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Hatch Weekly: Facebook, we need to talk

Facebook, we need to talk

Zuckerberg has had a bad week. New Zealand has had an even worse one. But the bad news didn’t start on March 15, the day of New Zealand’s deadliest shooting. On March 8, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren declared she wanted to break Facebook up. Then there was that pesky outage. Oh and the news of a criminal investigation into its data-agreements with other companies. But the ultimate blow was Friday’s massacre of 50 people in Christchurch, live-streamed on Facebook.

The shares speak

Facebook shares also had their worst day in more than two months that dark Friday, falling 2.5 percent to close at $165.98. Negative sentiment towards Facebook rose to the highest in almost eight months on Thursday, something they haven’t seen since July, the day after disappointing revenue and user growth figures prompted the company’s biggest ever share selloff. And this was before the tragedy.

Facebook’s biggest test

The gunman live-streamed 17 devastating minutes on Facebook. Facebook algorithms and human monitors failed to pick it up, and as a consequence, it spread it across the internet. Zuckerberg has pledged to work harder to avoid these kinds of situations. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plans to discuss it with Zuckerberg personally. Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos of the footage within 24 hours of the shootings. Many users are reconsidering their allegiance to the platform with many accounts being shut down citing the hate being transmitted as a deal-breaker.

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Tesla… for bogans?

Our favourite pot-smoking CEO Elon Musk sent his Tesla (TSLA) community into a frenzy with a cryptic teaser of an upcoming pickup truck. His inspiration? Cyberpunk and Blade Runner.
He showed an image of the truck for a few seconds on Twitter, but just after the launch of his Model Y so everyone missed it. Oh, Elon!

Y not just focus on the Model Y?

The Model Y compact SUV that Tesla debuted late last Thursday will start being delivered to customers... next year. So, when’s this electric truck going to be available? Don’t hold your breath New Zealand, it’s going to be a while. This wait of a year and a half for the Y has rekindled concerns about the company’s tenuous cash position. While Elon might be expressing himself with his pickup truck, it could miss the mark with Tesla’s primary audiences. Apparently, it’s going to be “heart-stopping”. Those are his words. We’re glad he’s stoked, but unsurprisingly, his comments have put Tesla fans with pickup truck experience a bit on edge.

Vroom Vroom

Elon’s truck is, of course, part of a broader strategy to bring Tesla’s vehicles to more consumers. That’s not stopping shares from sinking and storefronts closing, though. Elon approached existing customers for suggestions in June 2018, about what a Tesla truck should contain. Features like all-wheel-drive, dynamically adjusting suspension, 360-degree cameras, and sonar all got a thumbs up. Those in the world of pickup trucks, however, are giving a big thumbs down stating that the blue-collar market will be more sceptical. As long as Elon designs a car for people outside of LA, he should be fine.

MercadoLibre is looking muy caliente

Hola Latin America! Argentina’s MercadoLibre (MELI), a marketplace and financial services powerhouse that serves 18 countries across the region has announced that PayPal is investing $750 million, and investment firm Dragoneer a sweet $100 million. This is all part of a $1.8 billion equity offering to grow its business by expanding the functionality of its e-commerce platform, improve its logistics infrastructure and invest in financial technologies that solidify its position as a global provider. Pass the Trapiche – we’ll drink to that!

PayPal is not dead

PayPal and Dragoneer’s investments are contingent on MercadoLibre raising the remainder publicly, but the fact that PayPal also announced the news on its own site must be a good sign. PayPal’s mandate is to diversify after being spun out of eBay several years ago. They’re looking to South America to expand their customer base and partnerships to power payments for different marketplaces.

Uncharted territory

Analysts are saying that digital commerce in Latin America is experiencing tremendous growth and that MercadoLibre is well poised to expand on their existing 500 million customers. The world is paying attention to our Southern hemisphere neighbours. SoftBank revealed last week that it’s investing in the region as more than 50 million consumers are now categorised as “middle class,” with increased disposable income. Retail e-commerce has nearly doubled in the last three years, jumping to $54 billion in 2018 from $29.8 billion in 2015. In 2018, MercadoLibre sold more than 334 million items – that’s over $12 billion of gross merchandise volume. Keep in mind that close to 400 million people are still without bank accounts in Latin America. Muchas oportunidades!

Other interesting stuff

Looking for Hope in the Rubble of Value Investing

Wall Street Has Been Unscathed by MeToo. Until Now.

After two deadly disasters in five months, can Boeing survive?

The New Zealand Shooting and the Challenges of Governing Live-Streamed Video

Facebook’s Vulnerabilities Highlighted During a Terrible Week


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