Coronavirus Updates: Talespin's HR Tips Managing WFH Staff; TikTok Ticks Up 2 Billion Downloads

Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.

  • Talespin releases learning tools for HR as staff works remotely in pandemic world
  • TikTok's 2 billion download record as quarantine drives hunt for content

    Talespin releases learning tools for HR as staff works remotely in pandemic world

    Talespin

    Culver-City virtual reality training startup Talespin announced Wednesday it is unveiling a series of learning modules for the COVID-19 age called "Leading Through Uncertainty." Modules include Creating Calmness Through Succinct Communication, Regulating Emotions During Uncertain Times, Communicating Productively with a Distraught Employee, De-Escalating an Emotionally Charged Situation, and Disagreeing Productively During Challenging Times.

    Talespin is best known for a dystopian demonstration it released showing an older worker being laid off, but Talespin CEO and Co-Founder Kyle Jackson tells dot.LA the new modules are more focused on helping employees adapt to how their companies are changing rather than layoffs. He also says Talespin is getting more interest lately from Fortune 250 companies interested in training a more remote workforce. "There's a big belief that we're going to make a leap forward in the next phase of work," said Jackson. "They are starting to explore this stuff more meaningfully."

    The new modules will be available in partnership with Cornerstone, which invested in Talespin's $15 million Series B funding round last month. "The current climate has created a renewed focus on workplace learning and has accelerated the need for leaders to develop new skills to help their organizations respond and adapt quickly to their new environment," Heidi Spirgi, Cornerstone's Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, said in a statement.

    TikTok's 2 billion download record as quarantine drives hunt for content

    Social video app TikTok, the popular video sharing app owned by Chinese media company ByteDance, has been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally on the App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates. The latest milestone comes just five months after TikTok surpassed 1.5 billion downloads. In Q1 2020, it generated the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter, accumulating more than 315 million installs across the App Store and Google Play.

    Sensor Tower reports that "while the app was already popular and backed by a large user acquisition campaign, TikTok's latest surge comes amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen consumers drawn to their mobile devices more than ever as they look for new ways to shop, work, and connect with others."

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    Netflix Lays Off 150 Employees

    Christian Hetrick

    Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

    Netflix Lays Off 150 Employees

    Netflix is laying off roughly 150 people after the streaming giant lost subscribers last quarter.

    In a statement to dot.LA, a Netflix spokesperson said the company’s slowing revenue growth means it must rein in its costs.

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    Ex-Disney Execs’ Candle Media Buys Social Media Company ATTN: for $100M

    Christian Hetrick

    Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

    Ex-Disney Execs’ Candle Media Buys Social Media Company ATTN: for $100M
    Photo provided by ATTN:

    Candle Media, the firm run by ex-Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, has bought social media creative company ATTN: for $100 million.

    Los Angeles-based ATTN: (pronounced “attention”) produces content geared toward Gen Z and Millennial viewers. The company has created original series for Facebook, TikTok, and Twitch, as well as TV networks like ABC and NBC, and streaming services like Hulu and Apple TV. Launched in 2014, ATTN:’s brand studio and creative agency has also worked with Amazon, Ford and Google, among others.

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    Marijuana and the Metaverse: How LA Cannabis Startups Are Lighting Up the Virtual Realm

    Nick Kazden
    Nick Kazden is a freelance writer who lives and writes in Los Angeles.
    Marijuana and the Metaverse: How LA Cannabis Startups Are Lighting Up the Virtual Realm
    Image courtesy of Crypto Cannabis Club

    With West Hollywood becoming a hub for cannabis consumption lounges and many Silicon Beach companies embracing virtual reality, it was only a matter of time before two of Los Angeles’ two burgeoning industries started mingling.

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