December 3, 2022

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Meta lays off thousands, FTX collapses, and Twitter has a very weird week • iTechGo.com

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Twitter had a week so strange that it could easily make up this entire newsletter, so we’ll keep to the bullet points:

Last week Elon laid off a huge chunk of the company. This week, some of those who were let go were reportedly asked to come back.
Twitter started giving blue verified checkmarks to anyone who’d pay $8. Things got chaotic fast.
Twitter rolled out a new, second checkmark for “Official” accounts. And then got rid of them. And then…brought them back?
By Friday morning, after fake “verified” accounts popped up for everything from companies to athletes to politicians, Twitter paused the $8 verification badge program.
A number of execs quit — to the point where the exits perked the ears of the FTC.
Elon reportedly told Twitter employees that “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question” for the company.

FTX collapses: Once one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, FTX effectively exploded this week. It briefly looked like competitor Binance would step in to acquire FTX, only for Binance to take one look at FTX’s books and back out almost immediately. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has since resigned, and the company has filed for bankruptcy.

Meta layoffs: Meta — the parent company behind Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp — laid off 13% of its workforce this week. With a worldwide headcount of around 87,000 employees, that works out to over eleven thousand roles cut.

Gmail will no longer let you go back to old Gmail: Don’t like the new look that Gmail started rolling out back in July? Bad news. While users could previously revert to the old design, the Gmail team announced this week that the new design will be the “standard experience” for all within weeks.

Google finds exploits in Samsung phones: “Google says it has evidence that a commercial surveillance vendor was exploiting three zero-day security vulnerabilities found in newer Samsung smartphones,” writes Zack Whittaker. “The chained vulnerabilities allow an attacker to gain kernel read and write privileges as the root user, and ultimately expose a device’s data.”

audio roundup

Looking for a new podcast to tune into on your commute? Here’s what’s up in TC podcasts lately:

The Chain Reaction crew broke down the absurd collapse of FTX as it was happening.
Equity (with a guest appearance from TC’s Becca Szkutak) covered the seemingly endless layoffs we’re seeing from tech companies big and small, and what FTX’s meltdown means for it and companies like it.
Darrell was joined on The iTechGo.com Podcast by TC senior reporter Dom-Madori Davis to talk about “the coalition of VCs that are standing for reproductive rights” and to recap the biggest tech stories of the week.

iTechGo.com+

Not a iTechGo.com+ member yet? Here’s what members were checking out most behind the paywall:

How ButcherBox bootstrapped to $600M in revenue: How did ButcherBox grow from a modest Kickstarter to $600 million in revenue in just a few years? Haje outlines the company’s path so far.

The Exchange: In his increasingly popular daily newsletter, Alex Wilhelm wonders: Has everyone been valuing software companies the wrong way all along?

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