Snapchat continues to level its sights against social media rivals, or is at least trying to take a piece of the advertising pie, as billions continue to pour into the digital world of social media.
The company now plans to insert advertisements in between friends' shared stories. Snapchat has already started to do this in sponsored stories but has left the friend-to-friend world alone.
For those unfamiliar with Snapchat, a "story" is when someone posts multiple pictures or videos of their day or events. For instance, if they're traveling somewhere, they may post several pictures or videos of the area or of themselves throughout the day.
They then post this "story" for all of their friends to see. When multiple friends have stories, the Snapchat platform will automatically play each story once you start to watch one. That way, you don't have click on each one to view it.
Snapchat hasn't provided many details on how all of this will work, but it has said the ads won't be placed between snaps in an individual story. Instead, if there are multiple stories, the ads will be placed between them. However, they can also be skipped, meaning users watching the story can tap the screen and the ad will disappear and the next Snap story will begin.
Perhaps the company is gearing up for an initial public offering at some point. Given its advancements pastTwitter (TWTR) - Get Report and soaring popularity, it's perhaps no surprise an IPO could be in the works. Microsoft's (MSFT) - Get Report buyout of LinkedIn (LNKD) for $26.2 billion probably doesn't hurt either.
Shares of Twitter closed at $14.55 Monday, up 3.8%.
Just last month, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report made headlines when it pumped $1 billion into Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing. The company is sure to make life harder in China for a company like Uber and its latest round of funding will continue to supply the service with an ample amount of capital.
We're not talking about the $1 billion Apple invested in Didi. No, we're talking about the additional $600 million it received from China Life Insurance Company, China's largest life insurer.
Didi now boasts some powerful investors. As if Apple and China Life weren't enough, it's also got Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report and Tencent as stakeholders. Reportedly, the valuation is around $25 billion, so it's still smaller than the some $60 billion valuation that Uber has commanded in the past.
Still, its size and investor base is certainly noteworthy to the investment community. The auto industry is an interesting one, as ride-hailing, electric and self-driving vehicles threaten to disrupt the past 100 years of common knowledge in the auto world.
Shares of Apple closed at $97.34 Monday, down 1.5%. Apple also kicked off its Worldwide Developers Conference.
While most Microsoft-related news of the day has centered around its buyout of LinkedIn, the company has also stayed busy in other arenas, one of which is gaming.
The company announced its plans for a new console, the Xbox One S. Don't worry gamers, the console will be compatible with current Xbox One games, but the company wanted to overhaul its capabilities.
Reportedly, the console will include eight CPU cores, designed for 4K-definition gaming, and of course, VR support. While VR is no longer in its infancy, it most certainly is in its toddler years. The question is, will it take off at rapid pace, or be viewed as a niche category. If Facebook's (FB) - Get Report actions say anything, its $2 billion purchase of Oculus VR a few years ago suggest its the former.
Shares of Microsoft closed at $50.14 Monday, down 2.6%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.