Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
1. Snapchat’s parent company Snap is set to go public today with a $US24 billion (£19.55 billion) valuation. The company sold 200 million shares for $US17 (£14) apiece, raising a total of $US3.4 billion (£2.8 billion), and shares are set to begin trading Thursday.
2. This is what hedge fund managers told us about whether SNAP will pop or not. The bulls: “Investors know they’re buying it at an insane valuation, but you’re counting on the tape driving it higher.” The bears: “It’s idiot money. Who would pay these kind of numbers for non-voting stock?”
3. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer won’t be taking her 2016 bonus, worth up to $US2 million (£1.6 million) and equity grants, after an investigation into its massive hack. The internal inquiry concluded Yahoo’s response wasn’t satisfactory to the hack, which saw a state-sponsored actor making off with names, dates of birth, and other information. General counsel Ronald Bell has resigned without severance.
4. Twitter will let users blanket block accounts with a default “egg” avatar. The new tools, intended to reduce harassment, will allow people to block all profiles with the avatar at once, and filter out specific keywords and phrases from their timeline.
5. Oculus has cut the price of its Rift controllers and VR headset for the first time. The Touch controllers dropped from $US199 to $US99 (£162 to £80), while the headset went from $US599 to $US499, (£487 to £406) as the first anniversary of the VR gadget approaches.
6. Blogging service Medium is the latest platform to copy Snapchat’s Stories feature. Medium’s version is called Series, and lets people tell stories over time through video, images and text.
7. The CEO of failed UK music startup Crowdmix has dramatically accused one of his investors of “blackmail” in court. Roberts, who was ousted from the company, claimed billionaire Nick Candy had allegedly engineered his removal.
8. Snapchat’s parent Snap is reportedly working on a drone. Little detail is available, but a drone would build on Snap’s fledgling first step into hardware, Snapchat Spectacles, and give users an easier way to capture photo and video on the move.
9. Netflix has said it isn’t considering a pay-as-you-go option in the UK, despite rumours. Company executive Todd Yellin said Netflix would remain “all you can eat” after rumours that the company would partner carriers to charge for individual pieces of content.
10. Lyft, Uber’s main rival in the US, is reportedly cashing in on its competitor’s woes and looking to raise $US500 million in fresh funding. The ride-sharing service will use the cash to grow its business and expand market share.