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#SocialStocks: After Transforming Work from Home, Zoom Asks Employees to Return

Posted August 10, 2023 at 10:30 am
Andrew Perez
The Fly

Meta loses advertisers from Canada news bill, Sprout social purchases Tagger Media for $140M and other notable stories from this week

Welcome to “#SocialStocks,” The Fly’s weekly recap of Wall Street’s reactions to social media stock news.


As part of the continued roll-out of its enterprise-ready AI and data platform, watsonx, IBM (IBM) plans to host Meta’s (META) Llama 2-chat 70 billion parameter model in the studio, with early access now available to select clients and partners. This will build on IBM’s collaboration with Meta on open innovation for AI, including work with open source projects developed by Meta – such as the PyTorch machine learning framework and the Presto query engine used in This will also support IBM’s strategy of offering both third-party and its own AI models. Currently in, AI builders can leverage models from IBM and the Hugging Face community, which are pre-trained to support a range of Natural Language Processing, or NLP, tasks including question answering, content generation and summarization, text classification and extraction.


Stingray announced its decision to immediately suspend all advertising of its products on Facebook and Instagram in Canada. This decision comes in response to Meta’s recent actions regarding Canadian journalistic content on its platforms, in light of the Online News Actor Bill C-18 and in support of Canadian news media publishers. Eric Boyko, CEO and co-founder of Stingray, commented, “We believe in the importance of a diverse and vibrant media landscape that supports a healthy democracy. We cannot tolerate Meta’s recent decision to block news from Canadian news media publishers and their potential implications for Canadian news content. As a result, we have decided to pause our advertising on Facebook and Instagram.” Stingray also calls on businesses, governments, and institutions to express their disagreement with Meta’s affront to public policy and the news media through their advertising placement choices. Stingray will continue to monitor the situation closely and will reassess its position as necessary in response to the evolving landscape. Reference LinkComments taken from investor presentation slides.


Britain’s data regulator is gathering information on Snapchat (SNAP) to establish whether the U.S. instant messaging app is doing enough to remove underage users from its platform, Reuters’ Martin Coulter reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. The Information Commissioner’s Office received a number of complaints from the public concerning Snap’s handling of children’s data after the Reuters report, a source familiar with the matter said. Some of the complaints related to Snapchat not doing enough to keep young children off its platform, the source said.


As many other tech firms have done, Zoom (ZM) is pushing for in-person work, requiring many of its 7,400 employees to begin to show up to office, Emma Goldberg of The New York Times reported. Last week, the company asked all employees within 50 miles of an office to work in person on a part-time basis. “We believe that a structured hybrid approach – meaning employees that live near an office need to be on site two days a week to interact with their teams – is most effective for Zoom,” a company spokesperson said.


LiveRamp (RAMP) announced an expanded partnership with Pinterest (PINS) to offer a better global integration for advertisers to reach their audiences on Pinterest’s platform globally. Through the partnership, marketers will be able to reach their customers on Pinterest with seamless activation on RampID, LiveRamp’s pseudonymous, people-based identifier. The partnership between LiveRamp and Pinterest now spans: the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; South American markets of Argentina and Brazil; select European markets; and APAC markets of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Today marketers, including all users of LiveRamp’s Data Collaboration Platform, will be able to easily activate Pinterest as a destination via LiveRamp.


In a regulatory filing, Pinterest disclosed that its former CFO Todd Morgenfeld sold 182.1K shares of common stock on August 3rd in a total transaction size of $5.0M


Zoom released a blog post in an attempt to provide “clairty” on its approach to the platform’s AI features and customer content sharing for product improvement purposes. “We have permission to use this customer content to provide value-added services based on this content, but our customers continue to own and control their content,” the company said. “For example, a customer may have a webinar that they ask us to livestream on YouTube. Even if we use the customer video and audio content to livestream, they own the underlying content… An example of a machine learning service for which we need license and usage rights is our automated scanning of webinar invites / reminders to make sure that we aren’t unwittingly being used to spam or defraud participants. The customer owns the underlying webinar invite, and we are licensed to provide the service on top of that content. For AI, we do not use audio, video, or chat content for training our models without customer consent… We recently introduced two powerful generative AI features – Zoom IQ Meeting Summary and Zoom IQ Team Chat Compose – on a free trial basis to enhance your Zoom experience. These features offer automated meeting summaries and AI-powered chat composition. Zoom account owners and administrators control whether to enable these AI features for their accounts. We recently introduced two powerful generative AI features – Zoom IQ Meeting Summary and Zoom IQ Team Chat Compose – on a free trial basis to enhance your Zoom experience. These features offer automated meeting summaries and AI-powered chat composition. Zoom account owners and administrators control whether to enable these AI features for their accounts.”


Sprout Social (SPT) announced the acquisition of Tagger Media. This acquisition aims to establish Sprout as the leader in the social media software market with a platform that enables brands to execute a social strategy at scale. “As influencer marketing has changed the way brands build awareness and connection, our customers are increasingly demanding to break the workflow silos between core social media strategies,” said Justyn Howard, Sprout Social’s CEO and Co-Founder. “By bringing Tagger’s influencer marketing software into Sprout’s suite of solutions, we have the opportunity to deliver the next generation of social insights to our customers to fuel business strategy and measure the full ROI of holistic social investments. Tagger and Sprout have a shared mission for building powerful and intuitive software and we’re excited to bring our industry-leading products and teams together.” Sprout Social has acquired Tagger Media for cash consideration of $140M in a transaction that closed on August 2. The acquisition was funded with a combination of cash from Sprout Social’s balance sheet and Sprout’s newly established revolving credit facility.


Meta Platforms’ Ray-Ban smart glasses have struggled to catch on with its owners, with many using the devices infrequently, Salvador Rodriguez and Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal reported, citing internal company data. Less than 10% of Ray-Ban Stories purchased since the product’s launch in September 2021 are actively used by its purchasers, a company document reviewed by the Journal said. Meta has sold a total of 300,000 of the devices through February of 2023, but it only has 27,000 monthly users.


Sprout Social came out ahead of analyst expectations during its second quarter earnings report. On the other hand, guidance for Q4 and FY23 fell short of consensus. “Our strategic business transformation is becoming more pronounced and has Sprout at the beginning of our next great growth chapter,” said Justyn Howard, Sprout Social’s CEO and co-founder. “Our enterprise growth rate has further accelerated, our partnerships continue to show great progress and our multi-year investments in customer care, AI & automation each provide confidence in increasingly durable and efficient growth. Our acquisition of Tagger positions Sprout to extend our leadership into the influencer marketing market for a new growth and value creation opportunity.”

BTIG lowered the firm’s price target on Sprout Social. The firm highlighted in a research note that the company reported Q2 results that modestly beat subscription estimates but fell short on guidance even with a new acquisition adding revenue to the mix. BTIG remains positive on the long-term but lowers its price target to reflect the muted short-term outlook. However, Morgan Stanley raised the firm’s price target on Sprout Social. Secular tailwinds have led to an attractive SAM, which Sprout is “well-positioned” to capture, the analyst told investors. The increasing debate on medium-term guidance for revenue growth through fiscal year 2025 has kept the firm on the sidelines due to softening macro, execution risk, and increasing competition.

Originally Posted August 9, 2023 – #SocialStocks: After transforming work from home, Zoom asks employees to return

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