Let’s dive in.
1. Could Facebook be the next Yahoo? Facebook’s recent shift to the metaverse is meant to give it “a new chapter,” as CEO Mark Zuckerberg put it. But insiders and investors fear the change is an identity crisis the social-media company won’t recover from.
Once the biggest internet company, Yahoo was undone by rivals and emerging tech. Now, with a worthy competitor in TikTok and privacy changes disrupting its business, Facebook is betting on the metaverse — and investors are unsure it’ll succeed.
Current and former employees also told Insider they’re concerned the new bet won’t lead to a better business, and those in money-making parts of the company are confused about their direction since it rebranded to Meta.
“Simply put, the market is questioning whether this company is now Yahoo! 3.0,” one analyst said.
In other news:
2. CNN’s new streaming service is shutting down just weeks after launch. After a splashy, multi-million dollar debut last month, CNN+ will stop streaming on April 30. Get the full rundown here.
3. Amazon’s physical store ambitions are struggling. While Amazon has perfected e-commerce, it’s facing a tougher reality with physical stores, driven by high costs, a dysfunctional culture, and tension with Whole Foods — and some employees question whether it will ever excel in offline shopping. Inside Amazon’s flailing brick-and-mortar plans.
4. ICYMI: Elon Musk says he’s secured the funding to buy Twitter. In a regulatory filing published Thursday, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO said he has agreements from banks and other entities totaling $46.5 billion for a Twitter takeover. What we know so far.
5. Eat Just slashed its revenue forecast by about 50% for 2021. According to a leaked investor presentation, sales at the alternative-protein startup (formerly known as Hampton Creek) were hindered by production issues and slow restaurant sales early last year. A look at Eat Just’s struggles.
6. Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg reportedly pressured a paper to drop reporting about her ex. The Wall Street Journal reported Sandberg urged British tabloid the Daily Mail to abandon reporting involving her former boyfriend, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. Here’s the latest.
7. A travel influencer shares how she made $1 million since 2020. Catarina Mello, a former Google employee, brings in 80% of her income from an online course she sells about the business of being an influencer. Here’s how she made it work.
8. Russia just sanctioned Mark Zuckerberg. The Meta CEO, LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky, and 27 other Americans were indefinitely barred from entering the country. We explain what the sanction means.
Odds and ends:
9. We got a look at BMW’s new electric luxury sedan. The carmaker just unveiled the i7 — the electric version of its flagship 7-Series sedan — and it comes with a 31-inch fold-out TV, Amazon Fire TV, and more than 500 horsepower. Check out the BMW i7 here.
10. A Tesla is embarking on a 9,380-mile journey around the perimeter of Australia. A group of scientists plans to use printed solar panels to power the Tesla Model 3 on its journey around the country this fall. More on the project, Charge Around Australia.
The latest people moves in tech:
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