A series of interesting events have taken place across the tech space today. While not entirely mindblowing or jaw-dropping, they did make for an interesting read. These include news from giants such as Reddit, Facebook,
Reddit is planning to be worth $3 Billion
If you’ve not heard of Reddit, you are seriously missing out on a large portion of the internet. The link sharing forum has around 330 Million active users and around 150,000 Subreddits. As of July 2017, Reddit was valued at $ 1.8 Billion. This was after it raised $200 Million. The platform also announced it’s video player had reached almost 1.4 billion video views per month after launching said player in August 2017.
Reddit also announced that they are looking to raise $150-$300 million in order to keep the platform running for the future. The D series round is supposedly being spearheaded by Tencent at $2.7 billion pre-money evaluation.
Why does Reddit need funding?
Well, for starters, supporting and moderating content from 150,000 subreddits isn’t exactly cheap. The company has around 350 employees and is also located in San Francisco, which is also not cheap. So until they can get their revenue up from ads, Reddit is still relying on venture capital.
While Tencent is looking to give the first $150 million, there are a few monkey wrenches in the wheel. Firstly, there was the crackdown on China’s gaming addiction. Tencent, if you didn’t already know paid $400 million for 93% stake in Riot Games, the developers behind League of Legends. Later, in December 2015, Tencent purchased the remaining 7%, making LOL entirely theirs. If that wasn’t enough, Tencent also has stakes in Supercell (who developed Clash of Clans), and Epic Games (the developers of Fortnite).
With ByteDance, a large competitor for Tencent growing the popularity of Toutiao, a news reader app, measures
The remaining $150 million could come from from previous investors. These include Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator or YC’s president Sam Altman.
Facebook implements an “Unsend Message” feature
Be it a strongly worded message, typo or an unrequited message, we all have sent a message on Facebook that we might have regretted sending later on. Well, now that might not be such a cringeworthy moment.
Similar to features seen on other messaging platforms such as Whatsapp and Telegram, the unsend feature essentially allows you to delete a message within 10 minutes of sending it. Tapping said message will give you a choice between either deleting it for yourself or deleting it for everyone (in case you’re in a group). Although, they would also get a message saying that the message was deleted so it’s not exactly untraceable.
The feature is expected to be available on the latest versions of Facebook Messenger for iOS and Android. If you want to make sure it works, you can always send a message to a friend and delete it, letting them forever guess what you sent them.
Snapchat isn’t growing, but it isn’t losing users either
Lastly, we have Snapchat. They’re not exactly growing. But at least they’re not losing any more users. While they started off at 191 million users in Q1 of 2018, that number dropped to 188 million in Q2 2018. This was followed by a drop to 186 million in Q3 2018. While it was expected to hit 184 million, the number of snapchat users seems to have stabilized around the 186 million range.
On an interesting note, Snapchat grew its Europe user count from 59 million to 60 million. It also managed to hold on to its 79 million user base in North America. Snap is also reaching around 70% of the population in the US aged 13-34 with premium mobile video. In addition compared to 2018, 30% more people are watching the Discover section’s Publisher Stories each day. Because Snap makes content inhouse, they also don’t need to share ad revenue with anyone else.
Snapchat has also started to roll out its Android rebuild. Initial results have shown that the app loads 20% faster, possibly encouraging people to return to the platform. This would raise the Snap’s profitability. The profits can then be used to focus on their R&D, especially towards their augmented reality platform and related hardware.
The fact that they’re no longer losing users is a commendable achievement. Now if only they can get enough profits to invest in making the platform better. If you missed it, Snapchat also faced some heat from a simple mixup with names as well.
What are your thoughts on these three topics? Leave a comment below.