Weekly Digital News Roundup: June 18 – 22
Gmail adds ‘Undo Send’ button to cure your email anxiety
- According to the LA Times, if you forward co-worker gossip to the whole office, or deliver a love letter to your boss instead of your girlfriend, the goof-ups can be reversed. Gmail users can now retrieve their “oops” emails by putting a delay on all outgoing messages by at least five seconds. The truly paranoid can add a 30-second lag.
- Gmail users already worried over such possible snafus know that the undo option is not new; users could install it via Gmail Labs, an experimental section of Gmail, as early as 2009. The Google crew recognized its popularity and gave it an upgrade Monday, making some observers ask: What took so long?
- To turn it on, click “Settings” under the gear icon, and choose your cancellation time period. Users who had already opted for the function under Google Labs will have their preferences turned on by default.
GoFundMe Founders to Reap a Fortune in Buyout
- According to the Wall Street Journal, the two founders of crowdfunding site GoFundMe are relinquishing control and reaping a fortune by selling a majority stake in their startup to venture investors. Brad Damphousse said he and Andy Ballester have agreed to sell the controlling position to an investor group led by Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures. The deal, which is expected to close within two weeks, will value the San Diego company at around $600 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.
- The transaction will be a windfall for Damphousse, 33, and Ballester, 34, who started GoFundMe in 2010 as a way to help individuals and small charities raise money for good causes. The pair had resisted seeking capital on their own. Instead, they funded the company with GoFundMe’s revenue, which comes from charging 5% in fees per transaction.
- Following the deal, the founders will step down from the day-to-day oversight of the company but retain board seats. In their place, former Yahoo and Groupon executive Rob Solomon is heading a new leadership team at GoFundMe and plans to establish an office in Silicon Valley. Solomon, who was chief operating officer at Groupon for its fastest period of growth, will leave his current role as venture partner at Accel to become GoFundMe’s chief executive when the deal closes.
Amazon, Google ban Confederate flag
- According to BusinessReport.com, Google joined Amazon.com and eBay on Tuesday in pulling Confederate flag merchandise from their shopping site, following brick and mortar retailers in reacting to last week’s racially motivated mass shooting at a historic black South Carolina church.
- A Google search for Confederate flags pulled up several listings and sponsored ads promoting the flags. A similar search on Amazon’s website found tens of thousands of Confederate flags and merchandise such as T-shirts and knives bearing the flag’s image. Clicking on some of the Confederate flags and related items on Amazon’s website took users to an error page.
- Ebay does not break out sales of individual items sold on its site, but sources said this involves a tiny amount of sales for the company. Analysts said it could take some time for online retailers like eBay to remove merchandise posted by third-party sellers, given the sheer volume of products listed. There are around 800 million listings globally on eBay. E-commerce website Etsy also said it would remove all Confederate flag-related merchandise from its marketplace, which lists handmade and artisanal products.