What’s happening in the brandtech ecosystem this month?
Get a roundup of everything that’s been going on at Twitter; get the latest on Cyber Monday; read more about the mass layoffs affecting the tech industry; learn more about the Crypto firm BlockFi filing for bankruptcy; and did you know it was the 30th anniversary of the first text message? Find out more in our article.
Another dramatic month at Twitter
What a chaotic month for Twitter, from the concerns about Twitter Blue to the mass firing upheaval!
No question, Twitter’s takeover by Elon Musk has not been a smooth ride. And it does not seem as though the turmoil will be settling down anytime soon.
Just days after Elon Musk’s grand scheme rolled out – a new paid plan allowing users to have the blue tick verification indicating their profile is a verified account – Twitter was forced to double back after the social media platform was submerged by a wave of impostor accounts approved by Twitter. Simultaneously, Twitter employees were faced with a difficult decision: to either accept Musk’s Twitter 2.0, a hardcore culture imposed by the new CEO, or resign from their position. Musk may have been surprised that an overwhelming number of employees chose the latter.
And if that wasn’t enough, Twitter’s CEO is now attacking Apple, stating the iPhone maker slowed down its advertising on the social platform and accused it of threatening to remove Twitter from its App store.
So what’s the future of Twitter? Watch this space!
Retailers on track for record Cyber Monday
Has the US succeeded in breaking its record for sales during Cyber Five – the five days going from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday? Well, the answer seems to be ‘yes’, despite the rise in the cost of living. According to Adobe estimates, online spending over the five-day period will reach $34.8 billion, a 2.8% increase since last year, with Cyber Monday expected to increase its sales by 8.5%.
The patterns have changed: last year people were tempted to shop earlier because of the supply-chain issues, and retailers offered lower discounts; this year, the retailers had more unsold stock than previously so offered more bargains. Discounts tended to be in the double digits, with some as high as 27% for computers.
However, if one factors in the current inflation rate, then the figures are less impressive. With an annual inflation rate of 7.7%, most of the sales increase could be linked to the rise in the cost of living.
The Tech behemoths initiate mass layoffs
In the face of uncertain economic times, the tech industry is facing a very challenging time ahead. With rising inflation, the consequences of a global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and other macroeconomic conditions, the tech giants are having to downsize their workforce.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has officially announced it will initiate layoffs as early as Q1 2023 with an estimated 10,000 employees being affected by this latest news. Meta also stated it will begin slashing close to 11,000 jobs, representing 13% of its global workforce and the first big round of mass layoffs in the company’s 18 years history.
With Amazon and Twitter also reporting substantial job cuts, it appears that the big tech giants that not that long ago were experiencing significant growth are now undergoing the biggest round of layoffs!
Crypto firm BlockFi files for bankruptcy after FTX collapse
Following the dramatic collapse of FTX on November 11 with its boss Sam Bankman-Fried declaring the world’s second-largest crypto exchange bankrupt, the crypto industry is suffering.
One of the latest companies to file for bankruptcy is the crypto firm BlockFi. Founded in 2017, BlockFi claimed to be a bridge between cryptocurrencies and more traditional financial products, offering loans and other services backed by the borrowers’ crypto assets. It now owes money to 100,000 creditors – and FTX is its second largest creditor.
The 30th anniversary of the first text message
December 3 was the 30th anniversary of the first SMS message. The message was sent over the Vodafone network to be shown to Vodafone’s then-chief executive, Gerry Whent. SMSs – standing for Short Message Service – were originally no more than 160 characters long. In the early years of text messaging, you had to press the number keys once, twice or three times in order to produce the wanted letters on the phone screen. For example, to get a B you would press the number 1 key twice.
By 2012, 150 billion text messages were being sent on a daily basis. Though the numbers have fallen to around 40 billion now with the popularity of social media messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and WeChat, the SMS is still very much alive.
So, what was that original message? Well, “Merry Christmas”!