Edition #90

Big news in Japan, plus a summer Fulbright trip to Berlin.

👋 Welcome to the latest edition of i18n, a semi-regular round up of links, GIFs and other HTML of note about global digital media.

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Big news from Japan: LINE and Yahoo! Japan are working on a merger. The new company would be massive, covering over 100 million users in Japan, immediately becoming the largest mobile payment and social media app in the country, and paving the way for it to become a “super app” along the lines of WeChat in China. The official announcement from the companies is expected Monday morning, Nov. 18, Japan local time. (Nikkei)

Two interesting recent notes on Tik Tok:

  1. The U.S government recently launched an investigation into the Tik Tok (née Musical.ly) acquisition by the Chinese company Bytedance (Reuters)

  2. Tik Tok’s terms of service state: “We may disclose information to respond to subpoenas, court orders, legal process, law enforcement requests, legal claims or government inquiries (emphasis added).” (John Battelle)

And Instagram just rolled out its Tik Tok clone, a video editing app called Reels, in Brazil. (The Verge)

Google News shut down in Spain 2014, and a new study shows it really wasn’t a big deal for publishers. The key takeaway: Traffic to news sites went largely unchanged, and for some, it increased. (News Media Alliance)

Quartz rolled out a new customized homepage tailored to its readers in the U.K. (QZ)

The difference between a digital subscription and a membership is making something 10x as valuable (and selling it for 10x the price). A subscription is a news product; a membership is a suite of tailored, niche products with specific value. (A Media Operator)

Speaking of: Should a newsletter like Ben Thompson’s Stratechery be charging way, way more? Maybe (a thread, click through):


The Fulbright Commission is accepting applications from student/early career journalists from the U.S. for a week-long study trip to Berlin next summer — find more info and the link to apply at Fulbright.de.


Morning Consult’s Influencer Report — which, among other things, claims that Tik Tok is now more popular than Facebook among 13- to 16-year-olds in the U.S.

The UK’s Office of Communication’s 2019 report on mobile usage — with a key but unsurprising finding that cell data usage in the U.K. peaks between 5-6pm as consumers commute home.