Welcome to "#SocialStocks," The Fly's weekly recap of Wall Street's reactions to social media stock news.
FACEBOOK ANNOUNCES OFF-FACEBOOK ACTIVITY FEATURE: On August 20, Facebook (FB) announced its introduction of "Off-Facebook Activity," which it calls a "new tool that gives you more control of your data." In the page describing the tool, Facebook stated: "Much of what you do online generates data - like when you're searching for vacation spots or buying a backpack. Occasionally, businesses share that data with Facebook... One way that data can be used is to help businesses find the right audience to show ads for things you might like-such as a deal on backpacks. These ads are what make most of the internet available free of charge, including Facebook... Now you can see a summary of information Facebook receives about your activity on other apps and websites. You also have the option to disconnect it from your account."
TWITTER SUSPENDS 200K SPAMMY ACCOUNTS: On August 20, Twitter (TWTR) announced in a blog post, "We are disclosing a significant state-backed information operation focused on the situation in Hong Kong, specifically the protest movement and their calls for political change. Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation. Specifically, we identified large clusters of accounts behaving in a coordinated manner to amplify messages related to the Hong Kong protests. As Twitter is blocked in PRC, many of these accounts accessed Twitter using VPNs. However, some accounts accessed Twitter from specific unblocked IP addresses originating in mainland China. The accounts we are sharing today represent the most active portions of this campaign; a larger, spammy network of approximately 200,000 accounts - many created following our initial suspensions - were proactively suspended before they were substantially active on the service."
PINTEREST UPGRADED TO BUY FROM HOLD AT ARGUS: On August 15, Argus analyst Jasper Hellweg upgraded Pinterest to Buy with a $40 price target, citing his belief that the company is well positioned as a host of content for the advertising industry that is in the early stages of monetizing its mostly international user base. Pinterest is "off to a strong start in 2019" and he looks for revenue growth to continue at a nearly similar pace as was seen in the first half of the year, said the analyst, who expects Pinterest to achieve full-year profitability within the next two years. However, he also noted that the stock could see selling pressure in October when the post-IPO lockup period expires.