Changes in the algorithms of Facebook can become a nightmare for publishers – another innovation is capable of breaking them in a day. Especially if a significant part of the traffic comes from the social network. However, Bored Panda is not looking for ways to distance itself from Facebook and depend less on it. On the contrary, it is moving closer, and this pays off.
The history of the Lithuanian start-up, which has learned to survive in today’s Facebook-dependent world.
Perhaps you do not know much about Bored Panda, but if you have a Facebook account, their posts just flickered in your stream. It could be “10+ photos before and after that prove that men are prettier than birds” or “41 cases when drivers of Uber caught customers by surprise”. Or you watched one of these short videos with the title “Shh, do not wake them” with sleeping seals, dogs, and hamsters.
Such are the unflattering and senseless publications that made Bored Panda one of the most irresistible temptations on Facebook. Their page has collected 30 million likes, cheers, comments and reactions in just the last month, ahead of BuzzFeed, CNN and The New York Times. In October, 116 million users entered the site.
All this the company did without attracting third-party investments, unlike digital publishers like BuzzFeed and Vice, which collected hundreds of millions of dollars. To date, Bored Panda employs slightly more than 40 people, and low operating costs, given the huge popularity, are beneficial to the business. According to the founder of Bored Panda, Tomas Banisauskas, this year the company expects $ 20-30 million in revenue, mainly from advertising, which is posted on the site.
Factors of success
Approximately 90% of all traffic comes from Facebook, making the social network the key to Bored Panda’s success. “They help us a lot,” says Banisauskas, who is 31 years old.
Bored Panda appeared in 2009 as a side project of Banisauskas. At that time a freelance photographer and a student at Vilnius University, was specializing in business administration. To create the project, Tomas was inspired by Internet-creatives like Million Dollar Homepage, when an enterprising guy earned a million-selling pixel on the site. The Lithuanian decided to create a website that would “fight boredom through art and good stories.”
In fact, Bored Panda collects user content from various sources. It includes Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It “rebates” them in a suitable format, adding a bright title, and sells on a single platform. Most of the content Bored Panda receives for free from photographers and “free artists”. They are not averse to appearing on the Facebook page with millions of covers. And yes, the company asks for permission to publish.
The publisher adheres to the thematic rule: only art, creativity, and jokes. No politics. Thus, Bored Panda built a “positive media empire”. Another important rule of Bored Panda is “quality, not quantity”. In October, only 519 posts (about 16 per day) appeared on the site, which is very much compared to CNN (5 595 per month) or Fox News (51 919).
Of course, things did not immediately go so well. Bored Panda relied for a long time on StumbleUpon, a popular link aggregator – it was he who gave the site most of the traffic. But in 2010 StumbleUpon sharply reduced the presence of Bored Panda and offered to purchase advertising. This experience gave Banisauskas to understand that “the only way to survive in this industry is to build long-term value through loyal subscribers”.
The next few years were difficult. In 2013 in Bored Panda began to notice the growth of views from a new source. From Facebook. Users of the social network fell in love with the positive content of the site. In just a year its attendance grew tenfold. Soon Bored Panda became almost entirely Facebook-dependent.
However, unlike competitors who were looking for ways not to depend on Facebook, Bored Panda went in the opposite direction and decided to get even closer. The company made several Facebook branches. It turned into separate brands: for example, art pages or pages with stories about pets. Moreover, they created Crafty Panda, which is focused entirely on DIY projects. For them, they began to create original content, and recently launched in the office video studio for their cutting.
Risks of Bored Panda strategy
However, such dependence carries risks. For example, a couple of months ago, Facebook tested a new ribbon design. As part of the test, Facebook extracted posts from brands, public figures, and publishers such as Bored Panda. Facebook placed them in a separate tape called Explore Feed. The existence of which very few people knew. This change caused panic among the content companies: some of them recorded a sharp traffic crash in one night. They were frightened for their future. Later Facebook turned off the experiment. However, this case showed how shaky the position of the company, which relies entirely on the social network, can be.
Banisauskas understands this well. Moreover, given that almost half of Bored Panda’s audience are Americans, he worries that the site may fall victim to the purges of “fakes” that the social network initiated after Russian campaigns during the presidential election in the United States. “We have nothing to do with this problem, but we could suffer collateral damage,” he says.
Last summer Banisauskas flew to New York to meet with other major publishers who focus on Facebook. Today they all exist with the tacit consent of the social network, knowing that by a wave of a finger they can merely take and disappear from there.
But while Bored Panda is doing well. Its founder is confident, as well as the content that he distributes: “Everyone experiences and does the right thing. But I believe that everything will be fine.”
During the year, the cost of Litecoin increased 60 times. What is this cryptocurrency?
In January 2017, the cost of Litecoin did not exceed $ 5. In December it passed for $ 300. The competent tactics of the developer and founder of the network Charlie Lee brings him good results, and at the same time, all coin holders who believed in the prospect of investment.
Litecoin bases on the same open source code as Bitcoin, but with minor changes. “This is a global decentralized payment network, which has no control from any central authorities,” the website says. Litecoin is just an additional means of payment for bitcoin. It is often called “silver” in comparison with Bitcoin as “gold.”
In 2011, Charlie Lee, a developer of the Litecoin network, decided to create a new payment facility. It would require less time to confirm transactions and which could be obtained by all system members, not just individual miners. The main difference between the two crypto-currencies is the use of different work algorithms. While the Bitcoin network uses the SHA256 hash function, Litecoin uses scrypt — function, the speed of which depends on access to large amounts of memory. Creation of ASIC-devices for scrypt-function is much more complicated and more expensive than for SHA256. Thus, scrypt complicates the simultaneous launch of several processes on the video card. Thus, Litecoin can be profitable on a conventional video card and even on a CPU, which makes the network more decentralized.
Initially, the miners were asked to generate 50 coins per block, as well as in the case of Bitcoin. However, as to maintain the rate of inflation according to the schedule of changes, each 840,000th block becomes half as much. Therefore, the total number of coins to be extracted by the miners is 84 million units. It is four times more that of the Bitcoin network.
Today, Litecoin is the fifth-largest currency regarding market capitalization: about $ 17 billion versus $ 330 billion from Bitcoin. But this does not mean that the currency is not popular. Litecoin creator Charlie Lee is quite a public person, unlike Bitcoin anonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto, about whom nothing is known at all. This played a big role in the development of the platform and the growing number of users. People understand why Litecoin is needed and what the developers are striving for, unlike Bitcoin. Since January 2017 the cost of LTC has jumped from $ 5 to $ 270. It is more than 50 times. At the same time, by the middle of December, the price had reached a peak value of $ 340 but stayed at this level all day. Many coin holders wondered: what is going on? Here are three reasons why the cost of Litecoin grew by 333% in just a few days.
Bitcoin price growth and futures launch
The Chicago Stock Exchange launched futures trading on Bitcoin on December 10. The rise in the price of the currency began a few days before the launch and continued after. On December 18, another exchange stock – CME – plans to launch futures trading. Analysts say that the price of Litecoin is directly proportional to the behavior of Bitcoin. Thus, the value of the first currency has significantly increased over the past two weeks. They also argue that there are two possible reasons for this dependence:
increased activity of Bitcoin-holders and the inflow of a new audience that also ramifies on Litecoin;
increasing commissions in the Bitcoin-network due to the loads, from which Litecoin wins at the expense of a quarter of the commission fee.
“Gold Rush” and a huge flow of users
The largest currency exchange Coinbase daily receives about 100,000 new users. Its application takes the first place by the number of downloads in the App Store. And this despite the fact that the exchange operates only with three currencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. As described above, the relationship between BTC and LTC plays a big part in this: people are rushing to the exchange in the hope of getting a profit in the future.
Buyers begin to understand what Litecoin is
As more people buy other currencies on exchanges like Coinbase with the help of BTC, the low fees and the speed of transferring funds to the Litecoin affect the network. The rapid finding of blocks in the network (2.5 minutes versus 10 for Bitcoin) is one of the main factors in choosing this cryptocurrency.
At the same time, Charlie Lee, its creator, supports Litecoin in every possible way. He is always on TV programs for comments and interviews. He does not forget about social networks, actively participating in discussions on forums and on Twitter. This increases the number of LTC Holders and the overall loyalty of the audience.
The cost of Bitcoin reached $ 20,000. A year ago it cost $ 788
The cost of cryptocurrency Bitcoin for the first time reached $ 20,000. The Coinmarketcap index evidences this. The total capitalization of the cryptocurrency was $ 335 billion.
The cost of Bitcoin began to grow actively from the end of November: then one Bitcoin cost about $ 8000 on average. A year ago, the cost of Bitcoin was $ 788.
How 1000 people control 40% of the whole market and can manipulate it
The Bitcoin rate is subject to incredible volatility. During the day it can rise by 30%, and then fall by 20%. One of the problems that adds the cost of unpredictability cryptocurrency is the owners of large amounts of Bitcoin. They are often called whales. They can take a course in peak, selling even a small fraction of their fortune. Such interventions became even more probable when the value of the cryptocurrency increased 15 times since the beginning of 2017.
About 40% of all Bitcoins belong to 1000 users. At current prices, each of them may want to sell about half the state, says Aaron Brown, former managing director of AQR Capital Management, Bloomberg. Moreover, whales can coordinate transactions or report them to the circle of the elect. Many of the large owners of Bitcoin had known each other for years and believed in cryptocurrency in the early years when the majority only ridiculed it. Therefore, whales can potentially negotiate to crash or raise the market.
Regulators react very slowly to the development of the situation on the crypto-currency market, so many of the existing rules are still blurred. If traders not only raise the price but will spread rumors online, this can be considered fraud. The Bittrex exchange recently warned users that their accounts could be blocked if they conspire to manipulate the price. For other cryptocurrency, laws may be different. Depending on how the altcoins are structured, and how investors plan to make money for them, some can be regarded as real currencies, the US Securities Commission says.
The recent rise in the price of Bitcoin is difficult to explain because the cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value. Launched in 2009 thanks to the work of an anonymous engineer, this is a form of digital payment that supports an independent network of computers. Cryptographic algorithms are used to confirm transactions. The most loyal fans say that cryptocurrency can replace banks and traditional money. But it costs exactly as much as someone will pay for it. This makes her a victim of sudden shifts in price.
Some argue that the situation is no different from the one that has developed in established markets. “A good comparison could be the investment in shares of young companies. Their founders and some investors own most of the assets, “says Paul of BlockTower. Other investors are confident that whales will not merge their assets because they believe in the long-term potential of the cryptocurrency. “It’s perfectly reasonable to think that whales who own so many Bitcoins and Bitcoin cache do not want to destroy each other,” said trader Sebastian Kinsman. But when prices soar to the skies, the calculation may change.
It all started in October 2008, when a document appeared on the site bitcoin.org, describing the mechanism of the distributed cryptocurrency with open source code, called bitcoin.
The basis for the transactions was blocking technology, which is a database that stores all transactions that have ever been committed in the form of publicly available blocks. A special mathematical algorithm connects the blocks to each other and stores on the devices of the participants in the system, not allowing you to make changes from the outside, which provides protection from hacker attacks and increases the security of the system.
Transactions need not be related to finance. For example, all interactions of people with each other can be exposed in a legal transaction. Furthermore, for such a system, employees will not be needed. It will not cause disputable situations, will not create opportunities for fraud and can occur almost instantly.
The first working version of Bitcoin was available in 2009. A relatively narrow range of geeks and programmers used it. The price of one bitcoin at that time was about $ 0.001. By 2011, the price was equal to the price of the dollar. Over time, the course continued to grow. Nevertheless, the technology attracted more and more new users, and many economists appreciated its prospects.
The cost of Ethereum exceeded $ 400
The cost of the cryptocurrency Ethereum exceeded $ 400. At the time of preparing the material, its price is about $ 414 per unit, the last maximum, according to the Coindesk charts, was $ 425.
Judging by the graphs of the same Coindesk and Coinmarketcap – the current figure is the highest. True, in the summer the cost of the air showed higher values on some individual exchanges. The reason for the current growth is the increase in demand from market participants to the currency. Also, it is due to the active development of the currency.
At the time of the news, the capitalization of Ethereum was $ 39.7 billion. It is the second after the bitcoin ($ 135 billion) of the national currency regarding capitalization. Moreover, in third place there is Bitcoin Cash ($ 27 billion).
The cost of bitcoin reached $ 9,000
The price of cryptocurrency bitcoin reached $ 9,000, shows the Coinmarketcap schedule. This is the highest figure in the history of the existence of the cryptocurrency. The total capitalization of bitcoin exceeded $ 150 billion.
Actively bitcoin began to grow on November 25 (+ $ 800 in less than a day), after the information appeared that the founder of Xiaomi Lei Jun is an investor in the Chinese company Bitmain, which creates devices for mining. After all, according to Quartz, this can increase the audience’s confidence in the cryptocurrency.
For decades, financial experts in China did not consider Wang Chuanfu, an entrepreneur in the field of environmental technology and chief executive officer of the BYD (Build Your Dreams) battery and electric vehicle company, influential in the global automotive industry. Nine years ago, Warren Buffett bought 10% of BYD shares, correcting the injustice. But gasoline cars continued to dominate not only in China but throughout the world. As a result of which Wang found himself in the shadow of the heads of other corporations: Renault — Carlos Ghosn, General Motors — Mary Barra, and Volkswagen — Matthias Muller.
But now, 22 years after the company was founded, BYD became the largest seller of electric vehicles in China. Its shares returned to cosmic levels. In September, the government announced that it had begun work on a schedule. They planned to stop the production and sale of fossil-fueled vehicles. It also promulgated an emissions trading program. It should force car manufacturers with a gasoline engine to buy credits from electric vehicle manufacturers or make their efforts to create such vehicles. In any case, BYD is in favor.
Build Your Dreams
Since August, BYD shares, sold in Hong Kong, have increased by 44%, to about 70 Hong Kong dollars ($ 8.97). According to analyst JPMorgan Chase & Co. Nika Laya can still rise by almost 40%.
Wang is often called the Chinese Elon Musk. It will be more accurate to say that Musk is the American Wang Chuanfu. He became famous, putting on the possibility of using lithium-ion batteries for power vehicles and rejecting the centennial suffocating internal combustion engine. But Wang was still ahead of the American innovator. He started his business as a manufacturer of batteries for cell phones and building his first large-scale car factory in 2003. He sold his first production EV in 2008. Then in the same year built his first solar panel factory and in 2009 began production of electric commercial buses. While Tesla Inc. only introduced its first EV in 2008 and started working on solar batteries in 2016.
Moreover, Wang is the undisputed leader in two key indicators: car sales and profits. Last year in China, BYD sold 100,183 vehicles for new energy (the Chinese term for EV and hybrids), and its electric buses operate in 200 cities around the world. Tesla sold 76,230 electric vehicles around the world and had not even started selling trucks or buses on new energy. BYD increased net profit by 79 percent, to 5.1 billion yuan ($ 768 million) last year and never recorded a loss. Fourteen-year-old Tesla has not yet made a profit, as she invests heavily in the development of the product.
But earlier, when in 2003 Wang said that his phone-battery business was going to acquire an automaker, investors began to run without looking back. The stocks fell 31% in three days. Five years later, BYD’s compact F3 was the best-selling model in China. The company began selling its first two-system cars with a hybrid powerplant. Also in 2008, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., owned by Buffett, entered into a deal to acquire 10% of BYD for 1.8 billion Hong Kong dollars ($ 232 million).
In 2008, the total sales of new cars in China totaled only 24,000 units, but by 2015, BYD expanded. It starting to produce electric buses, autoloaders, road sweepers and light trucks. A year later, Samsung paid RMB 3 billion ($ 449 million) for a 2% stake in BYD. It is a nearly double investment by Buffett for one-fifth of the Chinese company.
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Chinese Meituan Dianping recently became the fourth most expensive start-up in the world. The valuation of its value reached $ 30 billion, which made it more expensive than Airbnb and SpaceX.
The top ten ranking of the most expensive startups looks like this:
About the Beijing company, few people know outside the home market. It delivers food to people, sells food and movie tickets, provides reviews about restaurants and discounts for group purchases. This is a kind of mixture of Groupon, Yelp (Foursquare), Foodpanda and UberEats.
Meituan gained investor confidence due to its dominant position in the market with more than a billion people. The merger of Meituan.com and Dianping.com in 2015 created the company, creating a leading player in online services. In the last round, the startup attracted $ 4 billion from Chinese Tencent Holding, venture capital fund Sequoia Capital and American travel giant Priceline Group.
Meituan Dianping has expanded interests far beyond the original business. In the company’s applications, with a few touches, users can order the delivery of ready meals, food, massage, haircut and manicure home or office. One of the popular services is to order a car wash, while it is parked on the street and the owner at work. Having done the job, the washer will send the photo to confirm the quality. Meituan claims that the company’s applications have 280 million active annual users and 5 million connected businesses.
The category of services that the company provides — online-to-offline or O2O. It may become more popular in China than in the US. China has a lower level of wages, the city is more densely populated. Moreover, the population is much larger. Over the past year, the O2O market grew by 72% to $ 115 billion.
According to the results of the last round, Meituan Dianping’s estimate reached $ 30 billion. According to the assessment, the startup is inferior only to four companies, according to CB Insights: Uber ($ 68 billion), Didi Chuxing ($ 50 billion) and Xiaomi ($ 46 billion). The analysts estimate Airbnb at $ 29.3 billion, SpaceX — $ 21.2 billion.
1. Bitcoins are not backed up. It’s a soap bubble that can burst
In the traditional sense, bitcoin is not supported by anything. You can not exchange the crypto currency for the computing power.
An important indicator is a willingness and desire to use cryptocurrency as an analog of traditional currencies, the exchange equivalent. Thus, the Bitcoin rate is determined solely by the demand for it. As an example, you can bring gold, which is also not provided, but for several centuries has a particular value.
The higher the price of the crypto currency, the more opportunities for their use, the more they are extracted. Which, in turn, increases the complexity of the extraction process.
2. Anyone can obtain Bitcoins
It is challenging to get bitcoins today. Those days are gone when individual users — miners — did it. Now it happens on huge, expensive mining farms. Nevertheless, for cost-effective mining Bitcoins, there is a need to invest in the equipment of thousands of dollars.
Most other crypto-currencies are easier to obtain and cheaper, but their rate is an order of magnitude lower.
3. Management of the network of bitcoins can be easily intercepted
The more units that generate bitcoins, the more difficult it is for one person or group to establish control over the network. After all, to commit such an attack, you will need equipment worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Plus, energy costs were comparable to the consumption of a large enterprise.
The economic sense of controlling the network is simply not there. Burglars can not use the bitcoins in other people’s wallets.
You can lose the bitcoins, but only together with the loss of access to your wallet. Each owner has his private keys. And if he lost them, there will be no access to the accumulated or extracted cryptocurrency.
4. Bitcoins are illegal, and there may be problems in using them
Many countries officially recognized cryptocurrency. Japan considers Bitcoin as a legal means of money. Moreover, Germany, China, Switzerland accept it as monetary units.
5. Bitcoins and other crypto-currencies are similar to a financial pyramid
You can create a financial pyramid in any currency. Therefore, everybody can use Bitcoin as a means of payment in the performance of financial fraud.
The financial pyramid operates according to a different scheme. The constant attraction of new funds ensures the income of participants of such a structure. The first depositors receive funds from the contributions of those who came later. The flow of money stops – the pyramid collapses.
It is hard to predict whether it is worth investing in the crypto currency. It is unlikely that Bitcoin will bring a fabulous profit: these times have already passed.
6. Mining of Bitcoins harms the environment
This myth based on the fact that for the generation of cryptocurrency, maintenance of computing power requires a large amount of electricity. In fact, for energy consumption, the network of Bitcoins is similar to the city where 100 thousand people live.
But not everyone believes that the damage from mining crypto currency exists. The reason is that these devices several times increase the consumption of electricity and contribute to a noticeable increase in temperature in the premises. And this can be unsafe for other tenants, especially if the house is old.
Opponents of the ban are sure that the increase in temperature during the operation of farms can be for heating premises. Also, it is unclear how people can control such a ban. After all, equipment for mining is often a personal computer, albeit improved.