Camming sites are cashing in


April 13, 2020

April 13, 2020
The Hustle
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Trend

The Hustle’s amateur bakers are getting serious.

  • Nick is on his 3rd loaf of no-knead bread.
  • Alexe is asking hot questions about sourdough starter.
  • Sam appears to be testing whether he can survive on banana bread alone.
  • Adam made chocolate chip 🍌 🍞 — and ate the whole thing: “Who eats an entire loaf of bread in a day? ME.”

Have you been baking your own bread during the quarantine? We’d love to hear about it for a story. If you’re willing to rise to the occasion, please take 30 seconds to fill out this survey.

So Thirsty

These social media sites will quench your quarantine thirst

Life in quarantine means the singles crowd is facing down a cataclysmic sexual drought. 

But for the horny and socially isolated, there’s a way to satisfy the urge: the social media site OnlyFans. In March, it announced a 75% jump in new signups.

Think of OnlyFans as Instagram’s racy cousin. 

For a monthly fee, subscribers get access to a performer’s personal feed, featuring photos and videos that are too hot even for the ‘gram. There’s nudity, yes, but posts can also be more mild, like wearing a certain color underwear or lingerie based on requests from followers.

Welcome to the new age of horniness

Across the board, these are boom times for the sexual wellness biz:

  • Sex toy sales are going through the roof, and online shops like Unbound Babes are seeing double their average orders. 
  • Pornhub is reveling in an 18% traffic bump since March 24 when it announced a free month of its premium service.

But the biggest innovations are happening in the performance space. As one escort put it to New York magazine: “Everyone’s camming now.”

  • CamSoda performer signups shot up 37% in March compared to last year, and ManyVids reported a 69% increase. 

Many performers are turning to Instagram’s roving strip clubs, where they enter live feeds and dance for several minutes with their CashApp usernames hovering in the foreground. 

Some of these strip clubs have amassed as many as 60k viewers — and, in rare cases, enormous tips for dancers. One performer told The New York Times that she has made $18k from Instagram Live during quarantine.

Sex workers don’t have other options

The leap to livestreaming is a matter of survival. With the country sheltering in place, their usual sources of income have dried up, and they don’t have the labor protections offered to other professionals.

The coronavirus relief package for small businesses explicitly blocks anyone who does “live performances of a prurient sexual nature” from applying for aid. 

But making a living off of sites like OnlyFans is a lot of work: Performers spend up to 80 hours a week thinking up content, coordinating with followers, and promoting their pages — all in exchange for $5 to $10 monthly subscriptions.

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A Gutted Market

For anyone who’s house hunting, things have gotten weird

Don’t move. That’s what the entire world is telling us right now.

But what if you have to, y’know, move? How in the name of corona is someone supposed to find a new place to live?

The search for a home sweet home has gone sour

Come springtime, home sales usually flourish. But this year, the coronavirus pandemic made the real-estate market wilt.

Zillow, the online real-estate company, released data last week showing that new home listings in the first week of April had fallen 27% from the same time a year ago. 

Down the street at Redfin, the number of houses pulled from the market recently doubled. An analysis of real-estate data from around the country found that housing markets in Florida and New Jersey are among the most at risk to see coronavirus fallout.

Meet me in the parking lot

For those that are still selling, the process has morphed into weird routines that definitely DO NOT sound like black market arms deals:

  • A lawyer in Atlanta does business with masked-and-gloved borrowers in a parking garage, out of the trunk of his Mercedes.
  • One New Jersey realtor relies on drive-thru closings where paperwork is passed between car windows.

Many home showings are going virtual. The National Association of Realtors recommends that any taking place IRL use social-distancing practices (one prospective buyer in the house at a time, please). And cover up those shoes with booties, will ya?

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Sponsored

Micro-influencers took over advertising. Now they’re taking over your content studio.

Content, content, content. That’s the name of the game these days.

But with most everything shut down, how are you supposed to keep cranking out that sweet, juicy, sales-driving user-generated content? 

Well, here’s what you may not realize: for every million-dollar celebrity endorsement, there are thousands of micro-influencers willing to deliver a powerful (and more targeted) message about your brand.

And — unlike huge influencers with a Costco-long line of brands waiting to work with them — these folks are ready at a moment’s notice. 

Want to command this micro-influencer army? Here’s how:

This Trend guide will show you the easiest and most effective ways to use micro-influencers to grow your DTC channel.

It breaks down how you can create content campaigns that generate sales, have greater reach, and reduce costs. Plus, with Trend, you pay by campaign (starting at a mere $100). 

Translation: You can keep your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds, all at a fraction of the usual cost. 

Don’t let your brand go invisible. Download the Trend guide now and put your influencer army to work today:

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Pandemic Tech

5 things to know about the Apple-Google collab on contact tracing

Two of the world’s biggest tech giants are going big on contact tracing.

On Friday, Apple and Google announced that they’re teaming up on an effort to track the spread of the coronavirus — using data from smartphones. 

The idea is to take traditional contact tracing — which involves medical pros interviewing people who test positive — digital. The digital approach scales a lot more quickly than relying on humans alone.

Here are 5 things you should know about the plan:

1️⃣ Apps using Bluetooth will be developed to monitor your proximity to other people’s devices. When a user tests positive for COVID-19, they log the information in the app. If the system sees that your phone was near one that had registered a positive test, you’d be notified.

2️⃣ Don’t expect a ton of apps to flood the market. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple and Google intend to vet the apps strictly, with a hope of offering one per country. Eventually, they want to bake contact tracing into the Android and iOS operating systems.

3️⃣ Their success depends on how many people use them. Singapore already has a contact-tracing app. A top official there said ¾ of the country’s population would have to use it for it to work as intended. But only 1 in 6 people (about 1m individuals) have installed it so far. Even so, it’s regarded as successful.

4️⃣ Bluetooth ain’t perfect. Experts have concerns about privacy and false positives. Self-reporting could get sketchy fast. And just because your phone came within range of an infected person’s device, that doesn’t necessarily mean you got close enough to catch something.

5️⃣ But it would be hard for hackers to exploit the system. The Verge crunched the technical documentation and found that someone would have to jump through MAJOR hoops to connect the data back to actual people. The system doesn’t identify you or actually log your location.

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The Hustle Says

Cookies, cake, pie, oh mah gawd. We really are living in the future now that Milk Bar can deliver all these delicious desserts right to your doorstep… BRB, my doorbell just rang.

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Is your company prepared to WFH for weeks? If not, try a full month of Aircall for free — the cloud phone solution for remote teams. It’s fast to set up, requires no hardware, and easily syncs to your CRM and help desk so you can access info from the cloud.*

*This is a sponsored post.

Splash

Robots take contact-free delivery to the next level

Let’s get ready to Roomba!

Tech companies have spent the past several years developing task masters to take on the drudgery of everyday chores (like vacuuming or grocery shopping). Thanks to social distancing, delivery machines are the hot bots on the block.

These hardworking helpers would make Rosie proud

Nuro just got the OK to test its electric R2 delivery pods on California’s public roads.

The R2 looks like a space-age Volkswagen and is designed to ferry orders directly to customers, who unlock its storage compartments by entering a code on a touchscreen. 

And Nuro’s not the only game in town.

  • The company Starship commands autonomous robots in a few cities. Starship’s original focus was college campus courier services, but with universities shuttered it has pivoted to playing delivery boy for grocery stores and restaurants.
  • In LA, Postmates deploys its cute little Serve robots to deliver meals.

Some companies are hitting the streets and takin’ it to the sky

Udelv’s driverless delivery vans feature individual cargo compartments, which make it possible for a single vehicle to make multiple deliveries. Udelv’s CEO recently announced it would offer its service for free in areas under strict quarantine orders.

Meanwhile, Wing — the drone-focused arm of Google’s parent company — has seen sky-high demand for its flying delivery service. Although the drones can’t handle heavy loads, the speedy devils can travel up to 65 mph. Since the pandemic hit, the company reports making 1k+ deliveries in 2 weeks. 

It seems robot tech has come a long way in just a few years. It wasn’t so long ago that a robotic sentry made headlines for drowning itself in a fountain.

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Snippets

🇫🇷 Baguette fans, rejoice! In France, boulangeries are considered essential, and business seems to be just fine.

💲A Georgia bar owner pulled $3.7k in dollar bills off the walls to give to her unemployed staff.

🐅 How that tiger at the Bronx Zoo got a coronavirus test

🎧 Some musicians are seeing big swings in streams in the time of quarantine. Here’s a guide to who’s up and who’s down.

🥃 Savor the flavor of a virtual whiskey tasting.

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