Will The Success Of Instagram Stories Be The Death Of Snapchat? Plus Amazon Is Making Moves…Again

by 1 year ago

morning brew

Here’s your hand-crafted Brew for June 21st


“If it’s going to be that long every time, I won’t order it.” ––McDonald’s customer on waiting for the all-new Quarter Pounder. Yikes, he’s got some serious beef…

Market Snapshot

  • Major U.S. indexes sunk following an energy sector sell-off.
  • Nine out of eleven S&P sectors finished lower on the day.
  • The dollar index rose to its one-month high on future Fed rate hike predictions.
  • Oil dropped 2%, hitting a nine-month low.

On Instagram, Straight Flexin’

Instagram Stories just hit 250 million daily active users (as Spiegel’s smug look from yesterday slowly turns to a scowl).

Since last August, Stories has taken off faster than a toupee in a hurricane.

Don’t believe us?

Two months after release it hit 100 million users. By January, it scored 150 million. And in April, Instagram Stories landed 200 million daily active users.

Zuck shoots, Zuck scores.

But guess who isn’t scoring…

…Snap (-3.19%).

The company’s growth (at first) was impressive for an app that built its network from scratch. But in true Snap fashion, it didn’t stay for long.

Since the first quarter of 2016, Snap has only grown by 44 million daily active users. And while Instagram Stories grew 33% in the first quarter of 2017, Snap was hovering around only 5%.

To make matters worse, during the same period, only three million new users in North America hopped on the Snap bandwagon.

Why does that matter?

Maybe because Snap makes $1.81 per user in North America and only about $0.24 everywhere else.

Taking this one step further, Facebook (-0.41%) rakes in $19.81 per user (in North America).

A final thought to let Brew

Instagram is an app that boasts 700 million unique monthly users and a private valuation of $50 billion. Snap’s market cap as of Wednesday? $20 billion.

And with Insta continuing to roll out features like live video replays and location stories, let’s hope for Snap’s sake, Monday’s $100 million deal is the first of many…because this instababy looks like it’s on cruise control.

Somebody Stop Amazon

Amazon (-0.26%)it never ends, we’re sorry—just introduced Prime Wardrobe in its quest to take the hassle out of shopping and the money out of our wallets.

Just order (at least) three items from a laundry list of great brands and try everything on in the comfort of your home. If you don’t like something, don’t worry. Amazon will come by to pick it up.

Keep three items? You get 10% off. Keep five or more? Get 20% off. 10 items? You get Jeff Bezos.

Next up: Amazon Spoon-feed—they’ll strap you in a high chair, give you a bib and shove mushed applesauce down your throat. Right to your door. No effort required.

Changing Lanes

Sure it took a little while, but Uber finally launched a tipping option yesterday.

That’s right, you haven’t been tipping this whole time.

After fighting through a storm of negative press and Travis Kalanick’s recent leave of absence, Uber now presents: “180 Days of Change.

The campaign looks to change the historically bad relationship Uber has had with its drivers. And the ride-sharing company is hoping that tips, two-minute cancellation fees and paid wait-times will be just the fix.

For now though, tipping is only rolling out in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston, but if all goes well, it just might be coming to a city near you.

Built Ford Tough

Michigan legend Jim Hackett just made his first major move as Ford (-0.98%) CEO, sending compact car manufacturing to China.

The pivot from building a new Mexico plant to simply retooling its plant in Chongqing will save the #2 automaker $500 million annually.

Disclaimer: No U.S. jobs were harmed in the making of this decision.

In fact…at the same time, Ford is injecting $900 million into a Kentucky-based plant securing 1,000 blue-collar jobs.

Overall, Ford’s refocus(ed) strategies emphasize production of large SUVs and trucks as lower gasoline prices shift consumers’ attention back to good ol’ gas guzzlers.

What Else Is Happening…

  • An installation failure in China is forcing Aston Martin to recall 1,658 cars.
  • PayPal (-0.77%) launched “instant transfers,” a service that can deliver funds to your bank account in minutes.
  • Boeing (-0.38%) unveiled its newest version of the 737 aircraft and secured more than 240 orders.
  • Google (-0.64%) just introduced a new AI-powered job board.

Economic Calendar

  • Monday: No events today
  • Tuesday: Adobe Systems (+), FedEx (+), La-Z-Boy (+) Earnings
  • Wednesday: Crude Inventories; Existing Home Sales
  • Thursday: Accenture, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Carnival, Sonic Earnings; Housing Price Index
  • Friday: BlackBerry, Finish Line Earnings; New Home Sales

Water Cooler

Gimme 5…Fintech Startups

Fintech is disrupting everything from banks to consumers, so this week, we’re bringing some of the hottest startups in the space right to your inbox.

  1. Metromile
    • Founded: 2011
    • Raised: $200 million
    • About: Metromile is a pay-per-mile auto insurance company that has the potential to save low-mileage drivers tons of cash—we know you like your cash.
  2. SoFi
    • Founded: 2011
    • Raised: $1.8 billion
    • About: SoFi makes student debt more affordable and manageable by taking banks out of the equation. Quickly source loans, reduce monthly payments and never miss an opportunity to refinance.
  3. Digit
    • Founded: 2015
    • Raised: $36.3 million
    • About: Digit makes saving easier for the average millennial by tracking daily spending habits and saving up any extra money not spent. And why spend, when you can save.
  4. Betterment
    • Founded: 2008
    • Raised: $205 million
    • About: Betterment personalizes investment services through a portfolio of ETFs in taxable accounts like IRAs and Roth IRAs. Investing doesn’t have to be such a headache, folks.
  5. Robinhood
    • Founded: 2013
    • Raised: $176 million
    • About: Robinhood offers free trading for the small-time investor…and it already has over two million users. Can we get a golf clap, please.

The Breakroom

Interview Question of the Day

Your teacher asks your class to find the sum of the first 50 odd numbers. A student immediately shouts out, “The sum is 2,500.” Thinking it was a lucky guess, your teacher then asks for the sum of the first 75 odd numbers. Within 20 seconds, the same student was back with the correct answer of 5,625.


Who Am I?

  1. I control over 200 companies.
  2. Forbes ranked me the world’s richest man from 2010-2013.
  3. I have a 17% stake in the New York Times.
  4. I am primarily known as the CEO of Telmex.

(Who am I?)

Stat of the Day

1.6 billion

The number of credit cards in circulation as of 2013. That’s enough to circle the earth…3.5 times. We’re afraid to ask what that number is now.

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