The G7 has our attention in this Global Roundup edition. It’s turning on Russia with renewed strength to fight cyber-attacks and disinformation emanating from the country. Will they succeed?
To more updates, NFTs sales have sunk to its lowest levels since June 2021 according to a new report from DappRadar. Snapchat has introduced Snapchat+, an exclusive subscription plan starting at $3.99 monthly.
Buyers are aiming for a share of Meta, as the Facebook parent company’s growth numbers drop.
Let’s get to the full updates in Global Roundup for the week:
G7 strengthens defence against Russian cyber-attacks, disinformation
The G7 leaders have announced that they would work together to strengthen their defences to protect against foreign disinformation.
The Group of Seven leaders agreed on Tuesday to strengthen their countries’ defences against foreign disinformation and cyber-attacks, including threats posed by Russia.
With the rapid rise of cyberattacks in the recent months since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia war, the statement from the G7 leaders is substantial and shows a unified front from leaders from the West and East.
“We also commit to further strengthening our internal security in light of transnational threats including those posed by Russia and other authoritarian regimes,” said the G7 communique at the end of a summit in Germany.
NFTs sales sink to lowest levels in a year
The market for non-fungible tokens — such as artwork of bored apes — has been spiralling downward after sales sank sharply and the prices of popular NFTs plummeted over the last few weeks.
The crypto niche is on course to record its first month with under $1 billion in sales since June 2021, according to data tracker DappRadar. On the world’s biggest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, sales volume has fallen 75 percent since May, and looks set to scrape the lowest levels since July 2021, Dune data shows.
Prices of top-selling NFTs have also slipped. Some Otherdeed NFTs, which were in such high demand at their May launch that they clogged up the Ethereum network, have seen their price floors fall by about 30 per cent in the last 30 days.
Even high-profile acquisitions of NFT platforms — such as eBay’s deal to buy NFT marketplace KnownOrigin and Uniswap Labs’ purchase of NFT marketplace aggregator Genie — and recent events like the NFT.NYC conference and Bored Apes’ ApeFest 2022 in New York, have failed to revive investors’ enthusiasm.
Snapchat introduces exclusive $3.99 monthly subscription
Snapchat has officially launched its paid subscription plan called Snapchat+ that will offer exclusive features like the ability to change the app icon and being able to see which people have rewatched your Stories.
Earlier this month, the firm confirmed that it’s testing this feature, without giving out many details. Now, it has made Snapchat+ official. The new subscription plan will launch in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with more countries to be added soon.
“Today we’re launching Snapchat+, a collection of exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features available in Snapchat for $3.99/month. This subscription will allow us deliver new Snapchat features to some of the most passionate members of our community and allow us to provide prioritised support,” the company said.
Apart from custom app icons and story rewatch count, Snapchat+ will unlock a special badge, the ability to pin a friend as your #1 friend, and the ability to see “the general direction of travel for where friends have moved recently.”
It’s not yet clear how Snapchat plans to differentiate between features released for beta testers as compared to the ones released for subscribers.
Many social media platforms are experimenting with subscription-based services to earn more revenue. Last year, Twitter debuted its Twitter Blue service in Canada and Australia, later expanding it to the U.S. and New Zealand.
Earlier this month, messaging app Telegram also launched a paid premium tier with features like more chat folders and the ability to send larger files (up to 4GB size) on the app.
While Snapchat had stellar growth numbers in Q1 2022, the company expressed concerns about hitting its revenue targets because of the war in Ukraine. In May, the company said that it will miss its revenue goals for Q2 2022.
Meta’s stock gets fresh buyer attention
For years, investors valued Facebook’s parent company as if its growth would never falter. Now that it has, fund managers who buy cheap, out-of-favour stocks are finally getting a chance to own shares of Meta Platforms Inc.
Stock pickers at value firms Dodge & Cox, First Eagle Investment Management and Artisan Partners bought millions of Meta shares this year. Index-tracking investors now will be buying too: After FTSE Russell’s annual overhaul of its equity benchmarks, Meta on Monday joined other former growth darlings Netflix Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. in the firm’s value indexes, which serve as the basis for billions of dollars of passive portfolios.
Meta began to attract bargain hunters after the company announced in February that Facebook’s user growth had stalled, sending the shares plunging. The stock last week reached its cheapest level ever, relative to earnings. For investors who believe the problems at Facebook are temporary, that’s a buying opportunity.
“We own Meta and are very upbeat about it here,” said David Katz, chief investment officer at value firm Matrix Asset Advisors. “You want to find dynamic growth companies at value prices. Meta has a good outlook, but it is being priced as though it’s in a secular decline.”
Value funds look for stocks that are cheap relative to earnings or book value, often because of business setbacks that at least temporarily derail sales growth or profitability. Until recently Meta didn’t fit the bill: The stock traded for an average of 38 times estimated earnings in the first five years after its 2012 initial public offering as more people flocked to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Shares of the company, which changed its name from Facebook to Meta in October, surged more than 780% from the IPO through the end of last year, handily beating the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100. Revenue rose 23-fold in that time.
However, with user growth stalling, the company has lost half its value this year, trading now at 12 times earnings versus a multiple of 20 for the Nasdaq 100 and 16 for the S&P 500.
That’s the size for the week. Enjoy your weekend.
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