More details on privacy plans for Chrome

Google made a rather surprising announcement in 2019 about its intentions to take user privacy seriously and begin taking steps to stop allowing third parties to track users via Chrome. Now, they’ve just followed up with some more concrete information and plans. Google will be …

Time to open up to the desktop, Instagram

It was just announced that Instagram will allow direct messaging (DM) access from a desktop browser. But things can and should go further. Instagram should allow posting and commenting from the desktop as well. It’s about time. Instagram was envisioned as an appealing way to …


At long last, and on the exact day promised by Microsoft (January 15), their all-new Edge browser is here. It’s available for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and macOS, and you can get it right away by grabbing a download at microsoft.com/edge. As first announced late 2018, the new Microsoft Edge replaces the current (or soon legacy) Edge browser with an overhaul that utilizes Chromium as the foundation. In simple terms, this means that the new Edge gives you basically the same web browsing experience as if you were using Chrome – thereby ending the painfully unreliable web rendering of past Microsoft web browsers.

For now, it’s available if you manually download and install it yourself. But if you’re willing to wait around, the new Edge will eventually ship with a forthcoming Windows Update for your PC.



There’s an interesting profile of Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, with a focus on what appears to be essentially a done deal: an end to public “like” counts on Instagram users’ postings. This has been in testing throughout 2019 on a trial basis in many countries including the US. Interestingly, Mosseri sees the eventual elimination of like metrics as atoning for mistakes that happened in the past at Facebook, loading to emotional pressures and even toxicity of being popular on social media.

Whether or not Instagram will remove public “likes” isn’t the real question here, but whether Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snap will follow suit based on the same rationale.


Is the CMO title on life support?

I’m going to go out on a limb with an observation and a prediction. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) title is seriously on life support. In less than 5 years, the CMO position will be out of existence altogether. I’ve noticed an accelerating trend of …


Investor pressure has been steadily increasing on richly funded tech startups to show a path to profitability. When this happens, management is typically forced to shift drastically from burning cash to slashing costs – particularly in labor. Getaround, a car rental startup that received a $300 million infusion from Softbank, is reportedly laying off about 25% of its workers. Another Softbank-backed company, robotic pizza maker Zune, is said to be cutting its workforce by 50%.

It’s not immediately clear which operations are being impacted by these layoffs. But it should never be surprising to see marketing greatly affected, since startups characteristically have poured lots of cash into beefing up their marketing to drive fast growth. We are already seeing many signs of marketing teams being decimated when tech companies need to cut back on costs. It’s a trend that’s only going to continue as long as the pressure builds to prove a viable path to generating profits.


YouTube’s compliance with COPPA may force service cuts

YouTube has formally instituted several new rules and policies around content intended for children. They’re required as part of the company’s agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to comply with COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – along with a $170 million settlement …

YouTube’s video hosting is free but…

YouTube is generally known for two broad classifications of its users: Thriving content creators with a huge following who successively monetize their videos due to their popularity. The masses of viewers that consume the content from these creators. But somewhere in between is a very …

Designers: it’s time to embrace development

For many years, there’s been this interesting but well-accepted dichotomy between web designers and web developers. Web designers create a visualization of the layout for a website or web application, using Photoshop, Sketch, Figma, or any of a number of modern user interface creation tools. …


Sprout Social is now a public company of December 13, 2019. This company basically feeds on the data firehoses of social media companies to provide insights to customers. As previously reported here, Sprout Social will essentially be at the mercy of continual access to proprietary, non-public data to keep its business flourishing. The company’s opening day IPO closed 2.4% down, after initially spiking as high as 8%.

A very likely reckoning to come will be the pressure to become profitable – a reality now hitting many high-growth tech companies. Sprout Social reported revenue of $74.5 million in the first 9 months of 2019, but also a loss of $21 million.