Facebook At Work Will Quickly Change Enterprise Social

It may not yet be generally available, but Facebook at Work is a quickly evolving solution that will change how enterprises think about and conduct social interactions. It will also dramatically change, if not eliminate, the single-person role of Community Manager.
Carrie Basham Young, an experienced and respected social business strategist, published a series of blog posts on Facebook at Work last week. Her main thesis across these posts was that Facebook is playing a long game in which the line between social interaction in people’s personal lives and at work becomes blurred or disappears altogether. Facebook is betting that it can change enterprise social to more closely resemble the way that people interact outside of work, on Facebook.
Young made many other astute observations in the posts, including,

  • Facebook controls the message with respect to its product and the social networking industry in mainstream media
  • Adoption (logging in for the first time) does not equal engagement (ongoing, purposeful use)
  • Facebook at Work is “incredibly easy” to use and may nearly eliminate the need for user training
  • Facebook at Work’s extreme end-user focus may cause problems for enterprises, and IT staff at big companies will have a negative view of Facebook at Work until it incorporates enterprise-grade identity management, security and information lifecycle management functionality
  • Facebook has the power to change the entire conversation, user expectations and their behavior without input from currently active community managers

Changing Nature of Work and Organizations

The present (and future) trend in the workplace is toward fewer managers in less hierarchical organizational structures. However, eliminating roles that command others’ work does not equate with getting rid of those who guide and coordinate work. The need for people who can design, facilitate and monitor people interactions within business networks will only increase as authority, responsibility and accountability are decentralized across the employee base of an organization.
If Young’s assessment of the irreplaceable contributions of community managers is correct, then Facebook’s intention to minimize or eliminate them may be a fatal mistake. Instead, Facebook at Work should give all employees access to the tools that Young cites as necessary for successful community management. By doing so, Facebook would accelerate the existing trend of democratizing authority and distributing work ownership. Everyone would be responsible for contributing to the management of communities in which they are members, and stewardship of them would shift contextually.
This vision is not unprecedented. Over the last two decades, Knowledge Management (KM) has moved away from being a top-down activity started and executed by an individual situated fairly high in a company’s organizational chart. Instead, the notion of Personal KM has gained favor, making all employees responsible for creating, capturing, sharing and using knowledge within their company.
It is possible that day-to-day community management will move in the same direction and become a distributed responsibility and activity. Young clearly acknowledged this when she wrote,

“Facebook will maintain a pure focus on viral adoption, resulting in an industry-wide slow shift away from the concept of managed communities and toward the concept of ad-hoc, self-driven collaboration as a new normal employee behavior”

I disagree with Young’s interpretation of Facebook’s goal for Facebook at Work though. I think Facebook seeks to de-emphasize or eliminate community managers, but not community management. It appears that Facebook at Work has been designed for distributed, bottom-up community coordination, rather than top-down, imposed management. (I sincerely hope that Facebook at Work does not intend to have communities ruled by algorithms that decide which topics and interactions are given preference in an employee’s activity stream.) While this will be unappealing to existing community managers, Facebook’s vision for more self-governed collaboration is consistent with the larger trends that are distributing and democratizing work coordination in increasingly flat, networked organizational structures.

Enterprise Social Will Change Sooner Rather Than Later

Young is right that Facebook at Work will upset the status quo in enterprise social and community management, but I think her timeline is too long. This change is likely to happen in 3 years or less, rather than the 5-10 years she predicts.
It will be faster because Facebook can learn from other vendors in adjacent enterprise software market segments, most notably Box and Dropbox in the Enterprise File Sync and Sharing space. Like Facebook, both of those companies began as consumer-oriented services that emphasized user experience over other considerations, including breadth and depth of functionality. Box has since built an offering that meets many of the security, privacy, administration and integration requirements of business customers.
Dropbox has also undertaken that journey, although it did not begin it until well after Box started. That is an advantage in some ways. Dropbox is moving down the learning curve quickly because it has watched Box and learned from its strategic decisions taken and tactical moves made to effect the consumer-to-enterprise shift.
Facebook will do the same, gaining insight from both Box and Dropbox. This will allow Facebook at Work to become enterprise-ready in a fraction of the time that most expect. Watch for Facebook to gradually expand beta access to Facebook at Work over the coming months, then make a version that meets most enterprise requirements generally available by the end of 2016.

Embedded Experiences Are Coming to the Browser

One of the most interesting and valuable developments in enterprise social software (ESS) over the last few years has been the introduction of embedded experiences. Simply put, these are event-driven notifications, usually from other enterprise applications and systems, that surface within the activity stream of an ESS application. Embedded experiences go beyond merely notifying of something important; they also allow one or more actions to be taken to move a business process to the next step.
chatter notification vacation approval
 
Embedded experiences are great, but they have been written in proprietary code tied to a specific ESS vendor’s offering. It has not been possible to reuse actionable notifications across vendors’ solutions.
Google has announced a new feature in the latest beta version of its Chrome browser that will provide an open standard alternative for the delivery of extended experiences. Chrome 48 Beta enables developers to quickly create notifications with buttons that let users complete tasks. Those notification can be pushed from browser-based applications and webpages, as well as from Chrome OS applications and extensions to the Chrome browser.
Google and Mozilla employees have contributed to the development of the fledgling Notifications API standard under the auspices of the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) community. This specification is what has been implemented in Google’s Chrome 48 Beta.
A Notification Generator built to define HTML-based embedded experiences has been created by Peter Beverloo. The generator shows how easy it is to define an embedded experience that can appear in any HTML5-compliant web browser.

Notification GeneratorSource: http://tests.peter.sh/notification-generator/#actions=1;;requireInteraction=true

As previously noted, embedded experiences have been proprietary to individual vendor’s applications and platforms. Google’s beta implementation of the WHATWG’s Notifications API specification is a first important step toward embedded experiences that will work across operating systems and applications. When the feature is properly vetted and becomes part of the stable release of Chrome (and, we assume, Mozilla’s Firefox browser), open, actionable notifications will be reality.
This is important because it will make the development and use of embedded experiences far more practical and widespread. Enterprise software vendors who choose to implement the WHATWG’s Notifications API specification will empower their customers to more easily create interoperability with other vendors’ browser-based tools. Actionable data embedded in notifications will be able to be passed between systems, business process execution will be accelerated, and personal productivity will be increased.
This news further intensifies the browser-based versus operating system-dependent application debate, especially with regards to mobile computing. The current preference for native applications on mobile devices will be challenge to the uptake of the Notifications API specification, given its dependence on the Web browser. Development of more of these types of Web standards is precisely what is needed to swing the pendulum back toward browser-based applications.

This Digital Transformation is Not the One You’re Looking For

I was sorting through some browser tabs that had been open for a couple of weeks on my laptop and rediscovered a press release that had caught my attention earlier. After rereading it, I realized that I had left the release up in my browser because it could be the poster child for the inane manner in which technology vendors and IT consulting firms are talking about and selling what they very much want to be the next big thing – Digital Transformation.
CA Technologies’ press release was a horrific example right from the start. It’s title, “CA Technologies Study Reveals Widespread Adoption of Digital Transformation”, nearly made me spit coffee all over my laptop. Really? Is Digital Transformation (DT) something that can be adopted? Hardly. After all, DT is not a discrete technology. Rather, it’s a never-ending journey that organizations undertake to better the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.
DT involves making changes to business objectives, strategies, models, cultures, processes and so many other elements. Many of those changes can be supported by the deployment and adoption of enabling technologies, but DT isn’t about the technology itself. It’s a mindset, a way of thinking and acting as an organization that spans across all of its planning and execution.
In that regard, DT is very much like the discipline known as Knowledge Management (KM) that was similarly a darling of technology vendors and their consulting partners nearly 20 years ago. Most large enterprises at least considered implementing KM practices and technologies. In fact, many did, although the majority of those ‘efforts’ failed to survive an initial pilot program. In the end, only a few big companies, the ones that treated KM as something more than a technology set to be adopted, whole-heartedly embraced the discipline and successfully wove it into nearly every aspect of their businesses.
We’ve seen the same phenomenon play out with Social Business. McKinsey & Company has been tracking the deployment and impact of social constructs, behaviors and tools in a cohort of roughly 1,500 enterprises for nearly 10 years now. Earlier this month, in a teaser to its complete report of annual survey results, McKinsey published these related and telling findings:

“…35 percent of the companies had adopted social technologies in response to their adoption by competitors. Copycat behavior was also responsible for their diffusion within organizations, though at a slightly lower rate: 25 percent of all employee usage. Roughly a fifth of the companies we studied will account for an estimated 50 percent of all social-technology usage in 2015.”

Most organizations and individuals tried to ‘adopt’ social technologies because they felt competitive pressure to do so (thanks, in part, to vendors and consultants), not because they had investigated and understood how ‘being social’ at work could change how well their organization actually performed relative to both its current state and its competitors. On the other hand, a minority of organizations (20% in McKinsey’s survey) have made the dedicated, all-in commitment needed to succeed with Social Business.
Today, we are beginning this cycle all over again, this time under the moniker of Digital Transformation. Consider these findings from CA’s study:

“Digital Transformation is being driven as a coordinated strategy across a majority of organizations (55 percent)…  As a result, 45 percent of respondents have already seen measurable increases in customer retention and acquisition from their digital transformation initiatives and 44 percent have seen an overall increase in revenue.”

In other words, if you aren’t “adopting” DT already, you’re toast. At least that’s what CA and other technology vendors and consultants want you to believe in a fresh state of panic. Hence these findings from CA’s study:

Digital Disrupters have two times higher revenue growth than mainstream organizations. They report two and a half times higher profit growth than the mainstream organizations.”

That may be accurate, but surely those “Digital Disrupters” did not achieve the reported results merely by adopting technology, whether it be from CA or another vendor. They’re the ones who have taken a comprehensive view of DT and, as CA itself puts it, have “…many projects underway in multiple areas of the company, including customer services, sales and marketing, and product/service development.” It’s not a coincidence that CA was only able to include 14% of the organizations surveyed in the group it labeled “Digital Disrupters”. That matches up pretty well with McKinsey’s finding of just 20% of organizations surveyed making more than a token effort at becoming a social business.
All of this is to say beware of vendors and consultants selling technology as the cornerstone of DT initiatives. Yes, technology is an invaluable piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the only or most important one. DT can’t simply be adopted; every aspect of it must be considered and actively embraced by the entire organization.

Dropbox Paper is a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Last week, I wrote about the commoditization of the enterprise file sharing market and how pure play vendors are being forced to evolve their offerings to stay alive. My post focused on Hightail (originally YouSendIt) and its announcement of Spaces – a specialized file sharing, annotating and publishing offering for creative professionals.
Dropbox also made a product announcement last week, albeit quietly. The company has expanded beta testing of Paper, a new offering that was released in a highly limited beta, in March, under the name Notes.  Like Hightail’s new offering, Dropbox’s illustrates how they are responding to the functional parity that vendors have achieved with basic file sharing offerings and to their rapid downward price movement.

Yet Another Collaborative Authoring Tool?

Most commentators, including Gigaom’s Nathaniel Mott in his article from last week, described Paper as “a collaborative writing tool”. They compared it to Google Docs, Microsoft Office (especially its Word and OneNote components) and startup Quip. For sure, Paper has similar functionality to those products, and it allows people to write and edit documents together in real-time. However, I don’t believe that is the main point of Dropbox’s beta product. Instead, Paper is intended to be used as a lightweight case management tool.
Case Management is a discipline that brings resources, including relevant content, related to a single instance of a business process or an initiative into a common place – the case folder. While many think of Case Management as a digital technology, its principles were established in business activities that were wholly paper-based.
Think of an insurance claim years ago, where a customer filled out a paper claim form, and it  was then routed throughout the insurance company in a paper folder. As the process continued, additional paper documents, perhaps even printed photographs, were added to the folder. The last documents to go into the folder were the final claim decision letter to the customer and a copy of the check, if a payment was made on the claim.
Today, that same insurance claim process is likely to generate and use a mix of paper-based and electronic documents, although insurance companies are slowly moving as much of the process online as possible. However, the concept of organizing information related to the claim into a single folder remains, although the folder is now likely to be an electronic artifact, not a paper one.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Take another look at Dropbox’s beta Paper. Do you see it? Paper is a single point of organization for new content, files stored in Dropbox (and other repositories), existing Web content and discussions on all of those things. It’s a meta-document that acts like a case folder.
Paper enables lightweight case management, not the industrial-strength, production kind needed to handle high-volume, transactional business processes like insurance claims. Paper is case management for small teams, whose work might follow a pattern over time, but does not conform to a well-defined, repeatable process.
Working on a new software product at an early-stage startup with only a few coworkers? Start a new document in Paper, then add the functional and technical requirements, business projections, marketing assets, sales collateral, even the code for the software. Everything that is relevant to the product is one place in which it can be shared, viewed, commented on, discussed, edited and used for decision making. Just like a case folder in Case Management.

A New Way of Working

Still not convinced? Dropbox Product Manager Matteus Pan recently said:
“Work today is really fragmented…teams have really wanted a single surface to bring all of [their] ideas into a single place.” “Creation and collaboration are only half the problem,” he said. “The other half is how information is organized and retrieved across an entire company.”
That sounds like case management to me, but not the old-school type that you are likely more familiar with. Instead, Paper reflects the newer principles of Adaptive Case Management.
Adaptive Case Management (ACM) is a newer technology set that has been evolving from Production Case Management (PCM) over the last few years. ACM helps people deal with volatile processes by including collaboration tools alongside the workflow tools that are the backbone of PCM.
Dropbox Paper may be viewed as an extreme example of ACM, one which relies completely on the manual control of work rather than automating parts of it. In that regard, Paper takes its cues from enterprise social software, which is also designed to enable human coordination of emergent work, rather than the automation of stable processes. As Paper is more widely used in the current beta and beyond, it will be interesting to see if its adoption is stunted by the same obstacles that have limited the wholesale changes to established ways of working that social software requires.

Crashing Waves

I have not yet seen a demo of Dropbox Paper, but the screenshots, textual descriptions and comments from Dropbox employees that I have absorbed are enough to reveal that the product is more than just another collaborative authoring tool. If I was asked to make a comparison between Paper and another existing or previous tool, I would say that it reminds me of Google Wave, not Docs or Microsoft Office. Like Wave, Paper is a blank canvas on which you can collaborate with team members and work with multiple content types related to a single idea or business process in one place.
Google Wave was a powerful, but unintuitive tool that failed to get market traction. Will Paper suffer the same fate? Perhaps, but Dropbox hopes that the world is now ready for this new way to work. In fact, Dropbox is, in some regards, staking its continued existence on just that, as it tries to differentiate itself from other purveyors of commoditized file sharing services.

Facebook woos retailers and shoppers alike with new features

Facebook is testing new features that will make it easier for its users to make purchases without ever having to leave the confines of its mobile applications.
The move should be very appealing to business owners, especially those already doing some marketing/advertising on Facebook, as it should make transactions easier and quicker for customers.
Some of the features include a shopping section on businesses’ Facebook pages; “Carousel” advertisements that allow retailers to display multiple products in a Facebook user’s News Feed; and the addition of a dedicated shopping channel to the sidebar navigation in Facebook’s mobile apps. These might be small changes on their own, but together, they’re bound to have an impact on Facebook users.
That impact will probably manifest itself in two ways: convincing more people to buy things found on Facebook, and consumers staying in the social network’s apps instead of heading off to other websites (or, Zuck forbid, Pinterest) to shop. Canvas, a new-ish ad unit that shows products inside Facebook’s apps instead of on an outside website, is the update most likely to bring about those changes.
12056986_1506203566340884_988839618_n
Canvas has been around since June, but Facebook said in today’s announcement that it’s testing a new version of the ad unit that will make it so “people will see a fast-loading, full-screen experience where they can browse through a variety of products, before going to the retailer’s website to purchase.” It’s basically the shopping equivalent to Facebook’s not-inaccurately-named Instant Articles.
Now, the “before going to the retailer’s website to purchase” bit contradicts my argument. But I suspect it won’t be long before Facebook expands its buy button — the feature which allows Facebook users to purchase goods through its app, and is mentioned right after Canvas in Facebook’s blog post — to include items shown in Canvas. It might just take a while for retailers to warm to that idea.
But Facebook is making a pretty compelling argument. Reuters reports that many online sales happen somewhere other than mobile devices, and for good reason: Shopping on a smartphone is a pain in the ass. It’s hard to type in credit card information on a small display, mobile websites still aren’t easy to navigate, and waiting for image-heavy pages to load is hardly worth the time and effort.
These are the same problems affecting publishers’ mobile efforts. People just don’t have the patience to wait for something to show up on their phones. So if Facebook can speed up the process, like it has with Instant Articles and will with Canvas, there’s a good chance retailers will eventually get on board with letting Facebook users buy things through the social network instead of an outside site.

Twitter board names Jack Dorsey as full-time CEO

Jack Dorsey has been named Twitter’s newest chief executive.
A confluence of tweetstorms revealed the news early this morning. Dorsey tweeted that he would become the company’s full-time chief executive while remaining in the same role at Square; Dick Costolo congratulated the team and announced that he will be stepping down from Twitter’s board; and a board member said that the search for a chief executive ended with a unanimous vote for Dorsey to come back.
That might over-simplify the company’s hunt for its new leader. It took them 96 days to replace Costolo as Twitter’s chief executive — a move which board member Chris Sacca criticized after Volkswagen replaced its chief executive in just a week. The board was reportedly worried about Dorsey leading Twitter while continuing to work at Square because it wanted someone to focus entirely on the social network.
There were probably other misgivings about bringing Dorsey back. As Fortune explained when reports emerged about him dropping “interim” from his title:

Dorsey’s focus on outside hobbies, including sewing and drawing classes, and his frequent party appearances annoyed his co-workers. His lack of communication to investors and apparent six-figure text message bills annoyed the board. He had frequent arguments with Williams, who had provided the initial funding for Twitter. Oh, and while he was in charge, there was no backup of Twitter’s database.

Dorsey’s experience at Square appears to have changed that. Now he’ll be able to lead the company he co-founded with the benefit of having led another company without being made a “passive chairman” and “silent” board member. And if recent news is anything to go by, being led by the same man could benefit both companies. The split attention that so worried Twitter’s board might actually be a good thing.
These rumblings should mean much to Twitter. “As I step off the board, two reminders: those banging pots and pans outside Twitter know the least about what’s going on inside Twitter,” Costolo tweeted this morning, “and @Twitter, there is only one narrative that matters and it’s the one you’ll create for the world.” I suspect a publicly-traded company’s image is a little more important than Costolo lets on, but it’s probably a welcome sentiment inside the company’s tumultuous headquarters.
 

Snapchat plans advertiser-supported ‘sponsored lenses’

Snapchat has found a new way to monetize its service — and this time it’s not undermining the reason it’s become such a popular social tool in the process.
The Financial Times reports that Snapchat wants advertisers to pay for “sponsored lenses” that change the way its users’ selfies look. Citing the ever-popular “people familiar with the matter,” the report says the feature should debut on Halloween, which seems like a good time to launch a tool devoted to making things look weird.
Sponsored lenses are said to cost $750,000 during important dates like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. They’ll cost $450,000 during other days — an option which could make it attractive to companies looking to promote new films, albums, or other content that is tied to a specific date but doesn’t coincide with any holiday.
Advertisers who want to reach Snapchat’s valuable millennial user base have other options, too. They can pay to create special “geofilters” that allow people to modify their photos with stickers unique to specific locations. They can also pay to show ads in the app’s Discover section, with Snapchat taking varying portions of the revenues.
All those ads live alongside other, non-sponsored features inside Snapchat’s app. People can use lenses to change their selfies even if an advertiser didn’t pay for it, modify their photos with geofilters from places unaffiliated with any business, or watch a couple dozen videos through Discover without encountering a single ad.
These sponsored lenses would follow another new revenue scheme: Asking people to pay for the ability to re-watch the ostensibly-ephemeral content sent to them. The feature is available for free, but consumers are asked to pay 99 cents to receive three more of the “Replays,” as they’re called. A used-to-be free feature went freemium.
That change is worrisome. As I wrote when Snapchat changed the feature:

Snapchat has now popularized and, indeed, monetized, a concept that runs counter to the notions that made it popular in the first place.

Today it’s paying a little less than a buck to re-watch some videos or take another peek at a photo. What might it be later? A few dollars to view a snap more than twice? Doing away with the restriction when teens don’t pay for Replays? Perhaps that won’t happen, but it seems more likely than it did yesterday.

Features like these new sponsored lenses are a little less hostile to Snapchat’s original vision. Besides looking like a goofball for a few seconds — double if someone uses one of their precious Replays to view the snap again — they’re harmless. They’re also fun, and they fit with Snapchat’s monetization strategy to date.

Facebook tests mobile profile redesign

Facebook is making it a little easier to stalk people through its mobile applications.
The company announced today that it’s testing a redesign of mobile profiles in the United Kingdom and California. Facebook users involved with the test will gain more control over the information shown to prospective friends, the ability to set temporary profile pictures, and other features restricted to the small test group.
Perhaps the most interesting change is a renewed focus on images. Facebook users trying to learn more about someone they just met — or, let’s be honest, stalk people with whom they’ve lost touch over the years — will be tasked with scrolling through walls of photos after they pass larger versions of the profile and background images.

03-Featured-Photos_CY_Final

Facebook


Users will also be able to choose up to five photos they wish to highlight underneath their biographical information. Profiles used to be dominated by text, given their focus on showing users’ most recent status updates, but now they’re going to place much more emphasis on allowing Facebook users to view each others’ photographs.
“People love seeing photos and mutual friends when viewing the profiles of friends or someone they’ve just met, so those are easier to see now on profile,” Facebook said in its announcement. “Photos and friends are right at the top, making getting to know someone and seeing the world through your friends’ eyes as easy as scrolling.”
Facebook will also give its users the ability to “film a short, looping video clip that will play for anyone who visits your profile.” These are basically animated GIFs that promise to let you “show a part of yourself you couldn’t before” and “add a new dimension to your profile.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple’s new Live Photos, which are based on a similar concept, were converted for use as these profile videos.
Many of these changes introduce a customizability that didn’t exist on Facebook before. It’s not quite as noticeable as the custom backgrounds and music playlists that used to be tied to people’s MySpace accounts (let’s all agree not to discuss the bad choices we might have made back in those days) but it’s freer than before.
Facebook explained some of the reasoning behind these changes in its blog post. “People visit Facebook profiles more than four billion times per day,” the company said, “and we’re continually looking for ways to make profiles the best place for people to curate their online identities and connect with others.” The profile, which became an afterthought when the News Feed debuted, could now be relevant again.
It’s not clear when this update will be available to the public — Facebook said only that it’s testing the new features with a small number of users, and it will be “rolling them out to more people soon.” Given how big this change is, it’s hard to blame the company for waiting to roll this out instead of quickly giving it to a billion people.

Social news curation app Nuzzel finds backers in the media world

Though it may be short on manners and healthy discourse, the Internet is almost certainly never short on content. There is so much content floating around the web, in fact, sorting through it and curating it has become a multi-million dollar business. Enter Nuzzel, the personalized news curation app that just secured a slew of new investors from a land beyond the walled kingdom of Silicon Valley.

Nuzzel, a startup founded by Jonathan Abrams (founder of Friendster, the social networking app of yore), is a news delivery service and app that curates web content based on activity in your social circles, news you might be interested in, and things you might’ve missed in a clear, uncluttered feed. Using Facebook or Twitter, Nuzzel pulls together stories that your friends are reading and sharing under the assumption that if you’re friends with or following someone on either site, it’s likely because you have a fair number of shared interests.

To be clear, this kind of socially influenced content curation isn’t new. It exists on a number of apps both operational and defunct, from Digg to Flipboard. However, the fact that it doesn’t play a huge part in the habits of most content consumers and that we’re often still Gchatting links to one another suggests that it the social curation functionality is still missing a vital piece of the puzzle: Nuzzel, perhaps.

Investors in this round include Matter, a startup accelerator funded by the likes of the McClatchy Group, Associated Press, and Google News Lab, along with a half a dozen individuals touting credentials from a laundry list of media money bigs: The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, The Guardian, CNBC International and more. While the dollar signs are far from unimportant in a funding round, the “who” and “why” are much more noteworthy in this case.

Since the Nuzzel team comes from the Silicon Valley & Internet world, not the traditional news/media world, and our existing investors were mainly from the Silicon Valley world, we thought it would be useful to Nuzzel to add some investors from the news/media world,” says Jonathan Abrams, founder of Nuzzel. “This was less about money and more about getting news industry veterans as advisors to Nuzzel.”

The fact that investors from the news and media world are backing Nuzzel is key because as former publishers, CEOs and board members of some the largest media organizations, they are likely not easily wooed by attempts at distribution and curation. The media industry is rife with plans and concepts to deliver content to willing and eager eyes. In a world driven by page views, there are many trying to crack the code to simple and effective distribution, but most are wildly ineffective and unsuccessful.

“As CEO of the Guardian I saw many new digital products innovating in the news/content space. Few cut the mustard,” says Andrew Miller, former CEO of the Guardian and one of Nuzzel’s most recent investors. “An exception however is Nuzzel which successfully declutters my newsfeeds and surfaces only relevant content.”

A financial vote of confidence from those who have had plenty of contact with new approaches to content curation is a promising sign for Nuzzel, which is looking to beef up their offerings for publishers.

For example, we are thinking of how Nuzzel can work with publishers in the future, i.e. perhaps we should offer some sort of widget or way for publishers to use syndicated feeds from Nuzzel,” says Abrams “Those are the kinds of things that these new investors will help advise us on.”

While the funding round is a big step in the right direction for the budding content curation darling, the key to success for Nuzzel will be something that no funding round can provide: more users. With powerful integrations like Slack, Pocket and Buffer, paired with new incentives and tools for publishers and the pedigree of the investors behind it, though, Nuzzel’s just might become content’s next big “must-have.”

Twitter board ‘warming’ to idea of Dorsey as full-time CEO

It has been 89 days since Twitter has had a full-time chief executive. That might change now that the company’s board has reportedly warmed to the idea of making Jack Dorsey, the interim CEO, the permanent leader of the company he co-founded.
The New York Times reports that Twitter’s board is considering the possibility of having Dorsey lead the company again, despite initial misgivings about how he’d do the job while remaining the CEO of Square, the payments company he co-founded.
Dick Costolo left his position as Twitter’s CEO on July 1. “I initiated conversations with some members of the board at the end of last year about CEO succession as I contemplated what was next for me,” Costolo said in June. “And ultimately following discussions with the full board and at February meeting and then at our meeting last week, we agree that now is the right time to begin this transition.”
Costolo remains on Twitter’s board of directors, and is presumably helping the company find his replacement. Yet he has reportedly planned to leave the board — thus severing all ties with the company he led between 2010 and 2015 — as well.
Twitter’s board has been searching for Costolo’s permanent replacement since that announcement was made in June. But now, almost three months after Costolo left, the question of whether or not Dorsey will receive the title remains unanswered.
This has frustrated Chris Sacca, a venture capitalist and Twitter board member. “Good board of directors? They can name a new CEO by the end of the week,” he tweeted when Volkswagen replaced its CEO following the emissions scandal. “But the Twitter board? Nothing for months.” Sacca has been vocal about his support for Dorsey being named Twitter’s CEO and praised the company under his leadership.
There has already been one sign that Dorsey leading both Twitter and Square could benefit the companies: A partnership that makes it easy for Twitter users to donate to politicians. That partnership could, as I argued before, increase the visibility of both services while also giving Twitter users a reason to interact with the service. The two companies could doubtless find other ways to complement each other.
The New York Times is quick to note that Dorsey’s ascension to Twitter’s CEO isn’t guaranteed. The board hasn’t yet made its decision, and things can change quickly. But it seems like Dorsey’s appointment is more likely than it was a few months ago.