Eq: Tech

(San Francisco)

Facebook’s stock has taken a hit lately, and with good reason. Several large businesses have announced boycotts of Facebook because of their poor record on hate speech. A recent survey found a third of top US brands are planning to suspend their social media spending soon. That spending is of course not just limited to Facebook, but Twitter, and others as well. According to the World Federation of Advertiser’s, a trade body covering 90% of the world’s ad spending, the survey of 58 WFA members who account for $90 bn of ad spend worldwide found that combined with the one-third just mentioned, an additional 41% were still undecided about whether to pause campaigns. According to the CEO of the WFA, “In all candour, it feels like a turning point … What’s striking is the number of brands who are saying they are reassessing their longer-term media allocation strategies and demanding structural changes in the way platforms address racial intolerance, hate speech and harmful content”.


FINSUM: Hard to tell if this could be a sustained movement that could really hurt Facebook and other social media companies, or this will just be a few-week flash in the pan that will make no real difference. Our view is that the social media companies will respond strongly now that it is threatening revenue, and the advertisers will quickly fall back in line because the social media platforms are the bedrock of current customer acquisition strategies.

(New York)

We have been saying this for months now, but Wall Street is also coming around to the idea: the COVID lockdown was ultimately going to be very bullish for ecommerce and the social media companies with which they are inextricably linked. According to Wedbush, the COVID lockdown has permanently changed shopping habits, and ecommerce’s share of total retail sales will maintain the big jump it saw over the last few months. With that in mind, here are six stocks to consider: Wix.com, GoDaddy, Shopify, eBay, Etsy, and Pinterest.


FINSUM: Just like work habits, people’s buying habits have changed, and they are likely to stay that way. That is a big victory for retailers who were winning the ecommerce race, those who support ecommerce (e.g. Shopify), and social media companies who benefit from increased advertising.

(Seattle)

One of the things that makes Amazon such an extraordinary company is that it is always on the look out for the next great business opportunity, and always seems to be one step ahead in executing it. AWS anyone? Now the champion of Seattle may be eyeing a new target—ride-sharing. Amazon is considering the acquisition of Zoox, a well-known autonomous vehicle company. If it were to acquire Zoox, it would immediately be in competition with Uber and Lyft in the soon-to-be autonomous ride-sharing market.


FINSUM: We assume Amazon also has some yet-to-be-understood purpose for this beyond just competing with Uber and Lyft. For instance, autonomous delivery/logistics vehicles?

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