August 1, 2018

GENERAL

Apple first $1 trillion company? Race vs Amazon.

Revenue is up 17 percent year-over-year and reached $53.3 billion. iPhone sales account for 56 percent of total revenue. 41.3 million iPhones got sold at an average price of $724.

In other words, investors are having a party on WallStreet, and worshipping Apple.

The tech giant is extremely close to becoming the first trillion dollar company.

Amazon looked like it could give it a run for its money, but after these results and stock price spike in after-hours trading, today might be the day we see the magic number hit!

Also, don’t discount us as the underdog. We only have about $1 trillion to go! Easy game!


FACEBOOK

Hitting them while they’re down

Tighter regulation on big tech companies has been a big topic this year, especially for Facebook.

CEO Mark Zuckermann Zuckerberg even said in his testimony in Congress that he is not against more regulation, but that it needs to be thoroughly discussed.

Now, we’re not sure how a thorough discussion works with politicians, but we assume they’re doing exactly that because different suggestions for what to change come up every few weeks.

The latest is a white paper by Sen. Mark Warner. No, it’s not an ICO. Believe it or not, white papers are not only for that!

Thankfully, the folks at Axios went to summarise the important parts. Here are the highlights:

  • Funding for media literacy programs by the government. Good idea, we think. Education is the way to avoid people falling for many of the scams around (but not all)
  • Require platforms to label bot accounts and do more to identify malicious accounts. Could you be any more vague?! Here’s the thing: platforms are doing a lot here already. Just saying “do more” is not exactly a solution, and this is where a lot of regulation falls flat on its face. Or at least where we see it that way.
  • GDPR-inspired privacy regulation. Hard to say if good or bad. So far, GDPR seems mostly to have brought up more annoying pop-ups. It feels like the early 2000s but instead of ads, you get websites asking you for consent. Not exactly a pleasant browsing experience. On the other hand, the data handling part has many merits, so a GDPR 2.0 is something we’d like to hear about.

The paper doesn’t present itself as a complete solution but wants to start the discussion and we say “fair enough!”.

One thing everyone also noticed is that there’s no talk about dismantling big companies like Facebook and Google. This was another point brought up in Mark’s testimony “Is Facebook a monopoly that has to be torn apart?”

We leaned on the side of “it’s not a monopoly” but doesn’t mean that it cannot become one or that it might not use unfair practices to protect itself.

That’s a summary of the current talk about regulating big tech companies that deal with data. But there’s more news from FB.

The Russians are at it again! 

This time Facebook seems better prepared. They banned 32 pages from FB and Instagram because they were part of the same network trying to spread misinformation.

The press-release from FB goes into pretty heavy detail on how they approach this and you can find their full post right here.

From what we can summarise – they’re still playing cat and mouse but Facebook’s getting better.

At the very least, it’s probably one of the reasons many non-malicious accounts also run into issues.

Sure, if you try to break FB’s rules, you are probably facing super rough times. That was the word on the street over the last weeks.

Even if you aren’t, you will get your ad account suspended more often and have to deal with Facebook’s pretty abysmal customer support to get it back.

Speaking of customer support…

Developers complain about FB’s app review process

App developers are all in agreement that Facebook’s new approval process is exactly what you’d expect when you “tighten up the process”.

The review process of apps looking to access FB Login, Pages API and Groups API takes an average of 7 weeks. Yes, SEVEN WEEKS!

This might not be the most important topic for advertisers right now, but we want to use this point to emphasize that things did get strict and you should plan with this in mind.


E-COMMERCE

Best way to custom label products

Enough with the pessimism, let’s talk how to step up your e-commerce game.

Vanessa Marchese posted in the Ecom Empires group asking for help when it comes to finding Chinese suppliers who can custom label basic products without you having to physically go to China.

The group didn’t disappoint and brought up a few suggestions.

One of them is Alibaba of course, but the discussion evolved towards finding a way to also dropship those items.

If you have some good products, want to build an e-commerce brand and need help figuring out how to customize everything while still dropshipping at a good price, check out the discussion there and get in touch with the people who offered to help Vanessa already!

Tariffs, tariffs everywhere!

Or at least on Chinese goods, which is what many people care about because they dropship from there.

The Trump administration is thinking about a 25% tariff on about $200 billion worth of goods from China.

“They include food products, chemicals, steel and aluminium and consumer goods ranging from dog food, furniture and carpets to car tires, bicycles, baseball gloves and beauty products.”

We don’t know exactly what you are selling but the range seems wide enough to include typically dropshipped items.

The plan is to have this next rounds of tariffs come into effect on August 30.

Are you someone who is directly affected by this? Get in touch with us! 

We’d love to have a chat about what is legitimately worrying and what is just noise when it comes to dropshipping, e-commerce and tariffs on Chinese goods!


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

The unhackable crypto wallet?

Last week, John McAfee offered up $100,000 to anyone who could break into the Bitfi wallet, which is advertised as the world’s first completely “unhackable” cryptocurrency wallet.

While nobody has managed to claim the $100,000 reward (yet), researchers uploaded a list of directories that give an overview of everything pre-installed on the Bitfi device.

The picture is not pretty…

With the inclusion of a well-known malware suite called Adups FOTA, a spyware platform that allows for the transmitting text, call, location, and app data to a server in China every 72 hours, and the Chinese app Baidu, which has built-in WiFi and GPS tracking functionality, the device seems to be perfect if you don’t care about privacy. 

There’s also no internal cold storage, all funds are seemingly kept in what is known as a hot wallet. This means always connected to the Internet.

From what everyone can tell, this is a stripped-down phone, with malware and/or software to connect with their servers which totally defeats the purpose of an own hardware wallet.
It’s like having only one device which you use for your online banking. More secure than a phone you use on a daily basis, but the bank still has your money, and the bank can still get hacked.

Despite nobody hacking it yet, it clearly doesn’t do a good job when it comes to protecting the sensitive data of its users, simply because of its design.

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