YouTube and influencer business trends newsletter October 8

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli. Welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the influencer and creator economy. Sign up for the newsletter here.

TikTok rival Triller has reported ever-increasing user numbers in the last year, but some former employees are wary of its figures.

My colleague Dan Whateley spoke with six former Triller employees who pointed in particular to an October 2019 press release by the company, which they said gave a monthly active user count that was far above what they were seeing on some internal metrics at the time. 

In the October 2019 release, Triller said it had grown 500% organically year over year to 13 million monthly active users. But a screenshot provided by a former employee from one of Triller’s app-analytics tools, Localytics, showed just 2 million monthly active iOS users and about 484,000 monthly active users on Android devices. It was taken a

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This Week’s Under 30 Newsletter

The following is an excerpt from this week’s Under 30 Newsletter.

During the 2020 Forbes AgTech+ Under 30 weekend Hackathons, I am reminded of my time as cofounder of Ube Kitchen, a plant-based startup—now closed due to the pandemic—inside a 10×10 tent along with dozens of other food makers at the outdoor Smorgasburg food markets in New York City. Running the business also meant building relationships with farmers for the best ingredients that are also constantly innovating. Especially when I would visit Farm.One for the shocking delicious tastes from microgreens, herbs and flowers grown vertically and hydropincally. The network of farmers became like family when I would call a Miami dragon fruit supplier who shared her stories for protecting her fruits during hurricanes and then speaking to her mother, who owned a distribution center in Manhattan, about

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Future Tense newsletter: Technology is cyclical.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by piggypa/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about the late, great 30 Rock—in particular, an episode from Season 1. Dennis Duffy (Dean Winters), the marvelously terrible boyfriend of Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), is a bit of a technology entrepreneur—by which I mean he is the Beeper King, the last beeper salesman on Manhattan. “Which is cool,” his then-girlfriend Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) tells a skeptical friend. But when he tries to sell beepers to her staff of TV writers, she loses it and tells him to leave. “You work in a business. Businesspeople need beepers,” he insists. “No, they need cellphones,” she says, exasperated. “Oh yeah, for now,” he replies. “But the beeper’s gonna be making a comeback. Technology’s cyclical.”

The joke, of course, is that technology isn’t cyclical—that the beeper is as dead as the former

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