Facebook’s new threats: four rising social media apps
The election and claims that Facebook is censoring the conservative voice has led to a re-shuffling of the social media hierarchy. The disruptors include TikTok, which, having sidestepped the Trump ban, continues to pick up steam with 980 million users. Others are Parler, which has doubled to nearly 8 million, acting as the network for conservative voices, positioning itself as the Fox against the CNN of social media Facebook. Discord is a site that appeals to gamers, and caters to nearly 100 million users. OnlyFans is a social media site catering to the porn industry, and therefore not permitted by Apple to have an app. While numbers are unknown, it is estimated to have more than 75 million users. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: The social media industry is beginning to look like the cable TV industry: specialized sites that offer the content and point of view most valuable to you. Facebook created the space, but now has spawned alternatives and isn’t sure how to put the Genie back in the Facebook bottle. Does the social media giant try to be all things to all people, or is it forced to better define its position to hold on to a core audience? Clearly it has to take a position and the company is being forced to define its position by either having an editorial position, or being the global bulletin board for all speech — ugly or not. The company is still trying to find its identity and, in the meantime, competitors are feasting on the uncertainty.
Airbnb rises from the ashes to go public
IPO filing shows that the fractional home rental company experienced a 19% drop in revenues over the past quarter. The offering was first planned for last August, but delayed so that it could further trim payroll and shore up the listing ship. The company has never been profitable and the prospectus warns that it may never reach profitability, but like Uber, it is the elephant in a new industry it is mostly responsible for creating. The Verge
dis-rup-shun: The pioneers of the industry, such as Uber and Amazon, decades before, are able to hold off profits until far down the road — instead, successfully changing the dynamics of their industries. With scale comes dominance, followed by profits. As the days of COVID-19 may be numbered, Airbnb could be ready to steadily grow into the next Amazon.
Space X has done it again — with three (and a half) astronauts
Space X sent another manned probe to the International Space Station on Sunday, and this time the crew is joined by a Baby Yoda that floats when zero gravity is reached. The Verge
dis-rup-shun: Elon Musk’s Space X continues to take the front and center position in the space race — safely lifting astronauts into space not once, but twice. The frequency and reusability of the company’s space craft suggest that the future of space exploration and space commerce is here, perhaps offering civilians an opportunity to travel through space in a couple of short years.
It’s (Ring) doorbell season, sings Underwood
Amazon has leveraged Carrie Underwood to promote her new album available on Amazon Music by creating an ad in which Underwood entertains people through their Ring doorbell camera. The advertisement then captures a host of happy holiday people as seen through their doorbell camera. AdWeek
dis-rup-shun: Surprisingly, Amazon does not go for a “three-fer” by having a Prime delivery truck and person roll into the screen to deliver more holiday stuff. Seems that during a congressional investigation on anti-competitive practices, a company wouldn’t remind consumers that it not only owns the smart doorbell company, but also owns the music service used to purchase one of the most popular artists of the time. Cross-selling across owned companies is smart and not against the law, but is a reminder that Amazon owned companies are increasingly surrounding consumers.