How Google's Keeping Us Up With the Election -- Tech Roundup

Don't feel like watching or listening to the nearly painful rundown of the election drama, but still want to see how everything unfolds and who will be occupying the Oval Office come January?

Well, Alphabet's (GOOGL) here to help.

"Typing in 'election results' will bring up state-by-state and national results -- and updates -- for president, the U.S. Senate, House and governors, plus state-level referendums and ballot propositions," according to Silicon Beat.

Perhaps you're a cord-cutter, but wouldn't mind seeing the election results broken down a bit more in depth. Don't worry, there's an option for you too.

Well, thanks to Google's YouTube platform, you can do just that, as it will be live-streaming coverage of the election from multiple channels. If the election has showed us anything this year, it's that big tech and social media are playing a much, much larger role.

Shares of Alphabet closed at $802.03 Monday, up 2.7%.

Alphabet and Facebook (see following item) are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells GOOGL or FB? Learn more now.


Last week, a U.K. privacy group raised concerns about Facebook's (FB) WhatsApp privacy policy, arguing that it "must stop processing user data from its WhatsApp messaging service while they are investigating the privacy policy changes the company announced in August," according to Bloomberg.

Well, this week the company has pulled back, saying that it will no longer target users for ads or product improvements based on their data.

That was a pretty quick turnaround for a company like Facebook, who let's just say, hasn't always played ball when it comes to pressures from other countries.

While the policy was announced back in August, the Information Commissioner's Office -- which raised issue with it in the U.K. -- said its policy was too vague and didn't give its users enough of an explanation.

For that, WhatsApp has agreed to "pause" the use of its latest policy change in the U.K., although I'd suspect this is only temporary until the company sorts out its technical terms.

Shares of Facebook closed at $122.15 Monday, up 1.2%.


Snap goes for ultimate control and has its IPO in sight.

If we though Facebook and Alphabet left a majority of control in their leaders (41% voting control for Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google and 56% for Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook after their IPOs), then Snap is going to look even crazier, with CEO Evan Spiegel and co-founder and CTO Bobby Murphy retaining a whopping 74% control in the company.

The hope for Snap is to raise up to $4 billion, giving the company a valuation between $25 billion and $35 billion, according to Bloomberg.

It was also made public that Google is a recent investor in the company as well.

It's not all that rare to see founders retain a large portion of control in their companies, even once they go public. Often times, splits into separately-traded stocks (those with voting rights, those without), like A shares and C shares, have occurred.

Google and Under Armour (UA) are two recent examples of that, with Zuckerberg looking for Facebook to make a similar split to retain his control.

In any regard, if Snap commands a market cap north of $25 billion, surely investors will want to know if Twitter (TWTR) has a brighter future ahead, sporting a market cap of just of $13 billion.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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