Often described as a cross between Pinterest and Instagram, Lemon8 features two side-by-side vertical feeds where users can post images and videos, and adorn them with in-app templates and stickers. Content is sorted across seven categories: food, wellness, beauty, fashion, travel, home, and productivity.Popular post titles include “The time I realized skinny privilege is real,” “That Christian girl in 40 days,” and “Hot Girl Lunch Ideas.”
But just as users have complained that Xiaohongshu creates unrealistic expectations, especially for women, Lemon8 has drawn criticism for presenting idealized lifestyles. “Every time I refresh the ‘For You’ section, everything is so well-curated and pretty. It’s already exhausting,” a user named Dreamlikediana posted on the app.
Sounds like ByteDance is trying to speed run this social media app into its Instagram-era and forgeo any entertaining of a Tumblr-era crowd. Social networks need a flywheel to create content, and it sounds like Lemon8’s flywheel is Pinterest-esque templates users are passing around. My gut feeling is this won’t last very long. If users want to explore unrealistic expectations in content, they may as well go to where everyone else is suffering this predicament already, on Instagram.
TL;DR: We are reworking how great content and contributions are rewarded on Reddit. As part of this, we made a decision to sunset coins (including Community coins for moderators) and awards (including Medals, Premium Awards, and Community Awards), which also impacts some existing Reddit Premium perks. Starting today, you will no longer be able to purchase new coins, but all awards and existing coins will continue to be available until September 12, 2023.
Many eons ago, Reddit introduced something called Reddit Gold. Gold then evolved, and we introduced new awards including Reddit Silver, Platinum, Ternium, and Argentium. And the evolution continued from there. While we saw many of the awards used as a fun way to recognize contributions from your fellow redditors, looking back at those eons, we also saw consistent feedback on awards as a whole. First, many don’t appreciate the clutter from awards (50+ awards right now, but who’s counting?) and all the steps that go into actually awarding content. Second, redditors want awarded content to be more valuable to the recipient.
I think coins and micro-transcations certainly can be a successful model for creators (see Twitch). But Reddit, has historically never understood their general userbase and has historically never leaned into empowering creators/powerusers. Each year, they shed more and more classic nostalgic features while product inherits tech debt. Coins and Rewards were certainly more useful than RPAN (yikes). Honestly, some of the best features are user-generated, maybe Reddit is making a grave mistake here.
A flaw in Revolut’s payment system in the US allowed criminals to steal more than $20mn of its funds over several months last year before the company could close the loophole, according to multiple people with knowledge of the episode.
The problem stemmed from differences between European and US payment systems, which meant that when certain transactions were declined Revolut would erroneously refund accounts, handing them its own money, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.
Yikes. Revolut doesn’t seem so revolutionary, now does it?
Threads passed 2 million signups in its first two hours live in the App Store and shows no signs of slowing down. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted the milestone on his Threads account.
At this rate, Twitter is dead in the water. Threads has serious staying power. There’s over 2.5B accounts on Instagram. The barrier to signing up for a Threads account is to simply open Instagram. Organic use of Instagram will naturally lead you to creating a profile. It’s that easy. This is where Zuckerberg thrives: growth strategy.
The app today is ranked No. 214 in the Photo & Video category on the U.S. App Store — an indication of its continued failure to catch on with a broader audience. It’s also rated a middling 3.1 stars across 2,500 reviews as users complain about its usability, layout, missing features and glitches. To date, Threads has seen approximately 13.7 million global installs from across the App Store and Google Play, according to estimates from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.
This is what it looked like. Half-messenger app. Half-Snapchat clone:
One of Meta’s top executives showed employees a preview of the company’s upcoming Twitter competitor during a companywide meeting today that was watched by The Verge.
While Musk has been squandering cash and resources, Zuckerberg has been building. In what appears to be a stroke of serendipity, Meta & Instagram (aka the new Facebook) is launching the new Threads app this week amidst Twitter’s latest troubles.
This is a huge blow against Twitter. The headwinds are strong for Threads. Twitter has been on a losing streak, and chances are Musk will only make this worse. Instagram even put together a countdown on its site.
What started as one kind of social network clone has become another kind of clone altogether! Who would have thunk. The drama, the suspense! It’s heating up, and I suspect this battle for the new “town square app” is just getting started. I’ll be sitting over here with the popcorn 🍿
Twitter hosts some services on its server and houses others on the cloud platforms of Amazon (AMZN.O) and Google, Platformer said.
In March, Amazon warned Twitter that it would withhold advertising payments because of the company’s outstanding bills to Amazon Web Services for cloud computing services, according to the Information.
Since Musk’s acquisition, Twitter has cut costs dramatically and laid off thousands of employees. Musk ordered the company to cut infrastructure costs, such as spending on cloud services, by $1 billion, a source had told Reuters in November.
Totally normal operations for a properly functioning company. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.
A Bloomberg analysis of the use of primary private planes among some of the richest people in the world finds that Musk comes out on top. For example, his private jet took more than twice as many trips as Ellison’s in 2022.
The roughly 2,112 metric tons of greenhouse gas emitted in 2022 from flight’s on Musk’s personal jet — not the Tesla or SpaceX corporate jets — is a tiny fraction of the 8.4 million metric tons that Tesla estimates its customers avoided emitting in 2021. But it’s more than 140 times the average American’s carbon footprint and, to make it up, a Tesla Model 3 would have to replace an average premium internal-combustion car for 7 million miles.
On average, a normal person emits about 4 tons of carbon per year. This asshole contributed over 500x the amount of CO2 in 2022. Some additional context, Musk is infamous for creating problems for himself, micro-manages his teams and can’t seem to figure out teleconferencing. Musk continues to maintain a ridiculous illusion that he truly cares about the environment and is concerned for the future of humanity. It is all a facade. If he truly gave one iota, he could simply adjust his schedule to be more remote-friendly or I don’t know, maybe not take a private flight every day. Musk is and always has self-righteous silver-spooned spoiled piece of of shit.
If Netflix is having a hard time with their mobile game adoption, I think the writing is on the wall for this one. YouTube is going to have a difficult time competing with basically the entire web and App Store’s gigantic selection of free games.
I wonder if YouTube will make certain titles available to Premium subscribers only. Perhaps the maximum saturation of premium subscribers has been met, and product is thinking up new features for YouTube Premium.
On Friday, the executive leader of the Future Forum, Brian Elliot, wrote “there’s no easy way to say this” to employees in Slack’s internal #friends-of-future-forum channel, disclosing that the company planned to shut down the research group at the end of March, according to screenshots of the message seen by Fortune. He did not cite a reason for the closure, and a Slack spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
“I believe this is what’s best for Slack,” Elliot wrote, adding that the company will continue its investment in research around the future of work, but did not describe details for what lies ahead for the consortium.
At the launch of Future Forum in September 2020, Elliot wrote a blog post that outlined its mission, citing “the sudden move to remote work provides the opportunity to question decades of orthodoxy about a 9-to-5, office-centric, homogeneous work culture.”
The Parker/Stone cachet showed when the company made its public debut alongside no lesser a personage than Kendrick Lamar. The video for “The Heart Part 5” has the musician delivering his lyrics in seemingly one take, but when he addresses the camera directly his face takes on the aspects of others: OJ Simpson, Nipsey Hussle, Kobe Bryant and Kanye West:
I think we’re really getting somewhere here. Reading that list made me very nostalgic for in-office coffee breaks at the water cooler 🙁 Going beyond these classes of work, we can go deeper — there’s really only two modes of work:
Just Get it Done (JGID)
The Just Get it Done mode is tackling tasks that are probably collated in a list. Maybe you have a 20 clients you need to email before the end of the day. Maybe there’s a submission deadline you need to hit. Or maybe, it’s just shit that needs to get done today or this week. These tasks are often rewarding in the short term, because they unblock you field of vision. I find that clearing of these sorts of tasks early in the day unblock me later in the afternoon to contemplate longtail projects. Or heck, it clears my head for office hours too. If you find yourself with a mountain of unfinished JGID tasks every day, congratulations. You’ve just discovered that your organization is suffering a staffing or project management problem. Big yikes.
The Planned Work mode is less rewarding in the short-term. But, is vastly more rewarding in the long-term. If you’ve ever wrapped a 6-month long project or released a new product — you know exactly what I’m talking about. This mode of work often produces JGID tasks. That’s the point. You take a big idea, and chunk it. Making a wholly impossible task, possible via piecemeal.
Brands tend to reduce their footprint and minimize messaging after substantial growth. That’s not a maxim, or anything. Just an observation. Google, AirBnb, Slack and IBM — are a few that come to mind. But there are hundreds of examples out there. Tech companies have it easy, because their product is imbued with their digital identity.
Food brands on the other hand require great packaging to propel their brand identity. A harmony has to exist between the packaging, the restaurant, and the brand. Check out Burger King’s big rebrand. It’s flat, simple and oozes nostalgia of the 80’s. Now McDonald’s has a new packaging initiative? Clearly they’re competing, right? Of course, they are competing in the literal sense, for our dollars, our mouths and our attention — but why the sudden renewed interest?
We’re exiting the the pandemic, for one. Albeit slowly, and on the heels of the highest mortality rates in the world no less, here at home in the USA. But secondly, the world is changing, and the fast food industry is taking notice and investing like crazy in new food technology. Plant protein is in huge demand.
Plant-based protein versions of the Big Mac and BLT are on the horizon. They’re closer to market than you think, and the fast food industry is about to explode in new varieties of alternative meat offerings. This is a huge deal. But while it’s compelling to vegetarians, and vegans — a large swath of American omnivores are not so easily convinced. To change their minds, you have to change their hearts. Burger King and McDonald’s are shedding the brand equity of the past 20+ years: fast, quick, and greasy — and trading it in for something new, something hopeful, perhaps impossible: fast and good.
That’s a fucking hell of a tall order, I know.
Rand Paul, did it with IBM in 1968. Despite being an immensely complex data organization, hand-built the machines that led us into the information age, and makes continuous breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, the company continues to grow and evolve his simple brand system.
The fast food industry knows there’s an explosive growth potential just waiting to burst with the advent of plant proteins, and they’re laying the groundwork for the next 20-30 years of growth.
Simply put, minimalism is the language that brands foam at the mouth for. It’s the ultimate designation for a successful product in any industry. I mean, just looks at Apple. The pinnacle of minimalism. The pinnacle of success. The champion of Americana. Capitalizing on that language, the fast food industry are willing plant-proteins into the mainstream. Will it work though?
No matter the region or language, we wanted the packaging design to communicate joyful moments while being immediate and universal.
Hamish Campbell, vp, ecd, Pearlfisher
Universal adoption of a packaging system will be key to success across all of their menu items. But, the packaging is only a small part revealed of a broader effort coming to the global face of the McDonald’s company. I predict we’ll see more and more of this minimal system Pearlfisher constructed very soon. I think we will definitely see plant-proteins and new offerings from McDonald’s coming to the forefront, with classic products like the Big Mac and Filet-o-Fish take a backseat to quickly evolving American fast food tastes.
Calendars and time-keeping, is what makes or breaks civilizations. It’s no mistake that the Julian and Gregorian calendar varieties carry their Caesarian namespace. Managing how we catalog time is a pretty political, financially-motivated and generally sensitive topic. We don’t like change. It’s human nature to resist change. It takes serious inertia to introduce new (let alone change) calendar or time formats.
Does it ever piss you off that you can’t calculate what day of the week it will be a month from now? Or schedule an appointment off the top of your head on a day of the week that’s a weekend? Or a weekday? Why do some months have 30 days and others have 31? What’s up with February? The hell is a leap year? The Gregorian calendar is a mess.
This could all be so much easier. Eastman Kodak did their homework. They realized a more efficient calendar would yield more productive appointments and scheduling. I mean, wouldn’t be amazing if every month was the same format? 13 months, 28 days:
It’s also known as the International Fixed Calendar. There would be 13 months (the 13th month would be called Sol, sandwiched between June and July), and no month would contain a “5th week,” because each month would be comprised of 4 weeks. Incredible. The entire calendar can sit in a beautiful matrix (see above). New Year’s Day would simply be an “magic” day, added as a sort of holiday at the end of the year. Also called “Year Day” or “Double Sunday” as the calendar resets for the new year, it would fall on a Sunday it ends and begins on. The next day would be Jan 1, a Sunday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, ByteDance, the parent company behind TikTok is in talks to sell the app to Microsoft. As a primer, Microsoft prefers to buy their innovations instead of inventing or building them. No shame there. It’s literally how Microsoft has done business for years. They bought MS-DOS (QDOS) in 1981 from a Seattle software firm. In 2016, they purchased LinkedIn for $26B. A pretty hefty price-tag.
How much do you think Satya Nadella will pony up for TikTok? $10B? $30B? Who knows. What we do know, is that the entire deal could evaporate (or at the very least go on hold). You see, the two parties are waiting for guidance, and approval from America’s favorite dictator — President Trump. Yesterday he said he was going to sign an executive order to force the app to cease operations in the US. Everyone is waiting to make moves until he literally makes an executive decision.
What is clear, is that the streaming wars are becoming increasingly expensive. Everyone is vying for the customer’s prime-time attention. Just to watch the latest new original series X on streaming service Y is a mind-bending calculation. Just between those two variables alone, and conservative estimates on new original content: roughly 10 services with original content, 5 new series per year at 10 episodes each, comes to about 250 episodes to stream. That’s roughly 250 hours worth of content to stream pear year. America’s greatest export is after all, entertainment.
That’s a lot to keep up with, and that doesn’t even include cable studio production releases that come from favorites such as FX or SYFY.
Professor Scott Galloway makes a great point that SVODs that have an economic flywheel (e.g. companies that attract customers via Prime or iPhone sales, and enjoy the benefits of staying within those ecosystems such as Prime Video or Apple TV+ respectively) are immune to economic downturns. A couple of obvious giants that fit that mould are Amazon and Apple:
I’m not even sure Netflix gets out alive. Netflix is now the US economy, vulnerable to a spike in interest rates as it takes on increasing amounts of debt to fund staggering investments in original content. The original gangster can’t rely on gross margin dollars from Mandalorian action figures, handsets, or paper towels (no flywheel). The key question is can Netflix’s first-mover advantage/skill be replicated in other markets.
That’s important to understand because the fuel for that economic furnace is powered by people. You’d think it’s devices (and it is really), but at the end of the day, it’s people who assemble these ivory devices. Apple’s device sales generate the bulk of their cash. That’s why Apple has been focused on other revenue segments such as services and entertainment recently. Foxconn, is Apple’s primary fabricator and production darling, located in Shenzhen.
By one estimate, there’s about eighty trillion dollars of money on the planet. If that’s correct, then BlackRock’s holding of seven trillion dollars means that nearly a dime of every dollar rests in its digital files, mostly in the form of stocks it invests in for pension funds and the like. So when BlackRock’s C.E.O., Larry Fink, devoted his annual letter to investors to explaining that climate change has now put us “on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance,” it marked a watershed moment in climate history.
He’s right about the financial future, of course—one can’t look at the clouds of smoke now obscuring the Australian continent and come away thinking that we can maintain our present course. But anyone paying attention—which includes investment-fund C.E.O.s—has known the score for years. What’s changed now are a couple of factors.
This is impressive, and Larry Fink is completely right. “Climate risk is investment risk,” as he states in his letter. If we don’t start acting right now — we might not have an opportunity later. It begins here, with the reshaping of how we invest. Taming the river of money, will make considerable waves in the future.
It wasn’t that long ago that CEO’s and leaders from blue-chip giants of the Business Roundtable were meeting to redefine the responsibility companies should play in society. There’s serious momentum, for the first time in nearly a century to re-think and re-model companies, businesses, and Wall Street — from the top-down. We’re entering an era where leadership is finally understanding just how important it is to put money where it matters most: engaging on middle-class wealth, diversity/inclusion and perhaps most importantly, environmental protection.