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Photo: Verishop

Verishop, the luxury e-commerce site created by former Snapchat chief business officer Imran Khan, is launching a social network within its app on Monday, Khan told Axios.

Why it matters: Verishop's aim is to create an online experience akin to a digital shopping mall. To do that, it needs to create a shopping experience that's much more social and curated than what's offered via eBay or Amazon's shopping experiences.

Yes, but: Adding user-generated content to Verishop's curated feed poses some risk.

  • Khan told Axios that the company will filter for potentially misleading or harmful content using both artificial intelligence and human review.
  • Users will be able to report bad content. Content which is flagged by users will automatically be removed once flagged by a user until it is manually reviewed.

Details: Starting Monday, the company will allow brands and users to upload photos and videos of merchandise and lifestyle content, with the idea of creating a social shopping network for people tag products in their posts, share curated collection boards, and follow people and brands that inspire them. 

  • Users will be able to save collections — groups of photos and videos — to their personal shopping profiles and follow influencers and brands that can do the same.
  • Users will receive profile and product recommendations via a "For you" feed. A separate "Following" feed will show brands, influencers and users they chose to follow.

Be smart: Chinese tech giants like Alibaba have pioneered incorporating e-commerce and payments with their their social media and video apps.

  • American tech giants, like Instagram, Facebook and Google are pushing aggressively into shopping amid the pandemic, as more retail business moves virtually.
  • These companies started out by accruing mass user bases, and then later pushed to monetize those loyal users via advertising and now, commerce.
  • Verishop is doing the opposite by launching a shopping marketplace first and a social media experience around it second.

The big picture: The company, which launched in July 2019, has been boosted by the transition to e-commerce during the pandemic.

  • It now houses nearly 1,000 independent and direct-to-consumer brands across all lifestyle categories (home, fashion, beauty, etc.), including household names like Madewell and AllSaints.
  • In July, Axios reported that the company was expected to sell $50 million worth of goods by the year's end.
  • About two-thirds of its shoppers are under the age of 35.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

More than 20,000 users submit cases to Facebook oversight board

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

More than 20,000 people have submitted cases to Facebook's independent Oversight Board since the board started accepting user appeals in October, the organization announced Monday, and it has selected six initial cases for review.

Why it matters: The number of submissions speaks to the multitude of people who feel the platform's moderation of their content has wronged them. The tiny number of cases getting reviewed speaks to the limits of human oversight on a platform the size of Facebook, as well as to the novelty of the board's process and the complex nature of the cases chosen.

Chernin Group invests $30 million in subscription media company Surfline

Surfline

TCG, a venture affiliate of The Chernin Group that invests in media, entertainment and tech businesses, is investing $30 million in Surfline, a media company that focuses on surfing coverage and live wave and weather forecasts for surfers, executives tell Axios.

The big picture: For Chernin, the investment follows a similar pattern of investing in niche content businesses that don't rely on advertising.

2 mins ago - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time

People wait outside the Emergency room of the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California on Dec 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge following holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data updates.