😸 Wiser! #88: TikTok Search | Twitter Woes | Insta Copycat | Roasted Zuck | Along’s Never Ending Videos
TikTok has eaten Facebook’s lunch, now it wants a piece of Google. A Twitter whistleblower causes havoc and gives Musk something to hang onto. Instagram wants to kill off BeReal. The Zuck gets roasted on social media. The Tornado Cash story keeps rumbling on. Amazon has spent 10x more on acquisitions so far in 2022 than in each of the previous 3 years.
And, is Along and their never-ending videos going to be the next big thing for communities?
Welcome to the 88th issue of the Wiser! Newsletter
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Twitter Whistleblower Gives Elon Musk False Hope
Insider: A Twitter whistleblower has made some embarrassing allegations this week. He’s known as Mudge, a renowned cyber security expert, the former Head of Security at Twitter and was one of the most senior execs at the firm.
Anyhow: Mudge has made some astonishing claims about Twitter:
- It violated its obligations to the FTC (this is the most serious),
- Security on the social media platform is shite (remember the 2019 hacking of the twitter accounts of the rich and famous?),
- Twitter doesn’t know how much spam is on the platform, and has chosen not to find out (a gift to Team Musk as they try to get out of buying Twitter),
- It’s vulnerable to foreign exploitation and may even have spies on its payroll (apparently the US Gov told Twitter as much!).
Mark Zuckerberg Takes The Metaverse To France and Spain, And Gets Whacked On Social Media!
Ouch: The Zuck is having a torrid time on social media. Last week, the Meta Facebook boss got roasted by BlenderBot3, his own AI chatbot for the Metaverse.
- This week, Meta Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of Horizon Worlds in France and Spain. (Horizon Worlds is the name of the Meta Facebook Metaverse.)
The thing is: The Zuck used a cartoon selfie that has been ripped to shreds across social media. It was even compared to a 2008 Wii game!
Remember: Meta has spent over $10 billion building their Metaverse. The consensus was that the quality of the graphics didn’t match the promise of tomorrow’s immersive world for adults!
Zuckerberg was quick to respond to the critics in an Instagram post, promising “Major updates to Horizon and avatar graphics coming soon.” He also posted an updated avatar.
“It’s almost like every day you wake up and you’re punched in the stomach.”
This is what Mark Zuckerberg just told Joe Rogan on this nearly 3 hour podcast.
It’s a fascinating conversation from a man familiar with spreading misinformation on social media talking to a man familiar with spreading misinformation on social media.
During the chat, Zuckerberg claimed that Meta Facebook spent $5 billion last year combatting misinformation. Let me repeat that — $5 BILLION in one year!
This is a long podcast (3hrs), with a lot of focus on the Zuck’s pivot to the Metaverse.
But Rogan does press Zuckerberg on the role and responsibility of the world’s largest social network in dividing America and public opinion.
Here, Zuckerberg resorted to previous form, pushing blame onto social dynamics that pre-date Facebook and social media. The Zuck’s general line of deflection is that people get the content they want, it’s not his fault that this is inflammatory or fake.
Facebook's AI Went Wrong and Promoted Fake News by 30%
Wiser! Essay: Facebook's algorithms were meant to "down rank" misinformation to stop it from spreading. Instead, the AI…
What Meta/Facebook Are Doing in The Metaverse?
Wiser! Essay: When Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would refocus on the Metaverse, it created more questions…
🎙 Big Tech Little Tech Episode #7
In the latest episode of the Big Tech Little Tech podcast, co-host Shaun and I discuss the Amazon One payment system that uses your palm signature to authenticate transactions.
Somehow, we get around to mentioning great drummers! Join us by using one of these links, or find us wherever you get your podcasts:
🍎 APPLE: https://apple.co/3wsLarN
🎶 SPOTIFY: https://spoti.fi/3QPeAsl
🌳 AMAZON: https://amzn.to/3AhkpaV
⚓️ ANCHOR: https://bit.ly/3AjjW8m
🌎 WEB: https://BTLTpod.com
📰 NEWSLETTER: Substack
🐦 TWITTER: @BTLTpod
Scarcity and Status: The Secret Sauce Driving NFTart
#6873: This Pudgy Penguin has just sold for 400 ETH (that’s over $600,000 in fiat money). I know, it sounds crazy. It does to me to.
But here’s the thing: It’s a collectible.
- Is this any more crazy than the 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card bought for $125,000 on eBay?
- Or the $2.3 million paid for the Treskilling Yellow Stamp (the most expansive postage stamp in the world)?
Because that’s the point, innit?
They all have 2 things in common. They are all scarce (the only 1 in existence). And they all convey status (look what I own).
That’s why NFTs are so appealing to a digital demographic…
First Facebook, Now TikTok Has Its Sights Set On Google
Hungry? TikTok has eaten Facebook’s lunch, now it wants a bite of Google’s!
TikTok is testing a feature called “near-by” in its user feed. The idea is simple. To serve up relevant local content based on your geo-location.
Why? TikTok is already the preferred search engine for 40% of young people. That’s according to Google’s own research, that showed the young demographics prefer TikTok and Instagram for Google Search or Maps for local information.
- The move will strengthen the appeal of TikTok as as preferred search tool for kids who are spending on average 95 minutes a day on the app (compared to c75 mins for YouTube and zero for Facebook).
Instagram To Launch New Feature To Kill Off BeReal
Authentic: Last week, I wrote an Insights piece for Premium subscribers. It was about BeReal, the Number 1 downloaded photo-sharing app with around 10 million Daily Active Users, up from just 10 thousand less than 18 months ago.
- It’s the app with momentum… and now it looks like it may be getting some competition.
The news is that Instagram is testing a new feature called Candid Challenges, which looks very much like a clone of the selfie-sharing app.
🪞 And they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
Amazon’s Bumper Spending Spree on Corporate Acquisitions
Buy, Buy, Buy: Amazon are on track to spend at least $20 billion this year on buying up businesses. That’s roughly 10 times how much it spent on corporate acquisitions in each of the last 3 years!
And 50% of its lifetime spend on buying up smaller businesses!
Their latest acquisition target is Signify Health, a health analytics company that had a market cap of $6.6 billion before the Amazon bid was made public. Signify’s stock has seen a 30% uplift since. (Remember I wrote this about Amazon buying One Medical just a couple of weeks ago).
So far this year, Amazon’s shopping spree includes:
- One Medical’s chain of walk-in clinics for $3.9 billion,
- iRobot, maker of the Roomba home robot vacuum cleaner for $1.7 billion, and
- MGM Studios for $8.6 billion.
The big question: why are they doing it now?
- Peloton has announced an agreement to sell its products on Amazon. This is the first time Peloton will sell through a 3rd party and opens up an already interested market previously closed to it. Amazon report that there are around 500,000 searches for Peloton on its marketplace every week!). The stock popped 20% on the news, which is seen as a possible first step toward Amazon buying the entire company.
Debate Over Tornado Cash Sanctions Continue…
It’s Just Code: Remember last week I wrote about Tornado Case, the computer code that anonymises financial transaction in the crypto space?
- IMHO, the US Treasury sanctioning computer code is a wrong move. Now it seems that a US lawmaker takes the same POV as me!
US Congressman Tom Emmer has written in a letter to Janet Yellan, the US Treasury Secretary, saying “the growing adoption of decentralised technology will raise new challenges” for regulators.
I rarely find a reason to side with a Republican politician, but on this occasion, I have.
Continue reading… (includes my annotated version of the letter from Congressman Emmer)
The Social Media App That Makes Never Ending Videos
Flywheel Effect: Social media networks rely on collaboration and engagement to grow. It’s called the flywheel effect, namely, the more people that use the network, the more people it attracts to use the network and so it goes, on and on.
- Last week I wrote about BeReal and its novel approach to stimulating engagement amongst friendship groups. (It only works if you are connected to real friends online).
Getting Along: This week I want to introduce you to another new app.
- This one is called Along.
It’s a video sharing app with a difference. Because, unlike videos on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, the videos on Along never end.
Along has removed all restrictions to allow never-ending collaboration videos with multiple creators. It is based on the concept of infinite videos called “tapes.”
The full, technicolour, content-rich version of Wiser! is available to read FOR FREE at my website, rickhuckstep.com.
On the webpage, apart from being beautifully presented with all the brand colours and identifiers, you’d associate with Wiser!, the full version includes a lot more content, links, headlines and images, tweets and videos.