Slack’s direct listing success may be a sign Wall Street’s relationship with Silicon Valley is changing. Slack finished its first day on the public market slightly higher than it began trading, closing at about $38.60. Still, the workplace software company, which chose to be listed directly on the stock market rather than going through a traditional IPO in which bankers would get a cut, represents another victory for Silicon Valley over Wall Street. Pursuing a direct listing can save tech companies millions of dollars in underwriting fees and allows regular investors to get first dibs on a new stock.
[Teddy Schleifer / Recode]
[Want to get the Recode Daily in your inbox? Subscribe here.]
Google is profiting from millions of fake listings on Maps. Scam artists are using Google advertising to show up in people’s search results — sometimes above real listings — where they hijack the names of real businesses or pretend to be nearby when they’re not. This can result in misinformation and outright fraud that hurts customers and legitimate businesses. Google prohibits this behavior, but the search giant has had trouble policing these fake listings since hundreds of thousands are deployed in the app each month. Because Google gets paid for the ads, it actually benefits from these scams. The company has recently been adding more ads to Maps, which many rely on for directions and to find nearby businesses. This latest news comes as the Justice Department is reportedly gearing up for a potential antitrust investigation of the company, which dominates the world’s search and digital ad markets.
[Rob Copeland and Katherine Bindley / Wall Street Journal]
A viral Instagram proposal was probably also a marketing stunt. Fashion influencer Marissa Casey Fuchs posted a video of her fiance proposing to her and promising her “an extraordinary adventure.” That adventure, which has played out on Fuchs’s Instagram feed, included a scavenger hunt with stops in Montauk and Paris, as well as gifts. The whole thing, however, had been laid out in a marketing pitch deck, in which brands were given the “opportunity to align with this momentous occasion” and get their products in front of Fuchs’s 160,000-plus followers. This is just one more way in which Instagrammers are blurring the lines between advertisements and reality. At least this latest episode included real people.
[Taylor Lorenz / Atlantic]
Heavy phone use is causing young people to grow horns. Constantly tilting their heads forward to view content on their phones is creating a higher prevalence of bone spurs that form at the back of their skulls, according to new research. This is only the latest malady caused by smartphones. Add it to text neck, text thumb, shortened attention spans, injuries from looking at your phone while walking, and depression.
[Isaac Stanley-Becker / Washington Post]
Top Stories from Recode
Check our IPO tracker for a glimpse at the performance of some of the biggest new public companies in tech.
[Rani Molla, Ryan Mark, and Amanda Northrop]
This is Cool
Recode and Vox have joined forces to uncover and explain how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Subscribe to Recode podcasts to hear Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka lead the tough conversations the technology industry needs today.