Edition #82

A new look! Plus: Changes at Vice and Tik Tok vs. Facebook in India.

(Some quick housekeeping: I just moved the ol’ newsletter to this new service, Substack, which means a new look. Let me know if anything’s amiss — and as always, if you like what you see here, please forward it on to a smart friend!)

Links 🔗

ByteDance vs Facebook in India. I’ve been thinking for a while that Facebook, at some point, will inevitably face a big competitor coming out of China. ByteDance — with their breakout hit app Tik Tok — looks to be that competitor. Tik Tok became the most-downloaded app globally in the first quarter of this year, passing Facebook. And the parent company has been very focused on surpassing Facebook’s user numbers in India. ByteDance currently has 200 million users there, to Facebook’s 300 million, but has far more penetration outside the top-tier cities. (Economic Times)

The Daily Mail’s website traffic dropped 50% after a recent Google search algorithm change. The site’s traffic from Google Discover dropped 90%. (SEO Roundtable)

Editors out at Vice.com. The editor-in-chief and managing editor of Vice.com were let go, following a number of structural changes at Vice’s digital properties. (New York Times)

Refinery29 is raising a $20 million in venture funding (they’ve previously raised $125m). Part of the investment will go towards expanded their international presence — they already have editions in Canada, the UK, Germany and France. (Axios)

🌮🇮🇳Taco Bell is going to make India its biggest international market. They already have 35 restaurants there, but will build out 600 more over the next 10 years. (CNN)

Work with distributed teams? Try a Distributed Day at your HQ. The team over at the Canadian Digital Service tried it, with the goal of building empathy for folks who don’t work in the office. (Digital.Canada.ca)

The UK’c communication regulator, Ofcom, has released its 2019 survey about media use and attitudes. Much of it isn't exactly news: The centrality of smartphones to everyday life, increases in watching streaming or on-demand video, coupled with the growth of hate content and misinformation in social media. Surprisingly, though, the percent of adults in the UK who never go online (13%) hasn't changed since 2014. (OFCOM)

A cool new thing: The Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership at CUNY. This is a new, year-long (mostly remote) training program for news executives focused on “the intersections of product, editorial, business, and technology.” I don’t know of a program like this anywhere else in the world, and it seems like an incredible course. The inaugural cohort starts January 2020, and applications opened this week. (CUNY)

Subscribe 📨

“A dailyish link to cool shit happening in & around the media industry”: The folks over at Revue (an editorial newsletter tool) compiled a list of the best media newsletters a few week back, and Deez Links, the newsletter of my BuzzFeed colleague and fellow newsletter nerd Delia Cai, was the 4th most-popular newsletter on the list! As described — it’s a great daily link plus other good stuff. Subscribe: Deez Links

Stat 📈

We old: For the first time ever, there are more people aged 65+ on earth than children under 5. And the trend towards an aging population will continue — at least until the global climate crisis starts in earnest. (Our World In Data)


🌎🌍🌏 (see past editions here; subscribe here)