December 17' Net Briefs: Video, Venmo & VMware

Facebook Makes Bank, Touts Power of Video
On its Q3 2017 earnings call, Facebook reported advertising revenue growth of 49 percent year over year, and indicated that mobile now accounts for approximately 88 percent of this total. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg indicated the biggest trend on the platform will likely be the continued growth of video, touting that Live videos generate 10 times the number of interactions and comments as other videos. If businesses are not going to pay to play, they better press start on their video strategy.

Local Search Matters
Google unveiled several new features over the past month that reveal its continued (and expanding) focus on all things local. The technology giant, for example, introduced a dashboard within its results pages that enables local businesses to edit or improve their listings. When marketers or business owners locate their company on Google Search, they can now complete, enhance or modify their listing (e.g., correct business information, updated hours), share photos and posts related to their business and even see how many views they are receiving. The company also announced that it had begun adding "wait times" to its local results to show how busy venues were at a particular time of day.

PayPal's Venmo Users Ready to Buy

Users of PayPal's Venmo application can now shop online at more than 2 million U.S. retailers via the mobile Web. Venmo customers can also shop at merchants currently accepting PayPal such as LuLulemon, Forever 21 and Foot Locker using their existing account balance or a linked credit card, debit card or bank account. Businesses using the PayPal or Braintree platforms will also be able to offer Venmo as a mobile payment option.
Java Apps Under Attack
Veracode's 2017 "State of Software Security Report," an annual review of application security testing data, revealed that 88 percent of Java applications contain at least one vulnerable component. In reality, the issue could actually be much worse than many imagine, and it is reason for concern (some would argue panic) for the design and development community. Why? Fewer than 28 percent of companies actually conduct regular composition analysis today in order to understand which components are built into their applications according to Veracode.

Widespread Denial Over DDoS Readiness
A new report by CDNetworks, a global content delivery network (CDN) and cloud security provider, found 88 percent of U.S. businesses claim confidence in their current distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation despite 69 percent having suffered a successful DDoS attack in the last 12 months - the second highest proportion of successful attacks, beaten only slightly by the UK (71 percent).

Does AI Live Up to the Hype?

Almost half of marketers think artificial intelligence is an over-hyped industry buzzword, and 40 percent feel skeptical when they see or hear the term, according to Marketing Flab to Fab, a survey of more than 300 marketers from Resulticks. The marketing automation platform provider also found that 47 percent of marketers believe AI is more fantasy than reality.
+ Cloud infrastructure and digital workspace company VMware announced its plans to acquire VeloCloud Networks, a cloud-delivered software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) technology for enterprises and service providers.

+ The U.S. government will allow veterans to receive GI Bill funding for tuition and living expenses at Coding Dojo's Bellevue campus, which costs more than $10,000 in tuition for its 14-week program.

+ Mobile marketing platform Leanplum announced a $47 million funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Canaan Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Shasta Ventures.

+ Personalization company Reflektion announced an additional $12 million in funding led by Hasso Plattner with participation from existing investors including Battery Ventures and Clear Ventures.

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+ WhatTheFont: An AI-driven design tool to identify fonts.

+ AffiliatesPoint: Retarget users on AdWords or Facebook from any shared link.

+ Mirra:
3-D design tool and PaaS for creating immersive virtual-, augmented- and mix-reality experiences.

+ Repped: A marketplace using machine learning to connect brands and influencers.

+ PushOwl: Push notifications designed for re-engaging Web visitors.

+ Viseo: Bot maker for chatbots and vocal assistants on messaging platforms.

+ A counting and A/B testing API for developers.

+ Pagescreen:
Spot any visual change on a website effortlessly.

+ Rapid: Build real-time apps without maintaining the infrastructure.

+ Ludo: A team building platform for employees, using games.

+ RallyUp: A platform to create and manage online fundraisers.

+ Platypus: Real-time server monitoring and reporting. 

+ Waydev: Software development metrics for non-techies. 

+ Comment moderation for publishers."