Etsy plans to spend $1.6 billion buying Depop, a social shopping app that’s helping teens get rich. Some Depop sellers pull in $300,000 a year – here’s how to make money on it.

Depop
Depop is a social shopping app targeted at Gen Z shoppers.

Instead of spending weekends or school holidays washing dishes and waiting tables, entrepreneurially minded teens are launching mini businesses to earn money online.

Depop app
The Depop app.

This is largely thanks to new apps that enable young shoppers to buy or sell secondhand clothing and accessories.

Depop, which launched in Milan in 2011 and has quickly gained a cult following around the world, is one of them. 

Depop is easy to use, which is one of the reasons it’s so successful.

Depop
Downloading the Depop app.

Depop has amassed more than 30 million customers in 150 countries since launching in 2011.

First, you need to download the app.

Depop
The landing page on the app.

Depop counts companies such as Poshmark and ThredUp as its competitors, and has been described as a mix between eBay and Instagram.

Depop will then ask you to create a username, link the account to your email address, and add a photo that represents your brand.

Depop
Setting up your shop.

Unlike rivals such as Poshmark or eBay, there’s more of a communal aesthetic on Depop and sellers are primarily listing streetwear, vintage, or late 1990s/early 2000s fashion. 

You’ll need to describe the style of your brand and what you’re planning to sell.

Depop
Explain what you’re selling.

This description will appear just under your username on your personal page. You can also link to your Instagram page to promote yourself more.

Next, you set up your billing address details and link your account to your PayPal. This is where all payments are handled.

Depop
The process is fairly straightforward.

You also have the option to register as a business and add in the relevant tax details. 

It’s as simple as that.

Depop
Now you can list your first item.

You’re ready to go.

Once you have a profile, you can start listing new items for sale.

Depop
Catchy photos pay off.

Depop advises sellers to post at least four photos and a video to give the item its best chance of selling.

You select the category that the item falls under.

Depop
There are 14 categories in total.

These are umbrella categories, such as menswear, womenswear, or sports equipment, for example. You can add a more detailed description of the item in another box, however.

The seller must cover the cost of shipping each item.

Depop
Depop uses Hermes courier in the UK.

In the UK, for example, the seller can either choose to do this process entirely on their own or pay to use a Depop recommended delivery company.

If you’re shipping internationally, you need to set the price yourself. 

Lastly, add the price of the item you’re listing.

Depop
There are no set guidelines for pricing.

There are no set guidelines for pricing, but sellers are advised to benchmark their prices against other products listed on the app.

Depop charges a 10% fee on each item sold.

Depop
Sellers will lose 10% of what they earn on each item.

This 10% is taken off the total transaction amount, which includes the cost of shipping. 

Customers can like, comment on, or save an item to their profile, much like you can on Instagram.

Depop
It has an Instagram-like setup.

They can also leave reviews and rate the seller. This feedback appears on the sellers’ profile page. 

Etsy said Wednesday that it was buying Depop for $1.625 billion as it looked to expand its reach to the Gen Z market.

Depop
Depop is known for being popular with Gen Z shoppers.

90% of Depop’s users are under 26 and it has its sights firmly set on this consumer base.

The company says its mission is to empower young shoppers to disrupt the fashion industry and give them the chance to become entrepreneurs.

Emma Rogue, Depop Seller
Emma Rogue (@emmarogue_ on TikTok) runs the Depop shop Shop Rogue

“This company is for the next generation,” Rachel Swidenbank, vice president of marketplace at Depop, previously told Insider. 

And for some, selling on Depop is a lucrative hobby.

Emma Rogue Depop
Emma Rogue lists a Y2K Fuzzy Animal Print Minibag on her Depop for $22.50

Swidenbank said that some users pull in as much as $300,000 a year selling on the app

Read the original article on Business Insider

I paid $150 to try the popular weight-loss app backed by investors like Tony Xu and Scooter Braun. It taught me better eating habits, but keeping the weight off was harder than expected.

Health Weight Loss Fork Food
Noom uses science and psychology to promote healthy eating and living.

  • Noom is a weight-loss app that uses a psychology-based approach to change your eating habits.
  • One freelancer tried Noom for over 8 months to shed some pounds and prevent pandemic weight gain.
  • She lost seven pounds and now implements the healthy habits she learned every day.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Like many people, I’ve been losing and gaining the same 10 pounds every few years.

In my latest attempt to lose weight, I turned to the Noom app. The TV and Facebook ads feature statements like, “Just 10 minutes a day keeps the weight off” and testimonials from people who claim they worked out every day for a year and only lost 10 pounds, but with Noom they lost 30 pounds.

Noom promises to be life-changing, easy to follow, and different from other weight-loss plans. For instance, on Noom, no food is forbidden, and its ads reinforce this concept by showing a woman grabbing a brownie while the scale flips to a lower and lower weight.

Although it seems like Noom is a newcomer to the weight-loss game, the company was founded more than a decade ago, in 2008, by two best friends, Saeju Jeong and Artem Petakov.

Read more: The entrepreneurs making bank through Clubhouse by leveraging their networks and associating their services with the popular app

Last year, the company reported it had over 45 million users. A 2016 study published in Scientific Reports found that about 78% of the 35,921 participants who used Noom lost weight over an 18-month period, and a 2017 study published in the Journal of Health Communications found that Noom appeared to help people lose weight over a six-month period.

In 2019, Noom raised $58 million, with investors including Sequoia Capital, Groupe Arnault’s tech arm Aglaé Ventures, Jan Koum, cofounder of WhatsApp, Tony Xu, cofounder of DoorDash, Josh Kushner, cofounder of Oscar Health, Scooter Braun, founder of SB Projects, and Samsung Ventures. It’s now the largest venture-backed digital weight-loss startup, having raised $115 million to date, a company spokesperson told Insider’s Patricia Kelly Yeo in April.

I signed up in October 2019. It cost about $150 to test out for eight months.

noom lisa
My “new normal.”

After completing a short quiz about my weight, height, desired weight-loss goal, and daily eating and exercise habits, I received my “customized” plan with a budget of 1,200 calories a day – a standard recommendation for women trying to shed a few pounds.

Noom broke my 1,200-calorie budget into three categories:

  • Green – essentially vegetables and fruits, to be eaten generously
  • Yellow – multigrain bread, lean proteins, beans, and brown rice, to be eaten in moderation
  • Red – the brownie in the ad, cheeses, pizza, anything fried, all to be eaten sparingly

Essentially, the food budget encourages participants to eat more protein, fruits, and vegetables and fewer fats and processed foods.

Other key daily aspects of Noom included recording your weight, tracking your food intake and exercise, drinking at least nine cups of water, and spending 10 minutes completing interactive readings and quizzes about food and cravings on the app.

One of your first assignments is to declare your “Super Goal” and “Ultimate Why” for losing weight, then envision how your life will be different once you reach your goal.

Super Goal.PNG
My Noom “Super Goal.”

I imagine that this is a powerful exercise for someone who has more than 10 pounds to lose.

In fact, I’ve noticed that the people who have the most weight to lose have the most success with Noom. But it felt strange to me because, while 10 pounds would help me feel more confident, it probably wouldn’t be life-changing for me.

I’m in a Facebook group for Noom users that I joined in January 2020, and the transformational photos people post constantly amaze me. It’s not uncommon to see photos of people who have lost 100 pounds or more. Most people post about their successes and their challenges, particularly when they find the scale is creeping up. But I was more of a lurker than a poster or commenter.

I started Noom before the COVID-19 pandemic, when I thought we’d be going to two weddings and my daughter’s high school graduation in 2020, so losing 10 pounds for these events were my Big Why. Then the pandemic hit and my Big Why became my desire to not gain 20 pounds during lockdown.

Initially, I found the daily readings and quizzes really insightful.

Everything is written in easy-to-digest blurbs and based on science and psychology. There are daily quizzes to help you retain the information and opportunities to read and reflect, and then add your own thoughts and experiences.

For instance, a lesson on stress eating ends with two questions: “What is your stressor?” and “What is your stress response?”

10 mindful eating tips.PNG
10 mindful eating tips.

The app invites you to list all the possible ways in which you can prevent yourself from stress eating. My list of ways to intervene included taking deep breaths, going for a quick walk, drinking a big glass of water, and calling or texting a friend. I can honestly say that none of these methods have worked for me.

There’s also a lot of emphasis on mindful eating, including how to assess how hungry you are before you start eating, ways to slow down your meal, and how to tell when you’re full.

Noom also arms you with ways to handle social situations and family members who expect you to clean your plate.

For instance, the app explains why we tend to eat more when we’re out to dinner with friends and why we might arrive at the restaurant determined to order a salad but then change to a burger when everyone else at the table orders one.

And, if your mother, grandmother, or aunt insists that you eat the special meal they made for your visit, Noom has a great list of responses like “I can’t make it work in my plan,” and “Me and [insert food] aren’t on speaking terms.”

Despite what the ads say, Noom also emphasizes exercise.

Food pusher strategies.PNG
Food pusher strategies.

There’s an initial goal to walk 3,000 steps a day, and after a week you’re encouraged to walk 10,000 steps each day and to add yoga, weights, and other workouts.

Noom pairs every participant with a goal specialist, who checks in with you every week. Each week you set a new goal – such as eating a new vegetable with every meal or exercising four times a week – and then the goal specialist checks to see if you succeeded.

If you didn’t, the specialist asks you open-ended questions that are similar to the reflections in the readings about what you could have done more of or differently.

Those open-ended questions definitely got on my nerves. Like most dieters, I know what I need to do – I just don’t always follow through.

It’s true that no food is off limits. However, losing weight wasn’t as easy as Noom promised.

One of the best lessons I learned is I can eat anything I want in moderation, and just because I gave into my craving for a bag of potato chips at lunch doesn’t mean I should give myself permission to eat an entire pizza and then a pint of ice cream for dinner.

noom lisa
How to assess your hunger.

I was on Noom for eight months and lost seven pounds. About three months after I went off Noom, I gained a few pounds back, so I decided to go back on Noom, hoping to lose six more pounds (the three pounds I’d regained and the three pounds I didn’t lose the first time) but nothing happened the second time I joined – I didn’t gain weight and I didn’t lose any either.

I asked health and fitness coach and weight-loss specialist Candice McDaniel why I was struggling to lose six pounds when I see photos of people who have dropped 100 pounds.

“Losing 10 pounds on a diet plan versus losing 50 to 100 pounds is harder because of how close you already are to a healthy weight,” she said. “When you have 50 to 100 pounds to lose, you don’t need to make very many changes to your diet to start seeing results. Typically at that weight, you can try following a diet plan, and even if you aren’t perfect, you’ll start seeing progress quickly. But people who only have about 10 pounds to lose have to be a lot more vigilant and follow the program very closely to see results.”

While I no longer use Noom, I’ve managed to keep off four of the seven pounds I lost and retained many of the healthy habits I learned.

For instance, I have a fruit or vegetables with every meal, I don’t eat when I’m bored (though I do still eat when I’m stressed), I exercise every day, I write down everything I eat each day, and if I slip up and have a bag of chips or a slice of cake at lunch, I don’t go whole hog in the evening. Now if I could only lose five more pounds …

Read the original article on Business Insider

Scraped personal data of 1.3 million Clubhouse users has reportedly leaked online

clubhouse app
  • Over a million Clubhouse users have had their personal data leaked for free, Cyber News reported.
  • The social media app, popular for its audio community, is the latest to have user records posted in a hacker forum.
  • LinkedIn and Facebook user data has also been exposed online within the past week.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The personal data of 1.3 million Clubhouse users has leaked online on a popular hacker forum, according to a Saturday report from Cyber News.

The scraped data of Clubhouse users includes names, social media profile names, and other details.

Clubhouse did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment that was made on Saturday. As Cyber News reported, the exposed data could enable bad actors to target users through phishing schemes or identity theft.

Clubhouse on Sunday pushed back on the Cyber News report, posting on Twitter: “Clubhouse has not been breached or hacked,” it said. “The data referred to is all public profile information from our app, which anyone can access via the app or our API (application programming interface).”

The invite-only social media app launched in March 2020 and has grown into a popular platform and attracted millions of users. Its audio community allows users to tune into conversations, or “rooms,” about various topics. The company is reportedly in talks for a funding round that values the company at $4 billion.

The development comes after two high-profile data breaches surfaced within the past week.

The same publication reported on Tuesday that the personal data of 500 million LinkedIn users – about two-thirds of the platform’s userbase – was scraped and listed for sale online. A LinkedIn spokesperson confirmed to Insider on Thursday that there is indeed a dataset posted of public information that was scraped from its platform. A hacker is attempting to sell the data for a four-digit sum and potentially in the form of bitcoin.

Paul Prudhomme, an analyst at security intelligence company IntSights, told Insider that the exposed data is significant because bad actors could use it to attack companies through their employees’ information.

Days before reports surfaced of the LinkedIn and Clubhouse data leaks, Insider’s Aaron Holmes reported that the full names, location, email addresses, and other sensitive pieces of information of 533 million Facebook users were posted in a forum.

Security researchers told Insider that hackers could use the exposed data to impersonate them or scam them into revealing sensitive login information.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Personal data of 1.3 million Clubhouse users has reportedly leaked online days after LinkedIn and Facebook also suffered data breaches

clubhouse app
  • Over a million Clubhouse users have had their personal data leaked online.
  • The social media app, popular for its audio community, is only the latest to suffer a data breach.
  • LinkedIn and Facebook user data has also been exposed online within the past week.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The personal data of 1.3 million Clubhouse users has leaked online on a popular hacker forum, according to a Saturday report from Cyber News.

The leaked data of Clubhouse users includes names, social media profile names, and other details.

Clubhouse did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment that was made on Saturday. As Cyber News reported, the exposed data could enable bad actors to target users through phishing schemes or identity theft.

The invite-only social media app launched in March 2020 and has grown into a popular platform and attracted millions of users. Its audio community allows users to tune into conversations, or “rooms,” about various topics. The company is reportedly in talks for a funding round that values the company at $4 billion.

Saturday’s report of a Clubhouse data breach is only the latest to surface within the past week.

The same publication reported on Tuesday that the personal data of 500 million LinkedIn users – about two-thirds of the platform’s userbase – was scraped and listed for sale online. A LinkedIn spokesperson confirmed to Insider on Thursday that there is indeed a dataset posted of public information that was scraped from its platform. A hacker is attempting to sell the data for a four-digit sum and potentially in the form of bitcoin.

Paul Prudhomme, an analyst at security intelligence company IntSights, told Insider that the exposed data is significant because bad actors could use it to attack companies through their employees’ information.

Days before reports surfaced of the LinkedIn and Clubhouse data leaks, Insider’s Aaron Holmes reported that the full names, location, email addresses, and other sensitive pieces of information of 533 million Facebook users were posted in a forum.

Security researchers told Insider that hackers could use the exposed data to impersonate them or scam them into revealing sensitive login information.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp appear to be experiencing issues as thousands report outages

facebook instagram
Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram.

  • Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp appear to be experiencing outages for many users.
  • Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
  • DownDetector reports show the issues started just after 5 p.m. ET.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp appear to be experiencing outages that are preventing many users from accessing the platforms.

Reports on DownDetector surged after 5 p.m. ET, with users of all three social media platforms noticing outages. A total of 23 reports on DownDetector were issued for Facebook at 5:08 p.m., two reports under its baseline of 25, but that number jumped to 18,120 at 5:23 p.m., indicating the issue wasn’t isolated.

Facebook owns both Instagram and WhatsApp.

“Sorry, something went wrong,” read the generic Facebook error message seen by many. “We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.”

Instagram and WhatsApp show a similar trend on the outage-tracking website. A total of 49 Instagram reports at 5:04 p.m. ET, 18 reports over its baseline of 31, quickly became 10,330 at 5:19 p.m. ET.

Instagram has resorted to other platforms in order to address user concerns. The photo-sharing platform confirmed the outages in a tweet saying, “Is your #instagramdown? We know some people are having issues right now. We’re working on it and hope to have everything running smoothly as soon as possible.”

WhatsApp saw four Downdetector reports at 5:05 p.m., which jumped to 69 at 5:20 p.m. and then to 424 at 5:35 p.m. The messaging service has a baseline of three reports.

Spokespeople for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the outage reports.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I spent 4 hours on Clubhouse – this is what it’s like on the buzzy, 1-year-old chat app expected to be valued at $4 billion

clubhouse app
A screenshot of a room in the Clubhouse app.

  • Clubhouse is an invite-only, audio social media app featuring conversation rooms that users can tune into.
  • It launched in March 2020 and has grown into a popular platform, reportedly valued at $4 billion.
  • I tried it out and found why it was so successful during the pandemic, when people lacked community.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Clubhouse is one of those buzzy things I’ve kept at arm’s length for months – until now.

The invite-only social media app has attracted millions of users since its inception just a year ago, cementing itself as a Silicon Valley favorite. It’s also reportedly in talks for a funding round that values the company at $4 billion.

When I finally decided to give it a try, I was surprised to find that it was strangely comforting to be peripherally part of a community while I was working and going about my day – and absent of a physical office with actual coworkers.

If you’re unfamiliar with the app like I was, here’s a basic rundown of what it’s like.

This is what your main “timeline” looks like in the Clubhouse app

clubhouse app walk through
The Clubhouse main timeline.

It’s populated by rooms, or conversations, associated with the the people and clubs that you follow. Some of the topics I followed to inform the app of the kind of rooms I’d like were: television, storytelling, movies, current events, photography, wellness, meditation, AI, and startups.

I made sure to join one of the largest clubs on the app, Startup Club, with almost 450,000 members and followers.

clubhouse app
The explore tab in the app.

There were rooms about NFTs, bitcoin, news, meditation, founder advice, coding, Reiki healings, startups, wellness, history, and more than I would think possible. There’s also a button at the bottom of the screen to start your own room.

Multiple conversations are happening all at once, and you can come and go as you please.

Clubhouse also suggests people for you to follow. I recognized the names of some of them, like comedian Tiffany Haddish, famed Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen, and Patreon-employee-turned Twitter personality and comedian Alexis Gay. The people hosting the rooms were business coaches, startup investors, mindfulness experts, founders, professors, journalists and much more.

clubhouse app walkthrough
Clubhouse recommends people for you to follow.

Big corporate executives like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have appeared for chats on Clubhouse before also.

The rooms I joined covered wide-ranging topics, from news to wellness to an ambient music room

The first room I joined was called “3 Minute news,” where members took turns sharing headlines of the biggest news of the day, like vaccine passports, Facebook, Minor League Baseball (MLB,) and JP Morgan CEO Jaime Dimon. One of the members and speakers was a sports reporter.

clubhouse app

When you join a room, you’re automatically muted, so you can feel comfortable simply listening in. You can also exit the room and the app and peruse others, like Slack or Instagram, while still listening to a conversation, which I appreciated.

After a few minutes, I hopped into another room room called “Breakfast of Champions, The Millionaire Breakfast Club,” where someone was explaining to the group that she’d been seeing signs recently in the form of numbers in groups of three. She inquired from others if she thinks it means anything.

clubhouse app walkthrough
A room in Clubhouse.

One of my favorite rooms that I found in my hours-long trial was “Talk Less Do More Celebrate Wellness Wins & Failures” by the Mind Body Game club. In it, members took turns listing what they failed or succeeded in the day prior. One speaker advised the group to “digest uncertainty with action.”

Another was a room called “Voices from the Holocaust: Meet the Survivors (Yom HaShoah)” held on Holocaust Remembrance Day, that I joined right before one of the speakers began to perform a Yiddish piece of music. One of the speakers was a Holocaust survivor, according to her bio.

Some rooms were completely silent, which confused me at first. But one I entered, a Film and TV Networking room, instructed joiners to simply be silent and read bios and club info of others present. There were film writers, producers, directors, and actors.

There was even a playlist room, with “productive beats” playing, that I listened to for a while.

All in all, I enjoyed Clubhouse way more than I thought I would. Having an audio-only community at my fingertips throughout the day made me feel at ease for some reason.

And so it makes sense why Clubhouse has been so successful during the pandemic – it caught on like wildfire within the past year as high-profile figures in the tech and business communities flocked to the platform and gave listeners a sense of company when shuttered offices provided none.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Volv bills itself as ‘TikTok for news.’ The Snap-backed app makes news stories you can read in 9 seconds.

Volv
The app combines breaking news with pop culture stories.

  • Volv creates short-read news stories that users can swipe through.
  • The app combines financial and political news with popular culture, and is aimed at millennials.
  • The founders got advice from Mark Cuban and pre-seed funding through Snap’s accelerator Yellow.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shannon Almeida and Priyanka Vazirani didn’t have any tech experience before they decided to create their own news app.

After working at a social startup on a campaign helping migrants at the border, they noticed how biased the mainstream media was. So the two decided to create an alternative.

Volv, which was founded in March 2020, is an antidote to traditional news apps, Almeida told Insider.

Read more: Facebook says it removed more than 1.3 billion fake accounts in the months surrounding the 2020 election

The app aims to create unbiased news in real-time and bills itself as “TikTok for news.”

It creates news stories, averaging at around 70 words, which users can read in less than nine seconds. The stories are listed in-app in a swipe format that’s easy on the eye. This is crucial to make the app attractive to its millennial target market, Vazirani said.

A post shared by Volv ☁️ (@volvmedia)

People in their teens and 20s often check their phones before they even get out of bed, logging into various apps to view the latest newsfeed updates. On Volv, users can scroll through and see all the major news stories at a glance.

The app combines breaking news with pop culture stories, such as explaining memes that are going viral. A prime example would be Bernie Sanders’ mittens at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration.

In this way, the app can show people the top political and financial stories and covert non-news readers, while also offsetting heavy stories with lighter reads.

This approach is paying off. Volv publishes around 50 stories a day and its articles have been read nearly 8 million times so far. Its founders said it has a high retention rate, too.

A post shared by Volv ☁️ (@volvmedia)

Volv launched a week before the US went into lockdown but perhaps this was fortunate timing. People staying at home spend more time online. In addition, major news events have drawn readers in. This includes the Black Lives Matter movement, tumultuous 2020 presidential election, Capitol siege, and of course, the ongoing pandemic.

“It sort of pushed us in at the deep end,” Almeida told Insider.

Being unbiased is a key part of the app’s identity. Its founders also recently launched a feature called timeline news. This allows readers to get a broader view of the topic and understand how a story has developed, without moving away from the short-format feature.

Consumer angle

It has a team of fewer than 10 people – but it’s actively recruiting more so it can diversify its content.

Volv co-founders Shannon Almeida and Priyanka Vaziran.
Volv co-founders Shannon Almeida and Priyanka Vazirani.

Prior to launching the app, Almeida and Vazirani, emailed billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban on a whim for some advice. To their surprise, Cuban responded. He gave them tips on how to make the content more youthful and in sync with millennials. He also advised them on how to market the app and differentiate it from existing news sites.

Almeida and Vazirani had no tech experience before creating Volv. Instead, they created the app from a consumer angle, the pair told Insider. They also applied this to the interface of the app, which has neutral colors and no bold headlines to create a calm, seamless experience, Vazirani said.

So far, Volv has used purely organic marketing. It’s been featured by YouTubers and tech bloggers, and has a page on Product Hunt, which helps spread the word and give it a global audience, Almeida said. Although it’s shunned paid marketing so far, it’s looking to try it out in the future, she added.

A post shared by Volv ☁️ (@volvmedia)

Volv received pre-seed funding through Snap’s accelerator Yellow, which Vazirani said gave it “instant validation.” As well as the funding, Yellow has also given Volv access to a range of resources, including sessions hosted by guest speakers. Snapchat and Volv share the same target market and are both based around speed and short pieces, so the pairing made sense, Vazirani said.

The founders told Insider Volv is going to be raising its seed round soon but did not provide further details.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Microsoft is in talks to buy chat app Discord for more than $10 billion, according to a report

Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella

  • Microsoft is in talks to buy Discord for more than $10 billion, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
  • The chat app boomed during the pandemic and now has more than 140 million monthly users.
  • Discord launched in 2015 for gamers to talk while they played, but has grown to a broader user base.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Microsoft is considering buying Discord, the voice-chat and messaging app that has boomed in popularity during the pandemic, for more than $10 billion, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Discord has held talks with Microsoft and other potential buyers, but no deal is imminent, people familiar with the matter told the publication.

“I know they are in active discussions with a select few parties,” one source told GamesBeat. “The market is in a state where they could command strong double-digit billions of dollars.”

Read more: Microsoft’s embrace of virtual reality is a clear sign that it’s building its Teams chat app to be as major a platform as Microsoft Office itself

One of the people told Bloomberg said that Discord was more likely to go public than to sell itself.

The reports of a possible acquisition come within a month of former Pinterest exec Tomasz Marcinkowski joining Discord as its first-ever chief financial officer.

Discord raised $100 million in a funding round in June, and The New York Times reported that investors valued the app at $7 billion in December.

Microsoft and Discord declined Bloomberg’s request for comment.

Both companies did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Discord, which offers audio, video, and text chat on Mac, PC, iPhone, and Android devices, launched in 2015 for gamers to talk while they play, but has since grown to a broader user base.

It has boomed during the pandemic, as more people have worked, played games, and socialized online, and it says it now has more than 140 million active monthly users.

The app is free, but users can upgrade to Discord Nitro, which gets you higher video quality, server boosting, a higher upload limit, enhanced quality live-streaming, and a custom Discord tag, for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.

The app said its 2020 revenue topped $100 million.

Microsoft investing big in gaming

Acquiring Discord would be another major gaming-focused investment for Microsoft.

In September, Microsoft said it was buying Bethesda Softworks’ parent company, ZeniMax Media, in a deal worth $7.5 billion.

The deal brought all of Bethesda’s game studios – which make blockbuster franchises such as “Doom,” “The Elder Scrolls,” and “Fallout” – under the Xbox Studios umbrella.

Microsoft has been trying to buy other social-media sites to add to its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016. It said last summer that it was in talks with ByteDance to buy TikTok’s US operations, and it also reportedly tried to buy Pinterest, the photo-sharing app worth $51 billion, which would have been Microsoft’s biggest deal yet.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dispo is the buzzy, invite-only photo app that’s being called both the ‘new Instagram’ and the ‘anti-Instagram’

Watching on multiple devices
Dispo offers users a more authentic approach to taking photos.

For the last 10 years, Instagram has dominated the photo app scene, but now its potential rival has arrived. 

Dispo, a new, invite-only app, offers users a more authentic approach to taking photos by bringing disposable cameras back into fashion, but in digital form.

The app has attracted significant buzz since its launch in February, becoming the fourth most downloadable app on the App Store, as reported by Entrepreneur. 

According to Axios, the app is valued at about $200 million. 

The simple concept helps it stands out among competitors, including Google photos, CNBC reports. 

Users can take as many photos as they like, but unlike Instagram, the photos cannot be edited with filters, stickers, and texts and cannot be accessed immediately until the photos have been “developed,” as reported by CNBC. The photos can be accessed the following morning at 9 a.m.

Dispo users can also choose whether they would like to post their pictures in a solo or a ‘shared’ roll with other people.

The idea is that users will enjoy their experiences while fully in the moment and without receiving immediate gratification. This makes Dispro the ‘anti-Instagram’ social media platform, according to BuzzFeed.

Entrepreneur’s report quoted Dispo user Terry O’Neal as saying: “Instagram turned everyone into general photographers. Dispo makes you a photographer with a purpose. That is where the construction of the community is: everyone seeks the same thing through their own lens.”

In a recent interview with The New York Times, David Dobrik, a popular YouTuber and creator of Dispo, discussed why he purposely limited the options. He said: “When I used to go to parties with my friends, they had disposable cameras all over the house, and they invited people to take pictures at night. In the morning, they would pick up all the cameras, look back at the footage and say, ‘What happened last night?’ 

The proliferation of invite-only apps has been rising in recent months. Founded in 2020, Clubhouse, an invite-only chatting app, disrupted the social media landscape. The app creates a space for users to meet up to host, tune in, and in some circumstances, join conversations within a community consisting of venture capitalists, celebrities, journalists, and more. 

 

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Apple faces yet another regulator investigation into whether its 30% App Store commission is unfair for developers, this time in the UK

apple tim cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

  • The UK’s competition regulator said on Thursday it has started investigating Apple. 
  • Apple charges developers a commission of up to 30% on purchases customers make via App Store apps.
  • Developers have complained the commission is unfair and anti-competitive.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Britain’s competition regulator said on Thursday it has opened an investigation into Apple after complaints that the iPhone maker’s terms and conditions for app developers are unfair and anti-competitive.

The probe will consider if Apple has a dominant position in the distribution of apps on its devices in the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said.

Payment policies related to Apple’s App Store have for long drawn complaints from app developers. It charges a commission of up to 30% from developers on the value of transactions or any time a consumer buys their app.

The iPhone maker said it will work with the regulator.

“The App Store has been an engine of success for app developers, in part because of the rigorous standards we have in place – applied fairly and equally to all developers – to protect customers from malware and to prevent rampant data collection without their consent,” Apple said in a statement.

The company is also being investigated on similar grounds by the Dutch competition authorities, who are nearing a draft decision, Reuters reported last month.

Last year, the European Commission too had opened a probe into the iPhone maker over the App Store commission fee.

“Complaints that Apple is using its market position to set terms which are unfair or may restrict competition and choice – potentially causing customers to lose out when buying and using apps – warrant careful scrutiny,” CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said.

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