Time flies, doesn't it? Fifteen years ago today, a Twitter user invented the hashtag, an idea that was first condemned as being "too nerdy" for popular adoption — and has since become ubiquitous across social media platforms. #nice!
I'm your host, Jordan Parker Erb, and I've got more for you than just hashtag news. Today, my colleague Meghan Morris has a deep dive into CloudKitchens operators fleeing the Travis Kalanick-owned startup.
Let's get to it.
1. Mom-and-pop restaurateurs are fleeing Travis Kalanick's CloudKitchens. The company sells clients a dream, promising a space and amenities like nightly cleaning, marketing and sales advice, and tech integration with delivery platforms including DoorDash. But CloudKitchens operators told Insider this pitch was a far cry from reality.
- Some operators said they felt misled by the company's salespeople. In a complaint to the FTC, one former operator wrote that they used the last of their savings on CloudKitchens, and the company "gave me excuse after excuse, lies after lies."
- Other operators also told Insider they'd lost their savings trying to operate successful businesses inside CloudKitchens' spaces. One said he contemplated suicide after he couldn't get his deposit back.
- "We have fought and crawled and scraped," one restaurant owner told Insider. "We came in there with a dream for our brand, and CloudKitchens tried to destroy it."
In other news:
2. Elon Musk just subpoenaed former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. As Musk prepares to battle the social media company in court later this year, he's drawn Dorsey into the $44 billion debacle. Why Musk subpoenaed one of his longtime friends.
3. Gen Z women are flocking to Geneva, an app that combines the best parts of the internet. The app lets people create "homes," where they can chat or livestream with others who share their interests, and is becoming popular among creators and brands to build private and personal online communities. Influencers share why they're using Geneva.
4. Next month, MoviePass returns. Come Labor Day, the movie theater ticket subscription startup will relaunch in beta form with pricing ranging from $10 to $30 a month. The waitlist opens on Thursday — get the full rundown here.
5. Despite job cuts throughout the industry, some software companies are still hiring. A new study identified several firms that are doing better than they were at the beginning of the year. From Gitlab to Asana, here's which companies have the most openings.
6. Apple's DIY repair program will now cover MacBooks. Starting today, customers can buy the parts and tools to fix MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers with M1 chips. What to know about repairing your own Apple device.
7. TikTok is like crack cocaine, according to top Wall Street analysts. The short form video app delivers "endorphin hit after hit with each swipe," the analysts said, creating a "digital crack epidemic." Here's why they think TikTok could ruin the internet.
8. Twitter threatened to revoke Bot Sentinel's data access. Since 2018, Bot Sentinel has been tracking Twitter for accounts that may be harmful or fakes. But after the founder suggested Twitter has more than 5% "bots" — a major sticking point in its legal battle with Musk — the company is considering revoking its access to data.
Odds and ends:
9. A new "air train" in China runs using an overhead magnetic track. The train can operate without power, gliding through the air without ever making contact with the track above it — and there's no rail underneath it. Take a look at the innovative new train.
10. These seven Zoom features can make your life easier. Zoom offers a number of helpful features — like putting everyone in the same room with "immersive view," and using a vanishing pen to draw on shared screens. Here are the most useful tricks for getting the most out of Zoom.
What we're watching today:
- Gamescon 2022 is happening today through Aug. 28.