Your weekly briefing on market status, tech news and developing trends.
Monday, 30 Aug 2021
Imagine McDonald’s turning 100% vegetarian. Or Google moving their business offline. Or Exxon, BP and Shell teaming up to fight climate change.
This should give you some idea of why OnlyFans banning adult content was on everyone’s lips last week.
But there’s much more to it than just a dramatic headline.
PIC OF THE WEEK
“It’s like running a bricks-and-mortar shop and being chased out of town by religious zealots every six months.”
- Lola Hunt, OnlyFans creator
Two weeks ago, the popular subscription-only platform OnlyFans announced it would ban sexually explicit content from the site, starting October.
This decision caused a massive backlash against OnlyFans, which many times has been praised for giving sex workers a safe platform. People who helped it become a multibillion-dollar company were now being effectively kicked out.
And then last Wednesday, surprising absolutely everyone, OnlyFans backed off from its plans. “We will continue to provide a home for all creators,” wrote the company in a tweet. WHY IT'S INTERESTING
First, let’s take a look at the reasons behind OnlyFans’ initial decision.
“The short answer is banks,” said the company’s CEO Tim Stokely in an interview with Financial Times, adding that OnlyFans “had no choice” but to change its policy. He then explained that some major banks had “flagged and rejected” transactions involving OnlyFans and refused service because of “reputational risk.”
Financial companies nowadays are extremely careful not to violate adult content rules set out by payment services giants like MasterCard. This April, MasterCard changed their policies and now will require every adult service to verify the age and consent of performers who publish their content online.
OnlyFans is in a tough spot. On one hand, it’s a $5.9 billion company with over 7 million users who spend money there each month. On the other hand, it’s struggling to find new investors. They seem reluctant to get close to the company that’s often straight out labeled a porn site.
What makes OnlyFans’ position potentially even more problematic is the fact that sex workers are the very reason why the platform is so popular today. The UK-based company was founded in 2016, but it really boomed last year, when the pandemic forced many creators to find a place that would allow them to charge fans for exclusive content.
And while OnlyFans’ back-and-forth has definitely raised some eyebrows, so far it seems like the platform is not turning its back on the community that helped it become successful (unlike, say, Tumblr).
But with time, it may be pressured to look for different ways of running its business.
According to IDC, in three years more than half of Fortune 500 companies’ will revolve around digital products and services. Here's how they are maximizing developer productivity, engagement, and business value by the means of a Developer Experience Engineer.
Experiments with swarms of robots have shown that sporadic social interactions can increase the spread of newly discovered information, compared to sharing the information with all members of a group at once. The less-is-more strategy of distributing information over time can increase the probability of getting a group to choose the best option.
Ron Friedman, an award-winning social psychologist who specializes in human motivation, shares how using reverse engineering helps to master new skills faster. According to Friedman, the reverse engineering process opens your eyes to new opportunities within your own work. Far from making you a copycat, taking the time to study someone else’s work closely, actually makes you better.
Futurist Juan Enriquez presents a historical outlook on what humanity once deemed acceptable - from human sacrifice and public executions to slavery and eating meat. Enriquez makes a surprising case that exponential advances in technology lead to more ethical behavior.
APPS & TOOLS WE LOVED
NoteLedge: a different note-taking app, especially useful for creatives. Capture ideas from web pages, organize everything in one place and make sketches to start your own design.