It's Monday, and you know what that means? After today, there are only two more Mondays left in 2022. This is Matt Weinberger, Insider's deputy editor of tech analysis, filling in once again for Jordan Parker Erb. She'll be back in time to write tomorrow's edition, so never fear.
Last week was a big week for news, in a year that's been full of big weeks for news — the FTC is suing to block Microsoft's acquisition of video-game giant Activision Blizzard, Meta employees were reportedly banned from discussing issues like abortion at work, and Elon Musk authorized the release of a second part of the so-called "Twitter Files." Oh, and Insider released its inaugural Cloudverse list of the 100 top leaders building the next generation of the Internet.
With all of that going on, it's perhaps not super surprising that Friday was a little quieter, at least in the world of tech. Which isn't to say that it was boring: Elton John left Twitter, Google's CEO declined to reassure employees that layoffs aren't under consideration, and it turned out that former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried had been secretly funding a crypto news site to the tune of millions of dollars for the last year or so, as per Axios.
Let's go over what you need to know to get your week started.
1. Google's CEO won't promise layoffs aren't coming. Insider's Hugh Langley reports on a tense all-hands inside Google, where employees once again pushed CEO Sundar Pichai to comment on the possibility of layoffs. His response was that it's "tough to predict the future."
Google employees have been worried about layoffs for a while, especially while pretty much all of the search giant's peers in Big Tech have cut jobs in recent weeks and months.
Notably, employees used the all-hands to raise concerns over a new performance tool named GRAD. That tool is intended to give employees a more consistent flow of feedback on their performance, but some inside the company say it's been off to a rocky start.
Performance reviews are probably top-of-mind for many in the tech industry. Insider reported this week that Meta is directing managers to designate more of their workforce as low-performers than before, stoking fears of more cuts to come.
In other news:
2. Goodbye, bird-app brick road as Elton John said on Friday that's he quitting Twitter, citing the spread of misinformation on the platform as the reason. Twitter's new owner and CEO Elon Musk replied that he was a big fan, and asked if he was concerned about "any misinformation in particular."
3. How to make money as a content creator. Over the past few years, the ways to make money as an influencer have multiplied, with creators on platforms like YouTube and TikTok now earning six figures or more annually. We spoke to dozens of industry insiders to bring you 11 common ways influencers earn money.
4. Twitter will tell you if you've been "shadowbanned," promises Elon Musk. He says the social network will add a view count so you can see how many people have actually seen your posts, similar to how YouTube shows video view metrics.
5. Leaving Google to be an entrepreneur paid off for Melody Meckfessel, she writes in an essay for Insider. Losing the cushy benefits of life at Google was worth having more control over the values and culture of the team she built at the startup she founded in 2019. Read her thoughts here.
6. The royals rule Netflix. Insider's Travis Clark reports that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's new Netflix docuseries was, at the time of writing, the most popular show on the service. That's good news for Netflix, considering it paid a reported $100 million to the couple as part of their content deal in 2020.
7. Swapping Big Tech for climate tech. Neil Delaney tells Insider that he left his career at companies like Meta, Slack, and Google to join a carbon accounting startup called Plan A in search of a higher purpose to his work. You can read his interview with Insider here.
8. Sam Bankman-Fried goes to Washington. The former CEO of the now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange, has agreed to appear before lawmakers this week. Assuming he keeps his word, expect a deep dive into his role in the ongoing scandal as the one-time billionaire's empire collapses.
Odds and ends:
9. A $1.7 million supercar from Ford for the racetrack only. Meet the 2023 Ford GT MkIV, a supercar with 800 horsepower that's illegal to drive anywhere but the racetrack. If you happen to have deep pockets and a really, really big yard to drive it around in, act fast, because they're only making 67 of these.
10. Running out of room in Windows? Insider has the complete guide to adding your Google Drive storage to the Windows File Explorer, giving you essentially another hard drive in the cloud.
What we're watching today:
Oracle is slated to report earnings after the closing bell.
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