LinkedIn Launches News Feed, Amazon Counters Counterfeiters, Robots Make Deliveries -- Tech Roundup - TheStreet

LinkedIn has become a go-to, professional tool for nearly a half billion people worldwide. They use the site and app to find jobs and network, but these episodes occur quickly.

The division of software powerhouse Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report wants to convince them to linger and its views timely, tailored content as its currency.

Today, LinkedIn announced the introduction of Trending Storylines, a news feed that covers important and trending news articles and can be personalized to fit a user's interests. A group of 24 LinkedIn editors choose stories but the company also uses an algorithm based on an individual's past viewing habits and communications with other LinkedIn users to pinpoint or add selections.

"Today we announced the launch of Trending Storylines, curated interest-based feeds that surface developing stories to help you discover and discuss news, ideas, and diverse perspectives from the largest group of professionals, publishers and editorial voices ever assembled."

The initiative dovetails with recent trends at major social media sites, which are trying to become comprehensive resources for consumers. They see a powerful link between the amount of useful, entertaining content they provide, and their ability to increase loyal users. That in turn, may lead to growing ad revenues from brands.

LinkedIn, which was founded in 2013, has nearly a half billion registered users. Microsoft acquired the company in 2016 for $26 billion

With its focus on professional networking and services, LinkedIn is considered differently from


(FB) - Get Report

and other social media sites that are more recreational. Yet it has been no less eager to find ways to grow. The company has already made significant changes for users to access information more easily that is of interest to them.

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The news articles will come from sources outside LinkedIn and cover a range of topics. The company said in an announcement that users will be able to "see what stories are developing,...go deep to learn" more and "get diverse perspectives on every story."

Trending Storylines will allow users to follow "people and topics." The company says that it will "increasingly reflect" someone's "professional interests."

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Facebook announced that it users can now broadcast live video to Facebook from their laptop or desktop computers. Users previously only had this capability from mobile devices. The company also said that it would make it easier for individuals "to use streaming software or external hardware when going live from a computer."

Users can now share their screens, use graphics, different cameras and other professional equipment. They will be able to broadcast to Facebook Groups, Events in which they participate or Pages that they manage.

The initiative is the company's latest effort to incorporate more video services into its offerings.

Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report has faced at times heated criticism for its inability or seeming unwillingness to ensure that it is not selling counterfeit goods.

The e-commerce pioneer has been sensitive to the problem, which has hurt merchants, including some of its largest suppliers. Some companies, including shoe manufacturer Birkenstock, will no longer sell their wares on the Amazon site. Others, including most notably Apple, have filed suit against merchants selling cheap, authentic-looking knockoffs of their products on the Amazon site.

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But on Monday, Peter Faricy, the vice president of Amazon Marketplace, told Reutersit would expand its efforts to prevent the sale of counterfeits by creating a brand registry. Starting in April, companies will be able to register their logos and intellectual property so that Amazon can remove listings and suspend counterfeit sellers' accounts.

The brand registry has been in a test phase. It will be free in North America.

Shoppers, brands or Amazon can pick out counterfeit goods through the brand registry. Amazon will also provide a service, which will allow sellers to cross check products with a code.

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It seems that everything is heading the way of automation these days.

Even food delivery.

San Francisco-based DoorDash, which provides restaurant delivery service in more than 300 cities, announced that it would move to the next stage of its robot-powered delivery service.

DoorDash will launch a small fleet of six robots tomorrow in Redwood City, Calif. The company has been piloting robot usage in the city, which perches about 25 miles from San Francisco and San Jose. The robots, which have six wheels and the squat shape of a picnic cooler, will deliver meals from a number local restaurants.

They carry a speed of four miles, roughly the same pace as a pedestrian and have a three-mile radius. A British company, Starship Technologies manufactures the robots.

The launch comes as an increasing number of companies look to automate more daily tasks. They see this as a way to provide a higher level of customer service and to limit the number of errors.

DoorDash founder Stanley Tang said that the company would use the robots to deliver small meals over the shortest distances, which do not tend to be as lucrative as longer routes for DoorDash employees.

"We expect to use robots to deliver these smaller, short-distance orders that Dashers often avoid, thereby freeing up Dashers to fulfill the bigger and more complex deliveries that often result in more money for them," Tang wrote in a January blog item on the company's website.

But Tang also said that the robots wouldn't replace DoorDash couriers. A courier will accompany the robot to its destination.

The robots store food in a compartment that the restaurant or handler closes and locks. Customers receive a link that allows them to access their delivery.

"Dashers"- DoorDash's human couriers - will not be phased out. "We've found that the robots are better suited to the smaller, short-distance orders that Dashers often avoid, thereby freeing up Dashers to fulfill the bigger and more complex deliveries that often result in more money for them," DoorDash co-founder and chief product officer Stanley Tang told BuzzFeed.

The company will collect data on the robots programs ability to delivery food on time, and on the reaction of customers. It is already expanding the program to Washington D.C. and Virginia.

At the time of publication, the author