What’s new in tech
The tweet that cost $1.3 billion
With just one tweet, Kylie Jenner last week “wiped out $1.3 billion of Snap’s market value,” said Justina Vasquez in Bloomberg.com. The 20-year-old social media maven and member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan asked her 24 million Twitter followers, “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me...ugh this is so sad.” The response to the tweet, which was liked by more than 360,000 people, suggested it’s not just Jenner who believes that Snap’s “flagship platform has lost some luster,” and shares sank 6.1 percent in the next day’s trading. Wall Street analysts have worried that interest in Snap is waning since a controversial redesign on the platform earlier this year. Jenner did hedge slightly a few hours later: “Still love you tho snap.” But by then, the damage was done.
Yelp’s real estate insight
“Investors and policymakers have historically had a tough time predicting the precise moment when a neighborhood is about to start gentrifying,” said Laura Kusisto in The Wall Street Journal. Those seeking to pinpoint the shift should consider looking to rating site Yelp, according to Harvard researchers, who say Yelp’s reviews of businesses and restaurants “could provide a harbinger of an imminent price rise.” Yelp reviews “offer much earlier clues that a neighborhood is in transition” than other available data, such as U.S. Census numbers, which can be limited about the kinds of businesses in an area and tend to lag by several years. An increased number of Starbucks locations, grocery stores, laundromats, and bars all suggest positive price movement.
WhatsApp founder invests in Signal
“Signal is getting a boost from a billionaire tech founder with a history of bringing secure messaging to the masses,” said Selena Larson in CNN.com. The encrypted-communications app has landed a $50 million investment from Brian Acton, a co-founder of the messaging app WhatsApp. Acton exited WhatsApp last year; Facebook had acquired the company for $19 billion in 2014. His new investment will allow him to work with Signal’s recently created nonprofit division, Signal Foundation, which he said will focus on “privacy and data protection for everyone, everywhere.” Signal is frequently used by journalists and security experts for its protected encrypted messaging. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger used Signal code for the encryption of their apps.