Google employees fear the worst as the company quietly extends its hiring freeze




Hello, tech friends. Google employees are on edge as the company has yet to reverse what was meant to be a two-week hiring freeze, and some have described a "real vibe change."

Reporting from New York, I'm your host, Jordan Parker Erb. Let's get to it.

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Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai  

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on stage at a product launch in 2016Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

1. Google quietly extended its hiring freeze. In July, the company announced a two-week hiring freeze, but as the search giant shows no signs of reversing it, employees worry about what it could mean for them.

  • The company has yet to officially reverse the freeze, prompting some employees to fear harsher disciplinary action and roles not getting back filled.

  • Some workers say they've already seen the company cut back on hiring. After CEO Sundar Pichai said the company's headcount doesn't match its productivity, "everyone has been talking about the company tightening its belt," one employee said.

  • In a screenshot viewed by Insider, Google Cloud sales leadership threatened employees, saying there will be an "overall examination of sales productivity and productivity in general" and that if next quarter results "don't look up, there will be blood on the streets."

Inside the "real vibe change" at Google.

In other news:

Gerson Repreza/Shutterstock

2. New data shows the best under-the-radar US cities for tech jobs. Tech workers have long flocked to San Francisco and New York City, but jobs are emerging throughout the Midwest and the South, including in states like Kansas and Michigan. This map highlights cities with the largest increases in tech job postings.

3. Facebook and Instagram are having a "midlife crisis." A tech analyst told Insider that Facebook and Instagram parent Meta could increasingly turn to an old playbook when competing with younger upstarts: copying them. Here's what else the analyst said.

4. The CEO of events startup Pollen blamed COVID-19 and the tech crash after missing payroll and failing to find a buyer. Pollen has been subject to weeks of speculation after it cut 200 jobs in May and missed payroll. Its CEO also complained of media leaks in an email sent to hundreds of employees, which was promptly leaked to the media. More on that here.

5. Elon Musk's legal team is accusing Twitter of hiding key witnesses. Reports say Musk's lawyers want to question the employees who calculate bot numbers, the main sticking point in the $44 billion deal, reports say. The latest in the Musk v. Twitter legal drama.

6. Startup founders need to master the "warm intro" to reach potential investors. In the midst of a downturn, when investors spend more cautiously, many are falling back on the warm intro - or being introduced by another trusted founder - as an early indicator of success. We asked investors how to nail a warm intro.

7. Apple's blue text bubbles keep people buying iPhones. Google this week called on Apple to change how it displays Android texts as green bubbles, but don't hold your breath waiting for Apple to cave: its blue texts help keep consumers in its grasp. Why you won't see Apple change texting anytime soon.

8. LinkedIn is rolling out new features to give creators more ways to share visual content. As per TechCrunch, creators on LinkedIn will soon have fresh tools to facilitate discovery and engagement in the app. Check out the new features you could be using here.

Odds and ends:

The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left) and Z Fold 4 (right) foldable smartphones.Samsung

9. Samsung's brand-new Galaxy Z Flip 4 is essentially free with any Galaxy trade-in at AT&T. Through a major pre-order deal, AT&T is offering $1,000 off one of Samsung's new folding smartphones if you trade in any Galaxy phone. Here's how to get the deal.

10. Twitter users should know these hidden features. From disabling read receipts to viewing the lists others have added you to, we rounded up a handful of the most useful features hidden within the app. See all seven tips here.

The latest people moves in tech:

  • Ariel Kelman, the top marketing exec Oracle poached from AWS, has left the company.

  • An internal memo shows Salesforce is making two key executive changes.

  • Jellysmack is diversifying its creator financing efforts under a new "JellyFi" unit, and has hired fintech vet Dov Marmor as its chief business officer.

  • Mailchimp CEO Ben Chestnut will be stepping down.

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 Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

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