Growth

THE NEWS WRAP: Facebook unveils its content hosting platform

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Facebook has unveiled its native publishing initiative Instant Articles after speculation swirled for months about whether the social media giant would release a platform allowing users to bypass publishers’ websites.

 

At the moment the platform hosts stories from The New York Times, National Geographic and Buzzfeed.

 

The company’s product manager, Michael Reckhow, said in a statement the Instant Articles tool allows publishers to create “fast, interactive articles”.

 

“Web articles in the Facebook app take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook,” he said.

 

“Using the same technology that loads photos and videos quickly in our mobile app, Instant Articles load as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles, so you get to the stories you want to read instantly. Once there, new features like tilt-to-pan photos, auto-play video, embedded audio captions, and interactive maps let you explore the story in beautiful new ways.”

 

Uber snaps up Google’s communications chief

 

Google’s head of communications has been snapped up by Uber in a bid to improve the fast-growing startup’s public image following a number of public relations blunders.

 

Rachel Whetstone started at Google in 2005, and has been responsible for witty and humorous responses to criticism – including this blog post in response to critical coverage by the Murdoch press.

 

The communications chief will begin her new role in June, according to Re/code, with Uber rumoured to be looking to raise another $US1.5 billion which could lead to a $US50 billion valuation.

 

On-demand laundry service Cleanly raises $US2.3 million

 

On-demand laundry delivery service Cleanly has raised $US2.3 million in seed funding in order to kickstart its growth.

 

The round included investments from Ludlow Ventures, Initialised Capital, 500 Startups and Soma Capital, according to TechCrunch.

 

“We’re excited to announce our recent funding, and to continue delivering clean undies to the people,” the New York-based company said on its Facebook page.

 

Do you know more on this story or have a tip of your own? Raising capital or launching a startup? Let us know. Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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