🛒 Snap hits 500m users


May 24, 2021

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The Hustle

Fisker is getting high and mighty with its next project: The EV car company will make Pope Francis the first ever all-electric popemobile.

The Big Idea

Snap’s big push into ecommerce

It wasn’t too long ago that Snap’s social platform Snapchat almost imploded.

After going public at a valuation of $24B in March 2017, the “camera first” company cratered, with its value falling to $6B in late December 2018.

The decline was catalyzed by one of corporate history’s most shameless rip-offs: Zucky McCopycat had taken Snapchat’s popular Stories feature and grafted it onto Instagram.

But after years of incredible execution, Snap is now worth $86B…

… and it’s building an ecommerce platform for the future

Per CNBC, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel announced a slate of new shopping tools at the 2021 Snap Partner Summit:

  • Virtually try on clothes: Users can shop brands’ catalogs and — with advanced augmented reality (AR) — superimpose clothes onto their body and jewelry on their wrists
  • Copy an outfit: “Screenshop” is a feature that allows users to scan a photo and receive clothing recommendations based on the image
  • Shop in the app: Businesses can launch public profiles and list products that users can buy with a click

Why the shopping push?

One big reason: Apple recently updated its privacy policies, which largely prevents user tracking across iPhone apps.

The change makes it difficult for advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their ads.

By facilitating sales within its app, Snap can clearly connect a purchase decision to an ad. Ecommerce is also a good way for Snap to diversify, with advertising making up *checks notes* 99% of revenue.

Snap just passed 500m monthly users

Spiegel is feeling it so much that Snap is even giving Spectacles — its maligned smart glasses project — another go.

While the previous iteration was basically just a camera on sunglasses, Snap is now working on fully AR glasses. (In fact, it just acquired AR glass firm WaveOptics for $500m.)

It’s not yet available for sale. A select group of AR creators are testing it, which probably makes sense since the battery life is… 30 minutes.

Whether this project succeeds, Snap has come a long way from its “imploding” days.

A user virtually “tries on” a watch (Source: Snap / CNBC)

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SNIPPETS

Kohl’s is bringing back in-store shoppers by focussing on activewear and outdoor gear. #ecommerce-retail

Maine is considering a bill that will require producers of packaging (e.g., Amazon boxes, cereal containers, yogurt tubes) to pay a fee to operate. This is an effort to control all the junk that ends up in our homes. #clean-energy

The importance of incentive design. Trung breaks down historical examples of rules that created unintended consequences. #hustle-picks

The parellels between Big Tech and “Big Rail” from the late 19th century. Public outrage at concentrated power lead to regulation. #big-tech

Bitcoin fell below $32k over the weekend as Chinese and US regulators said they will “tighten regulation” on the crypto asset, per CNBC. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Virgin Galactic completed its first space flight in ~2 years. It was a big step forward for the space company, which is selling space tourism flights on its 6-seat vehicles for $200-250k a pop. #emerging-tech

By the numbers
electric F-150 truck

The electric F-150 in all its glory (Source: Getty Images / Jeff Kowalsky)

Digits: Electric pickups, a $260m ‘floating’ park, and a DVD SPAC

In this new section, we’ll break down the week’s headlines by-the-numbers.

  • It appears there are fewer germaphobes now than a year ago. For the week ending May 8, Hand sanitizer sales were down 80% YoY to $9.2m. In July 2020, weekly sales hit a $52m high.
  • Ford got a bolt of energy with the release of its all electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck (that’s capable of powering a house for 3+ days). Customers made 44.5k+ preorders in the truck’s first 48 hours on the market, according to Ford’s CEO.
  • Lengthy work weeks killed 745k+ people in 2016, according to a new World Health Organization study. The study found people working 55+ hour weeks face a 35% higher risk of stroke and 17% higher risk of heart disease than those working 35- to 40-hour weeks.
  • Redbox, the company that makes those high-tech DVD vending machines you see in supermarkets, is going public via SPAC at a $693m valuation. Redbox has 39m+ US loyalty members and operates 40k kiosks. It’s now planning to release 36+ original films annually.
  • A new 2.4-acre “floating” park opened on New York City’s Hudson River. The $260m project uses 130+ tulip-shaped concrete columns to sit atop the water and incorporates 370 species of trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers.
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Free Resource

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Take the free HubSpot Academy resource YouTube Marketing 101 before you start uploading videos into the void.

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Browser Wars
Internet Explorer screenshot

But how will we explore the internet now? (Source: Getty Images / Fairfax Media)

Microsoft is saying goodbye to Internet Explorer, hello to Edge

It’s time for Internet Explorer — the browser that once dominated the web — to say farewell.

Microsoft will retire its flagship browser with few exceptions on June 15, 2022.

Internet Explorer (IE) debuted in 1995…

At its height in 2003, it held 95% of the browser market share.

That means nearly everyone was using it to send spooky chain letters from Hotmail accounts and browse “X-Files” fan sites on Angelfire.

As security and speed issues bubbled up and competing browsers emerged — like Firefox in 2002 and Google Chrome in 2008 — IE quickly fell out of favor.

The Chrome takeover

In 2010, the BBC reported that IE held just 59.9% of the market share compared to Firefox’s 24.5% and Google Chrome’s 6.7%.

And here’s what browser market share looks like today, according to StatCounter’s most recent worldwide numbers:

  • Chrome: 65%
  • Safari: 19%
  • Firefox: 4%
  • Microsoft Edge: 3%
  • IE: <1% (womp womp womp)

Microsoft is replacing IE with its Edge browser

The Big Tech behemoth says Edge — which dropped in 2015 using Google’s Chromium source code — is “faster, more secure and more modern.”

Some features:

  • Sleeping tabs: which make the dozens of tabs you have open use less CPU
  • Collections: which let you gather pages, text, and pictures
  • Vertical tabs: which are easier to read and look cleaner

Hey, remember Netscape Navigator? We don’t either.

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Barney meme

Too true! (Source: Reddit)

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