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This week: Zuck’s perpetual Caesar haircut belies changes to the Facebook empire
Marker Zuckerberg spent his Friday evening engaged in a ritual that’due south become familiar to people in all tax brackets: he draped a towel over his neck and sat still while his spouse gave him a quarantine haircut.
The Facebook CEO’due south trademark Caesar cut (equally documented on his Facebook folio) looks pretty much the same equally his last ane, a result that speaks not only to Priscilla Chan’southward pair of scissors skills but to the sense of continuity that Zuck — who turned 36 years sometime final Thursday — is cracking to project most himself and his formidable empire of apps.
Consider two of his recent signals:
1. Just a few hours before Zuckerberg sat down for his Friday haircut, the Facebook CEO spent a reported $400 1000000 to acquire Giphy, the pop purveyor of animated GIF images.
- The deal is hardly the largest in Facebook history (the $21.8 billion WhatsApp bargain holds that title), simply it delivers an unmistakable and defiant “business-as-usual” message.
- That’s because Facebook and its Big Tech brethren are under significant antitrust scrutiny right now, and the Giphy deal raises flags about information that might accept caused other companies in Facebook’south shoes to hold off on a deal (and although the bargain has already closed, the FTC has made it clear it does not dominion out unwinding past mergers that it deems anticompetitive).
ii. Zuckerberg is literally saying that Facebook intends to stay the course. From Facebook’s Q1 earnings call at the end of April: “I think it’s important that rather than slamming on the brakes now, equally I recollect a lot of companies may, that information technology’s important to continue on building and go on on investing and building for the new needs that people accept.”
It’s understandable that Zuckerberg and Facebook want to project calm and normalcy. After all, with so much uncertainty in the world right now, and with well-nigh of Facebook’s 48,000 employees scattered across their homes instead of toiling from centralized offices, continual reassurance is vital.
Just information technology’s not really business concern equally usual at Facebook, and not merely because we’re living through a pandemic.
A couple of other contempo Facebook headlines make this clear.
1. Earlier this month, Facebook agreed to pay $52 million to contractors who suffered PTSD.
- Information technology’s hard to imagine a more dissentious expect for a consumer product than the notion that, with the safe filter removed, it brims with material then toxic that it tin can cause deep psychological damage.
- This is also a weak spot in Zuckerberg’south recent video interviews with wellness officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci. It’southward not bad that Zuckerberg is doing these videos, but in that location’s an inherent proffer — to a cynical eye at least — that the typical COVID-nineteen information available on Facebook is so untrustworthy that the visitor CEO himself must go on-air to requite users the facts.
2. And now Facebook is launching a big new initiative to suspension into ecommerce with Shops.
- Facebook has unsuccessfully tried to brand ecommerce work a gazillion times earlier. But this time Facebook is offering minor businesses something they need — a lifeline to sell goods online while their brick-and-mortar storefronts are boarded upwards past the pandemic.
- And cheers to the AI prowess Facebook has developed over the years, the visitor now has the technology to create a special shopping feel.
The close timing of these 2 developments is coincidental, just they reverberate a reality that Facebook is trying to alter. 3 years later the Usa election exposed the dark side of Facebook, it’s at present struggling to blunt misinformation involving another presidential election, plus a pandemic.
With all the headaches and bug that surely now come up with moderating faux news, propaganda, and conspiracy theories, the grass growing on ecommerce platforms has got to look pretty green and comfortable. In that location are no PTSD lawsuits when you’re helping people sell telephone cases and T-shirts.
I doubt Facebook expects, or even wants, its newsfeed to ever completely shed its media and news-sharing nature. Only Facebook is conspicuously eager to upgrade its look, no thing what Zuckerberg’due south neatly trimmed hairline suggests.
Sound bite of the calendar week:
“Our residue sheet is strong, Eats is doing nifty, Rides looks a fiddling better, mayhap we can wait this damn virus out…I wanted at that place to be a dissimilar reply. Let me talk to a few more CEOs…maybe ane of them will tell me some skillful news, but at that place only was no skilful news to hear.”
— Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a Monday email to staff obtained by Concern Insider announcing the decision to lay off 3,000 employees, in addition to the 3,700 job cuts earlier this month.
Look at that S-Team go
Jeff Bezos relies on 23 lieutenants to assist him run Amazon. And these days, with the company under immense pressure from the pandemic, the team is incredibly decorated. As Eugene Kim writes in this look at the Amazon S-Squad (S stands for Senior, by the way), many of Bezos’ chosen ones are at present belongings daily meetings in add-on to the usual weekly South-Team meetings.
So who are the members of Amazon’s elite team? Well, 20 of them are men, and simply three are women. And virtually all of them are Amazon lifers.
Cheque out Eugene’southward story to see the total list of the 23 Amazon South-Squad members and larn more near them:
Amazon has an aristocracy group of execs who are guiding the company through the coronavirus chaos. Hither are the 23 members of Jeff Bezos’ ‘S-team.’
Airbnb only cut nearly two,000 jobs, only the layoffs aren’t fifty-fifty shut to offsetting a $ii.4 billion revenue shortfall this twelvemonth
A gang of hackers claims to have sold off all the data it has on Trump and plans to auction its Madonna data side by side
The pandemic is changing how companies like Amazon Web Services and Twilio hire software developers, as Silicon Valley rethinks the interview process
Google employees say the company culture that fabricated it famous has almost entirely vanished, as it continues to be less transparent and more ‘corporate’
Within the unstoppable rise of ‘bare-bank check companies,’ a type of business organization that has no operations and can withal float an IPO amidst a recession
Silicon Valley VCs opened the floodgates to a gusher of billion-dollar startups with untouchable founders. At present that world is getting turned upside downwards
Non necessarily in tech:
Within the chaotic Trump campaign and the ‘Expiry Star’ tweet that’s spurring calls for a change in command
And, there you have information technology. Thanks for reading, and remember, if you like this newsletter, tell your friends and colleagues they can sign upward here to receive it.