Teespring, the merch manufacturer that works with countless creators — operating direct integrations with platforms like YouTube and Twitch — has announced today the appointment of Frost Li, a veteran Silicon Valley adviser who has previously brought her proficiency for data and machine learning to Twitter, Pinterest, and Wish.
Teespring says it is tapping Li as an ‘executive growth advisor’ to help it navigate an upward curve of “hyper growth.” She will be tasked with using data analysis and machine learning to inform strategies across customer acquisition, activation, and retention. The length of her tenure will continue through “2020 and beyond,” Teespring said.
At Wish, where she also served in an advisory capacity, the ecommerce platform gained over 500 million users. Li also focused on machine learning-driven automation at Pinterest to shore up the company’s manual marketing cycles. She is also the founder of HackerMeter — a startup that analyzes programmers’ coding to match them up with corporate roles that might suit them best — which was later acquired by Pinterest.
Teespring says its period of hyper-growth kicked off roughly two years ago when it began the aforementioned platform integrations. In 2019, the company says it onboarded over 110,000 creators, for whom it helps design, promote, and sell merch. Teespring was profitable for the first time last year, says CEO Chris Lamontagne. New product additions include fully-branded online stores — including customized URLs, storefronts, and packaging — and Teespring Go, which provides sourcing, fulfillment, and customer service support for other products that creators want to sell (that aren’t made by Teespring).
Netflix on Friday dropped a brand new teaser for Stranger Things Season 4, and it confirms the return of Hopper, the beloved character who was seemingly killed off at the close of Stranger Things Season 3.
The series has been typically shrouded in secrecy about what is coming, meaning that fans were left questioning whether David Harbor would be back.
Now, we have confirmation that he will be back and that he is being held against his will.
Raise your hand if you predicted that development!
“We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway — and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper!” the Duffer Brothers said in a statement.
“Although it’s not all good news for our ‘American’; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human… and other.”
The creators’ statement continues with a tease of what’s to come for Eleven and her Hawkins friends:
“Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything.”
“Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime, pray for the American.”
Stranger Things Season 3 bowed on Netflix in July 2019, and given the delayed starting date on production on the fourth season, we could be looking at a 2021 launch.
There have been conflicting reports on whether the series will wrap up after the fourth season, with some outlets claiming that the fourth season will be split into two parts.
For now, we know the series is returning for a fourth season with a fan-favorite character, so that’s a win.
Stranger Things Season 3 wrapped with Eleven leaving town with the Byers family.
What are your thoughts on the news?
Are you happy Hopper is alive?
What the heck is going on in Russia?
Hit the comments below and watch the full teaser below.
YouTube TV is completely disentangling itself from Apple.
While YouTube TV already stopped letting new subscribers sign up for its service via Apple’s App Store last June — due to the fact that Apple takes a substantial cut of all subscriptions tendered there — the skinny bundle service notified users in an email that existing App Store subscriptions will be discontinued in March.
“You’re currently subscribed to YouTube TV through Apple in-app purchases, so we’re writing to let you know that, starting March 13, 2020, YouTube TV will no longer accept payment through Apple in-app purchases,” reads the email, per MacRumors. “You’ll be billed for one final month of service and then your in-app purchase subscription will be canceled automatically on your billing date after March, 13, 2020.”
Of course, YouTube TV subscribers can renew their subscriptions through other venues, including the Google Play store or on the web. And YouTube TV subscribers will still be able to consume content on Apple devices, MacRumors notes; the iOS app will continue to exist, just without the ability to initiate a subscription.
Apple takes a 30% cut of all subscriptions bought on the App Store for the first year of service, which drops to 15% in year two.
In its most recent earnings report, parent company Google confirmed that YouTube TV had upwards of 2 million subscribers in the U.S. — which adds up to a pretty penny to be sharing with a middleman. YouTube TV is priced at $50 per month, and was previously available via the App Store at $55 per month to offset Apple’s cut.
When Instagram transitioned from a reverse chronological feed to an algorithmically-derived one back in 2016, the move was met with widespread condemnation from both creators and users alike.
But now, Techcrunch reports, the photo and video platform may be looking to walk back its decision — slightly — with a new ‘Latest Posts‘ option. The prototype — meaning that the feature is not in beta testing but is likely being piloted by Instagram internally — was first spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, who has uncovered countless social media app updates (including, most recently, a monetization program prototype for IGTV) by reverse engineering their code.
According to Techcrunch, Latest Posts isn’t a full-fledged reverse-chronological feed option. Instead, it appears as a pop-up over a user’s primary feed, showcasing all the latest content in their network. In this respect, while parent company Facebook does offer users the ability to consume their News Feeds in reverse chronological order, the Latest Posts feature would instead serve to give Instagrammers a glimpse of what’s happening in any given moment.
Per screencaps obtained by Wong, a pop-up window states ‘Welcome Back’ and offers users the option to get caught up on 11 recent posts, with ‘See Posts’ and ‘Not Now’ options.
While Instagram has yet to budge on its commitment to a reverse-chronological feed since making the change — despite creator concerns that their posts were not being distributed and users angered by the prospect of missing out on content — it did subsequently roll out a ‘You’re All Caught Up‘ notification in July 2018. The notification shows up after users have scrolled past all of their followed contentin a 48-hour period. Before that, in March, Instagram rolled out two key updates to feeds, ensuring that newer posts would be more likely to appear first and adding a ‘New Posts‘ button enabling users to decide when they wanted to refresh.
You can check out screencaps of the ‘Latest Posts’ prototype, as uncovered by Wong, below:
Instagram is working on “Latest Posts” feed for catching up feed posts
Movie legend Al Pacino tells TV&Satellite Week about his first regular TV role in Amazon Prime Video’s new 10-part series, Hunters
Al Pacino has much to celebrate when he turns 80 this year. Not only is he the undisputed godfather of film, but the actor now reigns supreme on streaming services, following up Netflix hit The Irishman with a 10-part thriller, Hunters, which launches on Amazon Prime Video.
Produced by Oscar-winning writer-director Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us), the drama is set in 1977 and stars Pacino as wealthy businessman and Holocaust survivor Meyer Hofferman, who leads a gang of New York-based vigilantes on a quest to hunt down former Nazis who are living in the US under fake identities.
When an old friend and ally is shot dead in her own home, Meyer finds a potential new recruit in her lost and lonely grandson, Jonah Heidelbaum (Percy Jackson star Logan Lerman), who is thirsty for revenge.
A ragtag team of vigilantes hunt down Nazis in 1970s America (credit: Courtesy Amazon Prime Video)
If Jonah is to join the highly skilled gang – which includes master of disguise Lonny Flash (How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor) and weapons expert Mindy Markowitz (Gotham’s Carol Kane) – he must agree to serve up brutal justice.
But with razor-sharp FBI agent Millie Morris (Grey’s Anatomy’s Jerrika Hinton) and sadistic neo-Nazi fixer Travis Leich (Greg Austin) on their tail, will the Hunters succeed in stopping the threat of a Fourth Reich?
TV&Satellite Week chatted to The Godfather and Scarface star Al Pacino to find out more about Hunters…
Why did you choose Hunters for your first regular TV series role?
Al Pacino: “This show is so eccentric and eclectic. It’s a horror, but it’s also funny and tragic at the same time. I read the script and thought, ‘This is something I could really get into.’”
Did you enjoy the experience?
“I loved the freedom of it, and it reminded me of the good old days when I was doing theatre in New York and everyone was experimenting. I’m partial to trying different things, and Hunters is unlike anything I’ve seen before.”
“I like an unpredictable character, someone who can go either way, and Meyer is just that. Like the show, you never know where he’s going next. He has an interesting and strange past.”
How did it feel to be playing a Holocaust survivor?
“I’m educated on it and I grew up in the South Bronx, where I was immersed in Jewish culture and had lots of close Jewish friends, but it’s very difficult to understand something like the Holocaust. It’s so profound.”
Meyer becomes Logan’s mentor, and as the most experienced actor on set, did you find yourself in that role off-screen, too?
“Logan is young, yes, but he’s worked his whole life and is very experienced, as is the entire cast. I worked with Carol Kane in the theatre in the 1970s and she starred in Dog Day Afternoon. But we were all filming together for five months and we became a sort of troupe, like one big family.”
Will we see you in more TV series now?
“Well, I’m still making films… I’m in one now, The Irishman! I didn’t used to watch that much television, but after doing this show, I’ve now got Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu, and like everyone, I’m always searching for things to watch. Logan says I’ve got to watch Fleabag.”
Al Pacino in 1972 film The Godfather
Do you watch your own movies?
“Only before they’re released so I can have a say and give some feedback. But once they’re out, I don’t look at them again. Lately though, and I don’t know if it’s because of my old age – I blame everything on old age nowadays – I’ve been watching a lot of my old movies.”
And what do you think looking back?
“It helps me get some perspective. I’m not overly critical, but I’m just learning from it. Maybe it’s also because they hold memories for me of people I’ve loved who are gone now. It’s nostalgic, like looking at old photographs.”
Can you pick out a favourite film?
“Some are better than others, let’s face it, but it’s like comparing your kids. I suppose it has to be The Godfather  because my whole life changed after that movie. However, I recently watched Dog Day Afternoon  and what a film that is. But then there’s Scarface … OK, I can’t choose.”
Hunters launches on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 21 February