The Weekly Roundup: Episode 5

by Common Thread Collective Collaborator

Jun. 21 2019

The Reinvention of Money

Earlier this week, as you may have heard, Facebook released their highly anticipated Crypto venture called Libra. On one of our first episodes I discussed FB diving into this, now it has come to fruition.
In the highest level sense: Libra is a secure, blockchain-based crypto currency that will let you buy things as well as send/receive money globally without giant fees. This will integrate directly with Whatsapp, Messenger, and it’s own app.
That said, you won’t even need one of those apps to access Libra. Facebook is releasing Calibra, which is essentially the wallet for Libra that will allow you to send and receive Libra to whomever. 

How it works: You cash in your local currency, get Libra, and spend them like dollars without big transaction fees, and then cash them out whenever you want.

Key Factors: Unlike other crypto’s which have a tendency to drastically swing up & down in value, Libra is meant to be a stable currency as it is tied to a variety of bank deposits, gov’t securities, and well established stable currencies including the dollar, pound, euro, and yen. A big issue with this is trust, FB even said that very few people would want to use this if FB alone was controlling it. One key thing I want to point out here is that it is decentralized i.e. run by many different organizations (28 founding members) instead of just one.

Ad Effect: On the subject of trust, none of your transaction data will be shared back to Facebook (allegedly) so it won’t be used to target you with ads or in any way earn Facebook money directly.

There is also excitement among eCommerce as Libra could eliminate transaction fees and speed up checkout

Goals: share money internationally as pay for services i.e. coffee. 90 mil small business relationships

From Facebook: Success will mean that a person working abroad has a fast and simple way to send money to family back home, and a college student can pay their rent as easily as they can buy a coffee

Release Date: First half of 2020


Or Maybe NOT The Year Of The Libra?

It looks like not everyone is excited about project Libra, especially in Europe.

Almost immediately after Facebook’s crypto currency announcement was made, concerns about privacy, money laundering, and terrorism finance swept through the internet. One of the harshest critics was France’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, he stated that this “Can’t and must not happen”.

The main concern with Project Libra is simply regulation, with a not-so-hot reputation for mishandling data- Facebook will have to withstand heavy scrutiny to prove this currency can withhold traditional banking standards.

Even though Europe has its doubts – do you? Would you trust your money with Facebook?


Malls Bending Over for Digitally Native Brands

As you have no doubt read over the past few years, the quote on quote “Retail Apocalypse” is in full swing. Malls are dying faster than Kardashians can capitalize on a sex tape or a cheating boyfriend.

How did this start? In a nutshell, people are shying away from major department stores in favor of more digitally native up and coming brands. What this has lead to is a massive plummet in mall/retail traffic, leading to major companies (i.e. Sears, Radioshack, Payless) to go bankrupt, which turns the malls into ghost towns.

To combat that, the investment companies who manage major retail locations such as the Hudson Yards in New York, The Meadows in St. Louis, Boston Seaport, etc. are pulling out all the stops to lure in digitally native brands. The retail landscape is waking up to the fact that if they want DTC brands, then need to offer flexibility. Gone are the days of long term leases and high rents, in are the days of short term leases developed for each brand.

Malls are now curating full shopping experiences with things like summer concerts, exercise classes, apartments on site, etc.


YouTube Goes Glam 💁

The days of literally NEVER having to leave your house to shop are closer than ever!

Google (the parent company of YouTube) has announced a new tool that allows users to “try on” makeup using artificial reality. Yes, you heard me, you can try on lipstick colors in the peace of your own home without a Nordstrom employee breathing down your neck.

The new tool shows YouTuber’s a split screen that shows the blogger speaking about a product on one side, and a front facing video of themselves on the other side. This allows the YouTuber to watch the video AND try on the recommended products at the SAME time.

Although it is currently in alpha testing phase with MAC cosmetics, this isn’t the first brand to use AR for a better customer experience. Sephora and Ulta have both dabbled in AR technology that allow potential customers to test products via the internet.

What are you waiting for? Give yourself some green lipstick and check-out Sephora’s Virtual Artist experience here.


Tweet OJ

“@ojsimpson tell me your best story from prison showers #speakonit”

Your daily social media scroll just got better. The infamous OJ Simpson is now on Twitter! He says he’ll be talking sports, politics, and the truth (used in the loosest of terms). Follow at your viewing pleasure. Or not.