👉 What Happened on Tech Twitter in June
A prank raised $200K for charity, Apple took a hostage, big tech made big moves in AR, and we may have reached peak newsletter
Yo! ✌️ I’m Brett! I am a Product Manager, musician, and Twitter power user. Twitter is where all the action happens in the tech industry but it’s not easy to keep up with. I write this weekly newsletter to help people stay informed on the most important discussions happening on Tech Twitter.
Welcome to the new 229 subscribers since last month! 👋
✨ What Happened on Tech Twitter in June
Here are the top stories!
👁👄👁 It was what it was - A group of 60 young people pulled off one of the most epic and obscure pranks in tech history in less than 48 hours, raising $200K for black philanthropies along the way.
😡 Apple took a startup hostage - When Apple says jump, developers ask how high. For Hey, this meant 30% of their revenue, but they didn’t stand for it.
🤖 Big tech made big moves in AR - Apple showed off a 3D design system, Snap announced a ton of AR products at their partner summit, and Google acquired an AR glasses company.
📰 We may have hit peak newsletter - With everyone writing newsletters we’re all wondering how we’re going to have the time read and money to subscribe to all of them. We’re still looking for answers.
👁👄👁 It was what it was
Check out “What 👁👄👁 means for inclusion in tech” for more!
A rag-tag group of 60+ mischievous Zoomers (and a few millennials) executed one of the most hilarious heists in tech history, raising ~$200K for black philanthropies in under 48 hours along the way.
The stunt, modeled after controversial tech product launches from the last year, exploited weak points in human (and particularly VC) psychology.
😡 Apple took a startup hostage
Check out “Apple Takes a Hostage” for more!
Apple refused to approve bug fixes for Basecamp’s new email app, Hey, unless they agreed to the App Stores 15-30% revenue share agreement. While these terms shouldn’t have come as a surprise, Apple holding the app hostage definitely seemed a little egregious.
Ben Thompson had my favorite take - no surprise. Fear of Apple’s near-monopolistic power in mobile runs deep in the tech industry. Few companies have stood up against Apple’s aggressive App Store policies as a result, until Basecamp.
The EU announced an investigation into Apple’s App Store practices the same day DHH shared the original tweet. A larger anti-trust lawsuit seems inevitable.
Also, check out this great video rundown of Hey’s marketing strategy amidst this craziness.
🤖 Big tech made big moves in AR
Check out “Snap's Big Announcement” and for more!
Both Snap and Apple made huge announcements in June. While Apple didn’t unveil the AR glasses we’ve all been waiting for, they did show off their new design system that hints at the modular 3D world AR glasses will usher in.
Snap also had their partner summit where they made a ton of AR-related announcements. The most exciting in my mind is Snap ML, which allows developers to upload their own neural nets to Snapchat.
Snapchat @SnapchatFor the first time, you can bring your own machine learning models into #LenStudio with SnapML. Start creating your own AR experiences powered by ML at https://t.co/0iHhiAXT7l #SnapPartnerSummit https://t.co/xVDsIxctLi
Google also acquired their own AR glasses company. This probably means they’re at least a year or two behind Snap, Facebook, and Apple who have all been developing glasses internally for some time. Regardless, the first AR glasses will likely be very very limited.
✉️ We may have hit peak newsletter
Check out “No More Newsletters Please” for more!
With everyone launching newsletters this month, we’ve been caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand we want to keep up with influencers’ and friends’ (longer form) thoughts, but on the other hand we don’t want more email and we don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars a month to subscribe.
We’re at the peak of the newsletter hype cycle. As more people realize how hard it is to publish quality content every week, the growth in newsletters (particularly bad ones) will decline.
That said, paid content does seem to be an elegant solution to improving the quality of content on the internet and helping creators make a living on their work. Bundling seems to be a great solution to newsletter fatigue in the near term - check out the Everything bundle for a great example.
Hope you’re enjoying your thought boi summer 🤓✉️🔥