Company executives are reportedly using Clubhouse to woo individual-shareholders as retail investors become a stronger force in the stock market

clubhouse app
  • Corporate execs are using audio-conferencing app Clubhouse to directly talk to retail investors.
  • It’s a move to recruit more individual stockholders after decades of mutual funds dominating portfolios.
  • CarParts.com used Clubhouse to field questions from retail investors after its earnings report, per the Times.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Corporate executives are using audio-conferencing app Clubhouse to directly communicate with retail investors, according to reporting from the New York Times’ Matt Phillips.

After hosting a post-earnings report conference call with Wall street analysts, executives at CarParts.com turned to Clubhouse to field questions from a group of over 2,000 listeners, the Times reported. Audience members asked questions like: How does the business work? Are CarParts.com shares worth buying?

It’s a move that appears to be an effort to communicate more directly with retail investors and recruit more individual shareholders after decades of mutual funds dominating investor portfolios.

CarParts.com’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer called the Clubhouse session an experiment.

“We’re trying to disrupt the way people fix their cars,” he told the Times.”Is there a way for us to disrupt how retail investors communicate with management?”

Retail investing boomed in 2020 as people stuck inside their homes and fueled with extra stimulus cash turned to commission-free apps like Robinhood during the pandemic. The amount of individual stock ownership also grew to the highest level since 2014. According to the Federal Reserve, American households bought roughly $211 billion in individual stocks last year.

Whether that trend of individual stock ownership will continue could depend on the investor fanbase that companies build, and Clubhouse is one avenue executives are using to get closer to retail investors.

Though a recent note from JPMorgan’s global markets strategy team says that US retail investors are rotating away from buying individual stocks and stock options and towards buying more traditional equity funds, as was the case before the pandemic.

During the first week of April, stock ETFs saw strong inflows of $18 billion, JPMorgan noted. Meanwhile, measures of call option buying that rose to a record high in January have begun to subside over the past two months, a sign that retail investors are less willing to invest in call options on individual stocks. Similarly, JPMorgan found that equity baskets containing stocks popular with US retail trading platforms have also slowed over the past two months.

JPMorgan noted that monitoring retail flows into equity funds will be an important metric for determining the state of the individual stockholder.

Read the original article on Business Insider

1.3 million Clubhouse users’ data was reportedly leaked

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A user of the social media app Clubhouse shows her smartphone with the logo of the audio application.

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

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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

The media landscape shifted under Silicon Valley’s feet, so now they’re trying to silence criticism they don’t like

clubhouse app
Clubhouse Drop-in audio chat app logo on the App Store is seen displayed on a phone screen in this illustration photo taken in Poland on February 3, 2021.

  • Reporter Taylor Lorenz has been targeted by billionaire tech investor Marc Andreessen.
  • Lorenz’s reporting on Andreessen and companies he’s invested, in like Clubhouse and Substack, has drawn heat from the billionaire and his allies.
  • Today’s tech elites are trying to send a message to media, all while building their own in house newsrooms.
  • Eoin Higgins is a journalist in New England.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In February, New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz made an error that led to over a month of harassment and attacks. The Styles section reporter, whose work focuses on tech and online influencer culture, was listening in on a conversation hosted by popular audio-based social media app Clubhouse – where listeners can hear the participants but can at times not identify the speaker – when she mistakenly thought she heard billionaire tech investor Marc Andreessen use an ableist slur.

The word was actually said by Ben Horowitz, the other cofounder of the venture capital firm Andreeseen Horowitz. But Lorenz posted an accusation against Andreessen before that was clear, and by the time she deleted the tweet and clarified, the damage was done.

An unrelenting harassment campaign aimed at Lorenz from Andreessen and his allies followed. At one point Andreessen joined a Clubhouse room with Holocaust denier Chuck C. Johnson ironically entitled “Taylor Lorenz Fans Only.” With 3.7 million Clubhouse followers, Andreessen’s participation was a magnet for his fans, already primed to dislike Lorenz.

A war on journalism

Andreessen’s investment into Clubhouse led to the app’s $1 billion valuation in January. In addition to investing in Clubhouse, a16z is a primary backer of newsletter service Substack, a new player in media with an eye toward overturning traditional newsrooms and giving journalists the ability to talk directly to their audience.

For Andreessen, a man with a long history of online invention, investment, and influence who jealously guards his image and tightly controls how he’s perceived, reporters like Lorenz represent a threat to his carefully crafted image. So, the billionaire tech investor is using his power to dismiss her reporting and shape public opinion.

By using these tropes and attempting to undermine Lorenz and others, Andreessen is following an established playbook from rich men who want constant public adulation and power but refuse to tolerate criticism or deviation from their preferred narrative. Billionaires using their clout and power to agitate for better coverage in the press is a longstanding practice of the wealthy and powerful. The ultrarich have long meddled with the media and attempted to shape newsrooms to the benefit of the elite.

In the modern era there have been figures who push their agenda through a direct media empire, like Rupert Murdoch – owner of News Corp – has made billions pushing the English-speaking world to the right through a number of outlets. Or magnates from other industries getting into media to project their worldview and protect their business interests, like the late casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who bought the Las Vegas Review Journal in 2015.

Today this age-old tactic has come to Silicon Valley. After over a decade of largely friendly and positive coverage from the tech press, a shift in how the industry is reported on has generated a backlash from company boardrooms and venture capital firms. In one of the most notorious cases, financier Peter Thiel’s successful vendetta against the website Gawker, the site was shuttered. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, regularly attacks journalists that don’t toe the line. Amazon sends demands to reporters that they include PR lines in investigative articles on warehouse conditions.

Beyond just attacking, Silicon Valley’s wealthy have also gotten directly involved with media interests around the country. For example, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post. The paper’s reporting on Amazon has seemed to pull punches in the past and at times has promoted an ideological agenda that supports the financial interests of its billionaire founder.

Now a16z seems to be taking an approach somewhere between Thiel’s outright attacks and Bezos’ absorption of legacy media. In addition to investments in alternative platforms like Substack and Clubhouse, the first is creating their own alternative media landscape, launching an in-house media venture to compete with tech-focused outlets – but with its content presumably under the auspices and control of the founders. The new outlet will have a clear editorial voice, according to a January 25 press release from a16z partner Margit Wennmachers, that sees the general mission of Silicon Valley as a societal good.

“Our lens is rational optimism about technology and the future,” Wennmachers wrote. “We believe that it’s better to be alive after the industrial revolution than in an agrarian society.”

Big Tech’s real mission

There’s a rather simple explanation for the actions of Andreessen, Thiel, et al. They’re not so much interested in obtaining positive coverage – though that’s certainly a consideration – they more want to reshape the institution of the media to their benefit.

There’s nothing wrong, per se, with wanting to shake up the staid institution of the American press, which doesn’t have a lot to offer readers interested in affliction of the powerful. These new media platforms like Clubhouse and Substack offer new, innovative, and needed ways for writers to reach their audiences. That’s all to the good, but is hardly the extent of the ambitions of the ultra-rich tech lords.

The diverse ecosystem of independent media that has sprung up over the past decade is profitable – for company heads, investors, and the content creators at the top. And what the tech billionaires want is a subservient press that doesn’t question Silicon Valley and the opinions and beliefs of the wealthy investors who power the tech sector. It’s not a coincidence that the targets of tand their hanger ons are people whose reporting has exposed issues of concern for the public around tech that Silicon Valley would prefer to keep quiet.

The attacks on Lorenz and others are designed to make reporters more hesitant to report on Silicon Valley’s most powerful, to add another deterring factor to the consideration of whether to chase a story. It’s not about “fairness,” it’s about power – and who gets to wield it.

Eoin Higgins is a journalist in New England. His work has also appeared in the Washington Post, The Intercept, Vice News, and many other outlets. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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 is testing Hotline, a Q&A app that’s a bit like Clubhouse, but with video. A real-estate investor hosted the app’s first live session.

mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook is testing a potential competitor to the audio-only app Clubhouse. It’s called Hotline.
  • Hotline lets people chat to their audience through livestreamed video, instead of just audio.
  • Hotline hosted its first Q&A livestream on Wednesday with real-estate investor Nick Huber.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook is testing a new app called Hotline, which is similar to the invite-only audio platform Clubhouse, but allows people to use video as well as audio to chat to their audience.

The social media giant’s experimental app development branch, the NPE Team, launched Hotline in the US for beta testing on Wednesday, TechCrunch first reported. It’s not currently available in the UK.

Hotline can be accessed via its website – there’s no app version available for smartphones yet. The website requires users to sign in via their Twitter account, rather than their Facebook account, then leave their name on a waiting list.

In contrast to audio-only Clubhouse, Hotline users can use videos and livestreams with a Q&A feature to chat to their audience, a bit like live videos on Instagram, which Facebook owns. Hotline users watching a session can ask questions through text or audio.

Clubhouse, reportedly valued at $4 billion, holds conversation rooms, and users ask questions by tapping the “raise hand” button and speaking.

TechCrunch reported that sessions on Hotline were recorded, a feature not available on Clubhouse. Insider has reached out to Facebook for more information.

Read more: Congressional stock report: Phillips explains Cayman investment, McCaul likes Facebook, Hickenloopers go ‘vroom!’

The layout of the two apps is also different. Hotline separates listeners into those that are asking questions and those who are just watching the session. Clubhouse divides the listeners into those following the speakers and “others in the room.”

Hotline hosted its first Q&A livestream with real-estate investor Nick Huber on Wednesday, where he spoke about finance skills in the real estate industry, TechCrunch reported.

The app is being led by Erik Hazzard, who began working at Facebook after selling his app “tbh” to the social-media giant in 2017.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Twitter reportedly held discussions to buy Clubhouse for $4 billion

clubhouse app 2
Twitter had talks to buy Clubhouse, Bloomberg reported.

  • Twitter held talks to buy Clubhouse for $4 billion, Bloomberg reported.
  • “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” a Twitter spokesperson told Insider.
  • Clubhouse has been downloaded 11.4 million times as of March 1.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Twitter might be interested in buying Clubhouse.

Bloomberg reported the social media platform held talks “in recent months” to buy Clubhouse for $4 billion, but the discussions have fizzled out for unknown reasons.

“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” a Twitter spokesperson told Insider. Clubhouse was not immediately available for comment.

Read more: Clubhouse cofounder Paul Davison had another hit social app in 2011. He explains why it failed.

Clubhouse, an invite-only social media app that lets users join and host audio talks, is in talks for a funding round that would value the company at $4 billion, per Bloomberg. The startup has raised $110 million in funding as of January 24, giving it a valuation of up to $1.4 billion.

Clubhouse’s popularity has skyrocketed this year. The app had been downloaded 11.4 million times as of March 1, according to App Annie, up from 3.5 million the month prior. The app attracted high-profile users like Paris Hilton, Oprah Winfrey, and Mark Cuban.

Twitter reported promising earnings in February 2021 and announced the firm increased user count 27% to 192 million at the end of 2020. The platform made the contentious decision to permanently suspend former president Donald Trump due to his part in inciting violence during the January 6 Capitol uprising.

The San Francisco-based company recently decided to acquire the email newsletter company Revue, and to kill the live-streaming app Periscope it bought in 2015.

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

MEL Magazine lays off editorial staff

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for March 25. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

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DollarShaveClub founder & CEO Michael Dubin

Dollar Shave Club has laid off all its staff at men’s lifestyle site, MEL, and is looking for a rescue buyer

Read the story.


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A user of the social media app Clubhouse shows her smartphone with the logo of the audio application.

How influencers have started making money on Clubhouse, from sponsored rooms to tips

Read the story.


ev williams medium ceo twitter LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 08: Ev Williams, Founder & CEO, Medium, on ContentMakers Stage during day three of Web Summit 2018 at the Altice Arena on November 8, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile via Getty Images )
Medium CEO Ev Williams has led the company through multiple pivots – and subsequent rounds of layoffs.

Medium offers employees ‘voluntary exit’ weeks after failed union drive as it abandons yet another business model

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Clubhouse could finally arrive on Android and ditch invite-only joining by the summer, CEO Paul Davison said

clubhouse app 1
In this photo illustration the Clubhouse app logo is seen displayed on a smartphone screen.

  • Invite-only audio app Clubhouse could launch on Android as soon as this summer.
  • CEO and co-founder Paul Davison said it would take the company “a couple of months” to join Android.
  • Clubhouse could also ditch its invite-only feature “in the coming months,” he said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Clubhouse co-founder and CEO Paul Davison said on Monday that the app could launch on Android this summer.

In a town hall meeting, Davison said Clubhouse was working “really hard” to get onto Android, but that it would take “a couple of months,” TechCrunch first reported.

The app is currently only available on iOS, and users can only join if they receive an invite from someone with an account – but Davison also said that the invitation-only feature of the app may be dropped “in the coming months.”

Paul Davison

Davison has previously said that app would eventually be open for everyone to join.

On Monday, he said that “it’s going to be really important that we just open up to everyone,” adding that “Android’s going to be really important.”

Davison’s comments come one month after CNBC reported Clubhouse had hired an Android software developer, suggesting an Android app could be coming soon.

The company wrote in a January blog post that work on the Android app would begin “soon,” but didn’t say when the app would be available for users to download.

Read the original article on Business Insider