Uber (UBER) and Meta Platforms (META) – December 15, 2023
Uber Technologies (UBER) – Miscellaneous
- Uber was added to the S&P 500 on Friday.
- Added Sprouts Farmers Market as a new Uber Eats grocery partner.
- Uber Freight is partnering with Greenlane to turbocharge the creation of public semi-truck charging infrastructure. The release teased using Uber Freight in a Calendly-like fashion to book charging appointments
Meta Platforms (META) – Threads (Twitter Copy Cat App)
Threads is getting updated to comply with European law and pave the way for its release there. That’s the Threads news, but I wanted to add a bit of insight on the app this week.
Threads stormed onto the scene upon launch and then quickly faded away. That momentum could be returning as Meta works to perfect the product interface. Per data.ai, downloads for October shot Threads up the app rankings from #40 to #20 in its category. Momentum picked up from there. Impressively, Threads is now #2 on Apple’s U.S. app store as of today and #1 in Social Networking. This isn’t due to the Europe launch as the data is U.S.-specific. That’s notable to say the least.
Source: Brad Freeman – SEC Filings, Company Presentations, and Company Press Releases
I’ve built a thriving business on Twitter (X) and I both thank them and love them. I want Twitter to succeed. With that out of the way, it’s undeniable that the bird app finds itself on more fragile footing than in previous years. Half of Twitter’s advertisers have vacated the platform and it has started to feel more niche than since I started using it. Polarizing is the word that comes to mind. Elon is a superstar, but his antics still open the door for something like Threads to win. It will need to win for a long time to become material to Meta’s results, but the path is there.
Meta has insight-rich data from half of the planet on what works in social media apps. Meta is less controversial for advertisers to embrace. Meta has a massive cash pile to invest as aggressively into this opportunity as it needs to. The stage is set for Threads to be yet another smashing success for this firm. Twitter is doing its absolute best to make that happen.
Meta Platforms (META), Alphabet (GOOGL), The Trade Desk (TTD) & The Ad Sector – Advertising Tailwinds
Bank of America came out with some upbeat 2024 online media commentary. Short-form video, GenAI discovery enhancements and easing macro headwinds were all called out by the firm. Budget scrutiny and timid advertising appetite headwinds are both seemingly fading away. All of this led it to revise its sector growth expectations in 2024 from 5% to 11%.
I think the reason for optimism is well-placed. All of these tailwinds should be amplified by one more factor as well. The highest quality firms in the space have effectively addressed the signaling gap left by Apple’s data sharing policy changes. Cost per impression is recovering, returns are rising and engagement growth is fueling more impression growth. This momentum is most notable with Meta and Alphabet. And if you think about it, that makes sense. As macro chaos abates, advertisers will first seek out the most certain and most precisely targeted impressions. They’ll seek out the ubiquitous commodity. That’s what these two giants are. I expect the greenshoots to eventually trickle into the smaller, open internet players.
The Trade Desk will be the first to capitalize on that newfound tailwind considering its best-in-class open internet return metrics. TTD’s cautious Q4 commentary paired with very optimistic 2024 commentary also now makes more sense given this context.