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Inside Social

Inside Social (Jan 11th, 2019)

$FB (4:00 PM EDT): $143.80 (-0.28%) // More info

$TWTR (4:00 PM EDT): $32.85 (-0.73%) // More info

$SNAP (4:00 PM EDT): $6.28 (+0.88%) // More info

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1. Slack looks to be taking the direct listing route when it goes public this year. Following in the footsteps of Spotify, Slack is reportedly heading for a direct listing — a type of public offering that differs from a traditional IPO in that there is no underwriting firm, and no initial set price. The open market plays a bigger role in setting the share price with this type of listing, meaning that it can be riskier. However high-profile companies like Slack see this as worth the risk to save some hefty fees. – BUSINESS INSIDER

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2. A new survey of top ad buyers in the US suggests that Facebook could soon see its ad revenue in decline. Design agency Cowan polled 50 senior ad buyers who collectively controlled $14 billion in ad spending last year, and almost 20 percent of them said that privacy concerns with Facebook would lead them to spend less promoting products on the platform. Meanwhile Amazon, which has been aggressively adding advertising to its search results pages, may reap the benefits of this, with buyers suggesting that Amazon could own 12 percent of digital ad spending in the next two years, up from 3 percent in 2018. – RECODE

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3. A group of privacy researchers has found that using old tweets with geotags enabled, one can easily pinpoint an individual's physical location with 90 percent accuracy. Starting in 2009 when Twitter added the geotagging feature, the metadata for all of a person's tweets, including exact GPS locations, is still floating out there in Twitter's API. As the researchers report in a new paper, all that data enabled them to track the locations frequented by tens of thousands of Twitter users. You can easily turn off geotagging and delete all location data, however this doesn't guarantee that the data doesn't still live somewhere with a third party. – WIRED

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4. Is there a fix for the tar pit of negativity, lies and abuse that many corners of social media have become? That is the question poised on this week's Atlantic Radio podcast, and journalists Matt Thompson and Alexis Madrigal attempt to answer the question from their own recent experience. Alexis is inclined to say no, there is no fix, and what we've seen happen with rumor-spreading, fake news, and general bad behavior on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp is just a result of the growth of these platforms, and the general tendencies of crowds when they go unchecked. Matt Thompson is more idealistic, and has been attempting a Twitter experiment that has returned a degree of civility and delight for him not unlike "Old Twitter." – THE ATLANTIC

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5. Twitter had a good 2018, share-price-wise, and it's already having a good 2019, with shares up 14 percent in the new year. Analysts see Twitter gaining some new traction with 18- to 29-year-olds, and both Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan have upgraded their ratings of the stock. JPMorgan has given Twitter stock a $44 target, meaning it could have a 35 percent upside. – THE STREET

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6. After rolling it out for iPhone users in December, Twitter has officially returned the reverse-chronology option to Android users. You can toggle to the old-school-style feed using the "sparkle" button. – TECH-ISH

7. Facebook has hired a new fact-checking firm in the UK. The non-profit Full Fact will be reviewing Facebook content with a "focus on misinformation that could damage people's health or safety or undermine democratic processes." – BBC

8. The Atlantic this week explores the phenomenon of the long-suffering "Instagram husband." The species is also known as an "Instagram boyfriend." – THE ATLANTIC

9. Forbes reports that "stack ranking" — the practice of having managers assign scores to employees to assess who could be fired — is "sending talent out the door" at Facebook. The post does not make clear, however, what the source is for this rumor. – FORBES

10. Remember the disaster that was the Fyre Festival, marketed in part by models and celebrities on Instagram, and then exposed on Instagram and Twitter as a disorganized sham and a nightmare? It's now the subject of a Netflix documentary which premieres next week. – ENGADGET

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Inside Social and Inside Beer are written and curated by Jay Barmann. Jay spent eight years covering the social media space and the tech world in general for SFist.com, the San Francisco branch of Gothamist, where he served as editor-in-chief and covered the food and beverage scene. As editor of Grub Street San Francisco, he covered food and booze stories around the Bay Area. As a freelance writer he has also written for SF Weekly, 7x7, Curbed SF, Eater SF, Eventbrite, New York Magazine, and San Francisco Magazine, among others, and in his spare time he edits the blog OpeningNightSF. Follow him on Instagram at @conflator or Twitter at @jaybarmann.

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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