Weekly Reads
Weekly Reads - April 23, 2022

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Food Businesses Lose Faith in Instagram After Algorithm Changes

NYT gives us a peek into how the change in Instagram’s algorithm is impacting the platform, both good and bad. On the positive side, Meta is making strides in short-form video through prioritizing reels on their platform versus simply adding the functionality but not integrating it into the user experience. This bodes well for the long-term success of reels as users are pushed to interact with this new functionality. On the negative side, de-prioritizing photo is creating discontent among some SMB advertisers who now must shift to short form video or lose engagement. Video content is much more difficult to create than photo content making engagement harder to come by for the average SMB who used to photo.

How Carvana went from a Wall Street top pick to trading with meme stocks

Carvana symbolizes (at the highest degree) what is happening in the general market of selling broken business models with no foreseeable future of profitability or positive free cash flow. The company has notoriously focused on growth over profitability through aggressive car buying programs to take inventory share from CarMax and other players, often buying consumer cars at or close to market value leaving them no room to take a profit on a majority of their vehicle.

EA Sports will no longer make FIFA soccer video game

EA Sports is losing its best asset, its monopoly on FIFA trademark. The company generates almost 30% of revenue from FIFA Ultimate Team. EA will continue to publish soccer games under a new IP but will eventually face competition by new FIFA branded 3rd party competitors. EA’s FIFA games are notoriously non-gamer friendly (high microtransaction costs, pay to win, etc.) with low overall customer scores. It only takes one successful competitor to take share and apparently the market does not seem to remember when NBA 2K ended EA’s NBA live franchise years ago. EA has delivered various flops over the last few years and has earned a negative reputation among gamers in the industry. Market is not pricing in losing share in their core sporting franchise which would appear to be foolish since there is a history of better games disrupting previous franchises.