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  • Luke Brennan

Wait!!! Facebook Is Removing Its Likes? 😱👍

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

Beer companies are investing in cannabis, WeWork may slash its valuation in half and YouTube are in deep water! It's the Five On Friday of course 🍻

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash

The Five On Friday is our weekly newsletter covering the investing world's top stories. If you want to subscribe for more great content, simply sign up here!


#WeFund

As WeWork continues to make unforced errors, we can’t help but ask, if social media is a “chaos factory”, what do we call WeWork?


What does this mean?

There was a collective sigh on Wall Street earlier this week, as WeWork CEO Adam Neumann was reported to have given back the $5.9 million in stock that he charged his own company for their use of the word ‘We’— one the more (but certainly not the most) baffling examples of WeWork's bizarre corporate governance. This week’s Neumann controversies didn’t stop there (cue eye-roll), he also criticized ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft for spending too aggressively in pursuit of growth, despite doing the exact same thing at WeWork. So it comes as no surprise that there are reports of the company slashing its valuation in half, to a little over $20 billion, as investors become increasingly skeptical and ask if they are even worth that.

Bet you didn’t know

Adam Neumann graduated from Baruch College in 2017, 15 years after he had enrolled.

#ASlackingReport?

While Uber and Lyft duke it out for our ride-hailing loyalty, and WeWork try to convince us that their cosmic energy will someday generate profits, one of 2019's tech-unicorns is leaving Wall Street scratching its head.


What does this mean?

This week Slack Technologies released their first numbers as a public company, beating analyst estimates on both the top and bottom line. The company also increased their revenue estimates for the year, and claimed some big wins in landing large enterprise customers. Despite all this, the stock took a big hit in after-hours trading, opening up 16% lower the following morning. Throughout the trading day, however, money flooded back into the stock, leaving it more or less unchanged by close of business. So what's going on? Is Slack a revolution to the modern working environment, sure to generate outrageous profits with their innovative platform? Or will Microsoft roll over them with their copycat Teams and leave us all wondering how a funky chat tool ever commanded a $15 billion valuation? For the moment it seems, no one's really sure.

Bet you didn’t know

Until he was three years old, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield lived in a log cabin without running water, in a remote commune in Canada. Today he has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion.


#YouTubeKids

Alphabet Inc’s Google will spend up to $170 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission investigation into YouTube’s alleged violation of a children’s privacy law.


What does this mean?

Alphabet Inc's Google will be forced to hand out up to $170 million to the Federal Trade Commission in order to settle an alleged YouTube violation. The fine will be the largest ever imposed for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. YouTube was accused earlier in the year of collecting personal information from children without parental consent, in clear violation of online privacy laws. The settlement far surpasses the previous record of $5.7 million imposed on Musical.ly back in February for similar infringements regarding its 'Tik Tok' app. In order to avoid any future infringements, YouTube launched a web version of its 2015 app ‘YouTubeKids’ on Thursday, which allows for more customization tools for parents to monitor their child's site activity. Although the fine makes its mark as a good precedent for companies with relaxed privacy laws, $170 million only represents approximately 10 hours worth of Alphabets overall 2018 revenue. 


Bet you didn’t know

YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of all people on the Internet.


#BostonBaked

Following the success of its hard seltzer business, the CEO of Boston Beer has stated the company will be venturing into the cannabis business. 


What does this mean?

Boston Beer CEO David Burwick gave an interesting insight into the future of the company in an interview with CNBC. The U.S. based alcohol provider will be moving into the cannabis market in the near future as the company seeks to further diversify its revenue stream following success in its hard seltzer business, now claiming 29% of the hard seltzer market with its ‘Truly’ brand. This will not be the first time that an alcohol manufacturer has moved into the cannabis business. In 2017, Corona beer maker Constellation Brands bought a nearly 10% stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, a major weed manufacturer. Following a decline in the beer company’s flagship product, ‘Samuel Adams’ back in 2015, the company revived sales with a range of new beverages like Angry Orchard's Hard Cider and Twisted Tea, and will be hoping that a move into cannabis will do the same. “We’re not going to be the first one in, but we’re going to study and learn once the [hard seltzer] category develops. We’ll play it sometime down the road,” CEO David Burwick said.


Bet you didn’t know

After only 6 weeks on the market, ‘Samuel Adams Boston Lager’ was crowned ‘The Best Beer in America’.




#AndFinally

Facebook announced earlier this week that it is considering hiding the number of likes shown on a post on its news feed. The company has already tested a similar move on Instagram in August as a way to help break users' fixation with getting likes on their pictures. If implemented, Facebook posts will no longer show the number of likes or reactions to a post. The user who created the post can see a list of people and their reactions, but a number won't be displayed. In August, Facebook said it began the test to "remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive" on Instagram, and it was "excited by the early test results."


What does this mean?

Cue hundreds of thousands of influencers looking for new jobs 😬


Bet you didn’t know

The Facebook ‘Like’ button started out its life as the ‘Awesome’ button until it was vetoed by Mark Zuckerberg and changed to ‘Like’.


The Week In Numbers


82.2 Years

worth of video content is posted to Youtube daily.


10 thousand

Boeing jets are in service on any given day.


1 billion

messages are sent via slack on a weekly basis.


The Takeaway

It was yet another week dominated by WeWork headlines and it undoubtedly will not be the last as they consider delaying their IPO until 2020. Considering the rough waters that have faced newly-listed tech companies in 2019, the additional time may work in their favor. One such listing, Slack, was wobbled by earnings season but quickly recovered and looks to be back on the right track for Q3. Looking to our social providers, both Alphabet and Facebook are stepping up to provide features targeted at protecting their users, with Alphabet providing a controlled environment for those under the age of 13 and Facebook attempting to protect user’s self esteem with the removal of likes.

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