Buzzfeed Plans to Go Public In 2018, Plus The Olympics Are Coming to Snapchat

morning brew
Enjoy your March 30th hand-crafted Brew!


“Clearly, our investment in Valeant was a huge mistake” — Hedge fund icon Bill Ackman channeling his inner-Gob while apologizing for the fund’s $4 billion loss from investing in the failing pharmaceutical company.

Market Snapshot

  • The S&P continued Tuesday’s gains, as new U.S. oil data calmed investors, who had been worried about a glut in U.S. oil supply
  • European markets and currencies were largely unaffected by Britain’s triggering of the Brexit proceedings (finally), with the pound and euro down 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively

Net Neutrality Is Everywhere

…But do you know what it actually means? It’s complicated—but it doesn’t have to be. Congress voted this week to allow Internet Service Providers, or ISPs (thinkVerizon, AT&T or Time Warner), to sell your browsing history and habits to advertisers. Supporters of dismantling the 2015 privacy rules say there should be uniform protections since websites have fewer restrictions on this data, but ISPs are treated differently.

But it may not end here. More broadly, net neutrality also affects how ISPs are allowed to serve up your daily doses of digital. In 2015, a court ruled that ISPs could not provide different service speeds for preferred—or paying—sites (think fast lane vs. slow lane). This means that internet service is treated as a utility, like water or electricity. For now, the debate is focused on privacy, but with staunch net neutrality opponent Ajit Pai at the helm of the FCC, anything could happen.

Buzzfeed Plans to Go Public…

…As early as 2018. According to industry sources, the internet behemoth founded by Jonah Peretti in 2006 has quietly begun IPO preparations. It’s been quite the journey for Buzzfeed, which began as a site for feline listicles and faced skepticism at every corner because of it. A decade later, Buzzfeed has bureaus in over 10 major cities with reporters in every corner of the world. Its reporting—including some election cycle bombshells—has forced many traditional media organizations to do some major soul searching.

The Olympics Are Coming to Snapchat…

…But NBC’s stranglehold on coverage of the Games remains. Snap (+1.53%) has joined forces with NBCUniversal (and co-producer Buzzfeed) to bring the Olympics to its Discover section of the app during the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. The partnership could bring in between $50 and $75 million of advertising revenue, according to the WSJ. Investors will be watching for more deals like this as Snap’s stock continues to hover near its opening day price. Exclusive content may also help the company distance itself from Facebook, which has recently unveiled multiple features that closely mimic Snapchat.

Samsung Is Replacing Its Pyrotechnic S7

…With a phone that doubles as a computer. Simply plug the new Galaxy S8 into a monitor and it can completely replace your laptop or desktop machine. Unveiled yesterday, the new Galaxy flagship is a direct descendant of the Galaxy Note 7, which—as you no doubt remember—made headlines last year when it began to spontaneously combust. This resulted in a full recall and cost Samsung (+0.72%) billions in lost revenue. Fast forward to today: the new S8 comes equipped with a snazzy curved screen and brings a new digital assistant, Bixby, to the increasingly-crowded space. At $750, we hope this model is without smoke…or mirrors.

What else is happening…

Economic Calendar

Water Cooler

Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe

Now that we have you worried about your privacy being for sale (at least we hope), let’s talk privacy protection. The best way to ensure your browsing stays private is with a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, which is often available through an employer or school.

No work or school VPN? No problem. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Private VPN: For $10 per month, Cloak provides a secure connection with no data limits.
  • HTTPS: Chrome extension HTTPS Everywhere by non-profits Electronic Frontier Foundation and Tor Project ensure every site you visit uses the secure protocol.
  • Encryption: PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) has been around since 1991 and is still one of the best methods to go untraced, although it’s not the simplest to configure.
  • At the end of the day, assume everything you do online is visible to someone, somewhere, just to be safe. For further reading, consult EFF’s tools and resources.

The Breakroom

Interview Question of the Day

There are 24 kids in a classroom. 12 are wearing socks and eight are wearing shoes. Six are wearing both. How many have bare feet? (Answer)

Read of the Day

Daily Pnut brings you global news neatly summarized for maximum information in minimal time. Think of it as a shorter and sharper version of The Economist. Check it out here.

Entrepreneur of the Day

Jeff Bezos is now the second-richest man in the world. Thanks to Amazon’s recent stock increase, the Amazon founder has passed Warren Buffett and Amancio Ortega. After a brief stint on Wall Street and a 1998 Google investment that’s now worth billions, Bezos went on to found Amazon, purchase the Washington Post and part of Business Insider and start a space exploration company, among other ventures.

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