I hope this edition of Login brings you joy. If not, feel free to throw it away.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Facebook’s decision to unite the technical guts of its three giant messaging services could not only cement its dominance of instant messaging but also help fend off future break-up attempts by antitrust cops, Axios' Scott Rosenberg and David McCabe report.
Why it matters: The effort to unite the back-end technology that runs Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp is more than just an engineering call.
Driving the news: As New York Times' Mike Isaac reported, and Facebook confirmed to Axios, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has decided to integrate the back-end infrastructures so that users of all three can directly message one another. The plan is still early and exploratory, according to Facebook.
Why it matters, for Facebook's business:
Why it matters, for privacy on Facebook:
Why it matters, for Facebook users:
My thought bubble: Many users of Instagram and WhatsApp don't realize they're on Facebook-owned turf. Linking the services will tie their public images to Facebook's, which has taken a beating.
The bottom line: Facebook has always aimed to define and map the "social graph" of humanity. It was only a matter of time before Instagram and WhatsApp users were added to that graph.
Go deeper: Read their full story here.
The StoryCorps recording booth in Grand Central Terminal. Photo: Andrew Holbrooke/Corbis via Getty Images
StoryCorps founder Dave Isay, who has spent a large part of his career facilitating conversations between individuals in person, tells David that the way large online platforms has transformed discourse “scares the s--- out of me.”
The big picture: Since its 2003 founding, StoryCorps has recorded conversations between people who know each other — preserving the interactions for posterity.
Details: Isay describes himself as a limited user of Facebook and Twitter, finding that online platforms have polarized political debate by rewarding frustration and anger with more likes and comments.
Isay was featured on an after-dinner panel for donors on Saturday about polarization. A Koch-affiliated foundation is among the funders of the new project, called One Small Step.
What's next: Hundreds of people have participated in One Small Step interviews so far, Isay said, but the organization expects to grow the program significantly.
Recharge, a San Francisco startup that made headlines a few years ago for offering hotel stays by the minute (for a nap, shower or phone call, the company says), is expanding to offer the same service in people's homes, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
The big picture: Technology has enabled the creation of online marketplaces that segment the use of physical space in new ways — from Airbnb's home-sharing service, to companies like Breather that let you book others' office space for a meeting or call. Even Airbnb recently acquired Gaest, a marketplace for renting out office space.
How it works: Guests in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York can book a stay in an available home via Recharge's app just as they would book a visit in one of its hotels.
By the numbers: To date, Recharge has had 50,000 bookings, with an average stay of two hours, says Bamfo. It works with 50 hotels and has approved 1,100 homes. Eventually, says Bamfo, Recharge wants to purchase and manage its own hotels to have more flexibility.
Funding: Since raising $2.3 million in seed funding in 2016, Recharge has brought on strategic investors like JetBlue Ventures and Fifth Wall (which has ties to the real estate industry), bringing its total funding to $10 million.
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Facebook is building new operations centers and programs around the world that will focus on election integrity and help fight fake news and voter suppression, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
Why it matters: The company has not been able to get ahead of constant abuses on its platforms to manipulate elections, drawing ire from regulators that are already wary that the platform is too big to manage itself.
Facebook said in a blog post this morning that it's ramping up investment in election security around the world, adding fact-checking programs and artificial intelligence, and changing policies.
Read more of Sara's piece.
It's tough to keep up with all the social media apps, so you are forgiven if you haven't gotten around to checking out TikTok just yet. But, with millions of users in the U.S. (and an estimated 130 million globally, mostly in China), it's probably time to understand what the cool kids are up to.
Background: TikTok is a short video app along the lines of Vine, but with more of a meme and music video bent.
Go deeper: TikTok is cringey and that's fine (The Atlantic)
Find out just how tone deaf you are.