Jun 1, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon ...

Situational awareness: The North Korea summit is back on again. The quote to remember from President Trump as he announced the decision: “I don’t want to use the term maximum pressure any more.”

1 big thing: A tech-tonic day

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two of the biggest tech companies are repositioning themselves — one to get rid of troublesome baggage, the other to expand into new territory.

1) Facebook is getting rid of the "Trending" news section that has caused it so many headaches, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports. Instead, it says it's trying other things, like "breaking news" labels for posts from publishers and a news video section in Facebook Watch.

  • Why it matters: It's the latest sign that Facebook is trying to crack down on the practices that have allowed fake news to spread on its platform — but also that it's still reckoning with all the ways the platform can be abused.
  • The catch: Even as Facebook makes these changes, it's losing the next generation. The Pew Research Center finds that it has fallen behind YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat as the most popular online platforms among teens.

2) Apple is trying to move into the digital ad business. The Wall Street Journal reports that it has met with Snap, Pinterest and other companies to lure them to an Apple network that would distribute ads to their apps, with Apple sharing revenue with the apps.

  • Why it matters: This would push Apple way beyond device sales — and into territory dominated by Google and Facebook.
  • The big picture, per Axios' Kim Hart: Big tech companies are all trying to expand into new areas (often on each others’ turf) in search of new growth. But doing so opens them up to new vulnerabilities. For Apple, moving into the advertising market means it will have to be in the user data business — something it’s prided itself on avoiding.

One more tech headache: Misconfigured Google Groups may accidentally be spewing private conversations over the internet, according to a study published today by Kenna Security, Axios' Joe Uchill reports.

  • Out of 9,600 public Google Groups it found, around a third leaked email sent through the platform.
2. What you missed

A sign on a window in San Francisco. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  1. The unemployment rate edged down to 3.8% in May, and the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs. What it means.
  2. Trump's tweet this morning about "Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers" may have disrupted the market. Here's why.
  3. Spotify has passed its stock price stability test, Axios' Dan Primack reports. Why it matters.
  4. The Trump administration will use emergency powers to force grid operators to buy power or power capacity from at-risk coal and nuclear plants. The details.
  5. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the NAFTA negotiations fell apart over an ultimatum from Vice President Mike Pence. What Pence said.
  6. Illegal border crossings remained high in May despite Trump's "zero tolerance" measures, the Washington Post reports.
3. 1 beach read

Illustration: Axios Visuals 

Each Friday in Axios PM this summer, I'll be telling you about a book I've just read and recommend, or one that I'm excited to dive into over the coming weekend.

  • And I'll be sharing your suggestions: Please just reply to this email, or shoot a note to mike@axios.com. And if you know someone who would enjoy our virtual book club, share this email and suggest they subscribe: http://link.axios.com/join/pm-signup

My leadoff beach read, which got a lot of buzz when I passed it around the News Desk at Axios HQ ... "The Performance Cortex: How Neuroscience Is Redefining Athletic Genius," by Zach Schonbrun, one of the most refreshing bylines in the N.Y. Times sports pages (Dutton):

  • "All my life I had admired athletes, fantasized about being one myself. ... All my life I had focused on the body. I realized now that my attention had been amiss." So the book focuses on "how the motor system produces the performances we watch and adore."
  • Dive in for "Why We Have a Brain" ... "Why Stephen Curry Is a Genius" ... "The Intelligence in Our Skin" ... "How Tom Brady Won Super Bowl LI" (spoiler: "the brain's inherent GPS") ... "A Paralyzed Man Who Moved."
Mike Allen