The Department of Product
Discord monetization strategies, Slack ditches X, Spotify growth Plus: 50+ product analytics tools, Microsoft impresses, Google Meet gets appearance enhancers
Hi product people 👋,
Discord is expanding its new monetization strategy, making its app hub available to users in Europe and the UK. Developers will keep 70% of the revenue, with Discord taking a 30% cut. Discord’s senior product manager, Mason Sciotti, says the company has known how valuable its open API has been since its inception, and the app store is a natural extension of that.
The open API approach taken by Discord’s product team is in stark contrast to the monetization strategies deployed at Reddit and X but a 30% cut is still a hefty commission.
Meanwhile, quarterly earnings season kicked off this week and major tech companies reported their latest performance. Microsoft impressed with a 27% jump in net income as the company reported revenues of $56.52 billion. Product highlights worth noting include its Intelligent Cloud segment which includes GitHub and Azure which increased 19% to $23 billion and Microsoft 365 subscribers, up 10% to 76.7 million. Teams also continues to maintain its grip on the workplace comms space with more than 320 million monthly active users.
Other company earnings this week include Spotify which impressed investors by posting a profit with monthly active users growing 26% to 574 million. This quarter has seen the company roll out a series of generative AI tools for creators and the launch of a new audiobook product as it seeks to expand outside of traditional music and podcasts.
Finally, and speaking of AI, if you think you’re able to tell the difference between generative AI images and human created images, this quiz from Google will put your skills to the test.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Your product briefing
New from the Department of Product Substack this week
🧠Knowledge Series #10 – DevOps explained and terminology worth knowing
Continuous integration vs continuous deployment, how do companies like Slack and LinkedIn do DevOps and what is the role of AI in the future of DevOps?
Product Database: Analytics and tracking tools
A comprehensive database of 50+ tools product teams and websites are using to measure their product’s performance.
(Department of Product)
Teams often make worse decisions than individuals by relying too much on widely understood data while disregarding information possessed by only a few individuals. (NN Group)
Data is gathered in two primary categories: usage data and user data. Usage data pertains to the way a user interacts with a service. User data is specific to a user and includes personal information like email address, payment details and more. In this article, a Google ML engineer explains everything you need to know about managing your data – and best practices for your product. (Logan Thorneloe)
We believe in Augmented Intelligence just as much as we believe in Artificial Intelligence. Intelligent machines augment intelligent humans, driving a geometric expansion of what humans can do.
– A16z investor Marc Andreessen in the newly published Techno-Optimist Manifesto
Process – How Linear runs product design
Product development software Linear’s CEO outlines how he company approaches product design. “The way it’s constructed doesn’t really matter”, he says. (Karri Sarrinen)
Tools you can use
Dashboards – turn spreadsheets into visual data dashboards
Hay – a plugin to boost your engineering team’s wellbeing
Galileo – transform text into fully fledged Figma designs
Korl – product presentations tailored to different audiences
New product features, launches and announcements this week
Researchers at Meta have unveiled Habitat 3 – the latest iteration of software designed to simulate how robots might assist real humans in the home. Without simulation software, attempting to collect data sets about physical locations and human characteristics could take years. Habitat helps researchers get it done in minutes.
Use cases currently in testing include:
Cleaning and tidying spaces
WhatsApp is testing a new self-destructing voice messages feature which automatically deletes messages after a set period. The feature is designed to help boost privacy.
Slack has ditched its API integration with X. The Twitter app for Slack is no longer available and on its product release blog, the company says this is due to “upstream API limitations”. Other updates from Slack worth knowing this week include the rollout of a new “jukebox” feature that allows users to select from a number of audio options when waiting for other participants to join huddles.
Google Meet has added a new filter to its video calling tool designed to help users subtly enhance their appearance. The new features include under eye lighting and smoothing. Google says the features have been highly requested by users to help them boost their confidence.
📈 Product data and trends to stay informed
87% of US teens own an iPhone and 88% expect an iPhone to be their next purchase. Weekly use of VR devices by teens declined from 14% to just 10%. Fascinating insights from the 46th Teens Survey 2023.
56% of Americans say they usually click “agree” before reading online privacy policies. Something to bear in mind the next time you’re tasked with implementing cookie banners.
Microsoft’s Azure revenues jumped 29% to an estimated $16.7 billion, beating Google Cloud which lost six points of growth in the same period.
China’s largest LGBT dating app, Blued, is expanding in Southeast Asia and the U.S., amid challenges at home due to increased state control of LGBTQIA content. The company boasts 7.3 million global monthly active users and has ambitions to surpass Grindr’s 12.8 million.
Other product news in brief
Snap returned to revenue growth after two periods of declines, with sales of $1.19 billion.
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella says he regrets pulling out of the mobile market.
Plaid has hired a former Expedia exec as its new CFO.
Notion Q&A, Amazon Maps and Hallucination rates
Plus: WhatsApp expands, SaaS product benchmarks, Gmail transforms email, how to assess a job offer with equity
GPTs for everything, Google Maps gets Immersive, Netflix’s QR codes
Plus: Slack’s CEO exits, How to use conjoint analysis, a new tool for reading API documentation
Google Slides’ superpowers, a Sublime second brain, Pinterest’s PMF
Plus: Tech salary report, how to manage API integrations, Spotify, Instagram and LinkedIn MAUs in context
Netflix’s $8 billion quarter, Figma in limbo, Synthetic UX research. Plus: YouTube’s major release, a new way to manage your calendar, the Web Technologies Report 2023
Freemium fallacies, Shopify AR, Space OS. Plus: Instagram Threads says no to news, Spotify on managing 500+ squads, Dropbox’s CEO defends remote work
Google Docs’ new competitor, AI wars, App industry benchmarks
Plus: Airbnb’s ML patent, DoorDash’s swipe for restaurants and Uber expands to returns
Spotify’s voice clones, Apple’s new patent, surge pricing surges
Plus: Snapchat’s subscriber milestone, a GA4 alternative, DALL-E 3
Google Bard Extensions and TimeOS
Plus: Slides gets indicators, WhatsApp payments expand, Fitbit’s makeover
Uber’s secret task rabbit and DuoLingo’s new Music app
Plus: Retool AI, permissions simplified, Meta’s powerful new LLM
Airtable AI and a new browser
Plus: Meta’s paid sub plans, Airbnb’s trouble in NYC and how to measure engineering productivity