60 million users, 1 billion dollars
If you haven't heard of Musical.ly I consider you lucky: it's an incredibly popular app with teenagers -- 60 million people use it every month -- where you can make a video selfie with a piece of music and it'll be matched up automatically.
The app was acquired in a surprise deal overnight for $800 million to $1 billion by a Chinese news and information site called Bytedance.
It's a huge acquisition and the company hopes to use it for access to the user-base and targeted ads... plus access to content from the platform's media partners.
Bytedance is a huge deal in China and grabbed an expected $2.5 billion in revenue in 2017, valued at $20 billion. Its core product, Jinri Toutiao, aggregates news and video from third-party outlets for 120 million daily users.
Acquiring Musical.ly seemed like an odd deal on the surface, but with such broad reach it's likely the company hopes to use it to get access to a broader network of users (and a younger category, too).
The app's trajectory is impressive, and the product was actually born in China in the first place, which as Recode notes was the first Chinese-bred social app to see success in the US.
Why it matters: This is an interesting exit, more than anything else. Instead of pursuing an IPO (cough Snapchat cough) and trying to grow the service forever that way, finding a home within an existing company may actually help the service last longer.
Twitter suspends verifications
Yesterday Twitter verified a white supremacist and nobody knows if it was on purpose or not. Twitter says it's given if the account is "of public interest" but many people who are of decent fame struggle to get it. Now verifications are suspended until the rules are updated.
The iPhone X doesn't work in cold weather
Yes, the $1000 phone has a bug that makes the touchscreen unresponsive in the cold. Apparently it's addressable with a software update, but wow this is a weird one.
iOS 11.1.1 fixes bizarre machine learning bug
If you've been seeing [?] all over the internet this week you aren't alone. iOS 11 devices were apparently learning on their own to correct the letter "I" to "A [?]" due to a bug in the company's machine learning. Makes me wonder if it can be weaponized in some way...
Logitech backs up, says sorry about IOT paperweight
Yesterday we talked about IOT paperweights, today Logitech is sorry you found out. Now, the company's offering a "make good" effort and give anyone with a bricked device a free upgrade to the new Harmony Hub. Imagine if such good faith efforts didn't require your users to get upset. 🙃