Uber’s Brand Refresh

Uber has spent the past year trying to convince customers that it has put its problematic reputation in the past. And what better way to usher in a new era than with a complete rebrand?

Uber has unveiled an entirely new look that will eventually feature a fresh, custom-made typeface, new colors, a redesigned in-app look including animations and more.

The company says this rebrand reflects Uber’s transition from “San Francisco startup to a global company,” particularly one that’s become a “platform of mobility.”

New-road-GIF-FINAL

The company is doing away with the symbol that’s been featured on its app icon for the past two years. Through the aforementioned internal research, the team discovered that most consumers don’t actually associate the symbol with Uber, and that drivers would even turn around the decal that featured it to the other side, which read “Uber,” so passengers could have an easier time recognizing their cars.

Uber found its strength in three things: Its name, the U and the color black. So in creating a new logo, they leaned into those features.

That new logo is a simple wordmark that (naturally) reads “Uber,” with a capital U, in Uber Move, a typeface that was custom-designed for the brand. Previously they’d been using Clan Pro font, which, though they licensed it, they still had to share with other brands that did the same.

In terms of color, Uber is zeroing in on black and white in its new branding. However, there are several secondary colors, all of which take inspiration from transportation, and feature bold-but-soft hues of purple, green, red, yellow, orange and brown. A bright shade of blue is the “safety color,” inspired by the associations of blue with security in everyday life: The United Nations, for example, as well as the blue safety lights that are omnipresent on college campuses. This blue will feature more heavily in the app, as an accent color.

The hope is that this rebranding will make Uber’s presence is a bit clearer to riders, drivers and potential customers. Uber’s No.1 imperative in the redesign is “seeing Uber and knowing Uber,”

Podcast: LinkedIn’s Fundraising Power

LinkedIn as a fundraising powerhouse? Um, Yeah.

From finding highly engaged volunteers to donor cultivation to an offering of several NPO specific tools, it’s one of the best social media platforms to support individual giving efforts. I had a blast chatting it up with Taylor Shanklin of Pursuant about, “How to use LinkedIn for Your Nonprofit.”

Take a listen:

Screenshot (39)

Apple Proposes New Emojis With Disabilities

Emojis with wheelchairs, white canes, and various other disabilities may soon be coming to your iPhone: Apple has proposed a suite of 13 new emojis “to better represent individuals with disabilities.”

“Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all,” Apple wrote in its proposal to the Unicode Consortium, which governs the of new emojis.

In its proposal, Apple also noted that the emoji was developed with input from American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf.

Anyone can propose new emojis. Each proposal wends its way through layers of committees before making it to your phone, and not all proposals are approved. Apple’s has been accepted by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee and will now move on to the next step, discussion and review by the Unicode Technical Committee. The UTC’s next meeting is slated for April 3–5.

Here are some of the proposed emojis:

apple-disable-emojis

 

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and First Round Capital Invest $3 million in Bail Reform Startup

Nationwide, 62 percent of the jail population accounts for people who can’t afford bail, according to the Vera Institute of Justice. A lot of these incarcerated individuals are behind bars because they allegedly committed crimes at the misdemeanor level or lower. This is a significant statistic from a human rights perspective, as well as an economic one. It costs about $38 million a day to keep these largely nonviolent people behind bars, according to the Pretrial Justice Institute.

This is where Promise, a de-carceration startup that just raised over $3 million in a round led by First Round Capital with participation from Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, 8VC and Kapor Capital, comes in. Last Father’s Day, Jay-Z penned an op-ed about the bail industry and pre-trial incarceration. He noted how every year, $9 billion is wasted incarcerating people who have not been convicted of crimes.

jay-z-anti-incarceration-app

Promise, which is part of Y Combinator’s  current batch of startups, offers counties and local governments an alternative to holding low-risk people behind bars simply because they can’t afford bail.

For each participant, Promise provides counties with a comprehensive intake procedure and then sets up each participant with a care plan specific to them. Promise will then monitor and support participants by helping them ensure they know when they’re supposed to appear in court, and remind them of obligations like drug testing or substance abuse treatment needed. The app also helps participants access job training, housing, counseling and referrals.

Instead of a county paying to incarcerate someone simply because they can’t afford to post bail, they can use Promise to monitor compliance with court orders and better keep tabs on people via the app and, if needed, GPS monitoring devices. Counties, courts, case managers and other stakeholders can also access progress reports of individuals to monitor compliance.

Already, Promise is onboarding one county this week and is in talks with another three counties. Instead of a county jail paying $190 per day per person, Promise charges some counties just $17 per person per day. In some cases, Promise charges even less per person.

 

Jeff Bezos Sends Dreamers To College

Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, donated $33 million to TheDream.US, a national scholarship fund for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and are protected from deportation under the DACA program.

The grant is the largest in the organization’s history. It will go to DACA-eligible graduating high school students around the country. Each student will get $33,000 in aid over four years to help pay tuition and fees. The students will be eligible to attend one of 76 colleges and universities in 15 states that partner with the scholarship fund. At present, nearly 3,000 undocumented students are enrolled today through TheDream.US.

Bezos is the richest person in the world. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index puts his wealth at $108 billion. “MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships,” he said.

bez04_ehigher-res-horizontal (1)

In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg gave $5 million to TheDream.US to fund college scholarships.

Bezos’ donation is the latest step by the nation’s top CEOs to protect Dreamers. Donald Trump moved to rescind DACA in September, and it is set to end March 5.

More than 100 business leaders, including Bezos, signed a letter to Congress this week urging Congress to pass legislation preserving provisions of the program. Failure to act will cost businesses valuable employees and hurt the economy.

Facebook Goes Back to Its Roots

Welp…it was cute while it lasted.

Today, Facebook began to change the way it filters posts and videos on its News Feed, the start of what CEO Mark Zuckerberg said would be a series of changes in the design of the world’s largest social network.

In a sweeping post, Zuck said the company would change the filter for the News Feed to prioritize what friends and family share, while reducing the amount of non-advertising content from publishers and brands.

Facebook, which owns four of the world’s most popular smartphone apps including Instagram, has for years prioritized material that its complex computer algorithms think people will engage with through comments, “likes” or other ways of showing interest.

Zuckerberg, the company’s 33-year-old co-founder, said that would no longer be the goal.

“I‘m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions,” Zuckerberg wrote.

The shift was likely to mean that the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement would go down in the short term, he wrote, but he added it would be better for users and for the business over the long term.

Advertising on the social network would be unaffected by the changes, John Hegeman, a Facebook vice president, said in an interview.

The company has been criticized for algorithms that may have prioritized misleading news and misinformation in people’s feeds, influencing the 2016 American presidential election, as well as political discourse in many countries.

Last year, Facebook disclosed that Russian agents had used the network to spread inflammatory posts to polarize the American electorate. Congress is expected to hold more hearings this month, questioning the role social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) YouTube play in spreading propaganda.

Zuckerberg said an overhaul of the company’s products, beginning with changes to the algorithms that control the News Feed, would help to address those concerns. Similar changes will be made to other products in the coming months, he said.

With more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is the world’s largest social media network. It is also among the world’s largest corporations, reporting $36 billion in revenue, mostly from advertising, during the 12 months that ended on Sept. 30.

John Legend Unlocks Futures

John Legend and his nonprofit, FreeAmerica, teamed up with New Profit and Bank of America to scan the country for the most impactful returning citizen social entrepreneurs. This partnership resulted in, Unlocked Futures, a 16-month accelerator for social entrepreneurs impacted by the criminal justice system.

After analyzing hundreds of applications, eight were selected including Flikshop, an app that allows you to send postcards to an inmate from your phone, tablet, or the web.

“Though 1 in 4 Americans has a criminal record, too often are formerly incarcerated individuals locked out of job opportunities because of their past. I have seen that entrepreneurship is a viable way for formerly incarcerated individuals to build sustainable livelihoods and contribute to their communities and neighborhoods,” said Legend in a statement. “We hope Unlocked Futures will serve as a powerful tool to break through the barriers to opportunity that exist for so many who have criminal records.”

Legend seems incredibly hopeful when it comes to these entrepreneurs and assisting in the process of giving them an opportunity to grow their businesses. “It’s clear that we’ve got a long way to go but, with people like you working tirelessly to change the system, I’m optimistic.”

Check out the video below, showcasing highlights from the entrepreneurs.