23.74 -0.01 (-0.04%)
After hours: 4:45PM EDT
|Bid||23.59 x 2900|
|Ask||23.73 x 2900|
|Day's Range||23.02 - 24.27|
|52 Week Range||7.89 - 26.76|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.79|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
Snapchat could be gearing up to more directly challenge TikTok. The company confirmed it's testing a new experience that allows users to move through Snapchat's public content with a vertical swiping motion -- a gesture that's been popularized by TikTok, where it allows users to advance between videos. Snapchat says the feature is one of its experiments in exploring different, immersive visual formats for community content.
Cybersecurity experts say an outright ban of TikTok may be easier said than done, and any move to quash a consumer driven platform on national security grounds unrelated to terrorism would mark a first for the country.
Snap (SNAP) possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.
(Bloomberg) -- An ambitious voter registration effort from Facebook Inc. has rankled President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, which is complaining that the social network’s goal of registering 4 million voters in time for November’s election is an attempt to swing the election in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden.“With knowledge of every user’s political ideology, Facebook is officially in the business of political advocacy and their efforts to silence conservative voices should be seen as nothing less than an attempt to ultimately benefit Biden and the Democrat Party,” said Samantha Zager, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, when asked about Facebook’s voter registration plans. Her comments follow on other grumbling from Republican strategists, including a prediction that Gary Coby, Trump’s digital director, made last month on Twitter that Facebook’s effort would focus on swing state voters likely to favor Biden.Facebook rejected the campaign’s claims. Emily Dalton Smith, who is helping to lead the voter registration effort, said the company won’t use ad targeting to determine who sees prompts to register; the only personal data Facebook will use are age and location, to make sure it is reaching eligible voters and directing them towards relevant local election information. She described the effort as non-partisan. A spokesman for the Biden campaign did not return a request for comment.The reaction from the Trump campaign is an illustration that nothing Facebook does is ever viewed as politically neutral. Last week, Bloomberg News reported that Facebook was considering a blackout on political ads in the days before the election, a common practice in other countries. The move was immediately condemned by civil rights groups, which called it a distraction that could potentially exacerbate voter suppression.Facebook’s political dilemma took shape during the 2016 election, when conservatives stepped up accusations that it intentionally disfavored right-wing messages. The attacks have only increased, despite evidence that right-leaning content consistently spreads further than political posts that lean left. In response, Facebook has taken a more permissive stance than rival social networks on content posted by the president and his campaign, leading to criticism that it is too willing to bend its rules to maintain an important political relationship.Last week, an independent audit of Facebook recommended the company implement stronger policies to prevent voter suppression. Such a move would likely force it to confront the president’s attacks on the legitimacy of basic aspects of the electoral process, like mail-in voting. The authors of the audit said the company was unwilling to commit.Republicans have supported higher barriers to voting in various ways, which has increasingly turned the mechanics of voting into a partisan struggle. Republican lawmakers are more likely to oppose efforts like same-day registration, and Trump adamantly opposes the expansion of mail-in voting, which he has attacked baselessly as illegitimate.Still, both parties want to register voters. On its face, voter registration should be far less controversial than, say, Facebook’s policies on whether to take down certain politically-charged posts. It has run registration efforts with the goal of registering 2 million voters. In June, employees presented Zuckerberg with the choice or repeating those efforts, increasing them by 50%, or doubling the goal. He opted for the most ambitious option. After it went public with the initiative, Facebook bought advertisements in the Washington political press highlighting the efforts.The company plans to blanket its users across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger with prompts and posts encouraging them to register to vote, and is also working directly with state secretaries of state offices to coordinate its notifications to users about local elections. “We just really want to help as many people as possible participate in the election,” said Dalton Smith.Facebook has shown that even modest nudges on the social network can change voting behavior. In the 2010 midterm elections, researchers at the company studied the impact of using posts on Facebook to encourage people to vote. A study they published in the journal Nature showed that people were significantly more likely to vote if they saw a message from a close friend who had voted, in the form of a digital “I Voted” sticker. Providing the digital sticker, they wrote, led to 340,000 additional votes, the researchers wrote: “The results show that the messages directly influenced political self-expression, information seeking and real-world voting behavior of millions of people.”The design of Facebook’s program could impact its specific effects. In its first round of voter registration notifications, for instance, Facebook prompted users on its main app to register to vote, but it didn’t run a similar message on Facebook-owned Instagram. Most observers believe that Instagram, with its younger audience, is comparatively more likely to be the home to Democratic Party-inclined voters, while older suburban voters are more likely to use Facebook. (The company says it plans to include Instagram in other efforts this election season.)Online voter registration could have a particularly significant impact on this year’s election. Typically, state department of motor vehicles are the most common places for people to register. Some 25 million people registered this way in the most recent presidential election cycle. Every month, some 2 million people who normally would have registered are failing to do so because of the pandemic, according to National Voter Registration Day, a nonprofit organization.The unusual nature of this fall’s election will likely also require more forethought by voters. While many states allow voters to update their address in person on Election Day, people who vote by mail have to do so in advance in order to receive their ballot.Other technology companies, including Microsoft Corp. and Spotify Technology SA , are planning digital voter registration efforts. The messaging company Snap Inc. has built animations into its app meant to encourage people to share that they voted, a campaign that several voter registration experts say is some of the most innovative and high-engagement work this campaign season.But Facebook’s effort is huge compared to any other digital voter registration efforts. Acronym, a nonprofit aligned with the Democratic Party, has an affiliated voter registration arm that is spending $6 million to register 100,000 people this election cycle. If Facebook had to spend the same amount for each of its 4 million voter registrations, its effort would be worth $240 million, although the company will almost certainly spend far less.The world’s largest social network is in a uniquely influential position, according Ashley Spillane, a voter registration consultant and former head of Rock the Vote. “The amount of reach that the platform has is so significant that any call to action that helps people get to a voter registration form will have a sizable impact,” she said.(Updates third paragraph with additional information about Facebook's voter registration efforts.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
TikTok's meteoric rise seemingly threatened Snap's (NYSE: SNAP) Snapchat, which targets the same Gen Z market with its ephemeral messages and short videos. TikTok clearly covets Snap's core market: It bought so many ads on Snapchat it became its top advertiser last year, according to MediaRadar, and it poached over a dozen employees from Snap. First, Indian regulators banned TikTok, along with dozens of other Chinese apps, citing privacy concerns and escalating tensions with China.
Snap (SNAP) closed at $25.94 in the latest trading session, marking a -1.78% move from the prior day.
Investors need to pay close attention to Snap (SNAP) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.
(Bloomberg) -- Snap Inc. shares jumped on Wednesday, after President Donald Trump said his administration was considering a ban of TikTok, the latest indication the U.S. government might take steps against the short-video app.The app has become enormously popular, especially with younger users, and analysts said banning it could reduce the competitive risk it poses to other social-media platforms. Rosenblatt Securities wrote that peer companies may breathe “a big sigh of relief” in the event it gets banned.Analyst Mark Zgutowicz wrote that while TikTok’s ad platform “hasn’t been too competitive given scale limitations, escalating time spent on the app has infringed on other Gen Z social platforms,” notably Snapchat, Facebook’s Instagram and YouTube, owned by Google-parent Alphabet Inc.Snap climbed as much as 6.5% on Wednesday in its third straight daily advance. The stock is trading at its highest level in more than three years, having more than tripled off a March low. The rally has been fueled by a recent developer conference, where it announced a number of new products and features. Facebook rose 1.1% and Alphabet was 0.5% higher. Pinterest Inc. was up 3.3%.BofA also sees a tailwind for the Snapchat parent company if TikTok is banned, calling the rival app’s popularity “one of the biggest investor concerns” about Snap. “A ban could reduce [the] TikTok overhang” on the shares, analyst Justin Post wrote, noting that when TikTok was banned in India, data subsequently showed a surge of Snapchat downloads in the country.Last month, Lightshed Partners wrote that “anyone who competes for mobile time spent should be focused on the growing competitive threat posed by TikTok,” adding that it posed “a rising threat to everyone in the space.” In a silver lining, however, analyst Richard Greenfield noted that TikTok content could easily be shared outside the app, “fueling engaging content into platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter.”In January, Snap Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel called himself “a big fan” of TikTok, and said it could become bigger than Instagram.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Yahoo Finance speaks with NAACP CEO Derrick Johnson about Facebook's misinformation problems.
(Bloomberg) -- Verishop Inc., a startup led by former Snap Inc. executive Imran Khan, unveiled a new social shopping app on Tuesday that lets users buy clothes directly from their news feed.The service combines the capabilities of an e-commerce website Verishop launched last year with a mobile app that functions like Pinterest and TikTok, where users view, save and follow images and videos that interest them.There have been several failed social-shopping initiatives in the past decade, including attempts by Facebook Inc. and the spectacular rise and fall of Fab.com. But the approach has gained fresh momentum recently. Poshmark Inc. and Depop Ltd. have made selling used clothing online more social, while Facebook announced another try in May.Khan said previous social-shopping businesses focused too much on the fun aspects initially, rather than building the tricky-but-necessary e-commerce underpinnings. Verishop reversed the approach by creating a retail website first with free two-day shipping and returns.“People said, ‘what are you doing? It sounds like a boring e-commerce company,’” Khan said. “But we wanted to make sure that we get the boring parts right. And then focus on the fun part.”Roughly a year after the e-commerce site rolled out, Verishop is now launching the social app. It will have more than 600 brands, including Oribe hair care products and Madewell and Hill City apparel. The app will also feature influencers from the worlds of fashion, interior design and cooking. It will have no ads. Instead, Verishop will take a cut of sales completed through the service.“What we’re bringing is entertainment and discovery. I don’t expect them to buy every time they come to our platform,” Khan said.The launch comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has shut many shopping malls and brick-and-mortar stores. Users have flocked to social media services and e-commerce sites such as TikTok, Facebook, Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc. Verishop hopes to grab some of this increased online business.The startup, which has raised about $30 million, is introducing social aspects to the app slowly. At launch, users will be able to follow brands and curate their feed. In the future, the company plans to let individuals upload their own content featuring products that can be purchased.Khan was chief strategy officer at Snap for more than three years, when the social messaging company was growing quickly and completed an initial public offering. Before that, he was a tech investment banker at Credit Suisse. He and his wife, Cate Khan, a former executive at Amazon, founded Verishop.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Facebook won't overcome the yawning advertiser revolt in response to hate content overnight, suggests a Goldman Sachs strategist that specializes in tech investing.
Here are seven top-ranked stocks to capitalize on the coronavirus crisis induced stay-at-home trend amid fears of a second wave with no vaccine yet in sight.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is shutting down two of its apps this month, Lasso and Hobbi. Lasso was a clone of TikTok, providing tools to create and share short videos. Hobbi looked a lot like Pinterest (NYSE: PINS), giving users a place to collect images and ideas related to their hobbies.
After crashing during the coronavirus sell-off in March, shares of Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) bounced back and finished the first half of the year up 19%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. While the company's advertising business has been challenged by the crisis, investors have enthusiastically returned to growth stocks like Pinterest, believing that the crisis will accelerate a shift in advertising spending to digital platforms like the virtual pinboard. The stock jumped on Jan. 14 when eMarketer said it passed Snapchat to become the third-biggest social media app in the country, finishing 2019 with a projected 82.4 million users in the U.S. The research firm also predicted that the gap between the two apps would widen over the coming years, with Pinterest reaching 90.1 million domestic users by 2022.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The internet, once a freewheeling global network, is becoming balkanized into national spheres of influence. This could be bad for both cross-cultural communication and U.S. tech companies.China has long protected its local internet, censoring speech behind what has become known as the Great Firewall. The government blocks U.S.-based services such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, and closely monitors the local Chinese versions. Other authoritarian and quasi-authoritarian countries -- Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Ethiopia – do the same. And Russia recently passed a so-called sovereign internet law that makes it much easier for the government to monitor and control online content.Now democracies may be joining in. India just banned 59 of China’s largest internet apps, including social video sharing service TikTok, reflecting rising tensions between the two giant Asian countries. It has also shut off internet to regions experiencing government crackdowns or unrest, such as Jammu and Kashmir in 2019. In Europe, major rules such as the General Data Protection Regulation are forcing internet companies to operate differently in different regions. Though this doesn’t officially ban or censor U.S.-based sites like Facebook, it does present an obstacle that could end up inhibiting the flow of information.This was probably inevitable. Different cultures perceive concepts such as privacy differently. And as U.S. global hegemony gives way to a more multipolar world, countries are going to assert their sovereignty by refusing to play by U.S. rules. Further unrest, like the protests that rocked the world in 2019 or tensions between countries such as China and India, are likely to accelerate the trend towards digital division.This could be tough on U.S. tech companies. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube don’t owe their profitability to superior technology, other than some techniques for managing large amounts of user data. They make money because they have a lot of eyeballs to which they can deliver advertisements.And they have those eyeballs because of network effects. It’s easy to make a Twitter clone -- Gab tried it a while ago, and a new entrant called Parler is trying it now. But it’s incredibly hard to get people to switch, because the first people who make the jump will find themselves mostly alone, with everyone they know and want to read still back on Twitter. Similarly, people use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media services because everyone else does.Captive advertising targets translate into enormous profits. Facebook, Inc., which dominates the social media landscape, has a profit margin that typically ranges between 20% and 40%. Its market cap as of early July was about $647 billion, or 2.6% of the entire S&P 500.Regional balkanization, though, slices through network effects. If services like Facebook are banned in some countries and heavily restricted in others, users will have less company. Most people’s contacts and friends will tend to be in the same country, but not all. And outright bans will cut some services off entirely from huge markets like China, while restrictions like GDPR will force them to invest in expensive localization.This is an unfortunate side effect of nationalism and unrest. But it’s also reason to worry about a technology industry whose profitability stems mostly from network effects, not know-how. Actual innovations, like Intel Corporation’s semiconductor manufacturing processes, Amazon.com, Inc.’s cloud computing systems, or Google LLC’s machine learning algorithms give these companies some clout: if a country decides it doesn’t want to buy Intel’s chips, it will suffer a real economic penalty. But if a country decides to create its own Facebook clone, it will lose little, while Facebook’s American owners and workers will lose a lot.A free and open global internet may one day reemerge. In the meantime, U.S. companies and policy makers should think about how to invest in products whose value isn’t so subject to the whims of foreign authorities.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
With many states now contemplating pushing back the reopening phase, people are once again likely to spend more time in their homes and depend on technology to fulfill their daily tasks.
American companies are coming under increasing pressure from investors to publicly disclose information about diversity among employees in the wake of nationwide protests against racial discrimination. Many executives have pledged to champion equality in response to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the United States and beyond. The goal of global investors increasingly focused on social and governance issues is to gain a common metric on racial diversity to compare companies and hold them to account on their pledges, building on a drive to improve gender equality.
Scooter Braun, Ithaca Holdings Chairman & SB Projects Founder, joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to discuss political division in Washington.
Marketing veteran and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk weighs in on the controversy swirling around Facebook.
(Bloomberg) -- Long before an uproar over online hate speech prompted hundreds of marketers to cut summer social media budgets, 2020 was turning out to be a dismal year for the global advertising industry.Total ad spending will fall 12% this year, compared with a 6.2% gain in 2019, according to GroupM, a division of advertising giant WPP Plc. That’s the biggest contraction in at least a decade. As the global pandemic spread around the world and consumer spending slowed to a trickle, many corporations targeted marketing as a fast, early way to cut costs.One ad agency executive said third-quarter buying would be down 20% to 30%. New deals were being struck with “force majeure” clauses that would allow advertisers to pull out if a second wave of the virus caused new shutdowns, said the executive, who requested anonymity discussing internal financial figures. In the U.S., hopes that the virus would slow by summer are fading as states that had begun opening up move to shut down again because of a jump in cases.Against this backdrop, advertisers are making another shift. Big companies around the world have said they’ll pause spending on social media, several of them singling out Facebook Inc., because they don’t want marketing messages appearing alongside the vitriol and disinformation. Many are heeding the call from a consortium of civil rights and other advocacy groups, including Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League, to stop spending on Facebook for July to protest the company’s failure to police harmful content.The pause creates a way for many companies to take a public stance against hate while at the same time providing a concrete reason to trim marketing budgets or, in some cases, experiment with alternatives to traditional social media, such as Amazon.com Inc. or ByteDance’s TikTok. “While many brands were planning on pulling back ad spend anyways, a portion of Facebook-allocated dollars may end up on Snapchat, Pinterest, Amazon, Walmart, etc.,” Mark Shmulik, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, wrote in a recent research note.Ad budgets are an indicator of corporate sentiment toward the world economy. Confidence and growth leads to bigger budgets and higher ad prices. Ad spending cratered in March and April as businesses shut and people stayed home to comply with lockdown orders.In interviews earlier in the year, ad execs were mostly hopeful that the pain would end once quarantines lifted and the economy rebounded. But behind the scenes, the picture was more bleak. Ad agencies, which choose how and when to spend the money companies entrust to them, have cut thousands of jobs. Ad executives who had spent money on spots meant to run during now-canceled sports events tried to recoup the money and find new outlets for it, according to people interviewed by Bloomberg who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.Despite the larger advertising pullback, a pause for social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter Inc. and YouTube creates an opening for ad upstarts on the digital side. Packaged foods company Conagra Brands Inc. pulled Facebook advertisements, redirecting the money to search and e-commerce ads, a category most likely to benefit online rivals Google and Amazon.Ben & Jerry’s, a division of Unilever, was one of the early brands to join the StopHateForProfit campaign. “The marketing dollars that would have been spent on Facebook will be spent on other channels, including possibly some Black-owned media outlets,” said Chris Miller, the activism manager at Ben & Jerry’s.Even if the boycotts gain momentum and persist for more than a month, Google and Facebook are still likely to benefit in the long-term from the disruption wrought by the pandemic. That’s because these companies offer advertisers the most flexible and direct way to reach consumers; spending can be paused or ramped up on a moment’s notice. The tech giants also benefit from the millions of small businesses that rely heavily on them for day-to-day business and don’t necessarily need to take a public stand on moral issues. “They may grab an even greater market share post COVID-19 than the strong gains we are currently projecting,” Michael Nathanson, an analyst at MoffettNathanson LLC, said of Facebook and Google.The more traditional parts of the ad ecosystem, which still account for around half of advertising spending, are in a riskier position.For the TV industry, the advertising outlook for the rest of 2020 will depend on two still-unanswered questions. One is how much the pandemic-driven recession will accelerate cable-TV cord-cutting. With unemployment high, more people are expected to cancel their TV subscriptions as they tighten their household budgets. That would hurt viewership and the advertising dollars that go with it. The bigger audiences as a result of people being confined to their homes has already started to fall for just about all programming except news as more people venture outdoors again.The other big question is the return of sports. As long as professional and college football starts up again this fall, media companies like Fox Corp., Comcast Corp., Walt Disney Co. and ViacomCBS will likely see a rebound in advertising revenue, analysts say. Brands spent over $4 billion on TV commercials during NFL games last year.Still, some big TV advertisers could be less willing to jump back this year at all. Carmakers like General Motors and Ford, for instance, have been among the top buyers of TV commercials. The global pandemic has disrupted their supply chains and raised doubts about consumers making big purchases like cars.Media companies and TV networks are now under pressure to make their contracts more flexible. TV networks typically prevent advertisers from pulling all of their money out on short notice. That frustrated many advertisers this spring when the pandemic first kicked off the recession. Now, advertisers are pushing for the right to pull more of their money out of a TV network with fewer days notice in case the coronavirus worsens the economic picture. They will, however, likely pay a higher price for that flexibility, according to one TV executive.That could send them back to the digital platforms, regardless of all the commitments to boycott Facebook.“Brands can stop TV ads but they can’t stop things being on social,” said Arron Shepherd, co-founder of global social media and influencer marketing agency Goat.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.