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Digital Insights - 3 February 2023

Need to know

  • Revenue, share price sag at Snap

  • British Airways’ social media guidelines for employees put the skids on budding employee influencers

  • Google employees take to social media following 12,000 layoffs


Employees take to social following Google layoffs

  • Following 12,000 job cuts from Google on 20 January, employees took to social media to voice their frustrations after receiving the news via automated account deactivations.

  • Personal accounts of these job cuts prompted viral engagement, from Twitter and trending hashtag #Googlelayoffs to TikTok and LinkedIn posts reaching over tens of thousands of likes, comments and reposts.

  • ‘Day in the life’-type vlogs soon featured widespread videos on Google job cuts, seeing TikToker Nicole Tsai’s 'A Day In My Life Getting Laid Off At Google’ detail conversations with her boss to her 36,000 followers, stating “we just sobbed over the phone because she was also finding out about my layoff for the first time today too.”

  • With user-led employer content on the rise amid slowing growth and industry layoffs, questions are being raised on how best to manage company reputation across platforms on social media and among employees.

Twitter sued by Crown Estate over unpaid rent

  • According to the BBC, the Crown Estate, which oversees a property portfolio belonging to the UK’s monarch, filed a claim against Twitter in the High Court in London over alleged arrears related to Twitter’s UK HQ near Piccadilly Circus.

  • It comes after Elon Musk paid $44bn (£36bn) to take control of Twitter in October last year before reducing the firm's global workforce from around 7,000 to 2,300 staff.

  • The social media giant did not respond to the BBC’s requests for comment.

Netflix takes steps to crack down on password sharing

  • Streaming giant Netflix has announced new policies aimed at curbing password sharing across households.

  • The new terms of service will ask users to set a primary device in their home through their TV – other devices connected to the same account and Wi-Fi network will be associated at that primary location. For users who may be traveling away from home, they will need to ask the primary Netflix user to verify their account.

  • Response on social media has not been kind, with several people noting this disadvantages students, divorced families, people on vacation and tech website Gizmodo claiming the restrictions are "leaving everyone confused."

  • In November 2022, Netflix launched a cheaper ad-supported plan in nine countries aimed at attracting new subscribers. In Q4 2022, the company announced 7.7m new subscribers, beating estimates of 4.5m new subscribers.

Revenue and share price sag at Snap

  • After a gloomy fourth quarter earnings report in which the company predicted a 2-10% slump in first quarter revenue, shares in Snap Inc. fell by more than 13% on Wednesday.

  • Snap’s fourth quarter revenue remained flat year-on-year at $1.3bn, its worst revenue growth performance since going public in 2017.

  • Snap is trying to overhaul its advertising infrastructure after Apple previously introduced an explicit opt-in for app-tracking in its iOS operating system, which impacted many digital advertisers. The overhaul has made it more difficult for apps like Snapchat to target and measure the success of advertisers’ campaigns.

  • CEO Evan Spiegel painted a dismal picture, noting: “We continue to face significant headwinds. We expect the headwinds we have faced over the past year to persist throughout Q1.”

Baidu is developing China rival for ChatGPT: reports

  • Chinese Internet search giant Baidu is planning to launch an AI chatbot service similar to ChatGPT in March, according to Reuters and other outlets. It will launch as a standalone application before gradually merging it into its search engine and will incorporate chatbot-generated results when users make search requests, instead of only links.

  • Baidu is said to have spent billions of dollars researching AI, including developing large language models. The name of the new chatbot has yet to be revealed.

Tencent is expanding presence in SE Asia

  • Chinese digital conglomerate Tencent is expanding its presence in Singapore — aiming to capitalise on the expected surge in Chinese tourists following the end of China’s Zero Covid restrictions and the reopening of travel.

  • Tencent has reportedly struck new partnerships with a range of Singapore businesses such as ride-hailing app Grab, as well as those focused on the tourism sector, through its popular digital messaging app, WeChat (1.3 billion monthly users).

LinkedIn highlights positives in Microsoft’s Q2 earnings

  • LinkedIn’s revenue increased 10% year-over-year, against a backdrop of 10,000 recently announced job cuts across Microsoft global businesses.

  • The report claims the platform has over 900 million members with three members signing up to the platform every second. Over 80% of these members are from outside the US.

  • More than 45% of hirers on LinkedIn are explicitly using skills data rather than education or pedigree data to fill their roles.

Newly published guidelines prohibit British Airways staff from posting while on the job

  • British Airways has rankled some employees with new social media guidelines that forbids them to “…post on social media or capture content when [they] are professionally engaged in [their] job”.

  • Many BA employees, including pilots and flight attendants, have built up sizeable social media followings – particularly on Instagram and Twitter – posting about the excitement of their daily jobs. Captain Dave Wallsworth, a BA pilot with over 110k Twitter followers, tweeted about the company policy, noting he could no longer post flying videos or photos – his tweet was seen by 2.1m, many of whom criticised BA for the move.

  • A BA spokesperson noted that this was nothing more than a clarification of existing rules and added: “For example, when our colleagues are flying an aircraft, they’re responsible for the safety of everyone onboard. It’s not unreasonable to ask them to wait until their break to take photos.”

February 3, 2023
By Content Digital Data team
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