Welcome to "#SocialStocks," The Fly's weekly recap of Wall Street's reactions to social media stock news.
FACEBOOK SAYS INSTAGRAM, WHATSAPP TAKEOVER BENEFITS USERS
In prepared remarks ahead of a hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Facebook's (FB) director of Public Policy Matt Perault argued that the company should not be broken up because its Instagram and WhatsApp business have had a greater opportunity to thrive after merging with the social media giant. "These synergies accelerate innovation," he said in prepared remarks. "They enable the development of new products and technologies and yield improvements in features and services for users. For example, Instagram and WhatsApp have had more opportunity to innovate as part of Facebook than they would have on their own-enhancing users' experience and resulting in more choice for more people overall, not less." Perault also contended that the company has "democratized" advertising, as its platform can "accommodate almost every budget, and we help advertisers reach their target audience and maximize their impact," he added. "Our business model makes it possible for businesses of all sizes to reach the exact audiences they want to reach." Perault said, "Today, more than seven million businesses around the world choose to advertise with us every month, and two-thirds of small businesses on Facebook say they've increased sales because of Facebook." The executive concluded his remarks by saying that the company is "constantly working to find new ways to help people connect, communicate and share. Like many successful American companies before us, we have grown by taking risks, learning from our mistakes and constantly striving to improve."
TWITTER TO USE CANADA TO TEST HIDING REPLIES IN TWEETS
Twitter (TWTR) said in a blog post on July 11, "Starting next week, people in Canada will have the option to hide replies to their Tweets. Anyone around the world will be able to see and engage with hidden replies by tapping the grey icon that will appear. We want to be clear and transparent when someone has made the decision to hide a reply, and will be looking at how this feature gives more control to authors while not compromising the transparency and openness that is central to what makes Twitter so powerful. By testing in one country we want to get feedback and better understand how this tool can improve before it's available globally." Twittter acknowledged that "distracting, irrelevant, and offensive replies can derail the discussions that people want to have."
SNAP UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT GOLDMAN SACHS
On July 12, Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry upgraded Snap (SNAP) to Buy from Neutral and raised his price target on shares to $18 from $13. The company's new Android app, the launch of Snap Games, and new viral lenses should accelerator user growth, Terry wrote in a research note. He pointed out that Snap's total app downloads for May, the first month reflecting these recent innovations, was a record 41M. This represents a "stark reversal" of what were otherwise multi-year lows in app downloads that the platform experienced through most of 2018 and early 2019, the analyst said.
Keywords: Instagram, WhatsApp, Congress, Goldman Sachs, Heath Terry, Matt Perault, social media advertising