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Recode Daily: That #10YearChallenge on social media: Harmless meme or data-harvesting scheme?

Plus, Pinterest is interviewing bankers — a sign that its IPO is finally happening; the number of US cord-cutting households grew nearly 50 percent in the last eight years; why Slack changed its logo.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2008 and in 2018. Alyssa Foote / Getty Images / Wired

That inescapable “#10YearChallenge” on social media is just a harmless meme, right? The trend of people posting their then-and-now profile pictures seems to have taken over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter recently. Most people have been helpfully adding context (“me in 2008 and me in 2018”) as well as further info, in many cases, about where and how the pic was taken. Now some are wondering whether that very large dataset of carefully curated photos could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition. Facial recognition’s potential is mostly mundane, but like any emerging technology, there’s a chance of fraught consequences. Facebook denies having any hand in the phenomenon, saying, “This is a user-generated meme that went viral on its own.” [Kate O’Neill / Wired]

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Pinterest is interviewing bankers — a sign that its IPO is finally happening. People close to the nine-year-old search-and-discovery startup believe that Goldman Sachs has the edge; selecting bankers in January would put Pinterest on pace for an IPO as early as the second quarter of this year, perhaps once the company has a full quarter of 2019 financials to share with Wall Street. 2019 was shaping up to be a banner year for tech IPOs, but the recent shakiness of the US stock market has put some plans and timelines in peril. People advising IPOs say startups are looking for ways to go public faster in advance of a looming, late-2019 recession. [Theodore Schleifer and Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Palantir, the data analytics startup co-founded by Peter Thiel, generated almost $1 billion in revenue last year. The disclosure is unusual for the secretive, privately held company, as it prepares for a possible initial public offering; it is valued at up to $41 billion. Founded in 2004, Palantir long operated as a sort of tech consulting firm, dispatching software engineers to clients’ offices to build custom programs; Foundry, its newest service, automates much of that work, enabling the company to sell ready-to-use software at higher profit margins. Roughly half of last year’s revenue came from government agencies, such as the US Defense Department, and the other half from corporate customers, including Airbus, Merck, and Fiat Chrysler. [Lizette Chapman / Bloomberg]

Online dating company Match Group and parent company IAC filed a $250 million lawsuit against Tinder co-founder Sean Rad, alleging that he copied company files and other proprietary information. Rad’s lawyer called the lawsuit “ridiculous” because Rad’s employment contract allowed him to back up his email. The lawsuit comes six months after Rad, other co-founders, executives, and early employees of Tinder sued IAC, accusing it of undervaluing Tinder to avoid paying them billions of dollars. [Jan Wolfe / Reuters]

China’s Huawei is the target of a federal criminal investigation for allegedly stealing trade secrets from US business partners, including a case involving the robotic technology powering T-Mobile US’s smartphone tests. The investigation could lead to an indictment soon. Meanwhile, US lawmakers introduced bipartisan bills targeting Huawei and ZTE by banning the sale of American-made chips and other components to any Chinese telecommunications company that violates US sanctions or export control laws. Both companies have been accused of failing to respect US sanctions on Iran. [Dan Strumpf, Nicole Hong, and Aruna Viswanatha / The Wall Street Journal]

Chart of the Day: The history of Netflix price increases in a single chart

The history of Netflix price increases in one chart

The number of cord-cutting US households has jumped by nearly 50 percent over the past eight years to reach 16 million homes without a traditional cable or satellite TV subscription. Some 9.4 million of those cord-cutting homes have at least one streaming subscription like YouTube TV or PlayStation Vue; they tend to have higher incomes and a median age of 36 years old. Meanwhile, the 6.6 million homes that exclusively rely on antenna have a median age of 55 and a smaller median income. Cord-cutting was supposed to be a cash-saving option, but as the streaming marketplace gets more crowded and consumer costs rise, consumers who subscribe to a mix of streaming platforms may find themselves saddled with a bill that hovers above $100 a month — nearly as pricey as the $120 monthly average for standard cable/internet packages. [Mariella Moon / Engadget]

Top stories from Recode

The history of Netflix price increases in a single chart. Subscribers will now pay between $9 and $16 per month, depending on the service. [Rani Molla]

Glossier CEO Emily Weiss talks about the “art and science” of the beauty business. ”I think Amazon really solved buying, but it killed shopping in the process,” Weiss said in an onstage interview at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. [Kara Swisher]

Axios business editor Dan Primack talks about newsletters, IPOs, and the economy in 2019. “I want to tell a reader something they don’t know yet,” Primack says on the latest Recode Media. “I want to make them feel smart when they get to work and feel like they’re ready to do their jobs.” [Peter Kafka]

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Why Slack changed its logo.

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