Today in the Connected Economy: Google Wants a More Shoppable YouTube


Today in the connected economy, Google begins unveiling new features designed to create a better shopping experience on its search engine and YouTube. Also, Twitter is closing offices as the company shifts to a work-from-home model, and Spotify ends production on its in-car audio device Car Thing.

Google Rolls out Tweaks to Make YouTube, Search More Shoppable

Google has begun quietly launching new features to build a better buying experience, part of the search giant’s ongoing efforts to transform its commerce product offerings.

The company spoke about these plans during parent firm Alphabet’s second-quarter earnings call, with CEO Sundar Pichai and senior leadership discussing major enhancements in commerce and shopping features on Google and YouTube.

“There’s also a lot of potential for shopping on YouTube,” Pichai told analysts, noting that YouTube TV exceeded 5 million paid subscribers in the second quarter.

“Just last week, we announced a partnership with Shopify. It will help creators easily connect their stores to YouTube and enable shopping across their livestreams and videos. There’s more to come here.”

Twitter Shutters Offices in Move to Work From Home

Twitter is closing offices around the world and moving to a remote work system in an effort to cut costs.

The social media giant told employees it is dramatically scaling back its physical presence in its home city of San Francisco, as well as a number of other cities, but isn’t planning to cut jobs.

“I want to make it clear that this does not change our commitment to the work in each of these markets,” Dalana Brand, Twitter’s chief people officer, said in a memo to workers. “If certain offices were to close, there would be no impact to Tweeps’ employment; they would simply transition to full-time WFH employees.”

Spotify Ends Production of ‘Car Thing’ Smart Player

Spotify has ceased production on its in-car smart player Car Thing, the streaming company said in its earnings report.

The report says Spotify missed its gross margins in the second quarter of 2022, adding they were “negatively impacted by our decision to stop manufacturing Car Thing,” a move that will lead to a $31.4 million charge.

Spotify introduced Car Thing in April of 2021, saying it was meant to address its users’ need for “a seamless and personalized in-car listening experience.”

FaceCake, Company.Com Collaborate on ‘Self-Serve’ AR Commerce

FaceCake has joined forces with financial services platform to let customers access FaceCake’s augmented reality (AR) visual commerce platform.

“This first-to-market AR ‘self-serve’ capability will provide instant and easy sign-up options with automated onboarding, making the integration of FaceCake’s immersive AR technology a frictionless process, regardless of the size of the retailer or brand,” the companies said in a news release.

The firms say the platform is due to launch globally in the fourth quarter of this year, a combination of FaceCake’s AI/AR shopping platform and AR product creation and’s Digital Experience Platform (DXP).

Santander CIB, SAP Team to Digitize Transaction Banking

Santander Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) has launched a strategic partnership with SAP Spain, aimed at improving digitalization across global transaction banking services by stimulating co-innovation.

The companies say the partnership will focus on solutions around the idea of invisible banking, improving client-to-bank connectivity, and offering financial tools to help each firm’s customers navigate supply chain disruptions and speed the decarbonization of their industrial activities.

The first initiative sees Santander enhancing its connectivity capabilities by joining SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity (MBC), making it the first bank in the European Union to do so.

Genesis Global Raises $20M in Additional Funding to Drive IT Innovation

Low-code application development platform Genesis Global raised $20 million from the Bank of America, BNY Mellon and Citi.

The funding follows a $200 million Series C funding round announced in February and is earmarked to drive low-code technology to accelerate IT innovation.

Genesis CEO Stephen Murphy said the new funding shows investor “confidence in low-code as an accelerator for the next wave of IT innovation” and that his company is looking forward to working with backers on “multiple innovative projects.”