Economics/Class Relations

Zuck takes on Twitter

July 6, 2023
Hiya! They say love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life. For one 92-year-old woman that means working at a Wendy’s in Ohio, where she finds it therapeutic and plans “to stay as long as I can.”


Speaking of sticking around, that’s the big question of the day for Twitter users, with the launch of Threads, Meta’s long-awaited Twitter competitor.


In today’s edition:

But first, to tweet or not to tweet?
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Twitter today, Threads tomorrow

Screengrab/Google Play/Instagram; Insider/Sydney Bradley


The Elon Musk-Mark Zuckerberg beef is heating up.

The tech billionaires have already claimed they are serious about having a cage fight. (Although some are skeptical.) But now Zuckerberg is trying to hit Musk where it really hurts: taking down a company he spent $44 billion on.

Wednesday night marked the public launch of Instagram’s Threads, a “text-based conversation app” that looks awfully similar to Twitter. Meta execs, for what it’s worth, haven’t shied away from the comparisons, with one describing it as “a platform that is sanely run.”

Musk and Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s cofounder, have taken notice, criticizing Threads’ data-collection policy.

Of course, Threads isn’t the first app to go after Twitter’s crown. (Remember Mastodon, Bluesky, and Truth Social?)

However, Threads seems to have a real chance at getting some noticeable adoption, Insider’s Matthew Loh writes. According to Zuckerberg, the app already had more than 10 million people sign up in the first seven hours of its launch.

It’s not just that Threads can leverage Instagram’s built-in audience, reportedly an eye-popping 2 billion active users back in 2021. Or that Meta has a history of successfully repackaging competing apps. (See: Instagram stories [Snapchat] and reels [TikTok].)

Threads’ timing is what’s most fortuitous, Matthew writes. Its launch comes less than a week after Twitter started limiting how many tweets users could see every day.

Nothing like launching a new business when your top competitor is actively stopping people from consuming its own product.

Threads has already rolled out the charm offensive, Insider’s Amanda Perelli and Sydney Bradley report. The app invited influencers to give Threads a test run ahead of the public launch via an early-access guide Amanda and Sydney got their hands on.

The four-page doc offers a peek into how Threads is being pitched, including playing directly into influencers’ egos. Those who onboard early receive a numbered badge based on the order in which they joined.

“Joining before the public means you get the clout of having one of the low numbers,” per the doc.

Sydney and Amanda surveyed some of the creators who got an early look at Threads. The initial reviews are good, with one source saying Threads has “Twitter killer type of energy if they play their cards right.”

Though another creator said they would remain active on Twitter, adding that Threads was still “pretty bare bones.”

What do you think? Are you itching to get on Threads, or is it Twitter-till-I-die? Let us know


Ugly houses, AI at Adobe, aging backwards

Tesla; Britta Pederson/Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/Insider
  • Tesla is supercharging EV data. The carmaker opened up its supercharger network to Ford and GM vehicles — reportedly without asking the companies for any money. But Insider’s senior tech correspondent Adam Rogers writes that the true payment is likely for access to the troves of data that EVs hold.
  • A leaked email reveals Adobe’s internal guidance on generative-AI tools like ChatGPT. Employees are barred from buying generative-AI tools on personal or corporate credit cards, per the memo. Adobe is the latest major tech company to issue guidance on generative-AI tools. But they all share a similar warning: Be careful.
  • This 45-year-old tech exec takes intermittent fasting to another level. Bryan Johnson spends up to $2 million a year on an antiaging regimen that he claims reduced his biological age by five years. Part of Johnson’s strict schedule: He eats only between 6 and 11 a.m.
  • A startup pledging to upend the “We Buy Ugly Houses” model ended up leaning on the same tactics, insiders say. Sundae set out to offer more legitimacy and transparency to buying houses from highly motivated homeowners who need cash quickly. But some former employees said they faced constant sales goals that pushed them into unethical situations. Sundae’s chief marketing officer, meanwhile, balked at the accusations, adding “we do not tolerate those types of sales tactics.”
  • Landing a new job is going to take a while this year. A new study from two HR firms revealed how slow the hiring process currently is. Companies average about 44 days from posting a job to finding someone who accepts the offer. But “difficult to fill” positions can go unfilled for two to three months.
  • Stanford is getting on the AI bandwagon. Interest in generative AI has already surpassed the crypto hype, according to students. And based on the course catalog, the number of available AI courses has doubled within the past five years.
  • One of the largest racial-justice organizations in the US overspent on lavish perks. Color of Change received more than $30 million in donations during the first half of 2020. Now, it’s slashing its budget and staff. Internal documents and interviews with dozens of current and former Color of Change employees revealed a pattern of lavish spending on consultants, events, and even a high-rise Manhattan apartment for its president. Andre Banks, the board chair of the organization’s education fund, acknowledged that Color of Change “set a budget that was too ambitious” but added that it was “on a solid financial footing and will be going forward.”

US economy, oil, & commercial real estate

  • These 14 charts explain why the US economy might be headed in the wrong direction. Some economists are optimistic the chances of a recession are behind us, but not everyone is sold. Forward-looking indicators, such as weakening consumer demand and a spike in the Fed’s recession-probability model, point toward tough times ahead.
  • The oil market is on thin ice. High interest rates have raised the price of oil storage, forcing oil refineries and trading firms to thin out their supply. That means commercial supplies could soon be at their lowest level in over a decade, per one analyst, leaving the industry susceptible to any shocks to the market.
  • US commercial real estate has a long road to recovery ahead of it. The good news: Office buildings’ valuations will eventually return to their peaks. The bad news: You’ll have to wait until about 2040, per Kiran Raichura, Capital Economics’ deputy chief property economist. Retail properties, meanwhile, could see a rise in value over the next five years, per Raichura.

Lamborghini, Putin, & Freddy Krueger

  • Lamborghini goes fully electric. The Italian brand sold its last gas-powered supercar as it transitions to plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.
  • Freddy Krueger helped cast Luke Skywalker. Robert Englund, who played the horror icon, mentioned the Skywalker role to Mark Hamill, who Englund recalled as “this guy who was always on my couch.”
  • Putin is said to be beefing up his security. The escalation comes amid fears of another armed revolt like the Wagner Group rebellion.

Scandinavian living in Singapore

Amanda Goh/Insider

This millennial couple spent $40,000 renovating a 970-square-foot apartment in Singapore into a modern Scandinavian style.
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