Start your Xerox machines. Instagram copied rival Snapchat’s short video “stories” format with great success. Now the Facebook service is apparently taking similar inspiration from Snapchat’s Discover section. Instagram plans to add longer videos, up to an hour, produced by publishers, the Wall Street Journal reports. The news comes probably not coincidentally as Facebook itself announces video programming partnerships with news organizations CNN, ABC, Fox News, and others.
Buzzy. Larry Page’s flying car company Kitty Hawk showed off a working prototype of a one-person aerial vehicle. The electric-powered Flyer looks a bit like a cross between a miniature seaplane, with pontoons instead of wheels, and a drone, with 10 upward facing propellers.
Starting over. Speaking of the side gigs of rich guys, former Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs is partnering with two former colleagues to start a company called XCOM that will focus on 5G wireless technologies. Jacobs is also still trying to raise enough backing to make a bid for his old company, which was co-founded by his father, Irwin.
This could get messy. After becoming mired in several controversies over whether to distribute offensive games, Valve’s Steam platform will start accepting almost any title that’s not flat-out illegal while creating better search filters for users. “If you’re a developer of offensive games, this isn’t us siding with you against all the people you’re offending,” executive Erik Johnson wrote not entirely convincingly in a blog post. “There will be people throughout the Steam community who hate your games, and hope you fail to find an audience, and there will be people here at Valve who feel exactly the same way. However, offending someone shouldn’t take away your game’s voice.”
Ending up back where we started. Digital currency startup Coinbase is seeking licenses to become a securities broker-dealer and a registered investment advisor. The certifications from regulators of the traditional financial system would allow Coinbase to offer services like cryptocurrency securities trading, margin lending, and “new market data products,” the company says. Rival Circle is making similar moves. Also on Wednesday, one of those regulators made clear he doesn’t plan to do anything to accommodate bitcoin and its brethren. SEC chair Jay Clayton tells CNBC his agency won’t be easing its definition of a security and “if it’s a security, we’re regulating it.”
A company that hits the order button together. There are plenty of food delivery startups like Postmates or Uber Eats. Ritual, which just raised $70 million of venture capital, takes a slightly different approach, with a service that focuses on helping people in the same workplace order jointly. The aim is to make coworkers “feel like they are one team dining together,” CEO Ray Reddy explains.