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Twitter is partnering with Shopify on an integration that will keep a seller’s Twitter profile page updated with direct links to the products they have for sale. Shopify users who install the new Twitter add-on can connect their Twitter account with Shopify and then start building out a store on Twitter with the platform’s Shop Module.
The new add-on automatically loads a merchant’s products from Shopify onto Twitter, which then appear in a carousel on the Twitter profile. Users can browse through or expand the carousel to view up to 50 products — selecting a product redirects users to the merchant’s website for purchase.
Shop owners can also use the Twitter add-on to sync their Shopify product inventory with Twitter. This should eliminate the need for merchants to update each item individually when making changes to their products’ details or as items go in and out of stock.
In addition to the partnership with Shopify, Twitter announced that it’s expanding the beta of its Twitter Shops and Shop Spotlight — tools that let merchants show off products on their profiles — to all brands based in the US. Until now, the features were only available to a select group of merchants.
While Twitter partnered with Shopify in 2015 on “buy now” buttons that appeared within tweets, it didn’t really take off — Twitter retired the feature in 2017. But as Twitter continues to actively roll out dedicated tools for merchants — and with a new owner who wants to find non-advertising-based revenue — a Shopify integration starts to make more sense.
Earlier this month, Twitter rolled out a new feature on iOS that lets merchants tease upcoming products with reminders before they go on sale. And just like Amazon, eBay, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, Twitter is also experimenting with live shopping features.
The last couple of weeks have had a lot of bad news for some in the “web3” space, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at announcements in and around the recently-ended NFT.NYC and ApeFest 2022 events. The Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) annual event in particular brought in musicians like The Roots, LCD Soundsystem, Haim, Lil Baby, Lil Wayne, and others to perform for its members. On the final day of the event, guests saw the premiere of this video from two of the celebrities who’ve purchased tokens, Eminem and Snoop Dogg.
The video is for a new song, From The D 2 The LBC, that isn’t the most memorable of collaborations and is mostly about smoking weed, but it constantly splices in images of the cartoon apes. Many BAYC members were disappointed in February when both men performed in the Super Bowl halftime show, and despite appearing during an event that featured crypto ads seemingly every few minutes, failed to highlight their web3 endeavors.
The price of ApeCoin has dropped 39 percent in the last month to $4.51 after peaking in late April at more than $23, while Bitcoin and Ethereum’s values are also about 38 percent lower than they were 12 months ago. The Wall Street Journal wrote on May 3rd that “NFT Sales Are Flatlining,” and the numbers haven’t improved overall since then. That report cited an NFT from Snoop’s own collection, Doggy #4292, that sold for more than $33k several months ago. Its owner currently lists the item for sale at a price of nearly $11 million, and while the highest bid at the time of the article was $210, right now someone is offering $1,218. You can see the animation or download high-res still of it from its source website right here, for free.
Despite that, now BAYC owners can point to music that uses characters from the club they spent so much money to join. Plus, they did get to see the real Snoop Dogg perform, not the fake one that some web3 company fooled people with this week during NFT.NYC.
The rappers’ NFTs were both acquired via third parties in December, near the time prices for Bitcoin and Ethereum’s most recent peaks. In a deal executed by the digital agency Six, it cost 123.45 ETH to obtain Eminem’s Bored Ape #9055. At the time, that was worth about $460,000 but it’s now equivalent to around $150,000.
The ape icon associated with Snoop Dogg, #6723, was moved in a transfer from the previous owner’s wallet, not a sale with a price recorded on the blockchain, which was enabled by MoonPay. The company has focused on making it easy for celebrities to buy high-priced NFTs, although it also makes it difficult to track exactly how these celebrity-affiliated tokens were obtained, and who actually paid the much-publicized prices.
Opening up the ability for token owners to use the images of the apes for their creative or business endeavors is a part of the Bored Ape Yacht Club’s strategy, even if it’s unclear why or how that will increase the appeal to people who haven’t spent six figures on an NFT. The way they see it, this is the beginning of a new media industry, with intellectual property rights linked to digital tokens with monetization that trickles down to everyone associated.
The truth about NFTs and copyright is a lot more complicated than that — you can follow our explanation of the state of things right here. But for now, the parties go on, with plenty of things for BAYC owners Yuga Labs to sell to members who are sticking around, like merchandise and promises of land in a metaverse that hasn’t launched yet.
Former Indy Racing League competitor Sam Schmidt is continuing to break new ground for accessible driving technology. The Arrow McLaren SP team co-owner has completed the signature hill climb at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed using head movements and his breath to steer — the first time anyone has demonstrated the feature at the UK event. Schmidt drove a McLaren 720S Spider modified by Arrow Electronics to track his head using infrared cameras. He controlled acceleration and braking by inhaling and exhaling through a “sip-and-puff” device. The racer also wore a semi-autonomous exoskeleton concept, the SAM Suit, that helps him walk.
Schmidt became quadriplegic in 2000 when he injured his spinal cord in a practice lap crash. He has long been an advocate for paralysis treatment, and in 2014 partnered with Arrow to drive a Corvette using a combination of head tracking, sip-and-puff and voice controls. In 2016, became the first American with a license to use an autonomous vehicle on highways, using a Corvette to drive in Nevada.
While alternative mobility solutions can return some level of autonomy to those no longer able to operate a vehicle for one reason or another, it’s not entirely clear what role Arrow’s technology might play in the future. We’ve reached out to the company for details on where it sees projects like the SAM heading. Arrow will also be racing against self-driving tech, which is becoming closer to a practical reality, with Level 3 autonomy already reaching public roads. With that said, completely driverless cars (Level 5 autonomy) will take years to arrive.
Update 6/24/22 7:27pm ET: Reached for comment, an Arrow spokesperson told Engadget that while SAM “is not precisely open source” the tech may be “available for future development if Arrow approves.”
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Juul can continue selling its e-cigarettes despite the Food and Drug Administration ordering a ban Thursday, according to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (via TechCrunch). In its order, the court says it’s issuing the temporary stay to give Juul time to file an emergency motion, which it can then consider along with a response from the FDA.
The FDA says the reason for the ban is that there’s “insufficient evidence to assess the potential toxicological risks of using the Juul products.” Juul had petitioned for clearance to sell its tobacco and menthol-flavored vape products, but the FDA turned down the application. The regulator notes that it’s only illegal to sell the Juul device and Juul pods, not to own or use them.
According to the court’s order, uploaded by Axios, Juul has until noon on the 27th to file its emergency motion. As the FDA’s website notes, the court says it’s not permitting Juul to sell its vaping products based on the merits of the company’s request — that decision will come later.
In its petition for the stay, which you can read in full below, Juul said that it faced “significant irreparable harm” if it wasn’t allowed to sell its products while it prepared its full motion for a stay. “FDA cannot credibly argue that there is a critical and urgent public interest in removing JLI’s products from the market right now, rather than after this Court reviews FDA’s action,” the company wrote (emphasis Juul’s).
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