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Today's Topics

3 charts for you today:

  • How happy is the world on any given day? Analysing millions of messages from Twitter offers a pretty good insight.
  • Uber is trying to buy Grubhub to help give it the scale it needs to, finally, become profitable.
Since the coronavirus pandemic escalated in english speaking countries, the average "happiness" score of messages sent on social media platform Twitter has dropped substantially.

The website has some of the coolest data we've seen for a while. The result of research from multiple individuals and institutions, the site has been tracking the "average happiness" of tweets sent for more than a decade.

We've plotted the data since 2019, and on it you can see major holiday periods, as well as more tragic events such as terrorist attacks, just from how "happy" the average Twitter message is on each day.
Apart from just being a really fascinating set of data in general, we noticed 2 specific trends:

1) The latest data suggests people are either becoming more optimistic about the COVID-19 situation, or are simply talking about it a lot less. The average happiness score has almost bounced back towards pre-corona levels, after dropping significantly in mid-March.

2) Christmas really is just the best day of the year.

How does the model actually work?

The basis for the model is the scoring of about 10,000 unique English words, which are graded on a scale from 1-9 (1 being sad, 9 being very happy). Then, a random sample of about 10% of the ~500 million messages sent on Twitter every day is collected, and an average happiness score for that day is calculated for any tweets determined to be written in English.

We wanted to test the numbers a little more, so we crunched all of the available data from the site all the way back to 2008, to see if we could find any patterns in the language used across days of the week for example.
Sometimes the anticipation of the weekend on a Friday is almost as good as the weekend itself. If that's an intuition you've felt before, well here it is borne out in data. For Twitter users, Friday sees as many happy messages as Saturday, and even more than Sunday.

If you found this interesting be sure to check out the website actually behind all this data. We're just the messengers in this case.
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Uber needs scale. For the last 4 years Uber has racked up total operating losses of a little over $18.7bn. Those losses have been primarily funded by investors eager to reap the rewards once the ride-hailing, food delivery and transportation company has crushed its competition.

To be profitable though, Uber needs to keep growing and taking market share from its competitors. Hence why it wasn't a huge surprise this week when it emerged that Uber was looking to buy Grubhub, another online food delivery company responsible for about a quarter of the food delivery market in the US.

Bigger is better

A tie-up between Uber and Grubhub would lead to Uber being responsible for more than 50% of the food delivery market in the US. The immediate reaction from lawmakers in the US hasn't been great, with some questioning whether this deal would benefit consumers in any way, or simply leave Uber in such a commanding position that it could hike up prices, with consumers having fewer alternatives to turn to.

How likely is this deal?

Before the news broke (from the WSJ), Grubhub shares were trading at around $47. The proposed deal values them at closer to $60, and they are currently trading at about $54. In very simple terms the fact that the shares are only trading a little over halfway to the proposed offer value suggests most investors are betting that this deal only has about a ~50% chance of being approved and actually getting done.

Data Snacks

1) Popular trivia and quiz website Sporcle has built a $2.5m business running virtual trivia nights on Zoom.

2) Another 3 million people have filed for unemployment in the US, taking the total since the pandemic started to ~36 million.

3) Russia has ended its 6-week lockdown, with Putin sending millions of workers back to work, just after the number of confirmed cases in the country passed 250,000.

4) Netflix's market cap recently got close to crossing $200bn before falling back. Will it ever break through that threshold? Decide for yourself with the data and charts at Koyfin.**

5) Data from airplanes are a key part of weather forecasting, but COVID-19 has grounded many flights, with measurements from aircraft falling 75-80% relative to normal, making weather forecasting even more difficult.

6) The UN has forecast that global trade could fall 27% in the second quarter of this year.

**This is a sponsored data snack.

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Have a great weekend. See you Wednesday.
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