follow my triller teehee
— charli d’amelio (@charlidamelio) September 15, 2020
The app has recently ramped up its outreach to influencers as it tries to expand its reach and build on its recent growth. Speaking today at TechCrunch Disrupt, Triller CEO Mike Lu said the company has begun to make deals with influencers, including the D’Amelio, though he didn’t share details of the arrangements. “Up until a month ago, we had never paid anyone to make a video,” Lu said.
Now the company is hoping its growing ranks of influencers will help the app expand its audience further. The app recently appointed Josh Richards, the 18-year-old TikTok star, its Chief Strategy Officer tasked with helping lure other social media celebrities. “Every day you’ll see some really big names,” Lu said of the company’s efforts to win over creators.
Launched in 2015, Triller looks a lot like TikTok at first glance. The app features two feeds with an endless stream of videos, and has slick editing controls for users who want to shoot their own clips. The LA-based company has made a name for itself with artists, thanks to its early focus on music videos, but also has influencer-friendly features and allows the app’s creators to monetize their content.
These features made Triller especially well-positioned to swoop in as questions mounted about TikTok’s future. (Lu also notes that Triller collects far less user data than TikTok.
It’s not just Gen-Z, either. Triller also made headlines when Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. joined the app amid the president’s threats to ban TikTok. While it’s not yet clear how their presence on the app has affected the platform, just the threat of a ban has benefitted the app significantly.
The app reached the number one spot in the US App Store the day after Trump said he wanted to ban the service. It also hit the top spot in India after TikTok was banned in the country. Triller app has been number one more than 80 countries this summer, Lu said. It’s been downloaded more than 250 million times around the world, the company told CNBC last month.
“It’s great to see that the world sees us as a natural successor to TikTok,” Lu said. “We’re definitely on a rocket ship… and we don’t see that slowing down any time soon.”
Still, Triller could see some of its recent momentum slow now that TikTok has reached a deal to remain in the US. TikTok stars who may have once been worried about having to restart their careers on another service will no longer need to worry about their audience disappearing overnight.
But if the company can continue to win over influencers with paid deals and monetization features, it could become even more of a threat to TikTok.
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The Polestar Precept, an electric sedan powered by Android, is going into production
In February, Chinese electric vehicle company Polestar revealed a gorgeous sedan concept called the Precept that featured a stunning design along with an interior chock-full of sustainable material. But as with most concepts, it wasn’t clear whether the Precept would ever be a real car. Today, Polestar sweeps away that uncertainty by announcing that the seductive sedan will indeed be going into production.
Polestar started out as the performance sub-brand of Volvo and now has emerged as one of the more interesting Chinese EV companies on the market. The company, which is jointly owned by Volvo and Volvo’s parent company Geely, recently started delivering the Polestar 2, its electric sedan with native Android Automotive, to customers in Europe and North America.
Its next car was supposed to be an SUV, the Polestar 3. But now it seems the automaker will be making another sedan first — which is totally fine. One of the best things about the Polestar 2 (which I got to drive last month and thoroughly enjoyed) is that it isn’t an SUV. It may be based on the Volvo XC40 platform, but unlike the Audi E-tron or the Mercedes EQC, the Polestar is essentially a hatchback disguised as a sedan. But the fact that Volvo went with a vehicle that wasn’t a pickup truck or SUV as its first battery-electric car is encouraging.
Also encouraging is Polestar’s commitment to sustainability. When it was first released in concept form, the company laid out the Precept’s environmental bona fides: interior panels and seat backs are made out of “flax-based composites”; seats that have been “3D-knitted from recycled PET [or polyethylene terephthalate] bottles”; bolsters and headrests made from recycled cork vinyl; and carpets made out of reclaimed fishing nets.
“Consumers want to see change from this industry – not just dreams,” Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, said in a statement. “Now, Precept becomes an even stronger statement. We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our cars and our business. The aim has to be climate neutrality, even though I recognize that is a long-term goal.”
Polestar also has teased a deeper integration of Android Automotive, Google’s native infotainment system, in the Precept. The sedan will recognize the driver as they approach the car and automatically ready their favorite applications and settings. Google Assistant would recognize more languages, including local accents, and be capable of more natural conversations. Polestar also imagines video streaming becoming a bigger component of the in-car experience — while parked or during charging, of course.
No word yet on when the Precept will go into production. Polestar also declined to release relevant specs such as price, battery size, range, and motor configuration.
Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds Live wireless earbuds are $35 off at Woot
Samsung’s fantastic Galaxy Buds Live, lovingly referred to as “Galaxy Beans” due to their shape, are $35 off at Woot if you’re an Amazon Prime member. This brings the cost from $170 down to $135 (just make sure you’re signed in with your Prime account on Woot). If you aren’t a Prime member, you can still get a great deal. It’s $25 off, so $145 at checkout. These sale prices will last until later tonight, unless it sells out before then.
My colleagues Chris Welch and Becca Farsace spent quality time with the Galaxy Buds Live, and you can check out the video review above or the written post here. What stands out in this model, compared to the cheaper Galaxy Buds Plus and other models, is their unconventional design, lengthy battery life and powerful sound. They boast noise cancellation, but they agree that you shouldn’t count on the buds much to silence your surroundings.
The new Apple Watch SE usually starts at $279, but you can get a small but welcome $10 discount on the 40mm GPS version at B&H Photo, bringing it down to $269. Anything that narrows the gap between this newer, faster model and the older Series 3 is a good thing in my book.
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