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Recovery Shapes

Shapes of Recovery: Will The Global Economy Bounce Back? – Visual Capitalist

Social media has seeped into virtually all aspects of modern life. The vast social media universe collectively now holds 3.8 billion users, representing roughly 50% of the global population.

With an additional billion internet users projected to come online in the coming years, it’s possible that the social media universe could expand even further.

How the Networks Stack Up

To begin, let’s take a look at how social networks compare in terms of monthly active users (MAUs)—an industry metric widely used to gauge the success of these platforms.

Rank Social Network MAUs In Millions Country of Origin
#1 Facebook 2,603 🇺🇲 U.S.
#2 WhatsApp 2,000 🇺🇲 U.S.
#3 YouTube 2,000 🇺🇲 U.S.
#4 Messenger 1,300 🇺🇲 U.S.
#5 WeChat 1,203 🇨🇳 China
#6 Instagram 1,082 🇺🇲 U.S.
#7 TikTok 800 🇨🇳 China
#8 QQ 694 🇨🇳 China
#9 Weibo 550 🇨🇳 China
#10 Qzone 517 🇨🇳 China
#11 Reddit 430 🇺🇲 U.S.
#12 Telegram 400 🇷🇺 Russia
#13 Snapchat 397 🇺🇲 U.S.
#14 Pinterest 367 🇺🇲 U.S.
#15 Twitter 326 🇺🇲 U.S.
#16 LinkedIn 310 🇺🇲 U.S.
#17 Viber 260 🇯🇵 Japan
#18 Line 187 🇯🇵 Japan
#19 YY 157 🇨🇳 China
#20 Twitch 140 🇺🇲 U.S.
#21 Vkontakte 100 🇷🇺 Russia

Here’s a closer look at individual social platforms, and their trials and tribulations:

Facebook

To put it mildly, Facebook has had its hands full. A flurry of companies are boycotting Facebook’s ads, while the platform struggles to fend off the spread of misinformation.

Yet, its stock price continues to advance to new highs while the traditional economy faces less than rosy forecasts. Facebook still possesses the largest cohort of users, inching closer to the 3 billion MAU mark—a breakthrough yet to be achieved by any company.

Snapchat

Snapchat and founder Evan Spiegel have had a bumpy road since their IPO in 2017. The stock price reached its nadir near $4 in 2018, reflecting investor concerns tied to the introduction of Instagram Stories. In recent times, the stock has advanced past the $20 mark, although there is still long-term unclarity around monetization and profitability.

YouTube

YouTube competes head on against traditional television and streaming programs for eyeballs. The platform raked in revenues of $15.1 billion in 2019, nearly double their figures in 2017.

Parent company Alphabet has invested in YouTube with new rollouts like YouTube Music (merged with what was once Google Music) and YouTube Premium—a bundled subscription-based platform providing music, ad-free content, and YouTube Originals. By the looks of it, the future of YouTube will be much more than just videos.

WeChat

The biggest social platform in China, WeChat has flourished, now holding a whopping 1.2 billion MAUs. As part of the Tencent Holdings conglomerate, they belong to the BATX group that is seen to lock horns with America’s Big Tech.

Reddit

There have been whispers of a Reddit IPO on Wall Street for some time now. While such an event has not yet materialized, Reddit’s success certainly has. With 430 million MAUs relative to 330 million in 2018, the company continues to attract a larger audience. The notion of community has taken on a different meaning in the digital age, and Reddit represents this transition with their ever-growing network of users.

Instagram

Instagram has been vital to Facebook’s success, since its $1 billion acquisition in 2012. The platform attracts a younger audience compared to Facebook and it has demonstrated an ability to remain versatile, specifically by implementing Instagram Stories and Reels.

Twitter

Busy schedules don’t seem to faze Jack Dorsey who has not one, but two CEO jobs in Twitter and Square. Twitter has been able to achieve profitability in the last two years, reporting net income figures of $1.2 and $1.5 billion in 2018 and 2019 respectively. They no doubt have their work cut out for them as they continue to combat fake news and similar controversies on their platform.

TikTok

If any publicity is good publicity, then 2020 has been TikTok’s year. Headlines include privacy breaches with alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party, a banning of the app by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and now, talks of a partial U.S. acquisition. Potential acquirers include leaders Microsoft, Twitter, and Oracle.

Social Media Under Trial?

Despite the list of headwinds social media has faced, about half of the world is now on it—and there seems to be no end in sight for future growth.

How have companies with exposure to the social media universe fared in 2020 so far?

Companies With Exposure To Social Media YTD Price Returns
Pinterest 83%
Tencent Holdings 43%
Snapchat 32%
Facebook 30%
Twitter 22%
Alphabet 17%

Widespread participation in social media comes with its fair set of problems. Some companies such as Facebook have found themselves in the crosshairs on both sides of the political spectrum. As concerns grow around privacy and data, social media will be front and center in shaping the future of government, business, and politics.

Only time will tell just how high user counts will reach. The long-term trajectory suggests there’s more room left in the engine. There are still parts of the world that are just beginning to possess the technological infrastructure for social media to be a possibility. It’s plausible future growth will come from that avenue.

If stock prices of companies linked to social media are of relevance, their performance this year paired with the fact that they are trading near all-time highs supports such a growth thesis.

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office Recovery

Box Office Recovery Imperiled: “Do You Take the Risk or Do You Punt?” – Hollywood Reporter


1:12 PM PDT 9/15/2020

by


Pamela McClintock

‘Black Widow’ could soon join ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ in deciding to retreat as Hollywood studios once again delay their tentpoles amid the ongoing pandemic and consumer concerns.

Intentional or not, Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman-CEO Tony Vinciquerra set off a maelstrom when addressing the state of the box office at a Sept. 9 Bank of America investors conference. “What we won’t want to do is make the mistake of putting a very, very expensive $200 million movie on the market unless we’re sure theaters are open and operating at a significant capacity,” he said.

The comment was considered poor form by those working in the fragile Hollywood ecosystem who are once again trying to release big movies in actual theaters amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Yet Vinciquerra underscored what is fast becoming apparent: The U.S. box office recovery has been derailed as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet stalls domestically, key moviegoing markets such as Los Angeles and New York City remain dark and more studios delay their 2020 tentpoles out of concern that consumers aren’t ready to return to indoor cinemas.

But, in a game of chicken or the egg, theaters both stateside and in many other countries need new Hollywood product to restart (China, boasting a backlog of local product, is a major exception). Vinciquerra didn’t mention Tenet by name despite the fact that the Warner Bros. espionage epic cost $200 million to produce before marketing. Tenet began rolling out overseas — where, unlike in the U.S., many cinemas have now been reopened for weeks — on Aug. 26, followed by select U.S. cities on Sept. 3. Through Sept. 13, the movie’s global gross stood at $207 million, including a massive foreign total of $178 million and a paltry $29 million domestically (or an 86 percent to 14 percent split).

“Warner Bros. knew after last week’s turnout that the domestic release of Tenet was a costly, failed experiment,” says Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations. “Who thought it was a good idea to open theaters a month after China when we are months behind them in taking care of COVID? This movie meltdown could have been avoided had they done their homework. Sorry, but it really was that simple. VOD or a combination of VOD-theatrical is the only answer for blockbuster films going forward until the U.S. gets a handle on this virus. That’s about as diplomatic as I can be right now.”

For much of the summer, Disney’s intention was to open Mulan just after Tenet. But as theater closures continued in the U.S., the company switched course and sent the live-action epic straight to Disney+ at a premium $30 price in the U.S. and other select markets over Labor Day weekend. Mulan is still being released theatrically in major Asian markets, along with Russia, although it bombed in China during the Sept. 11-13 weekend with a $23 million debut.

U.S. cinema owners, who reopened in time for Tenet and Mulan, were devastated by the Mulan decision. Now, they face more heartache. Days after Tenet bowed, Warner Bros., led by CEO Ann Sarnoff, said it is delaying the release of Wonder Woman 1984 from Oct. 2 to Dec. 25. That means there isn’t another all-audience Hollywood tentpole opening until November. And even then, there’s intense speculation that Marvel and Disney’s Black Widow (Nov. 6) will move.

“There just isn’t enough volume of film to sustain any momentum. We are really looking toward November and December before there are big films again,” says Wall Street analyst Eric Handler of MKM Partners.

Adds a top film executive, “Consumers need a movie like Wonder Woman or Black Widow to come back. The problem is that studios will make less money than in normal times,” a top film executive notes. “Do you take the risk or do you punt until next year?”

So far, MGM’s 007 film No Time to Die appears determined to stick to a late November release across the globe (it’s set to hit U.S. theaters on Nov. 20). Pixar and Disney’s Soul also is set for Nov. 20, but whether it keeps its spot at the Thanksgiving table is less clear. Whatever happens, Disney insiders say the animated tentpole will get a theatrical release, versus being sent to Disney+.

Notes Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian, “All these release date changes, while totally understandable, can have a dramatic impact on the accordion-like ebb and flow of the box office.”

Midrange and smaller event pics set for October also are packing up, including the Jordan Peele-produced Candyman. And it remains to be seen whether the adult-skewing event pic Death on the Nile, from 20th Century Fox and Disney, stays on its Oct. 23 date.

The impact is already being felt on the part of consumers. In the lead-up to Tenet’s release, research firm NRG saw significant improvement in terms of whether people felt comfortable returning to theaters, with 52 percent of respondents saying they would be. With Wonder Woman now off the calendar, that score has slipped to 48 percent, according to those with access to the data. Likewise, 50 percent say they won’t return to the cinema for two months or more, up from 42 percent the day Tenet opened.

And survey after survey shows that older adults, and particular older women, are staying away. On Tenet’s opening U.S. weekend, a PostTrak exit poll showed that 66 percent of the audience was 34 and younger. “The primary audience is educated people, and they are staying away in force,” says Bock in reference to Tenet and Searchlight specialty title The Personal History of David Copperfield, which has struggled to hit $1.4 million domestically.

Overall, analysts such as Dergarabedian and Handler remain optimistic that moviegoing will find its stride even if the rest of fall and early winter are light in terms of titles. Ditto for Shawn Robbins of Box Office Pro. “Combined with staying power from Tenet, which we are starting to see signs of and, and specialty titles from smaller studios, there will be options out there,” he said. “It’s far from the ideal scenario, and localized cinemas with smaller population bases may opt to limit operational hours until more films and patrons are available, but something is better than nothing for the industry at the moment. Everyone is writing a new rule book as this all unfolds.”

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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Business Recovery

Euro zone business recovery stuttered in August – CNBC

An employee wearing a protective face mask works at a factory of manufacturer Valeo, in Etaples near Le Touquet, France May 26, 2020.

Ludovic Marin | Pool via Reuters

The euro zone’s economic recovery from its deepest downturn on record has stuttered this month, particularly in services, as the pent-up demand unleashed last month by the easing of coronavirus lockdowns dwindled, a survey showed on Friday.

To contain the spread of the virus, which has infected over 22.5 million people globally, governments imposed strict lockdowns – forcing businesses to close and citizens to stay home, bringing economic activity to a near halt.

After many of those restrictions were relaxed, activity in the euro zone expanded last month at the fastest pace since mid-2018. But as infection rates have risen again in parts of the region, some earlier curbs have been reinstated.

So likely of concern to policymakers and diminishing hopes for a V-shaped recovery, IHS Markit’s flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, seen as a good gauge of economic health, sank to 51.6 from July’s final reading of 54.9.

While still above the 50-mark separating growth from contraction it was below all forecasts in a Reuters poll which had predicted no change from July.

“The euro zone’s rebound lost momentum in August, highlighting the inherent demand weakness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Andrew Harker, economics director at IHS Markit.

“The recovery was undermined by signs of rising virus cases in various parts of the euro area.”

An index measuring new business dropped to 51.4 from 52.7 and once again some of August’s activity was derived by businesses completing backlogs of work.

Meanwhile, growth in the bloc’s dominant service sector stalled – its PMI plummeted to 50.1 from 54.7, below all forecasts in the Reuters poll that predicted a small dip to 54.5.

With demand waning, services firms cut headcount for a sixth month and more sharply than in July. The employment index fell to 47.7 from 47.9.

Still, factory activity – which didn’t suffer quite as sharp a decline as the service industry during the height of the pandemic – expanded for a second month. The manufacturing PMI dipped to 51.7 from 51.8, confounding the Reuters poll forecast for a rise to 52.9.

An index measuring output, which feeds into the composite PMI, rose to 55.7 from 55.3.

Suggesting factory purchasing managers don’t expect a big pick up in activity, they bought fewer raw materials. The quantity of purchases index only rose to 49.6 from 48.3.

A full bounceback from the euro zone’s deepest recession on record will take two years or more, according to a Reuters poll of economists published on Thursday.

“The euro zone stands at a crossroads, with growth either set to pick back up in coming months or continue to falter following the initial post-lockdown rebound,” Harker said.

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Categories
Recovery Windows

Windows File Recovery is a new tool from Microsoft that may help you restore deleted files – XDA Developers

Nothing is as frustrating as losing valuable information from your hard drive which can happen due to human error or hardware failure. There may still be a chance to recover some of those files, though, since a lot of file deletions involve deleting the file index until that block of storage is overwritten. Just a simple “delete” command in Windows, for example, is not enough to irrevocably make files unrecoverable. To do that, you need to securely wipe the drive by either writing a bunch of zeroes or other data to it over several iterations or physically destroy the drive. The point is is that if you’ve accidentally lost some of your valuable files, there is still a chance you can restore them. Microsoft just made that slightly easier to do with the release of the Windows File Recovery tool.

Windows File Recovery is available as a free app in Microsoft Store. Though, it’s not an app in the common sense of the term since it’s a command-line tool. Although it uses a CLI interface, it is still very newbie-friendly. After launching the tool, you have options to target files you want to recover by name, paths, or extensions. Microsoft says Windows File Recovery can recover data not only from the hard drive installed on your computer but from external storage, too. This means you can use the tool on USB drives, memory cards, external SSDs, and other storage devices, though Microsoft recommends using Signature Mode for recovering files from external storage. There are also Default and Segment modes for recovering files from NTFS-formatted drives. As of now, the tool supports drives formatted in NTFS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems and various file extensions such as PNGs, PDFs, MP3 and MP4s, and many more.

You can find more information about how to use the tool, what it’ll work on, and what files it can recover from Microsoft’s support page. You can download Windows File Recovery for free from the Microsoft Store linked below. Just make sure that you’re running Windows 10 2004 or later to install the app.

Windows File Recovery

Windows File Recovery

Developer:
‪Microsoft Corporation‬

Price:
Free


Via: Neowin

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