Uber, Lyft show divergent strategies; Twitter tackles meddling – Do Not Read Until Monday

Don’t labor over this – or anything. Do Not Read Until Tuesday!


Shower thought: Is Lyft v Uber having a Coke v Pepsi moment?

Uber made a lot of noise this week with several disparate announcements:

Truly, it was a week to make the company look like one at the cutting edge of transportation technology and cultural trends. And it paid off too, as to do all this, it got a massive cash injection from Toyota.

Meanwhile, ride-hailing competitor Lyft’s biggest news for the week was the announcement its riders have raised over $1 million for the Girls Who Code charity since it debuted its Round Up and Donate feature.

It really shows a contrast in how the companies portray themselves: League-leader (and sometimes ethically beleaguered) Uber sinks cash into R&D, while Lyft portrays itself as a champion of community. Uber is also seeking to distance itself from its Kalanick-era scandals, which Lyft saw a niche opportunity to be a sensible alternative.

In a sense, it’s a Coke-Pepsi moment – they have different flavors that appeal to different people, and each have diehard proponents, though they essentially do the same thing*. Uber for the tech-minded, Lyft for the vote-with-your-wallet contingent.


*And have the same background-checking issues. Eek.


Twitter tags in with its own “issue ad” policy

While Facebook draws most eyes (and ire) for its policies seeking to prevent political meddling, Twitter has been facing a reckoning of its own the part it plays in misinformation. This week, it kicked things off by banishing 486* accounts.

While that may seem like a relatively small amount, it shows the company will continue to weed out bad actors, as it just last week banned about 300 more. It has also made sure to document misinformation is coming from both ends of the political spectrum.

However, what might have more impact is its decision to label political ‘issue’ ads. With this change, money spent to promote issues and opinions will be made more apparent to users. And while, following some backlash from publishers, there will be some exemptions for promoting dialogue, the standards for those exemptions are pretty rigid. For example, any publisher wishing to skirt the label will need at least 200,000 followers.

There’s still the issue of orchestrated ‘organic’ campaigns though, and that’s concerning considering there are still some ‘huge’ campaigns out there.


*What’s next, a Pentium?


I’m so sorry.



Odds + The End


Heavy Meddling Continues on Facebook – Do Not Read Until Monday


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