The Fight to Rein in Delivery Apps

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the business model of food-delivery apps went largely unconsidered by the diners who relied on them for midday kale salads and late-night taco feasts. Platforms such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub often charged restaurants commissions of up to thirty per cent per order, and they were evasive about how (and how much) their couriers were compensated. But for most restaurants delivery comprised only a fraction of total sales. Then the covid-19 pandemic turned virtually all restaurants into takeout-and-delivery-only businesses, and the brutal economics of the delivery apps became a matter of life-or-death urgency, for both the restaurants selling food and the couriers delivering it.

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When one pill kills

Many of those pills are being traded openly via social media, particularly on Snapchat, the most popular app among U.S. teens. Snapchat has been linked to the sale of fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills that have caused the deaths of teens and young adults in at least 15 states, according to The Partnership for Safe Medicines, a nonprofit public health group. NBC News independently confirmed deaths in 14 of the 15 states and identified five additional states not included in the research.

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TikTok’s latest good news: its ads are sticky and effective, and rich people spend a lot of time there

Illustration of a rocket launching with the TikTok logo on the side.TikTok is having a very good week, it seems. It started with a Reuters story saying the social video platform has passed the 1 billion user mark in a shockingly short time. Next came the Bytedance property’s hosting its own event, TikTok World, at which it announced several new innovations to attract advertisers , creators and influencers.

Source: TikTok’s latest good news: its ads are sticky and effective, and rich people spend a lot of time there

How Has Social Media Impacted Our Mental Health?

The general consensus among the terminally online would seem to be that the internet is a miserable place just barely made tolerable by the idiots and well-meaning naifs whose screw-ups at least provide something to ridicule. But is there a scientific basis for this generalized feeling? How has social media actually impacted mental health, per the research? For this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to a number of experts to find out.

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A Framework for the Metaverse — Matthew Ball

We need to think of the Metaverse as a sort of successor state to the mobile internet. And while consumers will have core devices and platforms through which they interact with the Metaverse, the Metaverse depends on so much more. There’s a reason we don’t say Facebook or Google is an internet. They are destinations and ecosystems on or in the internet, each accessible via a browser or smartphone that can also access the vast rest of the internet. Similarly, Fortnite and Roblox feel like the Metaverse because they embody so many technologies and trends into a single experience that, like the iPhone, is tangible and feels different from everything that came before. But they do not constitute the Metaverse.

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Emoji Use At Work? Survey Says — Thumbs Up!

If you’ve ever hesitated to add a smiley face or a thumbs-up to an email, a new survey from Adobe may put you at ease. The software company, which conducts regular surveys on emoji use, found that the whimsical icons can make people feel more connected and more receptive to new tasks. They allow people to quickly share ideas. They make group decisions more efficient and can even reduce the need for meetings and calls.

Source: Emoji Use At Work? Survey Says — Thumbs Up!