Three Meta executives in Buckingham guard uniforms.
Photo illustration: Getty Images; Facebook; Protocol

Meta crosses the pond

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Good morning! Meta’s top execs are moving to London. Is it a coincidence, or is something else going on?

What’s across the pond?

The Financial Times reported that Adam Mosseri was moving temporarily to London. Then another report said Nick Clegg will go there, too. Oh, and Meta’s CMO, Alex Schultz, joined them. And who knows who might be next!

So why are three top Meta execs moving to London? Everyone’s tossing out answers, from embracing remote work to being closer to friends and family (Clegg’s from the U.K.).

  • The remote work reason, which Meta is going with: “The past few years have brought new possibilities around the ways we connect and work. We believe that how people work is far more important than where they work from,” a spokesperson told me.
  • And that might be why Clegg is moving: He’s been fairly open about his distaste for California, anyway.
  • The policy reason: Clegg used to be a member of Parliament, having served as the country’s deputy prime minister. He could be a friendly face in the crowd as U.K. regulators deal tech a heavy blow on issues like child and data privacy.
  • The TikTok reason: It’s no secret that Meta is trying to compete with TikTok, and moving to London will help Mosseri grow Instagram’s product team and attract more creators. London is also its second-largest engineering hub after the U.S.

Maybe they’re moving because of a mix of all these things. But it’s clear that Silicon Valley doesn’t have the chokehold on Meta that it's had before.

  • Mark Zuckerberg spends a lot of time at his estate in Kauai, Hawaii, and he recently sold his home in San Francisco. He still has property in Palo Alto and Tahoe.
  • And even months before the trio moved to London, Meta execs were dispersing themselves around New York, Spain, Israel and even Cape Cod.

— Sarah Roach

Do you have any insight into why executives are heading to the U.K.? Reply to this email or send me a note directly; I want to hear your thoughts.

Nothing says 'love' like a subscription

Screw the metaverse and virtual money. Tinder’s focusing on subscriptions.

Tinder is dropping plans for users to date in the metaverse or buy virtual currency, according to Match Group CEO Bernard Kim’s letter to shareholders. Instead, it’ll focus on subscriptions.

  • Tinder’s introducing a subscription package “based on curated recommendations,” along with a shorter-term subscription package the company thinks will “appeal to newer Tinder users and drive incremental revenue.”
  • The point of subscriptions, in Tinder’s case, is “to better serve our female users,” the letter read. Some of the new initiatives will include friends being more involved in the matching process.

Is Tinder worried about paying subscribers falling in love, deleting the app and never looking back? When it comes to dating apps, losing customers isn’t bad at all. In fact, people unsubscribing could benefit the bottom line, too.

  • Truebill’s Yahya Mokhtarzada told me back in April that it’s OK if people don’t keep their subscriptions, especially in dating apps. “If they're doing their job, people should cancel because those people should be getting into relationships,” Mokhtarzada said.
  • If people are getting into relationships, maybe they’ll be repeat customers if things don’t work out down the line. And if things do work out, their friends might also want to sign up.
  • Getting people to sign up for a subscription, even if it’s only for a short period of time, could be a bigger money-maker than metaverse dating.

The key with subscriptions is to make them so convenient that users can’t deny paying a little cash. And if Tinder can make its dating experience that much easier and better with an app subscription, the new users will keep coming, even if the old ones move along.

— Sarah Roach

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Automate your calendar

Working around people’s schedules to set up meetings burns up time and productivity. Automation can help.

GoodTime.io offers enterprise software that automates workplace processes like meeting and interview scheduling.

  • The company’s newest product, Meet, automates scheduling meetings to fit everyone’s calendar and offers tips on making meetings better.
  • Its flagship product, Hire, is aimed at recruiters. It automates the coordination of the interviews from start to finish, even down to picking the best interviewer for each candidate, to help its customers save time. And in a competitive job market, speed is essential, co-founder Ahryun Moon told me. “You want to be the first offer on the table, and the best.”

GoodTime, and others like it, flourished in the pandemic’s early days. And amid the hiring frenzy of 2021, automating the process “became really, really important,” Moon said. But amid the downturn, things are looking hazy.

  • GoodTime’s clients are now in “somewhat of a hunkering-down mode,” Moon said, though its sales haven’t slowed.

After the pandemic-related downturn and spike in unemployment in early 2020, hiring bounced back after a few quarters. Though companies are shedding employees now, Moon said, “everyone is telling me that, based on their experience in 2020, within a quarter or two they’re going to have to hire like crazy again.” Now might be the best time to automate workflows — before the next wave hits.

To read the full interview, click here.

— Nat Rubio-Licht

People are talking

Yuga Labs co-founder Greg Solano is frustrated with Ryder Ripps’ allegations against BAYC:

  • “The persistence, the maliciousness of the troll — frankly, how fucking evil the whole thing is — it’s hard.”

Making moves

Thoma Bravo bought Ping Identity, an enterprise identity management company, and will take it private for $2.8 billion.

Binance co-founder Yi He will take over Binance Labs, the company’s venture capital arm.

Aparna Chennapragada is leaving Robinhood as chief product officer. Chennapragada joined the company from Google a little over a year ago.

Andrew Sneyd is FanDuel’s new EVP of marketing. Sneyd was the VP of brand marketing and strategy at Priceline before FanDuel.

David Spirk joined Palantir as a senior counselor focused on U.S. government and international business. Spirk was the defense department’s first chief data officer.

Fritz Lanman is Mindbody’s new CEO. Lanman will still hold his position running ClassPass.

Doug Adamic is Brex’s new CRO. Adamic most recently held the same role at Concur.

In other news

Twitter gave money to the Republican Attorneys General Association for the first time in June. RAGA's a political committee that takes funds to "combat the Democrats' pro-abortion agenda."

Tesla's planning a 3-for-1 stock split during its shareholder meeting today. It wouldn't affect Tesla's market value.

WeWork offices are getting busy again. They were 72% full by the end of the second quarter, which is about the same occupancy levels as before the pandemic.

The Chips Act gives $1 billion to carbon removal research in the energy department, more than double the existing budget.

SoundCloud is laying off up to 20% of its employees because of "the challenging economic climate and financial market headwinds."

Triller influencers say they’re struggling to get paid. Triller promised creators good money, brand deals and even stock in the company, but many say that the company didn’t follow through.

Details of Elon Musk’s countersuit of Twitter need to be made public by Friday, the presiding judge ruled.

Wikipedia doesn’t want everyone editing its “Recession” page. It’ll only accept updates to the page from unregistered users after they go through an editor.

Facebook is axing its livestream shopping feature starting in October so it can focus more efforts on Reels.

Some good advice

The Wall Street Journal wrote a list of steps parents can take to get their summer-lazy kids “off screens and ready for school.” But these tips might actually help … everyone? Here are some highlights:

  • Set goals around the most distracting apps. “Don’t look at TikTok for three hours at bedtime” is a good goal, no matter how old you are.
  • Stop scrolling. Instead, watch movies on the TV, which is more relaxing than timeline chaos.
  • Declutter your social feeds: Spend the rest of your summer unfollowing people, decluttering your newsletter subscriptions and deleting apps you don’t use or want. Your brain will thank you.

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Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to sourcecode@protocol.com, or our tips line, tips@protocol.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

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