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Another record low for Snap after 14% drop post-earnings

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Snap, the Snapchat parent, has had a very difficult ride in the stock market since debuting in March. After pricing its IPO at $17 and then reaching highs of $27, the company has fallen to less than half that. After losing 14 percent of its value in a single day’s trading, Snap closed Friday at $11.83.

The growing social media company revealed on Thursday that it has 173 million daily active users, up more than 20 percent since last year. But that wasn’t enough to impress Wall Street, which was expecting more than 175 million users.

Analyst expectations are always built into the stock price and missing them will cause shares to plummet. And Snap not only missed on user growth, but revenue and losses, as well. 

The company brought in $181.7 million in revenue, a 153 percent increase from last year, but investors were expecting more than $186 million. But losses also increased substantially, $115.9 million for last year’s quarter versus $443.1 million for this year.

The success of Instagram Stories is one of the main reasons that investors are skeptical of Snap. Instagram copied its short-form video feature last year and has seen tremendous success. The Stories feature already has 250 million daily users, over 75 million more than Snap.

Snap also recently found out that it won’t be in the S&P 500, which is a significant blow because a lot of investors buy that index. And it looks like the company’s Spectacle glasses aren’t selling well.

The bull case for Snap is that the team has been innovative. The company popularized disappearing messages and came up with the stories idea. Snap also has been clever with its use of AI-enhanced face filters. But in order to survive as a public company, the team will have to come up with something that can’t be so easily replicated.

TechCrunch’s Josh Constine has a few ideas. 

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How Slack uses a raccoon to keep distractions on Slack at bay

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Slack has undoubtedly changed how employees at many companies communicate. But more and more, it feels like Slack’s focus on immediate responses is far more distracting than the asynchronous emails it often replaces. As Slack CTO and co-founder Cal Henderson noted at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin today, we still have to figure out how Slack can fit into many a company’s culture and how to keep Slack discussions from going off topic despite the existence of GIFs and emoji. Internally, at Slack, the company mostly uses a raccoon for doing this.

“Internally, we have this idea of the polite raccoon,” Henderson said. Whenever a conversation goes off topic, the raccoon means that it’s time to take that conversation into a different channel (or maybe offline).

Henderson noted, too, that a lot of the work that Slack is putting into machine learning is about making people more efficient and reducing the number of unnecessary messages. “There is definitely more we can do in terms of filling up people’s time so that can better separate between work and outside of work,” he said.

Henderson himself, too, uses Slack’s do-not-disturb setting to keep messages at bay during his off time, but throughout today’s panel, he noted that it’s very much up to the individual and company to set their policies. He also very much defended the existence of Slack itself.

“Something like Slack would have existed even if we didn’t build it,” he said. That’s in part due to the rise of consumer messaging in general and the fact that businesses are now comfortable with buying their software from multiple vendors, which has resulted in a situation where there is no obvious center for business software.

“Communication is the only obvious location to tie those together.”

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20 critical startup truths no one will tell you

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Some knowledge is so important, everyone assumes everyone already knows it. But they don’t, especially in the tech world where things move so fast that most people are faking. But Stripe’s Patrick McKenzie spends his time helping the payment platform’s startup customers survive, and now he’s laid out 20 crucial learnings everyone should read. Click or scroll through for tech’s dirty shouldn’t-be-secrets.

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Apple releases iOS 11.2 with ‘I.T’ autocorrect fix, faster wireless charging and Apple Pay Cash

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Apple released an iOS update in the middle of the night (Cupertino time). iOS 11.2 brings Apple Pay Cash, but the feature is not live yet. The company still needs to flip a switch on its servers to enable it.

Today’s update also enables support for faster 7.5W Qi wireless charging. If you have an iPhone 8 or an iPhone X as well as a wireless charger that supports 7.5W or more, your phone will now charge more quickly as Apple first limited wireless charging to 5W.

Some users have had some issues with the autocorrect feature. The default iOS keyboard would change ‘it’ into ‘I.T’ for no apparent reason. iOS 11.2 should fix that too.

In iOS 11, if you tap on the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth icons in Control Center, iOS doesn’t disable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Instead, your phone disconnects itself from Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth accessories until the next day at 5 AM (or you restart your device, or you go to a new place for Wi-Fi).

Apple doesn’t disable those features so that you can connect your Apple Watch or Apple Pencil, enable Personal Hotspot from another device and use Wi-Fi for more accurate location features. With iOS 11.2, the icons are no longer greyed out. You’ll now see white icons to indicate that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth still work, you’re just not connected to any network or accessory.

In smaller news, iOS 11.2 brings a couple of revamped emojis, new wallpapers, a new indicator at the top right of the lock screen to help you find Control Center and better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth indications.

Releasing iOS 11.2 on a Friday night is a bit odd, but that might be because some iPhones keep rebooting themselves because of a time bug. After your device’s clock passes 12:15 AM on December 2nd, 2017, apps with local notifications crash your phone (workout or meditation apps for instance). Apple may have rushed iOS 11.2 to fix this bug. You can probably expect a macOS, tvOS and watchOS update next week.

So you should update your phone when you get a minute before you encounter this weird clock crash. Head over to the Settings app, then hit General, then Software Update.
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