Amazon Alexa

Facebook's lip-sync app and other tech news you missed

Saudi conference
The Future Investment Initiative FII conference in Riyadh. Photo: Fayes Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

In the middle of a continued moral reckoning in the tech industry, a number of the major public companies announced their quarterly earnings this week, with mixed results. Here are five stories in tech news you may have missed.

Catch up quick: Facebook is reportedly building a lip-syncing app for teens to rival Tik Tok; Saudi Arabia signed business deals worth $50 billion at the Future Investment Initiative; conservative political apps are taking off; Vancouver has hot and cold relations with Chinese investments; and stock trading on Alexa is not as simple as it sounds.

Amazon's ad business grows 123%

Amazon logo on the side of a building.
Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images.

Amazon reported its earnings Thursday with updates on its devotion toward advertising and "sales related to our other service offerings," which made nearly $2.5 billion in net sales in just the third quarter of 2018, The Atlantic reports.

Why it matters: Amazon has streamlined its ads to work on nearly every platform so advertisers can purchase ads in a bundle of Alexa, Kindle, Amazon.com banners and on television. Amazon's ad business has more than doubled from Q3 of 2017, when it made $1.12 billion. Brands have since upped their ad spending on Amazon by 250%.

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