10 Things in Tech: Prime subs scrutiny

Hi there. Amazon has knowingly tricked people into signing up for Prime subscriptions, and an SNL star is headed to space this month.

Let’s dive in.

Human hand with robot arm over it pointing to Amazon Prime text on a laptop still 4×3

Amazon; Rachel Mendelson / Insider

1. Amazon has known for years that it funneled people into signing up for an Amazon Prime subscription without them realizing it. The Federal Trade Commission has asked Amazon about whether it tricked customers into signing up for Prime subscriptions. Internal documents show that some employees felt it did.

  • Since at least 2017, the company has been concerned that user interface designs on Amazon.com have led customers to feel manipulated into signing up for Prime.

  • Amazon executives were aware customers felt tricked. Plans to clarify the sign-up process were considered, but shelved because they reduced overall subscription growth, the documents show.

  • “We have been deliberately confusing,” one former employee told Insider. “It’s very un-Amazonian in terms of customer obsession.”

Read our exclusive report here.

In other news:

Lyft logo is displayed on the back of a car

Lyft logo is displayed on the back of a car

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

2. Lyft is adding a temporary surcharge. As fuel prices increase nationwide, the ride-hailing company has announced it will be implementing extra fees that will go to drivers, following Uber’s similar announcement. Here’s what you need to know.

3. A leaked email shows Microsoft expects its HoloLens-like goggles to disappoint soldiers. In two months, the U.S. Army is scheduled to begin real-world operational tests with Microsoft’s mixed reality goggles – and the company is bracing for negative feedback. We explain why.

4. Elon Musk challenged Vladimir Putin to a duel in a bizarre tweet. The Tesla CEO invited the Russian president to “single combat,” adding, “Stakes are Ukraine.” He also tweeted at the Russian presidency’s official account – see it here.

5. Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff shares the books that inspired his leadership style. To get a sense of what shaped Benioff’s perspectives on tech, leadership, and mindfulness, we asked him which books he recommends. He gave us a list that includes titles by Matthew McConaughey, Michael Dell, and the Dalai Lama. Here are his 19 must-read books.

6. Meta clarifies that it will not allow content that calls for assassinating heads of state like Putin. After Reuters reported the company would approve content encouraging the death of Russia’s president, Meta narrowed its policy. Here’s the latest.

7. Google employees are grilling leadership over the decision to terminate dozens of roles within Cloud. Staffers want affected employees to be given more time and support to find new roles. Read more on the layoffs here.

8. Former Disney chief Bob Iger is jumping into the metaverse. Iger is investing in Genies and joining its board of directors. Genies is a popular startup among celebrities like Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez. Here are eight other companies driving the future of digital assets in entertainment.

Odds and ends:

iphone running ios 15

iphone running ios 15

Dave Johnson

9. iOS 15.4 has been released. Apple’s latest iPhone operating system comes with a few updates, like the ability to unlock a phone while wearing a mask, and 37 fun new emojis – like a smiley face holding back tears. Here’s the latest on iOS 15.4.

10. It’s official: Pete Davidson is going to space. The SNL star and Kim Kardashian’s new boyfriend will blast off on Jeff Bezos’s next Blue Origin launch, scheduled for March 23. More on the rocket’s fourth human flight.

What we’re watching today:

  • Today is the provisional deadline for the European Commission’s decision on Amazon’s proposed acquisition of MGM.

  • Google for Games Developer Summit starts today.

  • Volkswagen is set to announce its annual earnings.

  • Digital Summit Phoenix takes place today and tomorrow.

  • Adobe Summit: The Digital Experience conference starts today.

Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.

Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Michael Cogley in London.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Leave a Comment