Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report continues to get involved in what seems like every aspect of the tech and retail world. It streams video and music, makes tablets and is even getting into its own logistics (possibly via drone delivery). Amid all of its other businesses, the company can now add a competitor to Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report YouTube to the mix, with its Amazon Video Direct.
Amazon Video Direct is an "enhancement" to Amazon Video, the company said in a press release. Amazon went on to say it's "a new self-service program for creators and storytellers to make their video content available to Amazon customers."
Amazon Prime members will receive the added service for free and non-Prime members can still access the service so long as they are willing to sit through ad-support videos. Of course, they can pay to have the ads removed (or just become Prime members).
The e-commerce juggernaut has been hit-and-miss with its new business attempts. Some products failed, like the Fire smartphone, while others, like its cloud-based products in Amazon Web Services, have been a grand slam.
So far, it's unclear if Amazon will displace YouTube, but it's always interesting to see what it will roll out. One thing is clear, CEO Jeff Bezos isn't afraid of anyone.
Shares of Amazon closed at a new high of $703.07 Tuesday, up 3.4%.
Last week, Apple's (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report App Store experienced a problem where users couldn't find certain applications by searching for them, even when searching by the direct name. The effect didn't go unfelt, as 65% of all applications saw downloads fall by 10% or more.
In some cases, a 10% slowdown was actually good compared to some of the losses felt by others. Roughly 15% of apps lost more than 50% of their downloads.
It should be noted that once the issues began popping up on the morning of May 5, Apple had already addressed the problems and fixed it by 11 a.m. PT. Still, many applications were, at least temporarily, impacted as a result.
It just goes to show that despite the size and strength, any company can be vulnerable.
Shares of Apple closed $93.42 Tuesday, up 0.7%.
Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report continues to peer into the future. First with its acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR for some $2 billion and now with its Facebook Messenger chatbots. A chatbot is a computer program that can it is capable of having conversation with humans.
Facebook has been deploying these chatbots in Facebook Messenger, which can be used by companies to engage consumers. For instance, Activision's Call of Duty bot has been pretty busy, exchanging over 6 million messages with fans in its first week.
According to Facebook, tens of thousands of developers are working on these chatbots, which if true, will make them much more prevalent in the future. Facebook's analytics system will be able to monitor the bots, and decipher how effective they are with users.
Facebook is looking to make a connection between businesses and its users. If users engage the business, the business now has an opened window in which it can connect with its consumers and potential customers.
The company has realized that touch-tone phone calls and waiting times aren't what people on the go want to deal with. Consumers want solutions and answers right away, and with Messenger, Facebook is hoping they can be part of the solution.
Shares of Facebook closed at $120.50 Tuesday, up 1.05%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.