Slack announced that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to the proposed public listing of its Class A common stock. It is expected that the public listing will take place after the SEC completes its review process.
Reuters reported in December of 2018 that Slack hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to lead its initial public offering (IPO) in 2019. According to Reuters, Slack is hoping to fetch a valuation of well over $10 billion in its IPO.
Crunchbase recently reported that Slack disclosed that it had 10 million daily active users. Slack also noted it has 1,500 apps in its directory and penetration into 65% of the Fortune 500.
What does this mean for Slack users? So far, the most notable change is Slack’s new logo. It is understandable for users to become a bit nervous after hearing that Slack, something many people use for work-related projects and communication, may go public. We are just going to have to wait and see what happens next.
Slack posted an apology and an update after its controversial decision to block accounts of users who had visited and logged on from Iran. Slack acknowledges that it did not handle communication well in regards to their decision to block some users.
The problem appears to have happened when Slack updated its system for applying location information to comply with U.S. trade embargoes and economic sanctions regulations.
Soon after updating, we discovered that we made a series of mistakes and inadvertently deactivated a number of accounts that we shouldn’t have. We recognize the disruption and inconvenience this caused and we sincerely apologize to the people affected by our actions. In fact, we also apologize to the people whose accounts we intended to disable in order to comply with these regulations. We did not handle the communication well and in both cases we failed to live up to our own standards for courtesy and customer-centricity.
Slack says it did not block any user based on their nationality or ethnicity. What happened was, at least in part, because Slack uses location information principally derived from IP addresses to implement required blocks.
In my opinion, Slack did the right thing by publicly apologizing for its mistake and also for providing an explanation of what happened. They are being transparent about what led to their mistake. In addition, Slack says it is working hard to restore access to users who access was blocked in error. Slack also provided an email address where users can let Slack know if they made a mistake in blocking a specific user’s access.
It is worth noting, however, that Slack will continue to update their systems over the next few weeks and will be blocking service to IP addresses associated with an embargoed country.
If you travel to an embargoed country, you will temporarily lose Slack access while you are there. I suppose this could potentially affect people who travel to certain countries to visit family over the holidays.
Instapaper announced that they are relaunching Instapaper Premium. They also are bringing Instapaper to European Union users.
In July of 2018, Instapaper announced that they had gone independent after entering into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc.
InstaPaper Premium is a subscription for $2.99/month or $29.99/year that offers the following features:
- Full-text search for all articles in your account
- Unlimited Notes
- Text-to-Speech playlists on mobile
- Speed reading to get through all of your articles up to 3x faster
- An ad-free Instapaper website
- “Send to Kindle” using a bookmarklet on Instapaper’s mobile apps
If you decide not to subscribe to Instapaper Premium, you will continue with a standard free account without access to Premium features.
In the blog post, Instapaper also announced that they are making Instapaper accessible to EU users.
Additionally, today we are bringing back Instapaper to European Union users. Over the past two months we have taken a number of actions to address the General Data Protection Regulation, and we are happy to announce our return to the European Union.
Instapaper announced that they are going independent. As you may recall, Instapaper joined Pinterest in 2016. A few years before that, betaworks acquired Instapaper from Marco Arment.
Today, we’re announcing that Pinterest has entered into an agreement to transfer ownership of Instapaper to Instant Paper, Inc., a new company owned and operated by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper since it was sold to betaworks by Marco Arment in 2013. The ownership will occur after a 21 day waiting period designed to give our users fair notice about the change of control with respect to their personal information.
Instapaper says that not much is changing for the product outside of the new ownership. Instapaper will continue to be built and maintained by the same people who’ve been working on Instapaper for the past five years. They plan to continue offering a robust service that focuses on readers and reading experience for the foreseeable future.
With Pinterest’s support, Instapaper was able to rebuild search, introduce an extension for Firefox, make a variety of optimizations for the latest mobile operating systems, and more.
Wikispaces has been around since 2005. It is used by educators, companies, and individuals across the globe. Those who are currently using Wikispaces need to find an alternative soon. Wikispaces has announced that it is time for them to say farewell.
Over the last twelve months we have been carrying out a complete technical review of the infrastructure and software we use to serve Wikispaces users. As part of the review, it became apparent that the required investment to bring the infrastructure and code in line with modern standards is very substantial. We have explored all possible options for keeping Wikispaces running but have had to conclude that it is no longer viable to continue to run the service in the long term. So, it is with no small degree of nostalgia, that we will begin to close down later this year.
Wikispace is going to undertake a phased shutdown approach. This is being done to regulate the system load on the export tool as users depart from Wikispaces. If you have stuff on Wikispaces that you want to keep, it appears you should begin making use of the export tool as soon as possible.
Scheduled Closure dates:
- Classroom and Free Wikis end of service: July 31, 2018
- Plus and Super Wikis end of service: September 30, 2018
- Private Label Wikis end of service: January 31st 2019
Storify was designed to help the voices online that matter, and to make the web tell a story. It was co-founded by Burt Herman and Xavier Damman. Storify has announced that it is reaching its “End-of-Life”, and will no longer be available after May 16, 2018.
As of December 12, 2017, no new Storify.com accounts can be created. It will no longer be possible to submit requests for bug fixes to either Storify or Zendesk. No new or existing bug fixes will be addressed.
Existing Storify customers will be able to continue using all capabilities of the service until May 16, 2018 – except for the ability to create new stories (which will only be available for a limited time.) That ability will end on May 1, 2018. Storify recommends that existing Storify users export any content that they would like to keep by May 16, 2018, by using the export functionality in Storify.
Storify points out that existing Storify users might want to gain access to Storify 2 (after Storify shuts down). Storify 2 is a feature of Livefyre, which requires a Livefyre license.
Flattr was designed to help people sustainably fund the content that they love. It lets people reward their favorite creators, and it gives creators an easy way to make money from their work. Flattr will launch a new version on October 24, 2017.
The Flattr button is history. It is being replaced with a privacy-friendly algorithm. Instead of clicking a button to give money to your favorite content creators, Flattr users will need to install the Flattr browser extension, which will automatically flattr the websites you visit, based on engagement.
Flattr is also moving from their wallet system and to a system of credit card subscription payments. They feel this change simplifies the communication around the details of using Flattr. When the new Flattr is launched, it will require USD currency (instead of the Euro that Flattr was previously accepting.) Creators will receive money from Flattr in US dollars starting from October.
The subscriptions are going to run for 30 days instead of per calendar month. This change appears to be to benefit creators. Previously, new creators were starting with less than a full month. This change also helps Flattr, because it spreads out the timing of payments to creators instead of having it all happen at the same time.
Flattr is also changing its fee structure. Creators that receive money will be charged a monthly fee of 7.5%. They also will be charged a payment processing fee of 9%. This change is being done because Flattr changed to US currency and implemented a credit card based subscription – and this caused their payment processing fees to increase.