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Interesting Reads. Industry news that you may have missed.

How McDonald’s designs its wildly popular sweepstakes – Fast Company

Fast food company McDonald’s is not new to the sweepstakes game. Over the span of 40 years, it has offered the chance for people to win items ranging from actual diamonds to free hash browns. On Halloween, McDonald’s wrapped up its first sweepstakes in nearly two years called Trick. Treat. Win! It featured QR-coded game pieces that required an app to unlock, which coaxed 5 million people to download the official McDonald’s app in the last week alone.

Source: Fast Company

Amazon Plans to Split HQ2 Between Long Island City, N.Y., and Arlington, Va. – The New York Times

Amazon has conducted a yearlong search for a second location and is now expected to split across two states. The company is finalizing plans to have a total of 50,000 employees in Long Island City, N.Y. and Arlington, Va. Amazon already has more employees in those two cities than anywhere else outside of the Bay Area and its home base in Seattle.

Source: The New York Times

Social media growth is over in the U.S. — which is its most valuable market – Recode

The growth of social media came by a storm – Apple even created a tool to help people monitor how much time they spend on their social channels. This wave is slowing down as social media companies aren’t growing as quickly as they used to, and in some cases, they aren’t growing at all. In the U.S., Twitter and Snapchat are both losing users.

Source: Recode

Say Goodbye to Blurry Smartphone Pictures: A.I. Is Here to Help – The Wall Street Journal

Smartphone cameras are stepping up its picture quality with the help of artificial intelligence. The new features bring the ability to capture pro-quality images saving people from lugging around their DSLR. The new generation of built-in cameras is decked out with extra lenses, customizable settings, advanced algorithms, and powerful sensors to capture a wider range of light – optimal for Instagram.