Weekend Wrap-up: BlackBerry Gets $1 Billion Investment, Ousts Heins; Twitter IPOs
It’s Sunday, which means we’re bringing you another edition of the Weekend Wrap-up, where we run down some of the top stories from the past week and get you up to speed. We had some big ones this week, so let’s get to it.
BlackBerry Receives $1 Billion Investment, CEO Thorsten Heins Steps Down
After investment firm Fairfax couldn’t quite gather the $4.7 billion required to take over BlackBerry outright, we learned this week that the company instead invested $1 billion. Of course, BlackBerry couldn’t just accept that money without making some changes — CEO Thorsten Heins was the casualty in this case, replaced by interim CEO John S. Chen. The money will give BlackBerry some more runway so that it can come up with a company-saving plan. Maybe this one won’t involve hiring Alicia Keys as a Creative Director?
Twitter Becomes a Public Company
Interested in buying some Twitter stock? Now you can. Twitter priced its IPO at $26 per share and started trading this past Thursday, Nov. 7. You can find the company on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TWTR, which is actually darn close to what the product was called originally (twttr). It’s worth noting that Twitter chose to forego NASDAQ in favor of the NYSE — NASDAQ famously flubbed the Facebook IPO last year, so perhaps Twitter wanted to minimize its chances of suffering a similar fate. The stock closed on Friday at $41.65.
Google Launches Helpouts for Help over Live Video
If you’re having a problem that requires the assistance of someone knowledgable in a particular area, you may find a new Google product interesting. It’s called Helpouts, and it’s kind of like Hangouts for people who want to receive help from someone over the Web. Currently, Google has partnered with “experts” from various brands like Rosetta Stone and Weight Watchers, and I’m sure more will be added in a wide array of different areas should this limited rollout prove successful. While the idea of video help still feels a little weird, more companies are looking to it; the Mayday button on Amazon’s Kindle Fire, for example, uses live video. We’ll see if Helpouts is as accepted as Amazon’s feature has been so far.
Netflix Nabs Four Marvel Shows for 2015
Media stories are always interesting, especially when they’re about disruptive companies like Netflix and Amazon. In this case, Netflix has managed to sign on four new Marvel shows for 2015, and these shows will be exclusive to Netflix. Marvel is surging as a brand right now and Netflix has a pretty good track record of developing good original content as well as bringing in or resurrecting past shows. It seems like a nice fit for both. The shows will apparently focus on some lesser-known Marvel superheroes and one that some may not have great memories about (oh, hey Daredevil, didn’t see you there…), but again, Netflix has a good track record and, lately, so does Marvel. Who knows in 2015, though, right?