Twitter & Spotify make big moves & money, and Facebook turns 15
Snow telling what may happen next week so get out in the sun and Do Not Read Until Monday.
This week has gone to the underdogs
Let’s catch up with some of the smaller contenders in social and digital, who had a pretty good week overall.
A true comeback story in recent years, Twitter may be at risk after recent numbers revealed a decrease in monthly active users. At 321 million, it’s a 5 million dip from the previous quarter and down 9 million from last year.
It wasn’t all bad news, though, as Twitter reported a 16% decrease in reports of abuse year over year – which hopefully correlates with a decrease in *actual* abuse – and a tidy profit as well. It’s annual profit for 2018 ended at $1.2 billion, just a liiiiiiittle bit better than its $108 million loss in 2017.
To help its MAU problem, it’s apparently just going to stop reporting them. Instead, it will focus on daily active users, where it sits at 126 million currently. This is behind Facebook and even Snapchat, but Twitter insists it uses more accurate measures to calculate.
Spotify may be pretty synonymous with streaming but faces fierce competition from goliaths such as Google, Apple and Amazon. Thankfully, it turned a profit for the first time, to the tune of €94 million, which converts to …like a lot of dollars. Seriously.
Its taking said lots of dollars and investing big in podcasting, in which it has recently become a major player.
It also tightened its policies on ad blockers by warning users would be banned, pushing them to either subscribe to premium, or just listen to the dang ol’ ads, c’mon.
The feel-good rival to Uber’s ride-sharing dominance introduced a ‘green mode’, allowing drivers to choose hybrid or electric vehicles only. It’s also agreed to pay drivers in NYC minimum wage, relenting from its previous position of … well, not doing that.
Still though, it would be hard to fully erode Uber’s market position, though the struggle will likely benefit riders.
Is “slightly less ducked”!
Moody, headstrong, full of contradicting emotions: Yep, Facebook’s 15.
Facebook had a streak of pretty smart moves this week – it announced an unsend message feature (potentially saving 1000s of friendships and relationships), banned groups in Myanmar promoting violence on the platform (potentially saving 1000s of lives), and took down pages for 22 pages related to unhinged lunatic/total phony Alex Jones (saving 1000s from having to block their relatives on social).
It also turned 15!
Surprising it made it this far, despite only showing posts from 26 of your friends. Oh wait.
Anyway, with less hoopla than for the 10th anniversary, CEO Mark Zuckerberg memorialized the on his personal page, noting its intentions, successes and … suggesting some people “overly emphasize the negative” the company has created.
I mean, overall, he’s not wrong, Facebook has done wonders at connecting people across the globe and upending traditional power structures. And, at the very least, don’t make the fact he stabbed every close friend and business partner in the back and possibly killed democracy to do so overshadow that.
The company tends to be pushing mostly in the right direction though. Especially pertinent for advertisers, it will soon show users who has uploaded their contact information (e.g. email, phone numbers) for targeting purposes. It’s also offering bonuses internally for employees who find solutions to battle hate speech and misinformation on the platform.
It even saved us from having to endure its “teen meme hub”, LOL. I mean, it’s doing so to focus on its preteen Messenger Kids app but c’mon here people – it’s a step in the right direction.
Looking to the future, Facebook’s even working on a secretive blockchain project. Let’s just hope it’s not one of those things that seems innocuous and useful at first, but then exploits users for profit.
Odds + The End
- Airbnb hires a head of transportation? Verrrrry interesting.
- SmugMug runs a pretty tight ship, so you’re gonna have to delete all those old Flickr photos you forgot about.
- HOT TREND: Choose your own adventure storytelling comes to Alexa via Audible.
- I said repeatedly I’d be disappointed if the Instagram egg didn’t hatch to reveal Kylie Jenner, I guess raising mental health awareness will have to suffice.
- It’s good timing as there has been some discussion over self-harm images on the app, which Instagram pledged to better police.
- Potentially hoping to make good the sins of its parent company, some are seeing Instagram’s moves to link accounts as a replacement for Facebook logins.
- And, if there’s not enough random influencer ads in your feed, good news: They’re hoping to jam you up with some IGTV content too.
- Periscope’s getting refitted so users can offer talk-show style content.
- Apparently, there’s new emoji and Animoji are in the works. Big focus on inclusion – with couples’ emojis customizable with skin tones and gender – and … falafel.
- Mmm… falafel.
- Apple’s trying to flex with Animoji, but – surprise – its promo videos with Ariana Grande and other stars don’t feature the real technology.
- Meanwhile, Android users can put an animated Childish Gambino ‘playmoji’ in their photos and videos. Because the Internet?
- Turned out a bunch of iOS apps were recording your screens during use, so Apple put a stop to it.
- WhatsApp now can protect chats with TouchID or FaceID.
- Skype does us all a solid and blurs the backgrounds for video chat. I’ll never clean again.
- Water is wet: Match, which owns pretty much every dating app, made a ton of money.
- The forthcoming Captain Marvel will be the first MCU film exclusive to Disney+.
- Tidal is the first music streamer to accept Venmo, because reasons.
- Heroes are born every minute, still.
- Get me off this planet, part 1,284,452: “Kidfluencers.”
- OK, I’ll stay on this planet, part 3,519: Taco Bell on demand from GrubHub.
- Oh yeah and the wealthiest man on earth is getting blackmailed by that magazine all our parents told us was garbage but somehow still exists.
- February 8, 2019