Tuesday Tune-Up #447

Nick Carolan

TikTok sale not a done deal just yet
Microsoft is continuing to explore a deal with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, which would see the tech giant own and operate TikTok in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

As with everything in 2020, however, it doesn’t seem like it’s a done deal just yet. Stories are continuing to emerge of TikTok challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order and potentially “filing a federal lawsuit challenging the order as soon as Tuesday”. It’s not all smooth sailing on the Microsoft end of the deal either, with Bill Gates referring to the prospective purchase as ‘a poisoned chalice‘. Love to back an outside bet? Twitter are reportedly stepping up their interest in a potential merger. Vine 2.0 anyone?

Instagram Reels launches – but have you found it yet?
Instagram Reels, the company’s answer to TikTok, is now available to users in more across 50 countries, including the US, France, Germany, the UK, Japan, Australia, Spain, Mexico, and more. The feature lets users create and publish 15-second videos using a new set of editing tools that include options like AR effects and music. The launch has been met by a mixed reception and has surfaced questions around the ‘bloating’ of the Instagram product itself, cluttering of the app and confusion arising from navigating to the new feature.

Social media platforms fact check Trump 
Last week, Facebook took down a post from President Trump – in which he made unfounded claims that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19 – for violating its rules against harmful false claims that any group is immune to the virus. Twitter also removed a link to the same video clip, which the official Trump Twitter account had shared.

Can businesses successfully boycott Facebook?
The value and scale of spend from small businesses on Facebook was revealed during the company’s investor call last week, with Facebook now communicating they have nine million active advertisers. Mark Zuckerberg said, “Some [seem to] wrongly assume that our business is dependent on a few large advertisers. The biggest part of our business is serving small businesses.”

When you combine the sheer number of smaller advertisers with the fact that collectively their spend has only dropped 21% during the global pandemic, it begs the question: Who really holds the power over the social media juggernaut?

Twitter shares data on the rising gaming discussion being had on the platform
The rise in gaming during COVID-19 has been undeniable, so much so the category is expected to become a $196 billion industry by 2022. With such growth, Twitter has released research this week showing the volume of conversations growing on their platform, revealing that, “With over 1 billion Tweets sent in the first half of 2020, the gaming conversation on Twitter is at an all-time high.”

Pinterest’s share price jumps as revenue and MAUs grows 
Pinterest’s share price jumped 36.13 per cent after the company reported total revenue of $272 million, up 4 per cent year-on-year, in its second quarter earnings report. In addition to the bump in revenue, Pinterest also reported that its global monthly active users grew 39 per cent year-on-year to 416 million.

WhatsApp rolls out new Search the Web feature 
WhatsApp has begun rolling out its new ‘Search the Web’ feature – a way for users to fact-check messages that have been forwarded several times – to users on Android, iOS and the web in Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the UK and the US.

Netflix invests $110m into Aussie children’s programming
As a response to the touted local quota obligations for subscription video-on-demand services (currently under government review), Netflix executive Ed Horasz has revealed that the streaming giant has invested $110m across nine series, including some created, filmed and set in Australia, over the last four years. Netflix has also committed a further $16 million to upcoming shows funded and produced in partnership with Australian networks. If that’s the case, then why are the Wiggles constantly on repeat in my house?

This edition of the Tuesday Tune-Up comes courtesy of Tom Richards.