Welcome to "#SocialStocks," The Fly's weekly recap of Wall Street's reactions to social media stock news.
FACEBOOK FTC SETTLEMENT COULD INCLUDE 20 YEARS OF OVERSIGHT: Reuters' Diane Bartz reported that Facebook (FB) is moving toward an agreement with the U.S. government regarding its privacy policies and practices that would put the social media company under 20 years of oversight. Bartz cited a source knowledgeable about the discussions. The deal, which would resolve an investigation on whether the company breached a similar 2011 consent pact, is not expected this week and according to one source, the announcement of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission could be a month away.
FACEBOOK TO RESTRICT CERTAIN USERS FROM LIVESTREAMING: Facebook will ban people who misuse its livestreaming feature for a period of time, the company said in a statement. It said: "Following the horrific terrorist attacks in New Zealand, we've been reviewing what more we can do to limit our services from being used to cause harm or spread hate. As a direct result, starting today, people who have broken certain rules on Facebook - including our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy - will be restricted from using Facebook Live. Tackling these threats also requires technical innovation to stay ahead of the type of adversarial media manipulation we saw after Christchurch when some people modified the video to avoid detection in order to repost it after it had been taken down. This will require research driven across industry and academia. To that end, we're also investing $7.5M in new research partnerships with leading academics from three universities, designed to improve image and video analysis technology... We will now apply a 'one strike' policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offenses. From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time - for example 30 days - starting on their first offense. For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time. We plan on extending these restrictions to other areas over the coming weeks, beginning with preventing those same people from creating ads on Facebook."
TWITTER LAUNCHES SEARCH TOOL TO STOP SPREAD OF VACCINE MISINFORMATION: Del Harvey, VP of trust and safety at Twitter (TWTR), wrote in a Friday blog post, "We're committed to protecting the health of the public conversation on Twitter - ensuring individuals can find information from authoritative sources is a key part of that mission. We recently launched a new tool so when someone searches for certain keywords associated with vaccines, a prompt will direct individuals to a credible public health resource. In the United States, we partnered with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and point people to vaccines.gov. The new search prompt is available on iOS, Android, and mobile.twitter.com in the United States, Canada, UK, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, and in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries. If you search on twitter.com, there's a pinned Tweet with information from trusted partners. We already do this when individuals search for terms associated with suicide or self-harm as part of our #ThereIsHelp initiative and hope to expand it to other important public health issues in the coming months. Additionally, we will not auto-suggest queries that are likely to direct individuals to non-credible commentary and information about vaccines...At Twitter, we understand the importance of vaccines in preventing illness and disease and recognize the role that Twitter plays in disseminating important public health information. We think it's important to help people find reliable information that enhances their health and well-being."
PINTEREST INITIATED AROUND THE STREET: Pinterest (PINS) received a number of initiations by analyst firms on Monday, May 13. Notably, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian initiated Pinterest with an Outperform rating and $36 price target, saying he expects the company to top $1B in revenue this year, given its engaged and fast-growing audience and developing ad business. He sees Pinterest having significant runway for growth from international monetization and contributions from shopping/ecommerce as well as operating leverage. Deutsche Bank analyst Lloyd Walmsley, meanwhile, started Pinterest with a Hold rating and $25 price target. The analyst is bullish on the company's long-term prospects but views the current risk/reward as balanced. The shares are trading at a full multiple with limited near term valuation support on profit metrics, Walmsley wrote in a research note titled "Upside to Shares is Blurry Through Our Lens."
TECHCRUNCH SAYS SPOTIFY TESTING STORIES FEATURE: On Monday, May 13, TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez wrote that Spotify (SPOT) is in the process of testing "its own version of Stories," which is a popular feature of other social apps like Snapchat (SNAP), Instagram, Facebook, and Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) YouTube. Perez said Spotify’s story feature will be named "Storyline, and the focus is on allowing artists to share their own insights, inspiration, details about their creative process, or other meanings behind the music."
Keywords: instagram, whatsapp, messenger, facebook live, livestreaming, ftc, federal trade commission, techcrunch, stories, youtube