Welcome to "#SocialStocks," The Fly's weekly recap of Wall Street's reactions to social media stock news.
FED CHAIR POWELL VOICES ‘SERIOUS’ CONCERNS ABOUT LIBRA: In testimony on Wednesday to the House's Committee on Financial Services, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Committee Chair Maxine Waters that the central bank has set up a working group to look into Facebook's (FB) cryptocurrency, Libra. Powell stated, "We did actually have a meeting with representatives of Facebook a couple of months before the announcement...We do support responsible innovation in the financial services industry as long as the associated risks are appropriately identified and managed...Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability. These are concerns that should be thoroughly and publicly addressed before proceeding."
COURT RULES TRUMP CAN’T BLOCK TWITTER USERS: A federal appeals court ruled that President Trump's practice of blocking certain users on Twitter (TWTR) violates the First Amendment's protection of free speech, The Wall Street Journal's Corinne Ramey reported on Tuesday. Judge Barrington Parker wrote, "The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees."
NOMURA SAYS PINTEREST E-COMMERCE A SOURCE OF UPSIDE: Last Wednesday, Nomura Instinet analyst Mark Kelley said that Pinterest (PINS) recently expanded its Partners program to include a new group of Shopping partners with tools focused on e-commerce. As the company's e-commerce efforts scale, the analyst thinks transactional capabilities could be a "notable source of upside" for its financials. Kelley reiterated a Buy rating on Pinterest with a $34 price target citing the company's "clear emphasis" on e-commerce functionality and advanced timeline relative to his expectations.
SNAP LAUNCHING ‘CREATOR SHOWS’ FROM CELEBRITIES: Snap Inc. (SNAP) wants Snapchat to be a destination "for celebrities and influencers" to design their own shows, with monetized content, "in the same short-form, vertical-video orientation as Snap's slate of 80-plus original series," Todd Spangler of Variety said Wednesday. "Creator Shows begin streaming Wednesday on Snapchat, and will feature content from Serena Williams, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Hart, Maddie Ziegler, Emma Chamberlain, Rickey Thompson, Loren Gray, FaZe Banks, Baby Ariel and others. In addition, Snap is partnering with digital studios on some of the Creator Shows, including Brat, BBTV and Studio71,” Spangler added.
INSTAGRAM ANNOUNCES ‘RESTRICT’ FEATURE: Instagram is attempting to crack down on bullying with a new way to stop people from commenting publicly on users' photos without having to block them, Instagram said in a statement on Tuesday. The app will let users "restrict" people's comments with a mute-style feature, and use AI to flag offensive comments before they're posted, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said. "We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them. Soon, we will begin testing a new way to protect your account from unwanted interactions called Restrict. Once you Restrict someone, comments on your posts from that person will only be visible to that person. You can choose to make a restricted person's comments visible to others by approving their comments. Restricted people won't be able to see when you're active on Instagram or when you've read their direct messages."
Keywords: Jerome Powell, Libra, Facebook Libra, cryptocurrency, Trump, Snapchat, Kevin Heart, Instagram