A lexa Pays Out, Facebook Standards and Must Read Tech News

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Nick Cotton May 4, 2018

Here’s the news we’re talking about around the Zbra Studios water cooler. We’ve provided key bullet points from each article for the speed readers out there.

Amazon Is Finally Helping Developers Turn Alexa Skills Into Money
By Harry McCracke From Fast Company
  • “Amazon is announcing general availability in the U.S. for in-skill purchasing, which allows the creator of a skill to sell content to an Alexa user–both one-off purchases and monthly or yearly subscriptions, with the entire transaction handled inside the skill via voice on a device such as an Echo or a third-party Alexa-compatible gadget.”
  • “The new features have been in preview mode since November, and a few examples of them in use are already live, including games (Jeopardyand The Ellen Show’s Heads Up) and premium audio (TuneIn Live, with live sports and news).”
  • “The new features don’t just give skill builders the opportunity to charge for the sort of offerings they’re already building; they could incentivize the creation of ambitious new skills that nobody would bother to tackle without profit in mind.”
Now You Can Read Facebook’s  Community Standards Playbook
By Alex Kantrowitz From BuzzFeed News
  • “On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it’s releasing its internal content moderation guidelines and giving the public a look into the way it develops its policies. The best glimpse of these guidelines until now has come courtesy of the Guardian, which published a comprehensive report on them last year.”
  • “The new appeals process will be the first of its kind for individual pieces of content taken down by Facebook.”
  • “…while more transparency is a positive step, Facebook ultimately will have to address deeper issues, such as whether it alone should be making decisions to censor speech on its platform.”
Flipboard Wants To Be The Go-To News Source For Tech Mavens
By Harry McCracke From Fast Company
  • “Flipboard is available on tablets, phones, and the web. It’s still about mingling disparate stuff into an approachable magazine-esque package. But over the years, the company’s approach to aggregation has kept on evolving.”
  • “The articles you see in the app now get there through a combination of curation by other users, media outlets, and Flipboard editors, along with a dash of AI. The effort you invest in choosing Flipboard magazines and topics to follow is also a factor. And the sheer diversity of material to explore—on subjects from politics to pizza to pandas—is part of the idea.”
  • “For the Flipboard update that’s launching today, however, it decided to focus on one subject: technology. It’s not exactly a shock that the sort of people who like to stay current by reading Flipboard often have a professional interest in the tech industry; now the company is tailoring itself to cater to such folks all day long.”

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