Oh man, oh man, oh man. It has been quite the week for tech news. We really had it all – Mark Zuckerberg taking aim at the world of fintech and cryptocurrencies, a bunch of people complaining about a Google service going down for a few hours, Slack going public and more. What a whirlwind.
If you had trouble keeping up, here are the biggest stories that SHIFT’s b2b tech PR teams have been monitoring on behalf of our clients.
Facebook introduces Libra
Remember that giant social media company that has control over everyone’s data? The one that people keep getting really mad at because of countless security and privacy missteps? Well, now it also wants to control your finances. What could possibly go wrong, right?
This week, Facebook dominated the headlines once again after unveiling its plans to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra. It’ll be a secure blockchain-based payment system backed by hard assets, designed to allow everyday users to buy things and pay each other while being set up to avoid the crazy price swings that have impacted bitcoin.
Not surprisingly, there are many skeptical people out there that aren’t willing to trust Facebook with financial data (including European regulators and high-profile US lawmakers). Check out this WIRED piece for a breakdown of who’s looking to push back, and why.
The Libra news has also put a lot of fintech startup executives on edge. And one is even claiming that Facebook ripped off his company’s logo. This CNBC piece compares the logo for Calibra (the subsidiary Facebook created) with online bank Current – you have to admit, they’re oddly similar.
Google Calendar goes down, and people go crazy
Google Calendar went down for a few hours on Tuesday morning, and people didn’t know what to do with themselves. Meetings were missed, appointments were forgotten and reminders did not remind. Chaos ensued.
CNN has a great recap of people’s reactions here.
Slack goes public
Slack had a good day on Thursday, as the workplace messaging company went public through a direct listing (after Spotify last year, it’s only the second major company to ever make this move). Its stock ended its first day at $38.62, 49% higher than the reference price of $26 set by the NYSE.
Meanwhile, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield officially put email on the hotseat – predicting that conventional company email would end in five to seven years. It’s a bold statement, but not unthinkable.
Horns: The next big millennial trend?
Australian researchers found evidence that frequent use of mobile devices could be causing horn-like bone spurs to appear on young adults. So that’s good.