Do Not Read Until Monday: August 14
Though this message may bubble up for you Friday, enjoy your afternoon with a nice LaCroix-cktail instead and Do Not Read Until Monday!
Oh Hail No: The latest in “ride-sharing”
After waiting for it for some time, a scientific study now shows that ride-sharing/car-sharing/ride-hailing/bootleg-cab services like Uber and Lyft likely lead to fewer car purchases. Those two services leaving Austin provided the backdrop for the study, with 9 percent saying they bought cars as they could no longer rely on the apps. With that news, maybe it’s time to update this.
Speaking of reliability, you can always bet on a bit of Uber drama any given week. This time, it’s former CEO Travis Kalanick getting sued for fraud by an investor, with an end goal of removing him from the Uber board. This overshadowed an interesting new feature announced the same day: in-app messaging. Though it may seem minor, it might lead to more driver-rider privacy and safety.
Meanwhile, small-but-fierce competitor Lyft, which has seem dramatic growth in 2017, nabbed two start-ups it hope will help drive even more sign-ups. While it’s becoming a more viable market player, it may be losing a little soul: It recently requested drivers vet any comments to media through corporate, sparking worries over censorship. (Stay chill, Lyft. Stay chill for June.)
This Week in Snapchat Vs. The World: Uh-oh
This week wasn’t good for Snapchat following its Q2 reporting, but let’s focus on the positive: That dancing hot dog received 1.5 BILLION views.
Snapchat also has a show graduating to real-TV TV. So it’s still comfortable in its effortlessly cool cultural-phenomenon shorts-and-sandals, just not at home in a Wall Street suit-and-tie. User growth is slowing (7M for Q2 vs. 8M in Q1), losses continued ($443M) and Spectacles sales have shrunk (~66% vs. Q1). Revenue was up 153% year over year at $181.7M, but that missed market expectations by roughly $5M.
Who ripped them off? Facebook actually shut down (one of) its (many) Snapchat clones, so that’s a win.
The Verdict: The World by KO.
Don’t Cross the Streams: Facebook launches ‘Watch’ & Disney dumps Netflix
Facebook launched its foray into episodic video content after talking about for like for-*%&ing-ever. ‘Watch’ will have its home in a dedicated video tab in Facebook’s mobile app and is currently rolling out to select users. Content seems to largely dig into what would generally be YouTube fare, but knowing Facebook, they’ll probably look to expand this in time.
YouTube, meanwhile, offered a new shorthand for creators to understand how their videos can be monetized, and ways to appeal advertising bans. It’s also building its presence on actual TVs, something that correlates with statements that viewers are breaking up with linear TV ‘faster than you probably think’.
Speaking of conscious uncouplings, Disney will break things off with Netflix in 2019, in order to, y’know, be by itself for a while. This could result in separate Marvel and Star Wars streaming services, and Netflix is hoping they can still be friends. It also stacked its deck by acquiring Millarworld, a comic publisher from the guy behind Kick-Ass and Kingsman.
Odds & The End:
- Facebook launched two initiatives to clean up its advertising: Excluding accidental clicks to save advertisers money, and going after deceptive posts. (Now if they can only get these bootleg band t-shirts and art prints off my feed.)
- Instagram Live now allows adding a ‘guest’ – perfect for brands and influencers, no? And speaking of adding a user, @apple’s now on the platform, and it’s uh …kinda thirsty.
- Google will soon tell websites when they have annoying ads.
- Echo should soon support multi-room audio. And oh hej! Ikea’s supporting smart home tech now.
- August 14, 2017