Yesterday Apple hired Paul Deneve, the former CEO of fancy fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. The company didn’t reveal what his exact role is aside from working on “special projects.” [AllThingsD]
Yahoo must love racking up frequent flyer miles: They purchased video creating app Qwiki for $50 million. [Bloomberg]
Google-owned YouTube has not only renewed its deal with VEVO, which will keep its videos exclusively on the site, but purchased a 7 percent stake in the music video company. [Billboard]
It’s great news that Facebook is bringing its goofy stickers to its Web chat, but it’s sad news that the initiative’s creator has reportedly left the company. [TechCrunch]
The U.S. State Department spent nearly $700,000 on buying Facebook likes in a desperate attempt to sit at the popular table. [Gizmodo]
Hunting season Nestio has redesigned its iPhone app, designed to help apartment hunters stay organized and share information with friends. In addition to improved camera functionality, the 2.0 version has some new features, including an activity screen to help users see what progress their roommates have made in the search, as well as a checklist to help potential renters and buyers remember what features to look for when they’re viewing an apartment.
Guilty convenience Gilt Group just announced that they have (finally) added search capabilities to the site. Members can now search each Gilt store by category, brand and price—just like almost every other website that exists.
1000+ Zinio—which produces interactive versions of existing magazines, providing a reading platform which enables readers to easily navigate text, interactive graphics, animated illustrations, and videos—just announced the production of its 1000th interactive magazine.
If you read anything about interactive media startup Qwiki today, you probably ran into the trope that the New York-based startup had “disappeared” over the last year. And it’s true, to some extent–we hadn’t thought about Qwiki since shortly after its 2011 launch. But Doug Imbruce, Qwiki’s cofounder and CEO, strongly disagrees with this assessment.
“These reporters like to compress the tech hype cycles even more than they already are,” Mr. Imbruce told Betabeat over the phone today with a laugh. “We launched one of the year’s most popular iPad apps that won an award. We’ve increased traffic. I don’t know if we went underground, but our whole vision was always for not just a reference experience but also to release a publishing platform and ultimately develop a new media format. That takes time.”
The News In News It’s a big day for Qwiki. When last we heard from the company, Qwiki was turning info from Wikipedia and elsewhere into multimedia visual presentations. After a brief period in San Francisco, the company has returned to New York City and adapted its technology to the news business. Today comes the announcement of the “Qwiki Creator,” which turns web content–video and static pages–into a rich content presentation. Qwiki’s partner for the launch? ABC News. Not too shabby.
Shop Right New to digital shopping list Ziplist: a free Meal Planner, a queue designed to act as a “Netflix for things you want to make sometime soon,” the company says. Users can save recipes to specific days with an eye to when they’ll have more or less prep time, then they can add the necessary ingredients to their shopping list. The planner can also be synced with family members’ calendars. The planner, by the way, is the company’s first big featured released since its Conde Nast acquisition.
In Tablet We Trust
Qwiki turned heads last September when it won the top prize at TechCrunch Disrupt. The service pulls information from around the web to create multimedia presentations on over 3 million people, places and things, a sort of Wikipedia composed of miniature documentaries.
Last week the service launched its iPad app, and within a few days had broken into the top ten list. “We may just end up killing the website altogether,” said Qwiki co-founder Doug Imbruce, only half joking, during a visit to Betabeat’s offices on Friday.