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Tech Roundup: Big Changes at Google and Pinterest, Decentralized Apps, Trump’s Social Media SPAC

Technology

Isadora Teich wrote this article

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So many fascinating things are happening in the tech world all the time that it would simply be impossible to keep up with them all.

Recently, Google and Pinterest have made changes, PayPal rumors have been squashed, Donald Trump announced his own social media app, and some of the brightest minds in San Francisco have been trying to decentralize the tech industry itself.

That is not even all of it.

Let’s take a look!

PayPal Wants Pinterest?

There has actually been a lot of buzz over the past few days that PayPal is looking to acquire Pinterest. That has actually been debunked.

PayPal has denied that they are pursuing Pinterest at this time.

However, this does not mean that big things are not happening at Pinterest. They have actually introduced a range of TikTok-like features.

Like Instagram, Pinterest wants to rebrand itself and change how users think of it. Instagram doesn’t want to be “just a photo-sharing app” and Pinterest doesn’t want to be “just a shopping inspo app” anymore.

In The Future, Will All Social Media Apps Be The Same?

If this all sounds familiar, it should. It plays right into what we call the “Social Media Mush Theory.”

Essentially, it seems that, over time, all social media platforms copy each other to try and replicate their individual successes. Eventually, they all may be somewhat indistinguishable.

Pinterest is not only making its site more interactive with TikTok-like features. Creators and users can now respond to content via the “Takes” feature for example.

They are also investing $20 million in Creator Rewards. This includes new tools for creators and integration with the Amazon Affiliates program.

Google Lowers App Store Commissions

This is great news for developers and entrepreneurs in app tech. According to old Google Play Store Rules, they would take 30% in fees the first year, and then 15% for every year after that.

Now, they will only ever take 15%.

For certain types of apps, this cut could even be as low as 10%. This is likely a result of pressure from both world governments and other corporations. Apple’s App store tax and the fees it charges on in-app purchases have been controversial for years.

In fact, in the midst of their ongoing case with Fortnite creator Epic Games, in which Epic Games wants to prove that Apple is an illegal monopoly, it came out that app store fees are the single largest expense of Tinder creator Match Group.

Google’s new fee structure will kick in on January 1st, 2022.

Donald Trump’s TRUTH App

This one is particularly interesting, and not for reasons that you might think. After facing backlash from social media companies after inciting the January terrorist attack on the capital, Trump has claimed that big tech suppresses and censors his viewpoints.

Interestingly enough, this is a common viewpoint amongst people throughout the political spectrum.

Those on the right feel that mainstream social media suppresses them and champions the political left, while those on the left think that these sites spread right-wing ideas like fire and try to suppress their opinions in favor of right-wing ones.

According to Pew Research data, in 2020, 90% of right-leaning Americans felt censored by mainstream social media and tech companies.

Via Pew Research

In this kind of environment, it is simply good business to launch social networks which claim they will allow the free speech that many Americans feel that they cannot access anymore.

Trump claims his oncoming platform TRUTH will take on big social media companies.

What is interesting about it, is the kind of company TRUTH is: A SPAC.

What Is A SPAC?

SPACs stands for Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. This type of company is not new, but picked up buzz over the last year or so.

In fact, in 2020, there were over 100 SPACs. According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission:

“A SPAC is a company with no operations that offers securities for cash and places substantially all the offering proceeds into a trust or escrow account for future use in the acquisition of one or more private operating companies. Following its initial public offering (IPO), the SPAC will seek to identify acquisition candidates and attempt to complete one or more business combination transactions, after which the company will continue the operations of the acquired company or companies as a public company.”

If you read that and have no idea what it means, I am personally a bigger fan of the way The Verge describes SPACs.

“SPAC” stands for special-purpose acquisition company, which is kind of an obtuse way of saying “a mountain of cash that exists for a merger”; it is also sometimes called a “blank-check” company.”

So, What Does This Mean?

While a representative for TRUTH claims that eventually the social media will take on and compete with mainstream social media, that is not the case right now.

Currently, it is a company with no actual operations, that has had a lot of money put into it.

While many companies opt for IPOs, this is a complicated process that involves a lot of regulation and transparency. SPACs, on the other hand, do not have to disclose that level of information about themselves publically.

SF Innovators Want To Replace Bosses With Blockchain Tech

A group of technologists wants to radically change the world of work forever. They want to replace bureaucracies, bosses, and headquarters with DAO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization.

DAOs are built on blockchains. Blockchain is essentially just an efficient and chronological way to store data.

Data is stored in blocks that are then virtually “chained” together. As new data arrives, it will be entered into a new block. Once that block becomes full of data, it gets chained to the prior block.

Here is how blockchain startup Harmony CEO Li Jiang imagines DAO impacting the future world of work:

“It’s evolution. Our parents’ generation, they might have worked with a company for 10, 20, 30 years. Our generation, we work for a company for three, four years. But then the next generation, they’re gonna work for three DAOs at the same time.”

The Future vs The Present

Accoring to DAO maximalists, this is the potential of this tech:

The best analogy to understand is that it’s a digital co-op, kind of like an online version of REI or a local farmers cooperative. A group of people with a shared interest form an organization together, and collectively vote on important decisions.

However, at present, people are mostly using DAOs to invest in non-fungible tokens or NFTs.

They essentially allow groups of people to combine their resources and collectively choose which digital tokens to invest in. They hope that these will gain value over time.

Final Thoughts On What’s Happening in Tech

In the world of business, tech, and apps, there is always so much going on. These are just a few of the large recent happenings in the industry.

Which of these recent events interests you most? Talk to me.

 

About ChopDawg.com: Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.

 

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