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Now marketers of all sizes can make Snapchat ads in 2 minutes

Snap wants to make it easier for advertisers to go vertical.

Starting today, advertisers of all sizes will be able to create full screen video ads in less than two minutes using just a web browser, thanks to a slick new creative tool called Snapchat Publisher.

The tool comes on the heels of a particularly brutal week for Snapchat’s parent Snap, with its stock sliding and several banks cutting their price targets on its stock. The company faces intense pressure to grow its ad business as a newly-public company, with both investors and advertisers being worried about slowing user growth as Instagram ramps up its efforts to crush Snapchat.


Astronomers have detected 'strange signals' coming from a star 11 light-years away

Astronomers say they've detected "strange signals" coming from the direction of a small, dim star located about 11 light-years from Earth.

Researchers picked up the mysterious signals on May 12 using the Arecibo Observatory, a huge radio telescope built inside of a Puerto Rican sinkhole.

The radio signals appear to be coming from Ross 128, a red dwarf star that's not yet known to have any planets and is about 2,800 times dimmer than the sun. Abel Méndez, an astrobiologist at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, said the star was observed for 10 minutes, during which time the signal was picked up and observed to be "almost periodic".

Méndez said it's extremely unlikely that


The new tallest building on the West Coast looks like a giant lightsaber

For all the buzz around Salesforce's massive skyscraper under construction in San Francisco — which will cost an estimated $1 billion to build — the tower can't compete with a new pinnacle to the south.

Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles is now the tallest building on the West Coast, edging out Salesforce Tower by a mere 30 feet. It rises 73 stories (compared to Salesforce's 61) and marks the center of a rapidly developing downtown that's poised to become the "Times Square of the West."


Mobile giant EE is selling phones from vans and pop-up shops as it gets more 'flexible'

LONDON — Mobile operator EE has signed a deal with Sainsbury's to open 100 new "stores within stores" in supermarkets and Argos shops.

The deal is part of a rethink of EE's retail strategy that will make it more "flexible," according to the phone network's head of retail and e-commerce chief, Ettienne Brandt.

"Two years ago, 97% of our estate would be tied up with one lease or another," he told Business Insider. "We'll take that number down to 70% in the next two years."

The concessions in Sainsbury's and Argos will take EE's total number of retail locations to 700 and the expansion will create 400 new jobs.

"We've set ourselves an ambition of getting to 95% of the UK within a 20-minute drive," Brandt told BI.

As part of that ambition, EE is experimenting with new ways of selling phones, including pop-up shops, "cabins", and a van.


STIFEL: Buy Snap because it's what investors want Twitter to be (SNAP)

A few weeks ahead of Snap's lock-up expiration, shares are trading below their $17 initial public offering price. But that might be because of a simple lack of understanding, according to Stifel.

"In our view, Snap is what investors have long wanted (and many still want) Twitter to be; a thriving communications platform for hundreds of millions of high-value consumers whose nimble product innovation can drive engagement / monetization in the face of competition from Internet behemoths like Google, Facebook, and Amazon," Scott Devitt, an analyst at Stifel, wrote in a note sent out to clients on Thursday.

He says that Twitter's main attraction to investors is that they understand, use and love the platform. Snap, on the other hand, is not aimed at investors and the community has yet to understand its platform and its users.


Here's everything we know about Aston Martin's $3 million Valkyrie hypercar

In March 2016, Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing announced to the world plans for what they called the "ultimate hypercar." Over the past year or so, details surrounding the upcoming Valkyrie hypercar have slowly trickled out.

The Valkyrie project is unlike anything Aston has ever endeavored to undertake. With design boss Marek Reichman and Red Bull's legendary Formula One racing guru Adrian Newey at the helm, the Valkyrie is expected to deliver performance far exceeding that of Aston's fire-breathing Vulcan track-only hypercar.

In fact, it's expected to put Aston Martin on equal footing with the latest hypercars from Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche.


This former Twitter exec thinks he's found the next Salesforce — and it just hit $108 million in funding (TWTR)

It's not everyday that Ali Rowghani joins a board of directors.

The Y Combinator Partner and former COO of Twitter only sits on three or four boards at a time. Now now he's added a startup named Segment to that list.

Segment offers a marketing platform that lets companies track and consolidate customer data. Its service is used by businesses like Glossier and Instacart to understand how consumers reach and interact with their services, whether through a marketing email or by going directly to their e-commerce sites.


Google has made a major post-Brexit investment in the UK by opening new data centres (GOOG)

Google has made a major post-Brexit investment in the UK, opening its first cloud data centres in London.

The company wouldn't confirm where exactly its data centres are located, or whether they were leased or built by Google.

Google has spent $30 billion (£23 billion) in expanding Google Cloud to date, but doesn't break out regional spend.

This is Google's second batch of cloud data centres in the EU after Belgium, with three "availability zones" in London. The upshot for UK firms using Google Cloud is reduced latency and better customer service. Google promised round-trip latency reductions for UK customers of between 40% and 82%, versus its Belgium region.


Fintech CurrencyCloud tapped up investors months before Google raise

LONDON — A fintech business backed by Google's venture capital arm went to its investors for cash just months before raising money from the search giant, accounts show.

CurrencyCloud, which provides a platform to process international payments, raised £9.5 million from its existing investors in December 2016. The company had £10.5 million in the bank at the end of the month, accounts show, suggesting the platform had around £1 million left at the time of the fundraising.

The company says in its 2016 accounts that the cash call was necessary to "continue to achieve [its] goals" of developing its payment platform, expand its payout network (where people can collect cash that has been sent internationally), and to grow its customer base.

The investment was not announced at the time. CurrencyCloud went on to


The most technologically advanced bike at the Tour de France is made by a German company that's coming to America and sells direct online only — and it could give veterans Trek and Specialized a run f

BELFORT, France — The most technologically advanced bike at the Tour de France, the world's biggest cycling race, is Alexander Kristoff's Canyon Aeroad CF SLX with disc brakes, SRAM eTap, and ZIPP 454 NSW wheels.