My word, it’s already July. I’m Jordan Parker Erb, and I’ve got some light news to carry you into Friday. Today, I will be telling you how to make your cat or dog Instagram famous.
BTW — There will be no newsletter on Monday, the Fourth of July. To everyone braving this weekend’s air travel hellscape, good luck. We’ll see you soon.
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1. Could your dog or cat be Instagram famous? Pet owners often think their pets are cute enough to be stars (heck, I even tried for my dog). While my dog’s account never took off, a talent agency that represents pets gave us some insight into what makes a pet a good Internet celebrity.
The Dog Agency is known as the first major management company for social-media-famous animals, and boasts a roster of high-profile pet accounts — which can rake in thousands of dollars per post.
With around 175 clients, The Dog Agency manages several celebrity accounts, including one for Crusoe the dachshund, a pug named Noodle, and Toby, a well-loved toad.
But the agency is highly selective: The accounts it takes on have to have a minimum of 50,000 followers, though they can make an exception for an animal that’s gone “very viral.”
Here’s what it’d take to make your pet a star.
In other news:
2. The “summer camp for billionaires” returns next week. On July 5, media moguls and tech billionaires will descend upon Sun Valley, Idaho for the annual conference held by investment bank Allen & Co. See who’s on this year’s guest list.
3. TikTok content moderators describe watching traumatizing content as the company looked the other way. Six current and former moderators said they had to constantly view graphic videos that included child abuse, suicides, and murders — and that the company doesn’t care. Here’s what they told us.
4. In an internal memo, Meta warns staff of “fierce” headwinds and slower growth. Per Reuters, the memo says the company will have to “prioritize more ruthlessly” and “execute flawlessly” in the second half of the year. Here’s the latest.
5. Pave quadrupled its valuation to $1.6 billion — we have the pitch deck it used to do so. The compensation comparison startup used a 16-slide pitch deck to raise $100 million from Index Ventures and A16z. See Pave’s pitch deck here, and check out our full pitch deck library.
6. Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX is in talks to buy troubled crypto lender BlockFi. Citing a source, CNBC said FTX is expected to pay $25 million — a big discount from BlockFi’s last private valuation of $4.8 billion. BlockFi’s CEO, Zac Prince, however, took to Twitter to comment on the report. FTX was also reported to be interested in making a deal with Celsius, but walked away after examining its finances.
7. Walmart packages could one day be delivered by both drones and robots. According to a patent application filed Thursday, Walmart sees a future in which drones can swoop in to rescue delivery orders from stalled robots. What we learned from the patent application.
8. With Apple CarPlay, you could buy gas directly from your car’s dashboard. According to Reuters, the new feature will let users tap an app to navigate to a gas station, then pay from inside the vehicle — and it could be available as early as this fall. Here’s how it could work.
Odds and ends:
9. For $1.9 million, you could buy a brand-new version of Bentley’s 1929 race car. A century after it debuted, Bentley is building 12 new models of the Speed Six, which it’ll replicate with “complete and total authenticity.” Check out the Speed Six.
10. If you have WhatsApp, you should know about these hidden features. These tricks let you format your text to be bold or italicized, send photos that disappear after a single view, and change your chat’s wallpaper. These are the 13 best “secret” WhatsApp hacks.
The latest people moves in tech:
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