping a special area on the lid to authenticate and open it.
The feature may use various techniques to recognize its users, including facial, fingerprint and voice recognition. One may also open the device through an authorized device such as a smartwatch or smartphone.
GOOG stock gained 13.6% over the last three months and GOOGL shares rose 13.5% over the same span.
Snap Inc (SNAP)
Snap has rolled out a new algorithm designed to improve its app.
Snapchat is already capable of placing your exact location on a map if you turn on the device’s mapping features, and now the social media company has found new ways to bolster your pictures with filters.
The app now looks at what you are taking a picture of and suggests a filter or sticker that would work well with the images, shading, light and borders featured in your image.
The move is part of a broader Snapchat redesign as the company seeks to keep users interested in the company at a time when the competition for social media supremacy is heating up as Instagram and Facebook users can also share their story through images and video.
Snap is also hoping that advertisers will be happy with the latest from the company. The filters were made available in a gradual manner to users last week.
SNAP shares have dipped 47% since the company went public in early March.
Time Inc (TIME)
The media conglomerate has launched a $1.84 billion bid being backed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and it is believed that Time — which owns People and Fortune — will accept the offer.
Rumors of a Time acquisition have been swirling for a while as Meredith attempted to buy the company earlier this year and in 2013. The latter will own Time assets, which include news, business and sports brands.
Such a move could give Meredith stronger fiscal standing, as well as enough power in the industry to potentially spin off its broadcasting arm into a separate, standalone company.
The combined company will have a readership of 135 million people, 60 million of which make up the company’s paying readership.
Meredith added a tender that will acquire Time shares for $18.50 apiece in cash — TIME stock opened Monday at $16.90 a share. Koch Equity Development — the Koch brothers’ private equity arm — is offering Meredith $650 million in preferred equity to fund the deal despite not having a seat on the company’s board.
The media giant expects the agreement to be completed in the first three months of 2018.. Meredith added that the acquisition will save it $400 million to $500 million in the first full two years of operation.
TIME stock has gone up 39.7% over the last six months, while MDP is up 12.4% over the same span.
As of this writing, Karl Utermohlen did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.