Is the sharing economy just a marketing trick? Companies such as Airbnb and Lyft aren't really about sharing, Noam Scheiber writes, arguing that instead they're about lowering transaction costs and monetizing underused assets. Branding the sector as involving "sharing" and "collaboration" is a smart way for companies to sidestep regulators, but it doesn't say much about their real function, Scheiber writes.The New Republic (free registration) (8/13)
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HotelTonight is Instagram's first startup advertiser Startup hotel booking application HotelTonight has launched a monthlong Instagram ad campaign that shows people in everyday situations fantasizing about their dream vacations. Instagram's advertising unit is still in its infancy and until now has been used only by big-name brands such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and Gap.Adweek (8/13)
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Tech firms mine consumers' photos for brand clues Selfies and socially shared photos can provide a wealth of consumer information around brand affinity and interest, and several companies are developing advanced tools to analyze this freely available information. Ditto Labs, which works with Kraft, Coca-Cola and Cadillac, uses consumer photos to find out how products are actually being used.Mashable (8/13)
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"Salmon cannon" shoots fish over obstacles Government fish and wildlife officials are testing the use of pneumatic tubes to propel salmon over dams and other obstacles, helping them to reach their breeding grounds. "It's OK to laugh, this is utterly ridiculous," says Todd Deligan of fish-cannon manufacturer Whooshh Innovations.The Verge (8/11)
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If I looked at two years of your photos, I could tell a lot about you."
-- David Rose, CEO of Ditto Labs, as quoted by Mashable