Twitter Is Adding A Mute Button To Crack Down On Internet Trolls, Plus Snapchat Begins IPO Process

by 1 year ago

“Smart Amp” — The name of Lyft’s new logo, which will replace its iconic pink mustache. The smart Amp will use colored LED lights to help riders find their drivers based on color, meaning you won’t have to awkwardly search for your driver anymore. We like the sound of that.

Market Snapshot

  • U.S. markets continued their steady march higher yesterday, and even the tech sector got in on the fun, turning around for the first time since elections. Offsetting that was financials, which saw its feverish rally die down

Look Out Internet Trolls

…Twitter’s (-0.84%) adding a mute button. The struggling social media company announced yesterday that it will allow users to compile a list of words or phrases that they don’t want to see on their feeds in an effort to curb online harassment. A second feature will allow users to mute entire threads of tweets directed at them. Twitter has been trying for years to find the right balance between protecting freedom of speech and preventing bullying on its platform—no easy task.

Screenshot This

…Snap Inc., owner of Snapchat, has reportedly begun the IPO process behind closed doors. Yep, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is almost here. The Snapchat parent is seeking to raise $4 billion, which could value the popular app at a hefty $25 billion. The move shows that Snapchat is serious about competing with other social video and messaging platforms like Facebook (+1.84%), which tried (and failed) to buy Snapchat three years ago. Prepare for a showdown.

‘Tis the Season

…American consumers are in the spirit of, well, consuming. Retail sales rose 0.8% in October, and combined with September, it was the best two months of growth since 2014. Why the sudden enthusiasm for shopping? Healthy hiring and solid wage growth, of course. Many Americans have been spending on cars, gas, construction materials, groceries and health care products—and cutting back on restaurants, furniture and department stores. In other words, Americans are pretty focused on the essentials right now. Holiday gift shopping should change that pretty quickly.

Brexit? What Brexit?

…You don’t see Google (+2.91%) worrying. Despite uncertainty over the effects of a possible Brexit, Google is moving forward with its plans to open a new London HQ. It won’t be operational until 2020 and will cost over a billion dollars, but it’ll also expand the available jobs in London from the current 3,000 employees to 7,000. Not only is the decision a vote of confidence that the UK’s economy will keep it together, but it’s also an investment in improving European relations. Why? Remember, Google’s been embroiled in a bitter war with the EU over whether it’s paying its fair share of taxes—and don’t even get us started on the antitrust allegations. Google sure could use a couple of friends out there.

Home Depot Takes Home The Win

…On Q3 earnings. The home improvement chain (-2.56%) beat on earnings estimates across the board yesterday, largely thanks to a sales-pleasing combination of rising home values, higher wages (Brew theme alert!) and an uptick in residential construction. The cherry on top? Home Depot also raised its full-year earnings forecast. That’s a solid W.

But Dick’s Takes the L

…You can’t win ‘em all. Dick’s Sporting Goods’ (-6.83%) latest earnings report came in yesterday—and it was a big ol’ bag of mixed results. The quarter itself wasn’t too shabby, with sales growing more than expected, but the future is looking pretty rough. Dick’s said it likely won’t be able to meet expectations for the upcoming quarter, leaving investors feeling pessimistic about the months to come.

Other Stories

Economic Calendar

Fake News, Real Consequences?

The election fallout is real: just ask Google and Facebook. Outrage has erupted over fake news stories on Facebook feeds and Google search results—and both tech giants have responded to the criticism this week. Here’s more:

  • First, some context: lots of Americans use these outlets to get their news—you might call them trusted platforms. The complaint: fake news on the sites may have impacted political discourse and even fueled the political divide.
  • Mark Zuckerberg has flat-out denied the effects of Facebook-promoted fake news on the election, arguing that 99% of news on the site is authentic. Nonetheless, the Facebook Audience Network Policy was updated to state that it will no longer include fake news sites due to illegal or misleading content. You’re welcome.
  • While Google’s search algorithm favors well-designed and otherwise reputable websites, fake news stories still sometimes find their way to the top of the search results. In its statement, Google said it would ban websites that promote fake news from using their online advertising service. Maybe next election cycle we should just ask Jeeves.

Interview Question of the Day

Place three piles of cards on a table: the first with 11 cards, the second with seven cards and the third with six cards. You are to move the cards so that each pile holds eight cards. You may add to any pile only as many cards as it already contains. For example, if a pile holds six cards, you may add six to it; no more or less. All the cards must come from the three piles. You have only three moves. (Answer)

Business Term of the Day

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Food for Thought

Honeywell has agreed to supply avionics for a badass-named supersonic jetliner that could slash transcontinental travel times in half. The prototype vehicle, called Baby Boom, is set to take flight in 2017, but the project could cost north of $1 billion. Cool things don’t come cheap.

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