Your regular host, Adam Lashinsky, is on assignment. Mathew Ingram is a senior writer at Fortune.
Many things have been said about Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, some of them complimentary and some not. But you can say one thing for the social network CEO: When he has a goal in mind, he is able to get the entire company moving in a single direction, in a way that many chief executives of companies worth $320 billion can’t. And the direction for the foreseeable future is video.
In fact, the target Zuckerberg has in mind isn’t just video, it’s live video—as exemplified by the network’s Facebook Live streaming service. Released in August of last year for celebrities, it was opened up to the public in January, and on Wednesday Facebook released a suite of new features.
To make it easier for users to find video, Facebook has added a new tab to the mobile app, and it comes with a map so users can see where people are sharing or streaming. Facebook is also adding the ability to use filters, in much the same way Instagram does, and a real-time reaction feature allows users to respond to a video live.
The Facebook founder would like us to think that he’s investing all these resources because live video is a great tool for “bringing people together.” To some extent that’s true, since bringing people together is something advertisers like. But it’s equally likely that Zuckerberg’s hand has been forced by the fact that the social network is rapidly losing ground to Snapchat.
Snapchat, which Facebook tried to acquire in 2013 for $3 billion (it’s now worth about $15 billion), has spent the past couple of years becoming a leader in streaming video. Clips shared on the service may disappear after a set period of time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. And Snapchat now has more than 8 billion video views a day, roughly the same as Facebook.
In a sense, it’s an arms race in video, and Snapchat is in the lead. So Facebook is doing everything it can to build its platform, which reportedly includes paying celebrities to use and endorse the service—in some cases even paying media companies like BuzzFeed to do so. “All hands on deck,” you can almost hear the Facebook CEO yell. “Man the torpedoes!”
BITS AND BYTES
Is Documentum on the block? EMC wants to shed the document management software division ahead of its $67 billion takeover by Dell, reports Bloomberg. We had already heard that Dell is seeking to sell two software divisions, the SonicWall security group and the Quest IT management group. The motivation in both cases is debt reduction. EMC bought Documentum back in 2003 for $1.7 billion. (Bloomberg)
Yahoo warns potential buyers about shrinking revenue. The Internet company projects annual revenue of $4.4 billion in 2016, off from $5 billion last year, according to financial documents examined by Re/code. Meanwhile, the cost of paid Internet traffic acquired to generate that revenue could reach $1 billion. The deadline for potential bidders is April 11. (New York Times, Re/code)
Robust Galaxy 7 sales buoy Samsung’s results. The South Korean tech giant expects a 10% increase in operating profit for the first quarter to $5.7 billion. The disclosure fueled hopes its mobile business will show a profit this year, but some analysts worry early demand for Samsung’s latest phones might not be sustainable. Another capricious variable: a growing dependence on emerging markets, where phone margins are slimmer. (Reuters, Wall Street Journal)
IBM and SAP get cozier. The tech giants are building on an existing partnership with new initiatives intended to strengthen their respective cloud services. As part of the new arrangement, IBM and SAP will run joint operations in Walldorf, Germany, and Palo Alto, Calif. (Wall Street Journal)
Nokia plans massive layoffs. The network and telecommunications equipment company will cut thousands globally under a $1 billion cost-cutting plan. Nokia is consolidating operations and assets following its acquisition of French competitor Alcatel-Lucent. (Fortune)
The question of who owns the data is about to get a lot trickier. As billions more sensors and other devices come online in the emergent Internet of things to monitor not only people’s personal location and health information but also the status of the buses and trains they ride, the cars they drive, and the household appliances they use, the stakes get a lot higher.
Business owners and executives need to pay close attention to what data their companies are sharing, with whom, and whether their technology providers will claim ownership of that information.
This is because more businesses will rely on third-party services to maintain their machinery in the field, to track that machinery’s performance, to tally product inventory, to provide software upgrades—you name it. Read the fine print of contracts carefully, urges Fortune senior writer Barb Darrow.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Stop checking your phone, you’re killing the economy
by Aaron Pressman
SurveyMonkey tackles mobile app tracking by Heather Clancy
Toyota is racing into the cloud revolution by Lucinda Shen
This cute self-driving robot will deliver your food or laundry
by Kia Kokalitcheva
Why tech workers and investors should read ‘Disrupted’ by Dan Primack
These are the 10 best apps for business executives by Michal Addady
Uber will let some passengers pay with cash by Hilary Brueck
What you need to know about San Francisco’s new parental leave law
by Kristen Bellstrom
iPhone owners’ dreams of hiding default apps may soon come true
by Aaron Pressman
ONE MORE THING
IKEA is using virtual reality to sell kitchens. You can use the HTC Vive headset to visualize how cabinets and countertops will look. (Fortune)
|This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy.|