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Facebook wants to woo Gen Z...
June 05, 2024 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew

Aura Health

Good morning. Coldplay has been touring the world, and it was all…green?

Chris Martin and the Fix You Crew said they had slashed their touring carbon footprint by 59% compared to their previous world tour, meeting a target of cutting emissions in half.

They did it, in part, by turning their shows into a giant SoulCycle class. Fans are encouraged to pedal bikes that charge stage areas and jump around on kinetic dance floors that generate electricity. The band also travels by train where possible.

This almost makes up for all the college a cappella covers they’ve inspired.

—Sam Klebanov, Matty Merritt, Cassandra Cassidy, Abby Rubenstein, Neal Freyman












Bath & Body Works


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*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks had another roller coaster of a day but ended up rising as investors took in the news that job openings fell in April to their lowest since February 2021. But Bath & Body Works did not come out smelling like sun-ripened raspberry—it plunged after issuing weak guidance.


Facebook’s Operation Win Back Gen Z

Young Facebook Francis Scialabba

Facebook wants to shake its reputation as a hangout spot for people who were born before the personal computer was invented. It recently unveiled a plan to win over Gen Z, which makes up a minority of its users.

Meta doesn’t necessarily want to convince youngsters that Facebook is cool, just that it’s useful:

  • It envisions 20-somethings hitting up the big blue app to navigate early adulthood through its experience-based features, such as Facebook Marketplace, Groups, and Dating.
  • Marketplace is already popular among young bargain hunters: It’s used by over 1 in 4 daily active Facebookers between the ages of 18 and 29.

But Facebook is also wooing younger people with content that isn’t political memes from their grandparents. It bolstered short videos in the style made popular by TikTok and Instagram reels by enhancing its discovery algorithm and promoting a creator program that lets anyone monetize their posts. Meta says Facebook users now spend 60% of their time on the platform watching videos. It’s also made it easier to DM videos after content sharing grew by 80% in a year.

Will Facebook rejuvenate itself?

It’s too early to say whether more young people will flock to the platform, but it has already made some progress. Facebook reports that it has 40 million daily active users in the US and Canada aged 18 to 29, the highest in three years—though that still makes up only 19% of its user base in the region, per Axios’s estimate.

But the phrase “Are you on Facebook?” is rare in high school: Last fall, only 33% of teens younger than 18 said they use it, compared with 59% for Instagram and 63% for TikTok, per Pew Research Center. In 2014–2015, more than two-thirds of people that age used Facebook.

Facebook is still getting bigger: After its first-ever decline in monthly active users in Q4 2021, Facebook continued growing globally.—SK



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Tour de headlines

Indian Prime Minister Modi celebrating winning his third consecutive term with confetti Arun Sankar/Getty Images

Modi won India’s election, but with a much smaller majority than expected. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won his third consecutive term, but the election was still a major setback because his Hindu nationalist party, which had been in power since 2014, lost its outright majority and needed coalition partners to secure victory. Though Modi claimed the win as a mandate for his policies, the surprisingly close results signal voters’ frustration with high unemployment rates, soaring inflation, and divisive politics.

FDA advisory panel rejects MDMA as a PTSD treatment. In a blow to advocates of psychedelics for mental health treatment, a panel of experts voted against recommending that the Food and Drug Administration approve MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. The panel raised concerns about the study conducted by Lykos Therapeutics, which is hoping to get the drug approved as the first-ever sanctioned psychedelic treatment, questioning the data and potential risks. The FDA does not have to follow the panel’s recommendation, but it usually does. A final decision is expected in August.

Merrick Garland tells Congress, “I will not be intimidated.” The Fourth of July is a month away, but there were fireworks in Congress yesterday as the attorney general pushed back on Republicans’ accusations that he and the DOJ went after Donald Trump while protecting Joe Biden. Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Garland said he would not make decisions based on Republicans’ efforts to hold him in contempt of Congress for not releasing audio from an investigation into Biden. Lawmakers also sniped at each other, with one Democrat saying the committee had become “little more than a field office for the Trump campaign.”


Class action threatens to sour Poppi’s whole thing

Surving tray full of Poppi sodas Romain Maurice/Getty Images

A recent lawsuit alleges that your favorite 3pm beverage is making promises it can’t keep. Consumer Kristin Cobbs filed a class-action suit against trendy soda company Poppi. The suit alleges the brand can’t possibly deliver on its positive gut health claims given its ingredients, so the soda’s marketing is deceptive.

If you’re a Diet Coke devotee…Poppi has been rapidly gaining notoriety since its 2018 Shark Tank appearance.

  • Poppi built a following by claiming that the drink will help you “Be Gut Happy. Be Gut Healthy” thanks to prebiotics.
  • The self-styled “better for you” soda reported $100 million in revenue last year and is growing faster than other drink-makers, including the latest (Liquid Death) and greatest (Gatorade).

However, the lawsuit filed on behalf of Poppi drinkers last week claims the soda only contains around 2 grams of prebiotic agave inulin fiber and that consumers would need to drink at least four cans a day to see any gut benefit. It also states that if you chugged that much Poppi, the sugar content would offset any health gains.

Poppi called the suit “baseless.”

Big picture: The “functional drink” market, featuring liquid treats that claim to help/boost/clear some part of your body, now makes up 10% of all nonalcoholic drink sales in the US.—MM



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MLB permabans player for betting on baseball

Tucupita Marcano Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The league that runs sports betting ads in game broadcasts may be reaping what it sowed. Major League Baseball announced yesterday that it banned San Diego Padres player Tucupita Marcano for life after an investigation revealed that he bet on his own team’s games in 2022 and 2023.

The league, which also issued one-year suspensions to four other players who placed bets on major league games, said players violated a rule that strictly forbids them from betting on baseball (but allows betting on other sports). A sportsbook tipped off the league about the players’ alleged miscreant activity, of which Marcano’s was the most egregious:

  • Marcano bet more than $150,000 on baseball games, both MLB and international, including 25 bets on Pirates games while he was on the team but not playing due to an injury, according to an MLB investigation.
  • He won just 4.3% of all MLB-related bets, and there is no suspicion his wagers influenced the outcome of any game.

The MLB is no stranger to gambling scandals. Yesterday, Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani to cover debts from sports bets with an illegal bookie. One of Ohtani’s teammates from his time with the Los Angeles Angels is under investigation for illegal betting with the same bookie.—CC



Prime number

A doormat with a bag of money on it Francis Scialabba

Jury duty usually comes and goes without any drama beyond having to remind your boss that you really have no choice in the matter, but one juror in a case over the alleged theft of $40 million from a program meant to feed kids during the pandemic got served more intrigue this week than any production of 12 Angry Men ever contemplated. The juror was dismissed after explaining that someone left a bag with $120,000 in cash at her home and an offer of more if she voted to acquit the seven defendants in the trial. The seven are the first of 50 people expected to stand trial for allegedly participating in a conspiracy to make off with $250 million from taxpayers.


What else is brewing

  • President Biden signed an executive order restricting asylum claims based on the number of migrants crossing the US–Mexico border illegally. The ACLU plans to sue.
  • Sean “Diddy” Combs sold his majority stake in Revolt, the media company he founded, as he faces lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault.
  • Max is the latest streaming service to get more expensive. Warner Bros. announced it’s raising prices on what used to be HBO Max about two weeks before the second season of House of the Dragon begins.
  • Novak Djokovic withdrew from the French Open because of an injured knee, costing him his position as No. 1 in the rankings.
  • Instagram is testing ads you can’t skip, in case you need a reason to stop scrolling and feeling bad you’re not on vacation.


Wednesday to-do list

Check out the neighborhood: This interactive map lets you see how close you’d be to supermarkets, libraries, transit, and more in spots across various cities.

Get to know the art market: A list of the highest prices ever paid for paintings.

Perfect your side dish: The secret to making the ultimate baked potato.

Read: How companies have gotten better at charging you more.

Invest: What could be the “Spotify” of mental wellness is getting investment from execs at Meta + Apple. Learn how you can join them as a private Aura shareholder.*

*A message from our sponsor.


The puzzle section

Word Search: Today we have a Happy Hour special. These cocktails are half-off and waiting for you to find them.

Which Wikipedia article?

Below are the chapter headings for the Wikipedia article of a famous historical figure. Who is it?

  1. Name
  2. Birth and historical background
  3. Early life
  4. Chinon
  5. Military campaigns
  6. Trials and execution
  7. Visions
  8. Clothing
  9. Legacy


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Joan of Arc

Word of the Day

Today’s Word of the Day is: miscreant, meaning “criminal or villainous.” Thanks to Scott from Florida for the illicit suggestion. Submit another Word of the Day here.

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