Hugh Jackman Backs Up ‘Music Man’ Memory Claim With Video: He Really Does Remember The Lyrics

Read on: Deadline.

Hugh Jackman today backed up his musical memory boasting by demonstrating the rapid-fire speech-song number from The Music Man that he learned at grammar school – skills that could hold him in good stead when he stars in the Broadway revival next…

Felicity Huffman Deletes Social Media Accounts In Wake Of College Bribery Scandal

Read on: Deadline.

Mocked mercilessly on social media, actress Felicity Huffman today deleted her Instagram and Twitter accounts.
The former Desperate Housewives star is out on $250,000 bail for her alleged involvement in a college admissions cheating scandal. Huffman us…

Twitter’s Camera-Driven Redesign Mirrors Popular Snapchat and Instagram Features

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Twitter is rolling out a major redesign on Wednesday, aiming to encourage users to share more pictures and videos, with its new features mirroring some of the more popular aspects of competitors like Snapchat and Instagram.

The app update’s key difference is that it will make it easier for users to quickly access the camera function. Once the app update hits their phone, users can swipe left from their timeline in order to take pictures. Previously, users had a more circuitous route to adding a picture or video, needing to tap the camera icon after clicking its compose tweet button on the bottom right of its app. Another swipe allows users to record video or live audio.

The easy-access camera isn’t the only change that’s similar to Snapchat. Users can add color, hashtags, location, and up to its standard 280 characters of text on pictures, drawing on some of the staple features of Snapchat and Instagram.

Also Read: Twitter Co-Founder Ev Williams Steps Down From Company’s Board of Directors

Twitter will also recommend locations for users to tag in their pictures based on events that they’re close to, with Engadget reporting that Twitter will initially place an emphasis on sports games and other big events. Twitter wants the new features, which were unveiled at South-by-Southwest in Austin, Texas, to allow users to better engage with topics and events that they’re interested in or nearby.

“It knows where you are and what’s going on around you,” Keith Coleman, Twitter’s head of product, told NBC. “So if you’re at SXSW, it knows that, and it will suggest you add the SXSW hashtag.”

Additional major changes could also be released. Twitter is experimenting with hiding the number of likes and retweets each tweet gets behind a tap, according to NBC. The outlet had to issue a correction on Wednesday afternoon after initially reporting Twitter was considering completely removing the number of likes and retweets each tweet receives, something that would’ve fundamentally altered the app. The move could be another push towards improving the “health of the conversation” on Twitter, something that chief executive Jack Dorsey and other company execs have stressed in the last year.

NBC has a CORRECTION on its New Twitter story and it’s important

— Gene Park (@GenePark) March 13, 2019

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Facebook and Instagram Are Down for Some Users

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

If you’re unable to access Facebook or Instagram, you’re not alone. The social network and the popular pictures/video sharing app are both experiencing an outage on Wednesday, with many frustrated users venting on Twitter.

“We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” a Facebook spokesperson told TheWrap.

Facebook has been down since about 10:15 a.m. PT for many users, with, a website that tracks outages, receiving more than 10,000 reported problems between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. PT.

Also Read: Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick to Voice Facebook Watch Animated Series From ‘BoJack Horseman’ Producer

Some users who are unable to access Facebook from their desktop computers have been able to use its app without issue on an iPhone. According to The Independent, many Facebook users were greeted with a message that said that the site was “down for maintenance” when they visited on Wednesday. Instagram, meanwhile, has had difficulty loading user profiles and refreshing pictures on its timeline.

Rather than wait for Instagram or Facebook to go back online, many people — including Soulja Boy — raced to Twitter to joke and complain.

Facebook???? Instagram???? Atleast the Soulja App isn’t down ????????‍

— Soulja Boy (@souljaboy) March 13, 2019

Hello to everyone who has come back to twitter while Facebook and Instagram are down. Yes everything is still terrible and yes we are still all arguing with each other.

— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) March 13, 2019

Me: Instagram and Facebook are down.

Wife: Oh, no. You’ll have to interact with people in person.

Me: No. There’s still Twitter.

— James Breakwell, Exploding Unicorn (@XplodingUnicorn) March 13, 2019

When #instagram is not working … Everybody run to twitter to check on it…

— Eddy Manolo (@syahchixchad) March 13, 2019

Everyone running from Instagram to twitter to see if other peoples Insta is down lmao #instagram

— Nic???? (@HeyNicky_) March 13, 2019

Everyone running to twitter to see if facebook and instagram are down

— VT (@vtdotco) March 13, 2019

We’ll update you when both are back up and running at full capacity.

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How Doing Things Media Laughed It Up to 30 Million Instagram Followers and a TV Show in 2 Years

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The key to a booming network of Instagram accounts? Making people laugh, according to Doing Things Media co-founders Reid Hailey and Derek Lucas.

Two years after launching, Doing Things Media now has more than 30 million people following its array of social media accounts, combining for 500 million views each month. On Instagram, where the lion’s share of its fans are, you can find a small army of “Doing Things” accounts — “Animals Doing Things,” “Drunk People Doing Things” — dedicated to finding and posting funny videos. Staples include dogs wearing sunglasses and looking cute on boats and drunk people doing, well, stupid stuff.

Doing Things Media is also leveraging its library of 100,000 clips, partnering with Netflix, Tinder and MTV’s “Ridiculousness” to share content. It’s also brought a TV show, “Howie Mandel’s Animals Doing Things,” to Nat Geo Wild, where the comedian narrates the funniest and quirkiest videos from the “Animals Doing Things” Instagram account. The show’s second season will air this summer.

“Everything is lighthearted and fun on all of our brands,” 28-year-old Hailey told TheWrap. “We come from a place where we started in memes, where if it isn’t funny it doesn’t work. All of our pages have that theme to it.”

Also Read: Pluto TV CEO on Impact of $340 Million Viacom Deal – and a Possible Premium Streaming Plan

But how do you know which videos will and will not rack up the likes, follows and views on Instagram? It’s an inexact science, but one they’ve “definitely learned over time,” Hailey said, after going through “hundreds of thousands of videos” in the last few years.

The most important thing to their millennial and Gen-Z audience is the internal urge to share a video to someone else after first seeing it. “If you want to show it to someone else, if you think it’s funny or interesting, then other people are going to want to show it to other people, too,” Hailey said.

That’s the mantra Hailey and Lucas have passed on to their Atlanta-based team of 20- to 30-year-old employees who are now charged with going through thousands of video submissions each month.

Also Read: How Instagram Has Given Classic Shows Like ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘The Simpsons’ a Second Life

Still, when pressed on what it takes to make videos really pop on Instagram, Lucas said it takes more than just a good clip. Instagram, after an early-2017 algorithm shift placed an increased emphasis on video, is now flooded with an endless stream of clips. Lucas said it’s critical to “create a narrative” around clips — even if it doesn’t necessarily fit the video’s original theme — that will resonate with Instagram’s young audience. Sometimes, finding that narrative can take months.

“We [received] a video where a mom and a dad, probably middle-aged, and some 20-year-olds were all drunk eating fast food. And one kid had food spilled all over himself. And the description that got sent to us what they were bar-hopping. I tested that video out on ‘Drunk People Doing Things’ and it did mediocre,” Lucas, 29, recounted.

“I came back to it about six months later and decided to put a caption on it that they ate edibles with their parents and we tried it out with that, a totally different narrative, and it went super-viral.”

Also Read: Instagram Stories Just Passed 500 Million Daily Users

Doing Things Media, like many other media companies, has grown in large part thanks to repurposing content generated by everyday users of the internet. This budding industry has recently been in the spotlight, with F—Jerry, the wildly popular Instagram account, skewered in the last month for taking jokes and memes and failing to acknowledge their original creators. Barstool Sports was also roundly criticized last week for the same transgression.

Lucas said Doing Things Media doesn’t want to make the same mistake as F—Jerry, where it’s essentially stealing other people’s work. Instead, Lucas and Hailey credit creators for their video and give a “submitted by” shout-out on all Doing Things” Instagram posts.

“We’re definitely well aware of what’s happening with F—Jerry,” Lucas said. “We want people to have an incentive to submit videos to us. That’s kind of what powers the business, and we also want to help them out.

“We grew our whole business with originals memes and content and crediting people, and I think that’s what kind of makes us different from some of the other people in this space,” he added. “We really respect creative voices.”

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‘The Flash’ Star Grant Gustin Salutes End Of ‘Arrow’ With Heartfelt Instagram Post

Read on: Deadline.

Grant Gustin, star of The CW series The Flash, lamented on Instagram today about the demise of Arrow, the show from which his series was originally spun off.
Gustin plays Barry Allen/The Flash, debuting in 2014 as one of the first Arrowverse franchises…

‘Pimp My Ride’ for Gamers? Subnation, IMGN Media Partner on 3 Short-Form eSports Series (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Subnation, the multiplatform media brand of Big Block Media Holdings, is doubling down on its celebration of all things gaming by partnering with IMGN Media to launch three new short-form eSports series, Wrap Pro has learned.

The new shows, which are expected to debut between April and June, will be featured across IMGN and Subnation’s slate of social media platforms. The primary focus will be on IGTV and YouTube — where the two companies have more than 1 million engaged followers.

“Level Up,” one of the first shows, is a gaming version of MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” or an HGTV-style room makeover show in which young gamers seek to “level up” their outmoded gaming lairs.

Also Read: Evolution of Esports: Inside the Growth of the Competitive Gaming Industry (All Things Video Podcast)

After joking about how outdated or underwhelming their current set-up is, the gamers work with a yet-to-be-cast host/designer to completely customize their gaming spot with new paint, hardware, furniture and fancy new accessories.

The second series, “HQ,” will take a behind-the-scenes look at the top gaming companies, team houses and arenas. The third show is still in development.

The episodes, which will be about five minutes long, can be found on IMGN Media’s TryHard account on Instagram, where the company has racked up more than 600,000 followers by consistently posting esports updates. Viewers will also be able to check out the shows on

“IMGN is all about in the moment editorial and that’s why our esports brand TryHard is rapidly gaining traction as the authentic voice of gamers on social media by covering the latest happenings in the gaming community,” IMGN Media chief Barak Shragai told TheWrap. “As we aim to more deeply engage with this culture, premium video content is a natural next step and Subnation knows this space inside and out.”

Also Read: Drake, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo Invest in Esports Startup ‘100 Thieves’

Seven Volpone, CEO of Big Block Media, told TheWrap that while live-streaming platforms like Twitch have “played an integral role in the rapid growth of eSports,” fans also want to enjoy  “premium content that touches on other relevant subcultures that resonate in the gaming community.”

That made IMGN’s gaming social channels a “perfect partner for Subnation to make sure this content is seen by the masses,” he said.

While the idea of watching competitive gaming might be foreign to some, the industry is continuing to blossom. eSports is drawing in legions of followers from across the globe, with 380 million fans in 2018, according to Newzoo.

Also Read: Why eSports Is ‘Growing Like Wildfire,’ From Activision Blizzard to Echo Fox

It’s also an incredibly young following: The median age of an eSports fan is 28, Daniel Cherry, CMO of Activision Blizzard, told the audience at The Grill last October.

And with the industry on the cusp of passing the $1 billion threshold in annual revenue this year, some have compared investing in eSports to investing in a baseball team in the 1950s, when boxing and horse racing were the premier sports.

Industry insiders expect the continued growth of eSports. Nearly five years ago, Amazon paid just under $1 billion for Twitch, the video platform that livestreams esports, and more than $1 billion in venture capital funding has put toward the sector in the last two years, according to Pitchbook.

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Krysten Ritter Posts ‘Jessica Jones’ Finale Table Read Photo; Says She’s “Proud” Of How Show Will Complete “Journey”

Read on: Deadline.

“I love these people to the moon and back,” writes Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter on an Instagram post featuring a photo taken at the table read for the series finale of her just-canceled series.
Ritter also assures fans that she is &#82…

Why Facebook Goliath Jellysmack Is Betting Big on Participatory Video

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

With five brands currently running on Facebook, Jellysmack (formerly known as Keli Networks) has achieved substantial success in the social video space. After surviving Facebook’s infamous algorithm change in early 2018 — a change that resulted in publishers like Little Things closing their doors — the company says it has grown its following to more than 170 million engaged monthly users, with over 70 percent in the core 18-24 demographic.

In September, under the leadership of CEO and co-founder Michael Philippe, the company raised $14 million in Series A funding and beefed up its executive team by adding a list of industry veterans who previously worked at Mashable, Tumblr and Refinery29.

We caught up with Philippe to discuss where the new funding is being invested in and how the company is using the beauty-centric content to drive revenue.

Also Read: Stephen Curry’s Drive to Win Subject of New Facebook Watch Series From ‘Tom vs Time’ Director

1. What area of the business has Jellysmack invested the since its $14 million funding round in September?

We’ve used the investment to double down on developing original programming. Since raising our Series A, we’ve produced over twenty new original shows: “Boys Do It Too,” celebrating male beauty, “Game Props IRL,” DIY on how to create your favorite video game props, and “Freestyle Ultimate Battle,” where we put the world’s top freestylers against each other in unique and compromising situations and more.  

Secondly, we’ve been focused on expanding our communities to new platforms with an emphasis on Snapchat and Instagram. We launched the majority of our brands on both platforms late in the summer of 2018 and are now already averaging 1.6 billion story views per month.

Outside of creating and producing original shows we have in house tech platforms that we’ve built to provide trends and insights for our content creation. We’ve invested heavily in growing that team to build products to discover, optimize, and create content as we expand to new platforms, and develop new shows and communities.

Also Read: 7 Things We Learned in Tech World This Week, From Apple’s Blunder to Elon Musk’s Pivot to Boring

2. What innovation within the digital video space are you most excited for this year?

We believe participatory content is going to be huge in the upcoming years. The ability to help influence the outcome of that content is going to drive conversation even further and create more dimensional fandoms.  A video is a natural conversation starter whether you watch it on your phone or in a theater and the more the audience can be involved the more engagement you’ll see around the content.

We’ve been playing around with innovative ways to get our community to participate. We’ve used Facebook Groups to source content for Gamology’s celebratory gameplay show “Pixel Heroes” and we’ve written members of the community into episodes of our animated riddle show “Riddle Me This.” The fun the community has with these gestures is the start of how the audience will be more involved in the outcome of the content.

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3. Jellysmack has the same IP across multiple social media platforms. How does the company make sure that content which started on Facebook and ended up on Snapchat doesn’t come off as “copy and pasted”?

Jellysmack takes a community approach when developing new verticals or shows. Passions transcend platforms which makes our shows successful on each platform. We develop shows around people’s interests, not around their demographics.

That’s why a show like “Riddle Me This” has over 1 million followers on Instagram, 5.3 million fans on Facebook, and 2.4 million monthly uniques on Snapchat. The shows speaks to riddle lovers everywhere no matter their demographics or preferred platforms.

When we do cross-promote original content, we always consider the audience and their consumption habits, especially when it comes to effective social copy and video editing. With a variable element like vertical video, we see it as an opportunity to play around and add in more motion graphics. We’re continually looking for ways to enhance the viewer experience during the re-editing process.

Also Read: How Young Hollywood Has Spiked Revenue by Pivoting Beyond Video

4. In two years, do you still see Jellysmack content living mainly on social platforms or are there plans to move beyond Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat?

We’re focused on engagement and communities, so these platforms are the most natural place for us to connect to people to their passions. We’re currently seeing 170 million monthly engagements (comments, shares, and likes) cross-platform, we will continue to build our community there.

With that said, we’re always keeping our ears to the ground and exploring new opportunities to share our original programming with a broader audience. Most recently, we’ve been working on plans to build our audience on TikTok and Twitch.  

5. With millions of followers and shows across multiple platforms, beauty has been a successful area of focus for the company. Do you plan to expand beyond video into actual products?

Absolutely. Beauty Studio is now our largest community with 1.6 billion views per month and is ranked the number one creator on Tubular’s beauty leaderboard. Jenifer Geller recently joined Jellysmack to lead all beauty sales and partnerships. She’s a seasoned beauty executive who will spearhead all of our beauty revenue opportunities. We’ve also been in R&D for expanding our offerings past video, but it’s still in the works.

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Google and Facebook’s Complete and Total Digital Ad Domination Explained in 1 Chart

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The digital advertising world is still dominated by two companies: Google and Facebook.

That much is clear after both tech giants reported fourth quarter earnings in the last week, providing a full look at their 2018 ad sales in the process. And the results from “the duopoly,” as the two firms have been dubbed, were staggering.

Facebook’s ad revenue increased 37 percent year-over-year, hitting $55 billion. Those gains came as the social network battled a string of well-chronicled data scandals, including its admission it gave partners like Spotify and Netflix special access to private user messages.

Also Read: Facebook’s Stock Surges 7 Percent on Huge Q4 Sales, Massive User Growth

Google’s strength was even more apparent, with the company pulling in $116.3 billion in ad revenue last year. That accounted for more than 40 percent of worldwide online ad sales, according to estimates provided by eMarketer.

Altogether, Facebook and Google combined to bring in more than 60 percent of the $279.6 billion in global ad revenue in 2018. (The two companies found a way to grab more of the international ad market than in 2017, when Facebook and Google’s combined $135.5 billion in ad sales accounted for 58 percent of the market.)

Also Read: FX Boss John Landgraf Bashes Google and Facebook’s ‘Winner-Take-All’ Mentality: ‘Not a Good Thing for Society’

The remaining 39 percent was split among a number of big name companies that are otherwise dwarfed by Facebook and Google — Chinese players Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu as well as U.S. heavyweights such as Amazon and Microsoft.

Most jarringly, the duopoly’s dominance is only expected to grow. By 2022, when digital ads are expected to grab half of all marketing dollars, Facebook and Google’s slice of the pie will increase to 80 percent of the global ad market, according to Polar’s State of Digital Media report.

To get there, Facebook is continuing to find ways to wedge ads onto Instagram, its popular pictures and messaging app, and looking to grow Watch, its content hub on Facebook, to keep eyeballs on its platform longer.

Also Read: Facebook Drops App That Paid Teens $20 for Full Access to Their Phones

Google, meanwhile, has recently looked to make YouTube, the web’s leading video site, even more advertiser-friendly. YouTube last year banned 1.67 million channels, with more than 50 million videos combined between them, for violations of its anti-spam policy, and last month said it would reduce the amount of conspiracy-oriented videos its algorithm recommends.

The decision came a week after AT&T decided to return to advertising on YouTube after a two-year moratorium, believing its ads wouldn’t be connected to “objectionable content” under YouTube’s latest content policies.

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Twitter Finally Reports Its Daily User Base, Posts Strong Q4 Revenue Growth

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Twitter lost another five million users during the fourth quarter of 2018 but surpassed Wall Street’s sales and revenue expectations when the company reported its Q4 results on Thursday morning.

But most notably, the San Francisco-based company said it will stop reporting its monthly users following Q1 in favor of sharing “monetizable” daily active users; mDAU will account for “Twitter users who log in and access Twitter on any given day through or our Twitter applications that are able to show ads,” the company said in its earnings release. At the end of the fourth quarter, Twitter said it had 126 million mDAUs, an increase of 2 million users from the previous quarter and 11 million users year-over-year. This was the first time Twitter broke out its monthly active users.

Monthly active users continued to dwindle, hitting 321 million, a drop of 5 million users from the previous quarter. Twitter also lost 9 million monthly users during Q3.

Also Read: Twitter Chief Responds to Criticism of Myanmar Meditation Vacation: I ‘Need to Learn More’

Twitter, for the three months ended Dec. 31, posted revenue of $909 million and earnings of 31 cents per share, both topping analyst estimates of $869.5 million in sales and 25 cents earnings per share. The company brought in $3 billion in revenue for all of 2018, marking a 25 percent increase year-over-year.

Despite beating analyst estimates, the company’s stock was hammered in pre-market trading, dropping nearly 8 percent to $31.50 per share. Twitter’s forecast of between $715 million to $775 million in Q1 revenue largely fell below analyst estimates of about $766 million.

“2018 is proof that our long-term strategy is working. Our efforts to improve health have delivered important results, and new product features like a single switch to move between latest and most relevant Tweets have been embraced by the people who use Twitter,” Twitter chief Jack Dorsey said in a statement.

Also Read: Twitter Permanently Suspends Far-Right Activist Laura Loomer

He added: “We enter this year confident that we will continue to deliver strong performance by focusing on making Twitter a healthier and more conversational service.”

Heading into Thursday, Twitter had routinely shared the percentage growth of its daily user base each quarter without sharing the actual number of DAUs on its platform. Twitter, after adding another two million daily users this quarter, has increased its mDAUs in nine straight quarters. The company’s 126 million daily users falls below that of other social media companies like Snapchat, which has 186 million DAU, and isn’t in the same stratosphere as Facebook, which has more than 1.5 billion people logging in each day.

Twitter, in its earnings release, said its mDAU won’t be “comparable to current disclosures from other companies, many of whom share a more expansive metric that includes people who are not seeing ads.”

Twitter’s decision to jettison reporting monthly users fits a recent trend of major tech companies tweaking their reporting practices. Facebook executives, last week on the company’s earnings call, revealed they would soon stop reporting its growth in favor of sharing the total growth of its “family” of apps, which includes Instagram and WhatsApp. Apple has also stopped sharing how many iPhones it sells each quarter.

Also Read: Travon Free, Producer on HBO’s ‘Camping,’ Apologizes for ‘Offensive’ Hitler Jokes on Old Twitter Feed

Twitter will hold a call at 8:00 a.m. ET to discuss its earnings.

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Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Big Tom Callahan, played by Brian Dennehy in the 1995 classic “Tommy Boy,” seems to have been wrong when he proclaimed “you’re either growing or you’re dying” at least when it comes to Snap Inc.
While Snapchat’…

Snap User Growth Stalls, but Company Posts Record Q4 Revenue

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Snapchat didn’t gain any daily users during the fourth quarter of 2018, but Wall Street doesn’t seem to mind at first blush, with Snap shares increasing nearly 20 percent after it posted record sales, running past analyst estimates in the process.

The company reported $390 million in revenue — a 36 percent year-over-year increase — and a loss of 4 cents per share. Analysts had anticipated the company would bring in $378 million in sales and report a loss of 7 cents per share.

Snapchat user growth stalled at 186 million daily users, but that marked an improvement from the company’s previous two quarters, when it lost 5 million DAUs behind a much-maligned app redesign. Snapchat had 187 million users at the beginning of 2018.

Also Read: Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel Says Instagram ‘Feels Terrible’ to Users

Wall Street responded kindly to its user stabilization, with Snap shares jumping 19 percent in early after-hours trading, hitting $8.40 per share.

Snap chief Evan Spiegel, in the company’s note to shareholders, said it’s “substantially closer to achieving profitability” as the company has increased sales while keeping its cost structure flat for several quarters.

“In 2018, we focused on building a foundation to scale the business over the long-term by driving sustainable product innovation, scaling our advertising platform, and hiring the leadership team that will help us achieve our future goals,” Spiegel said. “We ended the year with user engagement stabilizing and have started rolling out the new version of our Android application to a small percentage of our community.”

Also Read: Snap CEO Roasts Facebook: ‘We’d Appreciate It if They Copied Our Data Protection Practices Also’

While user growth was flat, Snapchat is continuing to grab more money from its existing audience. Snap reported $2.09 in average revenue per user — a 30 percent increase from the previous quarter. That would indicate the company is doing better at connecting advertisers with its users, something that hasn’t always been easy. Spiegel told analysts in 2017 Snap’s “big issue” with advertisers was “education” — or showing why it was a platform they should use.

Another bright spot for Snap: it’s losing less money. Snap’s net loss was $192 million, compared to the same time last year, when it lost $350 million.

Snap’s alarming trend of having several high-level executives leave the company last year has continued into 2019, with CFO Tim Stone leaving the company in January after only eight months on the job. The company named Lara Sweet, its chief accounting officer, as interim CFO soon after and continues to look for Stone’s permanent replacement. Stone’s exit added to Snap’s growing list of executives that have left the company in the last year. Imran Khan, the company’s former chief strategist, stepped down in September; Nick Bell, Snap’s head of content, later exited in November.

Also Read: Instagram Stories Just Passed 500 Million Daily Users

Former Huffington Post CEO Jared Grusd joined as Snap’s new chief strategist during Q4, along with its new chief business officer Jeremi Gorman, the former head of global ad sales at Amazon.

Snap posted better-than-expected revenue when it reported its third quarter earnings back in October, a triumph that was offset by losing another 2 million DAUs. Weeks later, Snap was subpoenaed by the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission for potentially misleading investors before its March 2017 initial public offering by downplaying the threat of Instagram, its chief competition. The company’s stock price dropped about 15 percent between late October and the end of the year, but has enjoyed a healthy run in recent weeks, pushing it back to about $7 per share heading into Tuesday afternoon — right where it was three months prior.

The company will hold a conference call to discuss its financials at 5:00 p.m. ET.

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Demi Lovato Drops Twitter After Users Blast Her as a ‘Junkie,’ ‘Crackhead,’ for 21 Savage Meme

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Demi Lovato has deactivated her Twitter account after several followers were upset she shared a meme about rapper 21 Savage being arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Sunday, with some calling her a “junkie” and a “crackhead.”

The rapper was arrested earlier in the day by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, claiming the Grammy-nominated rapper, long associated with Atlanta hip-hop, was actually an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who had overstayed his visa.

After deactivating her Twitter account on Sunday night, Lovato took to her Instagram Stories to explain why she was leaving the platform. She shared the seemingly innocuous meme and a screenshot of the replies she received.

Also Read: Demi Lovato Says Her ‘Journey With Addiction’ Is ‘Not Yet Done’

Demi Lovato shared on Instagram the meme she said was met with crass replies (via Instagram)

“Go shoot some more heroine [sic] Demi,” replied one follower. “She’s a hypocrite let’s pull out the heroin memes and see if this b—- doesn’t get emotional,” replied another.

Lovato was hospitalized last year after a drug overdose. The singer has also been open about her longtime battle with cocaine addiction in the past.

“Wasn’t laughing at anyone getting deported. I know that’s not a joke,” Lovato said on Instagram. “Not have I EVER laughed at that. The meme I posted/was talking about was of him being writing with a feather pen. Sorry if I offended anyone. But it’s no excuse to laugh at someone’s addiction let alone their OD.”

Also Read: ‘Beat Shazam’ Episode Featuring Demi Lovato Pulled by Fox

Lovato added she “wasn’t making fun” of 21 Savage’s deportation, but laughing at “who the f— knew 21 was British? Literally no one. That’s it.”

21 Savage was arrested on Sunday by ICE agents, claiming the Grammy-nominated rapper, long associated with Atlanta hip-hop, was actually an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who had overstayed his visa. The rapper, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, wasn’t born in Georgia, but instead came to the U.S. from the U.K. in 2005.

Before dropping her Twitter account — and addressing the situation on Instagram — Lovato tweeted “F— Twitter. This is why I don’t tweet anymore.”

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7 Things We Learned in Tech World This Week, From Apple’s Blunder to Elon Musk’s Pivot to Boring

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Tech stalwarts came into the week expecting the big news to come from quarterly earnings reports.

But that didn’t factor in a major bug hitting FaceTime or Facebook’s latest faux pas reigniting its feud with Apple, its Silicon Valley neighbor.

It was hard to keep up, so let’s review six lessons we learned this week, from Apple to Facebook to Elon Musk.

1. Apple Isn’t Infallible 

Apple has spent much of the last year publicly championing itself as the tech giant that truly cares about protecting its customers. This came as Facebook and Google, to a lesser extent, battled multiple data privacy scandals over the course of 2018. At one point last spring, Apple chief Tim Cook couldn’t help himself from needling Facebook over its Cambridge Analytica scandal, saying he “wouldn’t be in this situation” if he were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Also Read: iPhone Q1 Sales Drop 15 Percent, Apple’s Stock Still Jumps 5 Percent on Record Services Revenue

And yet, Apple had it’s own privacy headache this week. A major FaceTime bug allowed iPhone users to listen to the audio on someone else’s phone — even if the recipient didn’t answer their phone. The glitch occurred when FaceTime users swiped up on their screen as they were dialing and added their own number to the call.

The makeshift three-way call allowed the caller to listen to the other person’s iPhone and, compounding matters, if the recipient hit the volume or power button to ignore the call, it instead started broadcasting video of their phone to the person calling them.

The issue impacted anyone that had updated their iPhone since October and forced Apple to disable Group FaceTime until a new iOS update is available next week. The bug put the privacy spotlight on Apple, if only for a moment, before Facebook had yet another misstep on Wednesday.

Also Read: Apple Sets First-Look Deal With Imagine’s Documentary Arm

2. Apple’s Growing Feud With Facebook… and Google

The social network’s latest controversy — running a clandestine “Research app” that paid some users as young as 13 a $20 monthly fee to let the company collect a wide range of data, including web search history and social media messages — only exacerbated Facebook’s strained relationship with Apple.

The app clearly violated App Store rules, and Apple hit back by revoking Facebook’s enterprise certificates — a move that blocked Facebook from running several internal iOS apps. That ended up causing companywide “chaos,” according to Business Insider, on the same day Facebook was set to report Q4 earnings.

Apple didn’t stop at Facebook, either. It also blocked Google’s internal iOS apps from working on Thursday as well for a separate rules violations. Apple eventually restored enterprise access for both of its Silicon Valley neighbors later on Thursday, but the message was clear: Apple has the muscle to paralyze its tech frenemies.

Speaking of Facebook, though…

Also Read: Facebook Pledges $300 Million to Support Local News Outlets

3. Users Don’t Care About Facebook’s Data Privacy Concerns 

Facebook’s series of privacy scandals in the last year seemed to have had no real impact on its bottom line. The company reported this week it gained 30 million daily active users — including several million in the U.S. and Europe, its most lucrative markets. The gains pushed Facebook past 1.5 billion DAUs; altogether it has 2.32 billion monthly users. This was a big win for Facebook, after posting stagnate user growth in North America, and even losing millions of users in Europe, for most of 2018.

Facebook also brought in nearly $17 billion in Q4 revenue, easily lapping the company’s previous quarterly high by more than $3 billion. Anyway you slice it, it looks like Facebook’s data concerns were ultimately met with indifference from the majority of its users. When asked on its Q4 earnings call if bad press had impacted growth at all, Facebook CFO David Wehner quickly replied, “I’d probably just let the numbers speak for themselves.”

By tech earnings call standards, it was the equivalent of Yasiel Puig celebrating a massive home run.

Facebook shares have jumped more than 10 percent since Wednesday, and at about $166 per share, the company is close to where it was last March, when it admitted 87 million users were impacted by the Cambridge Analytica data leak.

Also Read: Instagram Stories Just Passed 500 Million Daily Users

4. Instagram Is Trouncing Snapchat at Its Own Game

On the same call, Zuckerberg couldn’t help but share the good news about Instagram Stories, the popular app’s feature allowing users to thread together pictures and videos with a 24-hour shelf life. Instagram Stories now has 500 million daily users — a revelation that came just days before Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, is set to report its own earnings and give an update on user growth.

Since Snapchat lost 2 million users in the third quarter of 2018, falling to 186 million DAUs, it’s highly unlikely it’ll come anywhere close to matching its chief rival.

And if that isn’t enough to give Snap CEO Evan Spiegel an ulcer, Instagram has done it by blatantly copying Stories, one of Snapchat’s trademark features. Stay tuned on Monday to see if Snap is able to shake out of its own funk.

Also Read: AT&T Posts Record DirecTV Now Losses, Misses Q4 Revenue Estimates Despite WarnerMedia’s Strength

5. DirecTV’s Streaming Problem Is Only Getting Worse

DirecTV Now, DirecTV’s live streaming service that starts at $40 a month, was supposed to be the satellite company’s best defense against pesky, cord-cutting millennials and Gen Z’ers. Instead, it’s in just as much trouble as DirecTV’s legacy satellite TV business.

DirecTV Now lost 267,000 subscribers during the fourth quarter, shedding 14 percent of its total customers in the process, AT&T revealed earlier this week.

The companies core business didn’t fare any better, losing another 403,000 customers after losing more than 350,000 during Q3. “AT&T had guided to subscriber losses in Q4,” MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett wrote to clients afterwards. “But nobody expected this.”

Also Read: Tesla Cuts 3,000 Jobs, Elon Musk Says ‘Our Products Are Still Too Expensive for Most People’

6. The New, Subdued Elon Musk 

Silicon Valley’s favorite son/enfant terrible typically makes Tesla earnings calls must-listen events. He routinely shoots from the hip and isn’t afraid to blast an analyst for asking a “boring bonehead” question, as he did last May.

But this week, a more genteel Musk joined Tesla’s Q4 call. The biggest takeaway? Musk called the Model X, Tesla’s middle child SUV, the “Faberge egg of cars.” Not as exciting as butting heads with prodding Wall Street analysts.

Musk’s reserved approach could simply be a byproduct of him getting into hot water with the SEC last year. (It could also be the result of him being sued for calling a Thai rescue diver a pedophile.)

7. A Tech-wide “Pivot to Boring”

Whatever the reason, Musk seemed to represent an overall “pivot to boring” when it came to this round of earnings reports from the tech sector. Or maybe it’s just a pivot to less transparency.

Apple for the first time stopped sharing how many iPhones it sold, while Zuckerberg said Facebook would soon stop reporting Facebook’s overall user growth, opting instead to only share the growth of its “family of apps.”

And Amazon posted a record $72 billion in quarterly revenue, yet failed to reveal much of anything that went into its success beyond healthy holiday sales. The e-commerce giant continued to keep pesky details like its overall Prime membership under wraps.
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