Snap Sounds the Alarm
Fed Crypto Data
Microsoft Does Manufacturing
The Point: Ad spending is an economic indicator. When times get tough, cutting ad budgets is an easy way to save cash. So it's alarming that Snap adjusted its guidance just weeks after first issuing it. Wall Street took Snap's announcement as a sign that things might be rougher under the surface than they currently appear.
12% of Americans held cryptocurrency in the last year, according to the Federal Reserve's latest annual Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households survey. It's the first time the Fed has included cryptocurrency in the report.
The Point: The report also shows crypto is overwhelmingly used as an investment rather than for payments. Further, nearly half of those who said they owned crypto reported annual incomes over $100,000. For reference, the median household income was $67,521 in 2020. However, 60% of those who said they used digital currencies for transactions reported making less than $50,000 per year.
There are two takeaways. First, we're still early when it comes to adoption (check out this animation from our social media team as further evidence). Second, how people use crypto depends on their economic status.
Airbnb is closing its China business. The company will remove all mainland listings by July 30th.
The Point: The vacation rental firm cited "pandemic challenges" for its decision. Airbnb only gets about 1% of its revenue from China, so it's not overly concerning from a business perspective. However, there's an emerging trend of American tech companies exiting the world's most populous country. Uber and LinkedIn have already called it quits. That's a pattern worth monitoring. China is the world's second-biggest market. Not being able to do business there severely limits a company's growth prospects.
Microsoft’s "industrial metaverse" is coming to Kawasaki factories.
The Point: In these early days, it's challenging to see practical applications for the metaverse. The temptation is to view it merely as an escape from reality. But Microsoft's deal with Kawasaki shows it can be so much more. Microsoft's HoloLens overlays data and tips on top of the real world. That can make training new workers easier and help with complex tasks like repairing a broken down assembly line. Kawasaki is just the latest company to enter Microsoft's new world. Heinz and Boeing are already putting it to use.
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