Facebook isn’t the only one under scrutiny (that seems to never end) from the FTC. Instead of Christmas cards, the FTC has sent out orders to WhatsApp, Discord, Amazon, ByteDance, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit and Snap to explain in detail how they use data collected from their users. They have 45 days to send in their reports.

The FTC’s main focus is how this data is used and in what way it affects children and teens. Plus, commissioners are annoyed that all this data collecting plays a main role in everyone’s lives, but everyone is all hush-hush about what’s really going on.

“Policymakers and the public are in the dark about what social media and video streaming services do… it is alarming that we still know so little,” was part of the statement released by Christine S. Wilson, Kelly Slaughter, Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter.

Of course we know Facebook is now being sued by the FTC and they’re sending these orders under Section 6(b) from the FTC Act which doesn’t include actual police enforcement, but they could issue warrants for searches and seizures depending on what they find.

If you’re wondering why we’re seeing the FTC ramp it up this year, it’s because they launched a tech task force that’s specifically for monitoring acquisitions and any monopolistic behavior. This year they started studying acquisitions from Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook over the past decade, and results of their findings could take years to conclude on any evidence to take action on.

What do you think? Should the FTC keep smacking down on tech companies like this or ease up? Hit reply and give us your opinion!

So That’s Why Roblox Didn’t IPO

Roblox decided to halt their IPO that was supposed to happen before the end of the year and no one knew why, until now. The company instead decided to buy Loom.ai (who makes digital avatars). The deal hasn’t gone through yet and sadly, we don’t know the terms. But, we can tell you that Loom.ai has raised a total of $7.25 million in funding and launched alongside tons of other digital avatar companies in 2015/2016. They wanted to go above and beyond the 3D Snapchat was offering with their Bitmoji buyout.

Loom was first creating avatars that were photorealistic, and now they’re more “Memoji-like”. They’ve had a ton of enterprise deals come under their belt and are super popular for their personalized stickers that can be used on Slack or WhatsApp or even on video calls.

Considering Roblox’s avatars are pretty basic, this looks like the company wants to have a premium system in place that offers life-like animations.

The only thing Roblox had to say about the deal is it “will accelerate the development of next-generation avatars.”

K, cool… what about that IPO? We’ll let you know if we find out further details.

Goal Setting, 2021 Style

Want 2021 to be anything, absolutely anything better than the *fill in the blank* kind of year 2020 has been? Start thinking like top founders and executives and make sure you’re setting the right kind of goals for next year.

Experts like Laura Vanderkam, a guru when it comes to time management and productivity, believe you have to figure out what resources you have available and that means taking your mental and emotional health seriously too. You may have the resources to start a new leg of the company, but do you have the mental and emotional capacity?

If not, you’re due for a major recharge and that needs to be at the top of your goal list. Makes sense… most of us have been running a damn marathon since the beginning of the pandemic. Pausing and recharging is the only way to set goals that make sense, excite you and keep you moving toward something purposeful.

Kimberly Cummings owns a leadership development company and recommends celebrating all the good that you’ve accomplished this year. Journal, write on post-it notes, record a voice memo… do whatever it takes in order to show yourself what you overcame this year and how you moved through the setbacks we faced.

Your goals need to prioritize your mental health and make room for more uncertainty. Seeing how much you’ve had to pivot and change this year, you need to expect more of the same. Set a few clear, long term goals, but then a couple short term “fuzzy” ones that aren’t crystal clear, but you get the idea of what you want to get done. That allows for change, movement and when plans go awry.

Focus on the process and staying consistent. How can you utilize your time more effectively, help your community, and have wins every day instead of looking at a year end goal all of the time? What can you do to create consistency with goals that have a ripple effect on your productivity, success, mental health and leadership ability?

What are your goals for 2021? Hit reply and share with us!

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