|Bid||20.41 x 2200|
|Ask||20.37 x 1300|
|Day's range||19.32 - 20.34|
|52-week range||7.89 - 20.34|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.10|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings date||21 Jul 2020 - 27 Jul 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||17.89|
Venture capitalist Bradley Tusk is calling for the repeal of a key piece of legislation that helped create the internet as we know it.
Snapchat is the latest social media company to take on the president, Fitbit gets approval for its emergency ventilator and we review the new Sonos soundbar. Snap announced that it will not be promoting content from President Donald Trump’s Snapchat account in its Discover tab, following statements from Trump last week on Twitter threatening that protestors could be met with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons.”
(Bloomberg) -- On Wednesday, Snap Inc. did something that Facebook and Twitter will probably never do. The company decided that because Donald Trump had been promoting racism and violence in public statements, his content should no longer appear on the app's Discover feed. His Snapchat videos are still intact, but they won’t be served up to people not already following him.It was a simple solution—in stark contrast to Snap's social media competitors, where every debate about what content to leave up and take down tends to become mired in companies’ complex, ever-changing policies that not even employees understand.Forays into moderating political speech have landed social media companies in an increasingly tenuous position. Twitter Inc. for the first time last week decided to put a warning label on a Trump tweet that the company said glorified violence, meeting swift White House blowback. Facebook Inc. left a post with the same language up on its site with no extra context and was greeted with unprecedented employee dissent.This week as he tried to quell the outrage, Zuckerberg faced his employees with a nuanced policy rebuttal that was tough to parse: Facebook only takes down posts that are "inciting" violence, he said, and the company didn't think Trump's post did that, but if Twitter thought Trump's post did that, Twitter should have taken the post down entirely. There may be a middle-ground solution, he added, but figuring that out will take time. If you're still reading, it’s worth remembering that even that is an oversimplification. Sometimes Facebook enforces its policies on violent speech, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes politicians get an exemption, sometimes they don't.Both Twitter and Facebook are desperately trying to appear neutral and even-handed with their decisions on each post. But as former employees said in an open letter to Zuckerberg on Wednesday, "Facebook isn't neutral, and never has been." The platform has always been biased in favor of content that gets more attention. Like most social media companies, Facebook's algorithms boost the content that gets the most engagement, allowing some posts to spread quickly through the platform. It generally doesn’t stop that from happening, and errs on the side of not removing users’ posts. Zuckerberg says this is because even though the first amendment doesn’t apply to his private platform, he likes to operate by a free speech philosophy. But in debates about social media censorship, first amendment scholars caution that freedom of speech isn't the same thing as freedom of reach. You are guaranteed a voice—but not an audience, or virality.Snap's innovation was to take away Trump's reach. It may have been a masterstroke of moderation, side-stepping the issue entirely. Or its decision to make a call based on instinct, rather than a weighty policy rulebook, could set a difficult precedent. But either way, it's opened up a new front in the fight over who gets to say what, and to whom, online. In the end, after the company announced the decision, Trump was just as angry with Snap as he was with Twitter for a much milder action. The president, it seems, doesn't care about winding arguments about moderation policy. He cares about winning.If you read one thingAll the packages you've ordered online during the pandemic come from warehouses where many workers have to interact, sometimes spreading Covid-19. And then, they go home to their families.And here’s what you need to know in global technology newsAfter all the police violence against protesters, Zoom drew sharp criticism for saying it would avoid strong encryption for free calls to help law enforcement with their cases.Uber's rides business is down more than 70%, indicating a slow recovery for the company after the virus. The video game publisher behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise, Take-Two, cancelled its contract with a smaller developer—and then tried to poach its entire team. The aggressive moves, plus Covid-19 hardships, forced the smaller developer to shut down.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Snap, the parent of the camera and messaging app, said it had removed Donald Trump’s account from the Discover feed, which typically highlights curated content from politicians, celebrities and news outlets. “We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” a spokesperson said. Snap’s action is similar to that of Twitter, which hid a tweet on the Black Lives Matter protests by the president that it viewed as “glorifying violence”.
(Bloomberg) -- Snap Inc. is no longer promoting U.S. President Donald Trump’s content in the news section of its Snapchat app, citing his posts on Twitter that threatened violence against protesters. The move prompted a sharp rebuke from Trump’s re-election campaign.“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover,” Snap said Wednesday in a statement. “Racial violence and injustice have no place in our society and we stand together with all who seek peace, love, equality, and justice in America.”Trump’s Snapchat account remains publicly available, but the decision will affect his reach on the platform. While the president has 1.5 million followers, he received the most attention when Snapchat would display his posts in the Discover section, potentially reaching hundreds of millions of people who use the social-networking app. Snapchat will be particularly important for reaching young and first-time voters ahead of the 2020 election, with schools and other gathering places potentially closed.“Snapchat is trying to rig the 2020 election,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. “Snapchat hates that so many of their users watch the President’s content and so they are actively engaging in voter suppression. If you’re a conservative, they do not want to hear from you, they do not want you to vote. They view you as a deplorable and they do not want you to exist on their platform.” Snap shares fell as much as 4.3% on Wednesday. Trump recently posted messages on Twitter and Facebook that included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in response to protests over the police killing of George Floyd. That prompted tech companies to weigh if the president broke their rules about inciting violence. It has also sparked a heated debate about how social media rules should be applied to world leaders versus regular users.Twitter Inc. put a warning label on Trump’s post, while Facebook Inc. did nothing, standing by its decision even after employees protested publicly.Snap’s move was based on another Trump tweet from May 30 in which he warned that if protesters came close to breaching the White House fence “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs and ominous weapons.” The president frequently reposts his tweets to Snapchat, though the warning about the dogs was not reposted.Snap decided that, unlike Twitter and Facebook, it’s not attempting to be a neutral town square. The Discover page uses a mix of manual and algorithmic curation, while Twitter and Facebook rely on automation based on data about viral sharing and other measures of popularity. Snap’s decision was reported earlier by the New York Times.(Updates with Trump campaign comment in fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Snap announced this morning that it will not be promoting content from President Trump's Snapchat account in its Discover tab following statements from Trump last week on Twitter, which threatened that protestors could be met with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons." The move is notable for many reasons, but is particularly interesting because social media platforms have tended to only discipline popular accounts when they've violated the rules on their own platform. Snapchat users will still be able to access content from Trump's feed if they subscribe to it or search specifically for the account.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One of the most feared antagonists in the “Star Trek” universe is the seemingly unstoppable alien species called the Borg. These cybernetic aliens travel the galaxy, conquering and assimilating everything in their path while greeting each new victim with the catch-phrase, “Resistance is futile.”In many ways, the prevailing narrative around Big Tech is similar to this sci-fi series villain story line. Pundits often cite how the technology giants’ vast financial resources and R&D budgets will lead to an inexorable march to control more and more of the economy. And sure, on the surface it makes sense. Apple Inc. and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. sport net cash balances of roughly $100 billion each and dominate their respective markets, generating vast profit streams from smartphones to search engines. Together with Facebook Inc., Netflix Inc. and Microsoft Corp., these behemoths also reign over the stock market with their ballooning valuations. How can any smaller company hope to compete against such power in the current difficult environment?The reality paints a much less daunting picture. It turns out that the Covid-19 era has led to an explosion of innovation and rapid growth for dozens of smaller technology companies. Many of these upstarts — from video-conferencing software maker Zoom Video Communications Inc. to cloud-computing firm Datadog Inc. — are emphatically winning even as the tech giants try to squash them. And they’re doing it in many cases by simply making a better product and having a laser focus on it. There’s a flaw in the concept that Big Tech can easily expand into new markets by leveraging the power of their core businesses. The reason is all companies – big or small – have finite top-tier engineering talent. And of course, companies tend to put their best people on their most important profit-making segments, versus any peripheral new markets, opening the door for the upstart specialists to thrive.Earlier this year, I wrote how corporations were flocking to software vendors such as Zoom for solutions on how to get the job done at a time when their employees were forced to work from home amid lockdown restrictions. Since then, Big Tech has taken particular aim at the software company as they sought to push their own video-conferencing tools. Last month, Google added a large, blue-colored “Add Google Meet video conferencing” button any time a Google Calendar user tries to add an appointment, while its Gmail accounts with its billion-plus user base also conspicuously have Google Meet in the lower left corner at all times. Microsoft, meantime, has sought to capitalize on early security concerns with Zoom to promote its Teams product. Despite the aggressive moves, you couldn’t see any negative impact in Zoom’s results. Late Tuesday, the upstart posted April-quarter sales results that crushed Wall Street estimates. The company posted first-quarter revenue of $328 million, up 169% from a year earlier, versus the $203 million Bloomberg consensus. It also projected a sales range of $495 million to $500 million for the current quarter, more than double the $222 million analyst estimate. Zoom shares climbed 5% on Wednesday, adding to year-to-date gains that already topped 200%.That’s just Zoom. There are plethora of cloud software names — including monitoring analytics provider Datadog and user authentication company Okta, Inc. — that are also seeing surging demand for their services and the soaring stock prices to match. These companies are building out comprehensive offerings and stronger leadership positions in their respective categories that will be harder to displace as they grow in stature. And it’s still early innings on the growth curve for many of these firms. The move to cloud-computing is a seminal paradigm shift similar in scope to the transition to mobile smartphones nearly a decade ago. Gartner said the world-wide enterprise technology market was $3.7 trillion last year. Even if the economy contracts, it will be a large market, with lots of room for fast-growing companies to make meaningful share gains as spending shifts toward new technologies. “The trends of digital transformation and cloud migration remain very much intact over the long term and may even be accelerated or amplified,” Datadog CEO Olivier Pomel said during his May earning call with investors. Another recent example of Big Tech’s failure is Amazon.com Inc.’s foray into gaming. After years of development, the e-commerce giant released its first big-budget video game “Crucible” last month to much fanfare, even advertising the title on the front page of its website. It was meant to be the Amazon’s beachhead into the large attractive gaming market. It didn’t go well. To illustrate, just a couple weeks after its launch “Crucible” has precipitously fallen in the Twitch charts, a key indicator of gamer engagement, to roughly 100 viewers or barely in the top 500 titles. It turned out to be a complete flop, even as Epic Games Inc.’s Fortnite remains a fan favorite.Despite the worries over Big Tech’s growing dominance, the flip side may actually be the bigger risk. Last month, I wrote how other retailers appear to be taking advantage of Amazon’s service troubles to make incursions, which has allowed them to grow their e-commerce businesses at triple-digit rates. In social media, the short-video platform TikTok has also surged in popularity. Last week, Bloomberg News reported TikTok’s parent ByteDance Ltd.’s revenue for last year more than doubled to more than $17 billion from $7.4 billion in 2018, a level of sales nearly triple that of Twitter Inc. and Snap Inc. combined. Incredibly, if TikTok continues it current growth trajectory, it has the potential to surpass some of Facebook’s key platforms within a few years. And speaking of Facebook, its latest big push into e-commerce space, Facebook Shops, relies in great deal on a partnership with online-store software maker Shopify Inc. and its extensive array of commerce tools for small businesses.History shows the tech industry’s reputation for disruption is unmatched. And if it is any guide, investors shouldn’t overlook or underestimate the industry’s up-and-comers, even in — or should I say especially in — times like these. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tae Kim is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Barron's, following an earlier career as an equity analyst.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Snap today announced the global expansion of its new advertising product, Dynamic Ads. The ad product introduced last fall allows advertisers to automatically create ads in real time, using the brand's extensive product catalogs. Snap provides a variety of mobile-ready templates for advertisers to choose from, then serves the ads to Snapchat's 229 million daily active users based on their interests.
Snap has said it will cease to promote Donald Trump’s account on its platform for “inciting racial violence”, becoming the latest social media group to clamp down on the US president’s content and provoke his campaign’s ire. Snap, the parent of the camera and messaging app Snapchat, on Wednesday said it removed Mr Trump’s account from its Discover feed, which typically features curated content from politicians, celebrities and news outlets. The president’s account will still remain on the platform.
Tech giants Salesforce, Twitter and Apple were among the first companies to issue public statements about racial injustice.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Donald Trump was at the steering wheel as we drove through the rain together on a New Jersey highway in 2005. He had recently considered taking the stage to play a politician in the Broadway comedy “La Cage aux Folles,” but he had other things on his mind as he glanced over at me.“I have one asset that I think nobody else has. And that’s that if somebody writes about me badly, I sort of own my own newspaper in a way. Like I went after you on the ‘Today’ show,” he told me. “I do have the ability to fight back in the media. I can say that, ‘You, Tim, is not smart. Is a terrible guy.’”“A total whack job,” I suggested, since he’d used that one before.“I can say that. Nobody else can,” Trump continued. “In other words, I’m the only guy who can fight back on an almost even plane. I mean, I’m not saying it’s an even plane because you may have an advantage. But I have an advantage, too. Because I’m on television every day.”He finished off his primer with a flourish: “People don’t want to read about a negative Trump. I really believe that.” Remember, this was 15 years ago and Twitter hadn’t yet been invented. Neither had Instagram or Snapchat. Facebook was still a baby. But Trump already instinctively understood one of his advantages as a ubiquitous and media-soaked mogul: He had direct access to readers and viewers and could circumvent traditional news sources to get his message out or to go into battle.Trump’s gut sensibility about how to play the media had been honed through decades of courting and jousting that, even after a series of failures, had left him as an object of interest. That led to his public rebirth on “The Apprentice” and made him ready to rock and roll once social media blossomed. Every social platform offered him the opportunity to run his own printing press and speak directly to fans and critics, but Twitter, a venue of choice for newsies, always held a special allure. And Trump, who adores basking in media attention while also being so singularly insecure that any form of criticism unspools him, has a love-hate relationship with Twitter.So it came to pass that Twitter, which has long tolerated Trump’s retweeting of racists and anti-Semites while painting his targets as everything from “skanks” to murderers, decided on Tuesday to slap fact-checking notices on a pair of bogus Trump tweets claiming that mail-in ballots lead to voting fraud. Trump, who has the November election front of mind and is reeling from an onslaught of criticism for repeatedly bungling his response to the coronavirus pandemic, would have none of that. He claimed that revenge via a federal crackdown on Twitter and other social media companies was coming.Early Thursday evening, Trump issued an executive order that seeks to strip Twitter and other social media platforms of liability protections they enjoy from lawsuits involving the content users post on their sites — including false or defamatory content. In other words, the kind of stuff Trump posts a lot on Twitter. While such a move might be self-defeating, it’s also not clear how serious Trump is about it. The order is littered with personal jibes at Trump’s enemies and the White House said it might still be revised.Trump is also reportedly planning to ask the Federal Communications Commission to make it easier for social media users to sue platforms for removing posts and other content. He also reportedly plans to ask Attorney General William Barr to convene state attorneys general to investigate social media companies for deceptive practices.“There’s nothing I’d rather do than get rid of my whole Twitter account,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday. “But I’m able to get to, I guess, 186 million people when you add up all the different accounts…. That’s more than the media companies have, frankly, by a lot.”Trump actually has about 130 million followers on his primary personal social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram) and he certainly doesn’t have more followers than all of the media companies combined, but you get the point.We’ll have to wait and see if this turns out to be Trump rattling his saber. He has a long history of threatening to sue critics and competitors and then not following through. (I was an exception.) If he decides to try to enforce the executive order, he, the FCC and his White House lawyers will face daunting legal hurdles. Trump can’t force the FCC to change existing regulations that give social media companies latitude to restrict objectionable content. And even if the FCC acts as he wishes, it may not complete its work prior to the November election, because the social media companies will unleash their own attorneys to challenge any change.The First Amendment’s broad protection for editorial discretion from government dictates applies to social media platforms. In a 2017 federal appeals court fight over net neutrality rules, none other than future Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh argued that the government cannot tell companies such as Twitter and Facebook what content to post or favor.The mere whiff of a federal crackdown could have a chilling effect on the social platforms, it’s true, but that will happen only if the companies allow it. Some internecine squabbles have already popped up, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg telling Fox News that Twitter made a mistake, because no social media platform should be the “arbiter of truth.” It’s quite possible that Zuckerberg is more worried about Facebook being regulated as a news provider rather than as a technology company, or about the added hard work that would come with adequately policing his own website. But that’s a discussion for another day.None of this is really about free speech or proper regulation of social media, however. It’s about the president’s abuse of his power and his fixation on the politics informing the coming election. Also, his feelings are hurt. He’s acting out. Twitter is one of Trump’s favorite toys, and although he’s momentarily bashing it in frustration, he probably won’t go so far as to break it.Trump won’t undermine Twitter because he’s addicted to it. He revels in mainlining his thoughts into the American conversation and absorbing all the responses back into his own bloodstream. Twitter is Trump’s drug of choice, and addicts don’t break their habits so easily.(This column was updated to include new details from the White House's executive order.)This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O'Brien is a senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) announced today that it will stream its Snap Partner Summit on June 11, 2020.
Social media companies have ridden the pandemic well, indicating that the society is becoming more reliant on online entertainment.
(Bloomberg) -- ByteDance Ltd.’s valuation has risen at least a third to more than $100 billion in recent private share transactions, people familiar with the matter said, reflecting expectations the owner of video phenom TikTok will keep pulling in advertisers.Stock in the world’s most valuable startup has changed hands recently at a price that suggests its value has risen more than 33% from about $75 billion during a major round of funding two years ago, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.Some trades recently valued the Chinese company between $105 billion and $110 billion on the secondary markets, some of people said. It has also traded as high as $140 billion, one person said.The trades are private transactions and may not fully reflect broader investor expectations. Stock in the secondary market is usually valued at a discount to primary shares since it’s less liquid and there are fewer financial details on company performance available to investors.“The trading of ByteDance is reflective of the global wave of consumers who agree that ByteDance can displace Facebook as the leading social network,” said Andrea Walne, a partner at Manhattan Venture Partners who follows the secondary markets.In the past decade, Bytedance is surpassed only by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Ant Financial Services Group as companies that have traded at a higher premium in the secondary market, she added.ByteDance has grown into a potent online force propelled in part by a TikTok short video platform that’s taken U.S. teenagers by storm. Investors are keen to grab a slice of a company that draws some 1.5 billion monthly active users to a family of apps that includes Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese twin, as well as news service Toutiao. That’s despite American lawmakers raising privacy and censorship concerns about its operation. This week, it poached Walt Disney Co. streaming czar Kevin Mayer to become chief executive officer of TikTok.The company was in the very early stages of exploring a share sale abroad last year, people familiar have said. But any float remains a longer-term objective given ByteDance remains well-funded, the people added. ByteDance declined to comment on Wednesday. Its backers include SoftBank Group Corp., General Atlantic and Sequoia.The Chinese startup in the ballpark of the market capitalizations of some of the world’s biggest public companies, ahead of rivals such as Twitter Inc. and Snap Inc. but still behind Facebook Inc. ByteDance -- whose TikTok remains the venue of choice for half a billion lip-syncing, dancing music video aficionados -- is now going head-to-head with Chinese internet leaders from Tencent Holdings Ltd. to Alibaba for user traffic and marketing dollars.It’s also strengthening its operations in newer arenas such as e-commerce and gaming. ByteDance this year kicked off a wave of hiring it envisions hitting 40,000 new jobs in 2020, hoping to match Alibaba’s headcount at a time technology corporations across the globe are furloughing or reducing staff.Longer term, the company will have to grapple with rising scrutiny from Washington. Two prominent senators have urged investigations into TikTok, labeling it a national security threat.Read more: ByteDance Launches Global Hiring Spree With 10,000 New Jobs(Updates with a quote, new details in the fifth paragraph. An earlier version of the story was corrected to reflect executive’s proper title.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Kevin Mayer, the architect of Walt Disney Co.’s direct-to-consumer video strategy, is leaving the entertainment giant to join TikTok, three months after getting passed over for the job of chief executive officer.Mayer, 58, will become CEO of the fast-growing Chinese social-media app that’s popular with teens and other young people, starting on June 1. His appointment was announced by ByteDance Ltd., TikTok’s parent, where he will also serve as chief operating officer.The departure, though not unexpected, is a loss for Disney’s streaming effort at a time when other businesses -- including its film studio, theme parks and TV networks -- are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus-related shutdown. Besides leading the company’s online video push, Mayer was the strategist behind numerous Disney deals through the years, such as the acquisitions of Lucasfilm and Marvel.“I just love the mission of TikTok, which is to bring joy and inspiration to people around the world,” Mayer said in an interview. He also said he is looking forward to working with ByteDance founder and CEO Yiming Zhang, whom he called “a great visionary guy.”Disney shares dipped as much as 2.1% on the news in late trading, before recovering.To succeed Mayer, Disney promoted Rebecca Campbell, a 23-year veteran of the company’s TV businesses. She most recently served as president of the Disneyland resort in California, but earlier ran its direct-to-consumer offerings in Europe and the Middle East, as well ABC stations in the U.S.Parks ChiefDisney also named Josh D’Amaro to be the new head of its theme parks and consumer-products division. He succeeds Bob Chapek, who was appointed Disney’s CEO in February. D’Amaro most recently led the Walt Disney World resort in Florida.TikTok has been searching for a new CEO since at least January, aiming to take advantage of the app’s dramatic surge in U.S. popularity, amid scrutiny from U.S. regulators who have targeted the company as a potential security threat.Mayer will report to Zhang, who built TikTok, along with its Chinese version Douyin, into one of the world’s most popular apps, with more than a billion users.TikTok fans share short video clips, some comedic, some based on dancing, usually synced to music. That has made ByteDance the most valuable tech startup in the world, challenging the dominance of U.S. companies like Facebook Inc. and Snap Inc.Mayer joins TikTok as it’s building an entertainment business and seeking to generate advertising dollars from its large user base. The company has been staffing up in Los Angeles with executives from Hollywood and the music industry.Late last year, the company hired Ole Obermann, formerly of Warner Music Group, to run its music operations. Last month, TikTok tapped Nick Tran from Disney’s video service Hulu to become its head of marketing in North America.TikTok is best known for spawning viral videos that have propelled songs such as Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” to the top of the Billboard charts, and turned performers such as Charli D’Amelio into teen idols. Though TikTok is a household word among teens, it has been growing its audience of older users, too.Mayer’s most recent focus has been Disney+. The $7-a-month streaming service has signed up more than 54 million users since its debut in November. Mayer said it’s too early to say whether TikTok will compete directly with Disney in the business of creating movies and TV shows.“It’s a different business model,” he said. “And it’s a good one in its own right. I have to start there and do my thing and figure out what the future holds.”Mayer said it wasn’t an easy decision to leave Disney, which he first joined in 1993. He worked for decades with Bob Iger, now the company’s executive chairman, and described the new CEO as “awesome.”“I would never have left ever if I thought it would put the rollout of Disney+ at risk, that’s my baby,” he said. “The team there knows how to do this. We developed a playbook and it works really well.”He also had praise for his replacement, Campbell: “She is a force of nature.”Mayer said he didn’t think his leaving at this time would be an issue for Disney.“Opportunities come when they come,” he said. “ByteDance needed someone for this role, and I felt Disney+ was in good hands.”(Updates with Mayer comments in fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
As the U.S. waits for the great reopening of its hallowed national pastimes in an era of pandemic-enforced social distancing, sports teams are increasingly turning to a new wave of digital tools like social media and video games to connect with a new generation of fans. The Los Angeles Rams are the latest team to embrace the trend, choosing to work with social media giant Snap and EA Sports' Madden NFL franchise to unveil the new design of their uniforms ahead of the opening of the most high-tech stadium in the National Football League later this year. The team is working with Los Angeles' own Snap to unveil the uniforms in a custom-created Snapchat augmented reality lens, featuring the ability to trigger players into action.
What happened Shares of Snap (NYSE: SNAP) have fallen today, down by 4% as of 1:15 p.m. EDT, after larger rival Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) rolled out "Avatars" in the U.S. Avatars are Facebook's version of Bitmoji that it initially introduced in Australia last summer.
Facebook's Avatars feature, which lets you customize a virtual lookalike of yourself for use as stickers in comments and Messenger chats, is today launching in the U.S. Essentially Facebook's version of Snap's Bitmoji, Avatars were first introduced last year and have been since made available in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Canada. Based on early feedback, Facebook is also today expanding its range of Avatar customizations to include a variety of new hairstyles, complexions and outfits. Initially, Facebook users will be able set up their Avatar from either the Facebook or Messenger comment composer.
(Bloomberg) -- The day the U.S. Senate acquitted Donald Trump of impeachment charges, his re-election campaign staff posted a video on Snapchat, where they knew young voters would see it. “Liberals tonight:” it starts. A woman falls to her knees and screams a guttural “NO!!” as newscasters announce Trump’s 2016 presidential win. Then, a spoof cover of Time Magazine shows signs for TRUMP 2028, TRUMP 2032, and so on until a final flourish: “TRUMP 4EVA.”The clip is one of Trump’s most popular Snapchat posts, according to the campaign. It pushes the right social-media buttons, coming across more like an internet meme than a traditional political message. Videos like this have helped Trump’s Snapchat following nearly triple to over 1.5 million in about 8 months, far exceeding rival Joe Biden’s audience on the app. But the former vice president is starting to invest in the app, too: On Wednesday, he’s giving an interview on Snapchat’s political news show, Good Luck America.Snap Inc.’s app, known for ephemeral photo messages and bizarre face filters, is suddenly a hot battleground in the 2020 presidential campaign. Its clout in political conversation is smaller, but millennial and Gen-Z voters make up 35% of the U.S. electorate, and Snapchat reaches 75% of them every day, the company says.America’s first-time voters, in a normal election year, would be registering to vote on college campuses, at the library or their local DMV office. Covid-19 is making that impossible right now, so Snapchat is one of the best ways to get them involved and influence their thinking, political groups say. When a Snapchat user turns 18 in the U.S. -- as up to 500,000 of them do each month -- the company displays a voter registration link on their profiles for their entire birthday week.“Snapchat is the platform that can fill all the institutional gaps in reaching young people,” said Mike Ward, the program director of voter engagement at Democracy Works, a nonprofit that uses technology to make voting easier. “They are uniquely positioned to be the most powerful youth voter registration force in the country.” In the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, Snapchat accounted for 30% of traffic to a Democracy Works website that showed people their nearest polling place.Voter registration has cratered in the midst of the pandemic, according to a recent report by TargetSmart Communications LLC, a Democratic data and strategy firm. But younger voters may be motivated to weigh in on who should be leading the national response, as well as address the economic downturn, according to Tom Bonier, chief executive officer of TargetSmart.States are putting alternative voting methods in place that are being applied unevenly, leaving experts with little insight into voter turnout this fall. Younger voters are unaccustomed to voting by mail, so digital outreach to this group is more important than ever, Bonier said.TikTok, the Chinese-owned short video platform that’s popular with American youth, has mostly stayed out of politics while Snapchat has leaned in. Snap has a dedicated staff offering training to candidates and governments, working closely with campaigns’ digital teams.Snapchat befuddles older generations, so it’s not as effective for amassing political donations. The biggest benefit, according to the Trump campaign, is the chance to reach the app’s general audience. On Twitter and Facebook, the campaign depends on users sharing political messages to reach more people. On Snapchat, if they post popular content frequently enough, it will appear on the Discover page where many of the app’s 229 million daily users go to watch videos and other content.Democrats Andrew Yang and Pete Buttigieg both posted frequently enough to make the Discover page during the recent presidential primary election. Buttigieg made 15-second selfie videos specifically for Snapchat before walking on stage during rallies.The Biden campaign hasn’t invested as much in digital strategy, choosing instead to prioritize traditional media. For one debate, his granddaughters took over his Snapchat account to reach young voters. But he rarely speaks on the app himself, and he has been slower to hire for his digital team. He faces a formidable Trump digital staff of about 100 people. Trump is holding virtual rallies, gathering email addresses and building outreach lists through digital video and advertising.Read more: Biden Digital Game Outmatched by Trump as Campaign Goes VirtualIt’s not just Snapchat where Biden lags. He has just over 5 million followers on Twitter, compared to Trump’s 80 million. On Instagram, Biden has 2 million followers. Trump has 19.6 million.Biden is trying to change this. The campaign just announced three digital hires from the campaigns of Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke and Kamala Harris. It plans to double digital staff to about 50 to help counter Trump’s divisive messaging with optimistic content that has the potential to go viral, according to the campaign.“If we want to have any chance of mobilizing young voters in November, that work has to start now,” said Stefan Smith, Buttigieg’s former online engagement director. “Trump winning the election may not come down to Snapchat, but the fact that the Trump campaign is maximizing on every single social media platform is cause for concern.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.