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Daily Crunch: Snapchat adds Spotlight

Snapchat introduces a TikTok -style feed, Amazon Echo Buds add fitness tracking and Vettery acquires Hired. This is your Daily Crunch for November 23, 2020. The big story: Snapchat adds Spotlight Snapchat has introduced a dedicated feed where users can watch short, entertaining videos — pretty similar to TikTok. This comes after the app also […]

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Google Maps takes on Facebook with launch of its own news feed

People are getting frustrated that Stories are everywhere now, but Google Maps is keeping it old school. Instead of adding tiny circles to the top of the app’s screen, Google Maps is introducing its own news feed. Technically, Google calls its new feature the “Community Feed,” as it includes posts from a local area. However, […]

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The hidden cost of being a founder

We need to dispense with the myths and hagiography around being a founder and all be more honest about what the reality of running a business actually entails.

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Facebook’s self-styled ‘oversight’ board selects first cases, most dealing with hate speech

A Facebook -funded body that the tech giant set up to distance itself from tricky and potentially reputation-damaging content moderation decisions has announced the first bundle of cases it will consider. In a press release on its website the Facebook Oversight Board (FOB) says it sifted through more than 20,000 submissions before settling on six […]

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Facebook-backed Libra Association rebrands as Diem

The Libra Association, a consortium created by Facebook to support its Libra cryptocurrency efforts, announced this morning that it has a new name — the Diem Association — and made some key hires ahead of its launch. This is just the latest course correction since the Libra project was announced last year. In an attempt […]

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WhatsApp is upping its wallpapers and stickers game

WhatsApp is finally upping its wallpapers and stickers game, delivering some much-awaited aesthetics updates to the popular app that more than 2 billion people use. The instant messaging service said on Tuesday that it will now allow users to set custom wallpapers for different chats in a bid to make it easier for users to […]

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Daily Crunch: Facebook acquires Kustomer for $1B

Facebook makes a billion-dollar acquisition, we learn more about Twitter’s Clubhouse-style feature and Moderna applies for emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine. This is your Daily Crunch for November 30, 2020. The big story: Facebook acquires Kustomer for $1B Kustomer says it can give customer service teams better data and a more unified view of […]

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Facebook buys Kustomer for $1B to expand into customer service tools

Today Facebook made one of its biggest plays yet to build out the services it provides to businesses on its platform: It is acquiring Kustomer, a startup founded with the aim of disrupting the customer services industry with a new approach to providing agents with better data and a more unified picture of users by […]

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UK to set up ‘pro-competition’ regulator to put limits on big tech

The UK is moving ahead with a plan to regulate big tech, responding to competition concerns over a ‘winner takes all’ dynamic in digital markets. It will set up a new Digital Market Unit (DMU) to oversee a “pro-competition” regime for Internet platforms — including those funded by online advertising, such as Facebook and Google […]

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Facebook’s latest ad tool fail puts another dent in its reputation

Reset yer counters: Facebook has had to ‘fess up to yet another major ad reporting fail. This one looks like it could be costly for the tech giant to put right — not least because it’s another dent in its reputation for self reporting. (For past Facebook ad metric errors check out our reports from […]

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Decrypted: Apple and Facebook’s privacy feud, Twitter hires Mudge, mysterious zero-days

Trump’s election denialism saw him retaliate in a way that isn’t just putting the remainder of his presidency in jeopardy, it’s already putting the next administration in harm’s way. In a stunning display of retaliation, Trump fired CISA director Chris Krebs last week after declaring that there was “no evidence that any voting system deleted […]

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Instagram businesses and creators may be getting a Messenger-like ‘FAQ’ feature

Instagram is developing a new product, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), that will allow people to start conversations with businesses or creators’ accounts by tapping on a commonly asked question within a chat. Those who already have the feature available report they’re able to create up to four questions that can optionally be displayed at the […]

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Ignore the social media echo chambers

I hope this election will change the temperament of our nation and its citizens. I hope it will lead more people to ignore the tactics of both political parties and organizations seeking their attention and support.

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Human Capital: Uber’s Black employee base shrinks

Welcome back to Human Capital, where I break down the latest in diversity, equity and inclusion, and labor in tech. TL;DR: This week, Apple announced its third head of diversity and inclusion in four years, Uber’s Black employee base shrunk despite the company committing to anti-racism and Reddit brought on its second Black board member […]

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The downfall of adtech means the trust economy is here

I believe we are seeing the downfall of ad tech as we know it with social media boycotts and data privacy leading the charge.

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Facebook launches ‘Drives,’ a US-only feature for collecting food, clothing and other necessities for people in need

Facebook today is introducing a new feature that will allow users in the U.S. to collect food, clothing and other necessities for people in need. The feature, called “Drives,” is being made available through Facebook’s existing Community Help hub, which is the place where Facebook centralizes requests and offers for help within a local community. […]

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Former Sequoia partner Amy Sun has already raised millions for her stealthy startup

Former Sequoia partner Amy Sun, who left the famed venture capital firm just months ago, has already raised $3.8 million for her new startup, Daylight Labs, SEC filings show. Daylight Labs will be creating a solution to help gig economy workers make more money, Sun hints to TechCrunch. Still in the early product development stages, […]

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Digital marketing firms file UK competition complaint against Google’s Privacy Sandbox

Google’s push to phase out third party tracking cookies — aka its ‘Privacy Sandbox’ initiative — is facing a competition challenge in Europe. A coalition of digital marketing companies announced today that it’s filed a complaint with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), calling for the regulator to block implementation of the Sandbox. The […]

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Google, Facebook and Twitter threaten to leave Pakistan over censorship law

Global internet companies Facebook, Google and Twitter and others have banded together and threatened to leave Pakistan after the South Asian nation granted blanket powers to local regulators to censor digital content. Earlier this week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan granted the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority the power to remove and block digital content that pose […]

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Facebook sues operator of Instagram clone sites

Facebook has today filed another lawsuit against a company acting in violations of its terms of service. In this case, the company has sued Ensar Sahinturk, a Turkish national who operated a network of Instagram clone sites, according to court filings. Facebook says Sahinturk used automation software to scrape Instagram users’ public profiles, photos and […]

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Facebook details AI advances in catching misinformation and hate speech

Facebook’s battle against misinformation will never be over at this rate, but that doesn’t mean the company has given up. On the contrary it is only by dint of constant improvement to its automated systems that it is able to keep itself even remotely free of hate speech and misinformation. CTO Mike Schroepfer touted the […]

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Tech in the Biden era

President-elect Joe Biden may have spent eight years in an administration that doted on the tech industry, but that long honeymoon, punctuated by four years of Trump, looks to be over. Tech is on notice in 2020. The Russian election interference saga of the 2016 election opened the floodgates for social media’s ills. The subsequent […]

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Is the internet advertising economy about to implode?

Advertising drives the modern digital economy. Whether it’s reading news sites like this one or perusing your social media feeds, advertising is the single most important industry that came out of the development of the web. Yet, for all the tens of billions of dollars poured into online advertising just in the United States alone, […]

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PayPal launches a new crowdsourced fundraising platform, the Generosity Network

PayPal is expanding its fundraising efforts with today’s launch of the Generosity Network. Unlike the PayPal Giving Fund, which helps people support charities through online donations, the new Generosity Network lets people raise money for themselves, other individuals in need, or organizations like a small business or a charity. This puts the network more directly […]

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Instagram revamps its mobile messaging app Threads

Instagram is continuing to develop its standalone messaging app, Threads. Last month, the company modified the app to make it possible for users to message everyone, instead of just “close friends,” as its other messaging app, Direct, once did. Today, Instagram is releasing a redesigned version of the Threads app with updated navigation and a […]

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African fintech startup Chipper Cash raises $30M backed by Jeff Bezos

African cross-border fintech startup Chipper Cash has raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation of Bezos Expeditions — the personal VC fund of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Chipper Cash was founded in San Francisco in 2018 by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled. The company offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P […]

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Facebook content moderators demand safer working conditions

A group of more than 200 Facebook content moderators, as well as some full-time employees,* are demanding the tech company “stop needlessly risking moderators’ lives,” they wrote in an open letter to Facebook and the company’s contractors that manage content moderators, Accenture and Covalen. This comes after The Intercept reported how some Facebook content moderators […]

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Facebook launches E.gg, an experimental collage making app

Facebook’s internal R&D group, NPE Team, has today officially launched its latest app, E.gg, to a broader audience. The app, a freeform creation tool described as a “digital zine creator” and “GIF collage bonanza,” was announced earlier this year, but was only onboarding users via a waitlist until now. Today, it’s available in the App […]

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Twitter and Facebook’s diverging philosophies were on display in the latest tech hearing

The latest tech hearing was a study in contrasts. Contrasts between lawmakers who made an effort to stay on topic in a hearing ostensibly about social media and the 2020 election and those who… just talked about whatever was on their minds. Also contrasts between then and now. Social media companies previously treated any attempt […]

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Facebook’s Messenger Kids app redesigned to look more like Messenger

Facebook today is rolling out an updated version of its Messenger Kids app with the goal of making it easier for kids to interact with their friends and family, navigate the app, and personalize their experience with features like custom chat bubble colors. The redesign also gives the kid-friendly app a look-and-feel that’s more like […]