tv Best of Bloomberg Technology Bloomberg April 28, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
♪ emily: i'm emily chang and this is "the best of bloomberg technology," where we bring you all our top interviews from this week in tech. earnings are in full swing with results from facebook, amazon, tesla, and more. we will bring you all the highlights. plus, samsung has delayed the launch of its first foldable smartphone after reviewers report defects. how big of a setback is it? and our exclusive conversation with grab cofounder ceo hooi ling tan. can the company live up to its aspirations to become the super app of asia? top stories, some of the biggest
tech companies in europe are out with their earnings this week, including facebook. this as the platform tries to remain balanced after a series of scandals, struggling to maintain their position. joining us now is david kirkpatrick. and we have debra aho williamson with us as well. give us your take on the headline numbers, legal bills aside. debra: yeah, you're right. it is hard to put those aside necessarily, because the idea of a potential settlement is so massive. however, the revenue beat and the user numbers were not a surprise to us. i mean, facebook has shown over the past year -- and it has been a year since the first news of cambridge analytica came out -- they have shown that they have been able to consistently grow revenues, grow users, the market for facebook is doing well in terms of people using it, in
terms of advertisers wanting to spend money there. so for us, that part was not a surprise. the big surprise was obviously the $3 billion they are holding back for potential ftc settlements. emily: david, in context, that is a huge fine. i believe the highest fine ever in terms of a settlement between the ftc and a u.s. company was in the tens of millions of dollars. how serious is this? david: well, it is serious, and the key question is, is it a one-off? going to what debra was saying, advertisers have no place to go except facebook and as long as that remains the case and as long as advertisers don't feel there is a serious associative
risk, the execution is going to continue to be good because these people have proven they can execute. but there is something so disjunctive about the very moment that they announce a $3 billion set aside for a likely fine that investors still bear the stock up 4% or 5%. you have to wonder when this company will begin to pay the piper for the fact that it is essentially losing social approval to operate. i don't think they are changing the way they operate fast enough to ensure that that is not going to happen. emily: so let's talk about that. i have a chart here in the bloomberg that shows user growth over the last several years -- incredible growth continuing monthly and daily, active users. despite questions we ask every quarter about saturation, saturation in its most mature markets, get when you talk about that sort of social benefit or social motivation to use facebook -- you have congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez telling yahoo! news today that she stopped using facebook. she is a congresswoman who needs to use, presumably, social media to further her own campaign, her own branding, yet she says she is not using it because the
costs are too high. debra, does that concern you? debra: it does not concern me because she is still using instagram. honestly, facebook owns instagram. it is a very popular platform, and she has devoted all her resources there. but i do want to get back to what to david said, because i agree with a lot of his points, particularly the fact that there is this settlement coming up. advertisers and people who watch facebook need to pay attention to what happens, what transpires, not just the amount of money facebook might have to pay, but what sorts of concessions facebook might have to make in terms of changes to the way it stores user data or the way it uses user data, the way that advertisers can use that data for targeted advertising. these are questions i think advertisers and companies, people that watch facebook need to pay attention to because this really is big news. emily: david, i saw you chuckle when debra suggested she still uses instagram. i did want to say, she did say she is scaling back on other social media. do you think this is a bigger problem? david: well, it is a bigger problem, there is no question.
there is a massive backlash against tech globally, which was largely precipitated by the behavior of this very company. look at europe, for example. apple and google have both already received massive, multibillion-dollar fines in europe. facebook never has. but facebook could very, very easily start to face major legal problems there, too. there are certainly legal problems underway. none of them have resulted in massive fines yet. but zuckerberg has already begun to adopt this idea of this language of having a privacy-focused vision, which is nice. he better start delivering on it. if i could just quickly mention one thing that could happen -- there is a possibility in the u.k. and probably elsewhere that new laws may begin to be imposed that no one under 18 can have any data gathered about them or be targeted in any way for digital advertising. if that happens, that is going
to be a huge cost because these companies, not just facebook, don't really have an ability to differentiate between who is above and below 18 in many cases. so there are very complex issues that wall street seems to be more or less disregarding, if you ask me. emily: so europe certainly has been out front on tech regulation and much harder on tech companies than the u.s. has thus far, but speaking to the privacy pivot that zuckerberg is making, he did mention that in the earnings release, saying "we are focused on building out our privacy-focused vision for the future of social networking, working collaboratively to address important issues around the internet." and speaking to that family of apps' strategy, debra, that you pointed out, "we estimate more than 2.1 billion people now use facebook, whatsapp, instagram, or messenger every day on average.
2.7 billion people use at least one of our family of services each month." as the company pivots to this privacy-focused future, nobody knows exactly what that is going to look like, exactly what mark zuckerberg has in mind, but do you worry that could impact growth as a way we use facebook potentially and all these services becomes more private and changes? debra: yes, that is something we are paying a lot of attention to. i am researching and a marketer report right now looking at some of those issues. but you are right, we don't know exactly what it is going to look like. mark zuckerberg and his staff are very smart people. they are certainly thinking about this and thinking about the way that marketers can reach people in these more private environments. but it is going to mean a change for advertisers. they are so used to using that newsfeed on facebook to reach
people, to get that mass reach that this is definitely going to pose some challenges for them. i don't know how it is going to roll out, but i do think that facebook is going to have a way to get around this. i also think, by the way, that mark zuckerberg is saying all the right things when it comes to addressing the ftc concerns, the potential of the settlement, talking about privacy, talking about that they welcome regulation. i mean, these are all things i think mark zuckerberg himself needs to sane advance of potentially making a settlement with the ftc. emily: the next 18 months are going to be a big test for facebook as we gear up for the 2020 election in the united states and facebook works to secure its platform from foreign and domestic meddling. we have seen the mueller report come out in the last week, which did not make facebook look good. the new york times reported today that former homeland security secretary kiersten nielsen was very concerned about russian interference continued attempts to threaten the u.s. democracy in more advanced ways than the public may know. meantime, you've got the son-in-law of president trump saying the russians just bought a couple of facebook ads. "a couple of facebook ads." david, how much do you think
this issue is going to affect facebook over the next 18 months? david: i can't believe it won't affect it quite a lot. i think when it comes to electoral interference on facebook and foreign countries interfering with the elections in other places, that is not just a problem in the united states. it could be a significant factor globally. every country has elections and every country has enemies and every country has now observed how effective it was when the russian government interfered with the u.s. election on facebook, so you have to believe it is an attractive target for a lot of people. emily: meantime, we got some headlines crossing the bloomberg right now. bloomberg reporting that facebook's settling with the ftc does not include the ongoing investigations happening with the states and that this whole probe could cost facebook $5 billion. so more than that $3 billion they are now setting aside. debra, your reaction? $5 billion is a lot of money. debra: yes, it is.
and i think david's point earlier, that there could be additional settlements in europe and other places outside the u.s., this is definitely something i think facebook will be dealing with over the course of this year and next year. we are going to be seeing a lot of changes in the way facebook will need to operate. that could potentially lead to changes in the way marketers use facebook. the way that people use facebook, and the way facebook is perceived around the world. emily: amazon also reported first-quarter results with investors focusing on profit growth, advertising, and the cloud. here is some of the early reaction after amazon posted earnings this week. >> we are joined by michael packer and brent thill. thank you both for joining us. michael, you have been an amazon bull. lots to like.
this is a more profitable company then has historically been true, but some of these warning signs about future spending and future growth -- what do you make of the quarter? michael: the upside is because they generated 43% margin, they just cannot spend all the money. they have $25 billion of gross profit and they managed to only spend $20 billion of it. and that is the story. this company has run out of things to spend money on. obviously, they are going to keep building fulfillment centers, but that is not going to grow materially year-over-year. they are going to build the same 50 or 100 every year. and they are just minting money. i think the negative in the story is that investors don't appreciate the third-party mix went up yet again. bezos said it was 58% of sales last year, it was about 60% of sales this quarter, if we use the same metrics.
it is a great margin story. investors are confused by the top line, they get spooked by the guidance. the stock is not up enough on the sprint, but it was up about $100 on the last week. >> it really is a remarkable story. this is a company we think of as an online retailer, but it is now a third-party marketplace, a cloud computing company, and an advertising company. what does this quarter tell you? brent: michael hit on the margins. it doubled year on year. if you think about the call that margins could continue to double, you look at the big internet names, they have declining margins. facebook, google, a number are spending to keep up with amazon. so it is somewhat of a rare bird in terms of that revenue growth. growth is decelerating, but you are seeing the margin improve.
we think the biggest concern is that wall street thinks they should be a 20% topline story. we think it is more reasonable to think about what acquisitions to get to 20% growth, but you look at the margin profile. that could get into the teens easily. that is driven off the aws, add business, and recurring subscription business that will continue to compound. you can sell a bunch of low-margin deodorant, but have a lot of higher-margin businesses which are going to give investors more predictability and confidence around the future cash flow. emily: coming up, grab wants to become a super app. other startup is breaking away from its traditional business to offer food delivery, financial services, content, and more, next. and if you like bloomberg news, check us out on the radio and on the app. this is bloomberg. ♪
emily: in march, southeast asia's lead ride-hailing app grab brought its latest round of funding to $4.5 billion. now, the company says it is super sizing the round and plans to raise an additional $2 billion this year. this as it goes head-to-head with rival gojack and expands its services beyond ride-hailing. grab co-founder hooi ling tan joined us to discuss in an exclusive interview. >> we are already southeast asia's everyday super app. we have seen tremendous traction. in 2018 alone, we grew our revenue by more than 2x, and our growth verticals that became the flotillas have been growing tremendously. grab food grew more than 45 times in 2018. our payments and financial services grew more than five times in the same year as well. in many different ways, we are already southeast asia's everyday super app. emily: and beyond the services -- you were talking about parcel
delivery, digital payment, on-demand video, digital health care. how would you describe this? is it like amazon for everything? >> no, it is grab for southeast asia. and i think it is really important to frame why we are doing certain things with partners as part of the grab platform partnership strategy. the core services -- transport, food, payment, financial services. those are the things that are growing healthily and we are leading end to end. news, groceries, video, content -- those are things we're doing in partnership with other global players like booking.com, microsoft. because we believe they have technology and operational assets that they can bring to southeast asia. emily: you have already raised $4.5 billion and you want to raise $2 billion more. why?
>> we have seen tremendous growth and interest from global, regional, and local partners. because of this, this is a great time for us to reinvest back into southeast asia, going from taking transportation from zero to the leading ride-hailing platform and now moving into food, payments, and more. this additional $2 billion is going to be used -- sorry, $6.5 billion is going to be used for possibly investing into food, payments and financial services, and doubling down in our largest and fastest-growing market, indonesia. emily: i want to talk to you about the regional breakdown you are seeing. what is the evidence of traction in indonesia, for example? >> we are part of the largest payment wallets in the area. food has been growing
tremendously. last year alone, we grew more than 10 times. in ride-hailing and transport, we are the largest market share. emily: you doubled revenue in 2018, did you surpass $1 billion in revenue? >> we did. we have a history of executing on our plans well. in fact, just last month, anthony, my co-founder, was in tokyo. the fact that he was recommitting $1.5 billion more as part of this round and wanted to provide us with unlimited support going forward. emily: he said he wanted to provide unlimited support to power your growth. does that also mean unlimited access to capital? >> of course, he just added $1.5 billion to our resource and bank accounts, so thank you very much.
emily: he is not going to give you the next $2 billion? >> he has already contributed, as part of softbank, approximately $3 billion. so that is a good thing today. we had a long-standing relationship with him since 2014. the reason why this is important is because it shows that we have continued to be able to execute well. and as you know, masa has big, ambitious plans and we do, too. along with softbank and other strategic investors like toyota, hyundai, microsoft, booking are eager to continue executing on that vision and trajectory. emily: grab co-founder hooi ling tan there. coming up, tesla reports first order results after a rocky start to the year. we will bring you the highlights next. this is bloomberg. ♪
emily: let's return now to our earnings coverage. tesla has had a rocky start to the year. the company disclosed disappointing delivery numbers. and in january, the company cut its workforce by 7%, warning that the road ahead is difficult and making electric cars more affordable for the mass market. we were joined on wednesday to talk about the first quarter
results. >> one thing that tesla has been very good at is saying, don't look at what is happening now, look at this future, and telling the futuristic story -- back when they were making an electric sports car they were only selling to a few hundred people, they were saying no, no, the real thing is a luxury sedan. and that started to break down around the model three, because that was the end of the big elon musk plan. what we saw earlier with this autonomy day, where tesla spent four hours boring his analysts ears off was trying to get people to refocus on the future. if you believe that -- you are sure the robo taxis are going to be a big thing and it will happen that quickly, you as an investor will hop on board with that. emily: shares slightly up right now. investors were expecting a tough quarter, ivan. when it comes to the actual
numbers, yes, they make a great car, as you say, but what is your take on the quarterly performance, which does matter to investors and does matter to analysts? despite how good the products may be. >> analysts have to go buy some -- have to go by some level of guidance from the company building models and assess some type of share price value. i think tesla would have been better served being a little more conservative in their projections, both from production and also profitability. i mean, they really are in a net investing and r&d stage to grow the company. so the fact that they were going to be profitable, they originally were going to be at the end of last year and now not
going to be profitable and now back to investing, they do have a lot more investment to do with the buildout of the model y, the semitruck, and other models they want to bring to market, along with the ongoing development of their autonomous technology. even though i think we are still many, many years away from actually getting a car and saying, "drive me home," with no driver actually driving it, and there will have to be a lot more infrastructure -- autonomous vehicles are going to depend on the 5g network, they are going to depend on cars communicating with each other, communicating with traffic signals and stop signs and the road itself, but i will say that tesla does have an impressive autonomous capability or autopilot capability right now. i did not see the one most recently demonstrated on the monday event. however, a few months ago, i did test the autopilot system and it was very impressive. emily: that was ivan find staff with tigris financial partners and max chafkin.
it was a busy week for tesla with its investor day happening two days before earnings. ceo elon musk pumped up the company's self driving future and singled out a tesla design shift that he claims will make this a reality, calling it the best chip in the world. >> not the best by a small margin, best by a huge margin. it is in the cars right now. all tesla's being produced right now have it in the computer. we switched over about a month ago. we first switched over model 3 about 10 days ago. all cars being produced have all the hardware necessary for full self driving. emily: bloomberg's auto editor craig trudell joined us to discuss. craig: i think he has talked about having the hardware necessary for full self driving before. he is now talking about the
hardware being new and improved with the best computing power out there, but also walking investors through some of the advancements that they have made on the software side as well, and that giving them the capability to actually put features out there, enable people eventually to be able to be sort of out of the loop, and then, after that, convince regulators that drivers can basically stop paying attention. all of this, again, is a bold set of statements and we will see if it is actually something that tesla is able to pull off. he did quantify that this will not be something we will see on streets all over the place, but he talked about sort of a select jurisdiction by sometime late next year, but again, we will see. emily: bloomberg's craig trudell
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emily: welcome back to "the best of bloomberg technology." i am emily chang. the sri lankan government shut down social media and messaging channel in the wake of the devastating easter attack that killed almost 300 people. officials are hoping to stop flow of misinformation and hate speech that is known to spread on social networks following violent attacks. the shuttered platforms include facebook, whatsapp, instagram, youtube, and more. this is not the first time a country has taken this measure to combat hate speech. the question is, can it work? the executive editor of digital voices and a community nonprofit and bloomberg senior executive editor brad stone joined us to give us their perspective. >> with social media, it is a
part of -- it is a moment in a long trend of lack of responsiveness to the requests of communities that have -- especially non-english-language communities that have seen misinformation, disinformation and hate speech and harassment happening in online platforms, and have not been able to get an adequate response from social media companies to address their concerns in a timely manner. and that was true in the sri lankan case as well. emily: give us some examples of where you have seen this happen elsewhere. you know, we know in india, for example, whatsapp has been blamed for the spread of viral rumors that have led to fresh waves of violence. but you know, tell us a little bit more about how a non-english-language community, you can see these tools used for ill. ivan: so i should say at the very beginning, this is not just about the tool. this is an integration of how
the tools are used and currents and trends that are happening in communities and countries around the world. it is not a determined thing that the technology is the only problem. however, we are seeing in many places around the world, we see an increase in harassment, in hate speech incitement and in extremist language, and social media platforms are, in the main, not designed to handle restrictions of different kinds of speech. they are especially challenged when it is happening in languages other than the ones that they are primarily monitoring for. so they need to build up teams that can actually proactively respond in a timely manner to the appearance of threats and build content moderation systems that work accordingly. myanmar is another good example and bangladesh as well. emily: right, and they are even
challenged obviously in english speaking communities, as we have learned. facebook released this statement to us. they said "our hearts go out to , the victims, families, and communities affected by this rent this act. -- horrendous act. teams from facebook are working to support law enforcement officers. facebook is aware of the temporary blocking of social media platforms. people rely on our services to communicate with their loved ones. and we are committed to maintaining our services in helping the country in these troubled times." what is interesting is there is no evidence these attacks were spun up on social media or because of social media. so there is a sort of preemptive aspect here. what do you make of that? ivan put his finger on it, there is a lack of trust around social networks, and the behavior and of viral hatred they are capable of inciting. i mean look, facebook wants to , be seen as part of the solution. over the last few years they have rolled out things like
safety check to allow people to tell their family and friends they are ok. emergency alerts to help local governments communicate. and you know, more often than not, they are used to ferment hatred. we see it in india and other countries on the subcontinent. so i think, from a numbers perspective, this is a small part of facebook's global business, but you know it is a , terrible symbol of how instead of helping in these kinds of crises, they are viewed often quite skeptically. emily: ivan, can you give us some examples of how after attacks like this you can see the events then again spun up on social media, you know further , spread of hate and misinformation, even if they were not necessarily involved in the attack itself? ivan: i want to say before that, i think it is really important to note that communities in sri
lanka themselves are opposed to this ban. so independent journalists, advocates, researchers are not in favor of this. they are frustrated by the fact that it has happened and find it to be ineffective in practice. this ges to your question. emily: why are they frustrated? ivan: because they -- because for them, social media platforms are n essential element in communications. for a long history in sri lanka for the past 20 years, independent nonmainstream journalism, digital platforms have been essential to a diversity of voices and perspectives, and that is still true today. so when social media platforms are blocked, it decreases their ability to do their work. and also, these kinds of blocks are ineffective. it is very easy to install a vpn and get around them. and we saw when the block happened, the sri lankan government blocked whatsapp and facebook and another in march 2018 following communal
violence. and the researchers found within a matter of a day or two, something like 50% of facebook's traffic was back. this hurts communities that have less knowledge, less resources or fewer resources to be able to build workarounds. but it does not hurt people who have the resources or are specially motivated to be online. emily: so brad, none of this is black and white, right? then you know what is right? , brad: i want to add, i think there is something very unsettling about all of this. there is of course a very fine line between shutting down social networking tools, preventing misinformation and mob behavior, and of the government an authoritarian , government or even a democratically elected one shutting down these tools to prevent criticism, to prevent opposition parties for making themselves heard, to prevent the free dissemination of news and information. so it is a troubling development. emily: ivan siegal of global voices and our own brad stone.
emily: twitter surged the most since october 2017 in tuesday's session after reporting strong user growth and fourth-quarter sales. the social network beat estimates on earnings and revenue and posted an increase in monetizable daily active users. this is twitter's new self-reported metric. this as the company continues to crack down on the spread of misinformation and fake accounts. i sat down with twitter cfo ned segel and asked about the company's growth strategy. ned: we disclosed the percentage growth for the last nine quarters. it has been growing in a range
of 9% to 14% or 15% for the last couple of years. the work for us is to get out of that range by continuing to improve the service and give people a great experience when they come to twitter. we are always working on improving the timeline, improving relevance of the notifications that we send you. we will do work this year to improve on boarding. we have a great prototype app where you can see what we are experimenting with, and we will bring the best of those to the platform over time. emily: are you expecting that number to grow? as quickly as it has? ned: we are working hard to make it grow. we will have to see what it does over time. generally, you see a big seasonal uptick in the first quarter, where there is a large, absolute growth in the first quarter, and then the work for us is to sustain that in terms of percentage growth over the year. but there are events and typical seasonality that tend to help that number on an absolute basis in q1. emily: some analysts are saying this new number is not very transparent.
we don't know how you decide what is a monetizable daily active user. should we be concerned about that, and can you give us more information? ned: we feel that it is perfect transparent, because it is the goal we use internally. daily active users are people who go to twitter.com or one of the apps you use on your phone, who log in and see ads every day. we cannot think of a number that would be more simple or more transparent than that to share with people, and importantly, it is the exact number that we goal against internally. we have been sharing a number externally for some time, which was monthly active usage. if we get people to come to twitter once a month, we have failed. we are not delivering for them. we want them to come every day, we want them to see value in twitter, and keep coming back to find about the things happening in the world and what people are talking about. emily: monthly active users -- that is the number you are going to stop reporting this quarter, though it is continuing to decline. international growth seems to be slowing down. the revenue guidance for q2 was a little light. should we be worried about those?
ned: a couple things in that. m.a.u. is a more inclusive metric, people who get text messages with tweets or things we are not designing around. they are not around designing the best of what you can get with twitter. that number had moved a bit the last year. up, mau was going down. they are apples and oranges. in terms of revenue growth, we drove a broad recovery that began last year outside of the united states. internationally in the first half of this year, they get harder in the second half of the year in the united states. that is not meant as an excuse, is just math and how it works. the challenge for us and the work we will endeavor to take on all year is continuing to improve the ad products, drive better relevance and and ad formats so we can deliver great results regardless of the growth rates for last year. emily: you have been working on improving the platform. you say 38% of content is being flagged by technology and human review. is that correct?
ned: 38% of the abusive tweets that we ultimately review are being flagged by machine learning as opposed to humans. that's correct. emily: how much realistically can you get that number up? how much more work can the technology do, and how fast? ned: we think it can do more, and it will be hard to get too -- get to perfect. our goal is to have really clear policies, to have a product that can enforce the policies, and to have really good people behind the product who can support the product and supporting the policies. so hopefully that 38% goes up, but we are proud of our progress we are making. emily: still there continue to be concerns about hate, misinformation, fake news spreading on social media. we recently had this situation in sri lanka, a series of bombings on social media app and it was completely shut down. was twitter shut down? ned: instead of specific examples, let me talk more broadly about how we think of these things. we are an incredibly dynamic environment where people are using platforms like twitter in
different ways all the time. we need to both be respectful of the tragedies that sometimes will occur, and we need to be thoughtful about how perpetrators use the platform, how victims use it, how people who are seeking news, who are 10,000 miles away use a service like twitter to make sure they can trust the information that they find, and they are comfortable being part of the conversation. emily: what is interesting about the sri lanka situation is the government shut down these services without evidence that the crime was spun up on social media. because they were concerned about misinformation and violence spreading on social media in the aftermath, isn't that a concern? that is the first reaction of an entire country. ned: well, it tells you there is still work for us to do and certainly for others to do as well to make sure people can trust information on a service like ours, that it is being used appropriately. it is the reason why health is our number one priority from a
resourcing perspective and a mindset perspective. emily: my interview there with twitter cfo ned segal. true bard -- true ventures partners meantime, om malik and jessica liu also joined us to weigh in on the results. jessica: i think it is all good efforts by them, but they have a lot of work to do. the social network is still riddled with issues. i feel like the sort of small product tweaks they have made so far, like hiding comments or allowing comments to be hidden, and their party line about machine learning and ai detecting abuse, 38%, and sort of continuing to rely on users to self-report or police, those efforts are not going to change a social network dramatically. i would love to see a stronger position on proactive content moderation and regulation policies, explicitly stating what is banned, what is allowed. versus what is banned.
harder and more consistent evidence of how they are handling bad actors would be helpful to see from them. are they banning them for life? are they not allowing them onto the social network to begin with? and then it would be great to see the voice of the users, running some periodic user tests or surveys to see the actual impact of these cleanup efforts. is the overall health improving from the user perspective? i feel like those questions and answers, quite frankly, are missing. emily: om, would you agree? om: i do agree with jessica, but i also understand this is not an easy problem to solve. i think the challenge for any information system is to actually start to distinguish between rumors, information, news, and half-truths. and i think it is much more difficult to achieve than we on the outside like to think. but i definitely think twitter should be doing more than they are currently. they should be looking for ways
to validate the actual accounts much more strictly than they are. i think there is a lot of low hanging fruit they could be plucking right now to make it better. emily: on that note, jessica, you mentioned you felt this new monetizable daily active users metric was not very transparent. ned responded to that concern, and we see that number growing, but, of course, it is a number that twitter chooses. did his answer there satisfy you? jessica: yes and no. he answered the question of how twitter is defining mdau, monetizable daily active users, so that was helpful to hear from twitter. however, those numbers make twitter look good. i realize yes, it helps them , stopping their double counting and including -- actually excluding fake users, but when twitter's users numbers look
better, the ad pricing and advertisers' media plans hinge on those user numbers and those impressions. social networks finding a way to improve their user numbers help boost their ad revenue in the long run. and so there is sort of this ripple effect that happens in media buying, and selfishly from twitter's standpoint, to find a number that helps them improve on the user front is good for them. so there is a hidden incentive, if you will, there. emily: meantime, minutes after i sat down with ned segal, news crossed that jack dorsey, ceo of twitter, had just met with president trump in a closed door meeting. we do not know a lot about the meeting. twitter is not commenting, but the president did tweet about it, saying "a great meeting with jack dorsey from twitter. lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform and the world of social media in
general. look forward to keeping an open dialogue." this is on the same day he was complaining about how republicans are treated on twitter, and twitter doing some of this account cleanup, the president has lost followers. but i can't recall mark zuckerberg meeting with president trump. what do you make of that? om: "tim apple" met with the president. even satya has met with the president. if he is the president of the country, and if he wants to meet an executive, you know, saying choice as a citizen. you may not like the person, but you have to go and meet the president. emily: and you know, maybe we are not seeing it in the growth numbers, but twitter is a huge part of the national conversation. it is the president's platform. om: it is where news happens. it is not on cnn. it is not on any other network, it is on twitter. that is where the genesis of information is. and everything you know comes from there. so it is an important platform.
you know there is a lot of work , to do for these guys, but you kind of hold a ceo responsible for going and meeting with the president. yes, there are a lot of people in silicon valley who do not appreciate the president, but that does not mean he shouldn't go. that is how i see it. emily: that was forrester senior analyst jessica liu and true ventures partner om malik. bloomberg lp, bloomberg's parent , apany, produces tictoc global breaking news service for twitter. coming up, after eight years of development, samsung unveiled its foldable smartphone, but customers will not be able to buy the device just yet. we will discuss what is keeping the product from the market. this is bloomberg. ♪
versions of the galaxy fold, samsung announced it postponed its april 26 release without giving a new date. in a statement, the company said while many reviewers shared the potential they see some also , showed us how the device needs further improvement that could ensure the best possible user experience. to fully evaluate this feedback, and run further tests we decided , to delay the release of the galaxy fold, and plan to release the date in coming weeks. idc vice president and a bloomberg reporter weighed in. mark: this is the phone, and it is going to be probably the last time you will see me with this on air until they relaunch this thing, because they are picking it up tomorrow morning. but i received the phone last monday, and it has a plastic film on it that looks like the type of film you would get on any other phone, even samsung phones, iphones, that you remove before using. typical user experience. but about 48 hours after removing that plastic sheet, the phone was completely dead. so the left side of the screen inside the phone, this side
right here, one side went out completely after about a day. the next day, it was about 75% dead across the whole thing. by wednesday morning it was completely gone. in my book, the difference between a $2000 phone working and not working should not be a thin piece of plastic. emily: ryan, what is your take on this? ryan: i think i agree with mark, what he said. i mean that is a big starting , point right there. but i think overall, this is a big sign to me that the industry was not ready for this form package, be honest. -- to be honest. this is a big issue for samsung in general because their name is attached to this, but it is a bigger issue for the segment and the category in general, you know, overall. they are trying to launch something new, where to be honest, there was not consumer demand for it. no consumers were waiting for this, in my opinion. and so you know it is a hiccup , in the road towards a new sort of product category, and there
is a lot untold at this point. we are waiting to see what these things will look like when they actually do work, but overall to be honest, most of these companies, samsung first, but a few others behind them, are rushing to market with these devices as they want to be first or close to first in a new product category that again, i don't see the initial demand for it. emily: mark we have had other , analysts on the show who are very excited about this foldable phone. do you see any evidence it is a product that consumers want? mark: the problem with this incarnation is that it is basically both a phone and a tablet, and you can switch between the two modes. the problem is it is not a very good phone, and it is not a very good tablet. and if you read my review, i go into the different details as to why it is not very good at either. so basically, you are getting for $2000 a bad tablet and a bad phone. for that type of money, you can get an ipad, iphone, and an apple watch on top of that and
still have a little bit of cash left over. likewise if you are in the samsung ecosystem, you can do the same. you can buy a tablet and a samsung s10 plus, and have $750 cash left over. there is really not a user proposition to buy this thing at this point, especially because of how bad it is on the software and hardware front. emily: when you put it that way, it is sort of hard to argue. samsung had issues a couple years ago with the note 7. the battery catching fire. i mean how bad is this in the , context of the broader product lineup? ryan: personally, i would say that the note 7 issue was worse, because there were customers that were waiting for that product. they did have a loyal -- and they still do have a very loyal note user base that were waiting for the note 7 when it came out. and many bought them and they experienced those issues. so i just don't see that there is any actual consumers that
have been waiting for this product. i think most do not even know these products were ready to launch. if you look at the marketing campaigns that samsung has done around their new products over the past literally 10 years, i would say this is probably as minimal as possible in terms of marketing. you know, they have got not only , did they just launch the s10 lineup, but they have the s10 5g as well, and this felt rushed. it felt very un-samsung like. yes, they have gone through issues in the past, but i would almost separate those issues, not in defense of them, but i feel like they are very different in nature. i felt like this was sort of taking too many new technologies and trying to get them out to market really quickly, whereas you know they had more time to , wait on that. emily: the idc vice president ryan reith and our own mark urman. that does it for this edition of "best of bloomberg technology." we will bring you all the latest in tech throughout the week. tune in every day, 5:00 p.m. in
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welcome to "daybreak australia." i am paul allen. sophie: i'm sophie kamaruddin in hong kong. we are counting down to asia's major market open. ♪ paul: the top stories in the next hour, get ready for a global data dump with more of the world's biggest companies reporting earnings and a delusion of indicators from washington to beijing. socialism survives in spain with pedro sanchez sent to retain power. we will go to --