Categories
Lyrics

US giants top tech industry’s $100M+ a year lobbying blitz in EU

The scale of the tech industry’s spending to influence the European Union’s tech policy agenda has been laid out in a report published today by Corporate Europe Observatory and LobbyControl — which found hundreds of companies, groups and business associations shelling out a total of €97 million (~$115 million) annually lobbying EU institutions. The level […]

Categories
Lyrics

TikTok owner ByteDance buys a top virtual reality hardware startup

TikTok parent company ByteDance seems to be looking to one-up Facebook anywhere it can. After taking over the mantle of most-downloaded social media app in the world with TikTok, ByteDance is coming for Facebook’s moonshot, buying up its own virtual reality headset maker called Pico. The deal first reported on by Bloomberg last week was […]

Categories
Lyrics

Instagram will require users to provide their birthday

Instagram will begin prodding users to share their birthday with the service, if they haven’t already done so. The company today announced it will now start popping up a notification that asks you to add your birthday to “personalize your experience.” But the prompt can only be dismissed a handful of times before becoming a […]

Categories
Lyrics

A majority of tech workers support antitrust legislation enforcement

The survey asked professionals: Do you believe antitrust legislation should be used to break up Big Tech companies like Amazon and Google?

Categories
Lyrics

Clay debuts a new tool to help people better manage their business and personal relationships

A new startup called Clay, backed by $8 million in seed funding, has built a system designed to help you be more thoughtful with the people in your life, which operates somewhat like a personal CRM. With Clay, you build a collection of the people you meet by connecting your email and calendar with social […]

Categories
Lyrics

Move fast and break Facebook: A bull case for antitrust enforcement

For so long, Mark Zuckerberg has told us all to move fast and break things. It’s time for him to break Facebook.

Categories
Lyrics

Facebook will reportedly launch its own advisory group for election policy decisions

Facebook is looking to create a standalone advisory committee for election-related policy decisions, according to a new report from The New York Times. The company has reportedly approached a number of policy experts and academics it is interested in recruiting for the group, which could give the company cover for some of its most consequential […]

Categories
Lyrics

You can’t hack your YC application, but here’s what to avoid

Typically, you hear advice focused on ways to improve your YC application so it gets accepted. Here are some tips on what not to do and why so many YC applications get rejected.

Categories
Lyrics

UK names John Edwards as its choice for next data protection chief as gov’t eyes watering down privacy standards

The UK government has named the person it wants to take over as its chief data protection watchdog, with sitting commissioner Elizabeth Denham overdue to vacate the post: The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) today said its preferred replacement is New Zealand’s privacy commissioner, John Edwards. Edwards, who has a legal background, […]

Categories
Lyrics

Elastic acquisition spree continues as it acquires security startup CMD

Just days after Elastic announced the acquisition of build.security, the company is making yet another security acquisition. As part of its second-quarter earnings announcement this afternoon, Elastic disclosed that it is acquiring Vancouver, Canada based security vendor CMD. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed. CMD‘s technology provides runtime security for cloud […]

Categories
Lyrics

Messenger celebrates its 10th anniversary with new features and a plan to become the ‘connective tissue’ for real-time experiences

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Messenger today announced a handful of new features: poll games, word effects, contact sharing and birthday gifting via Facebook Pay. But beyond the fun features, Facebook has been testing a way to add voice and video calls back into the Facebook app, rather than on Messenger. “We are testing audio […]

Categories
Lyrics

You can now buy the $299 Oculus Quest 2 with 128GB of storage

Following its announcement late last month, Facebook’s new 128GB model of the Oculus Quest 2 is now available to buy, for the same $299 price as the previous 64GB base model.

Categories
Lyrics

Substack acqui-hires team behind subscription social app Cocoon

Subscription newsletter platform kingpin Substack shared today that they’ve acqui-hired the team behind Cocoon, a subscription social media app built for close friends. We covered the Y Combinator-backed startup’s initial $3 million seed raise led by Lerer Hippeau back in November 2019, shortly before the pandemic dramatically reconfigured how people used social media to communicate […]

Categories
Lyrics

After testing, Instagram launches ads in the Instagram Shop tab globally

Last year, Instagram unveiled Shops as part of Facebook’s larger pivot toward e-commerce. Shops is front-and-almost-center on the app’s bottom navigation bar, even more readily accessible than the button to upload a new photo. Now, after testing in the U.S. earlier this month, Instagram will introduce ads on the Instagram Shop tab globally, rolling them […]

Categories
Lyrics

Instagram is ditching ‘swipe-up’ links in favor of stickers

Instagram is ditching the “swipe-up” link in Instagram Stories starting on August 30. The popular feature has historically allowed businesses and high-profile creators a way to direct their Story’s viewers to a website where they could learn more about a product, read an article, sign up for a service or do anything else the creator […]

Categories
Lyrics

TikTok is building its own AR development platform, TikTok Effect Studio

Both Facebook and Snap offer tools that allow developers to build out augmented reality (AR) experiences and features for their own respective family of apps. Now, TikTok is looking to do the same. The company recently launched a new creative toolset called TikTok Effect Studio, currently in private beta testing, which will allow its own […]

Categories
Lyrics

Suing your way to the stars

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review! I’m back from a very fun and rehabilitative couple weeks away from my phone, my Twitter account and the news cycle. That said, I actually really missed writing this newsletter, and while Greg did a fantastic job while I was out, I won’t be handing over […]

Categories
Lyrics

This Week in Apps: OnlyFans bans sexual content, SharePlay delayed, TikTok questioned over biometric data collection

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry continues to grow, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android devices […]

Categories
Lyrics

Social platforms wrestle with what to do about the Taliban

With the hasty U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan underway after two decades occupying the country, social media platforms have a complex new set of policy decisions to make. The Taliban has been social-media-savvy for years, but those companies will face new questions as the notoriously brutal, repressive group seeks to present itself as Afghanistan’s legitimate […]

Categories
Lyrics

A mathematician walks into a bar (of disinformation)

Disinformation, misinformation, infotainment, algowars — if the debates over the future of media the past few decades have meant anything, they’ve at least left a pungent imprint on the English language. There’s been a lot of invective and fear over what social media is doing to us, from our individual psychologies and neurologies to wider […]

Categories
Lyrics

Facebook launches program to help small Indian businesses secure loans

Facebook is launching a new program in India to help small and medium-sized businesses secure loans in the South Asian market as the company makes a further push to expand its presence among merchants. The social conglomerate said its new program, called Small Business Loans Initiative, addresses some of the biggest pain points small businesses […]

Categories
Lyrics

Today’s real story: The Facebook monopoly

To the average person, Facebook’s monopoly seems obvious. But obviousness is not an antitrust standard. Monopoly has a clear legal meaning, and thus far Lina Khan’s FTC has failed to meet it.

Categories
Lyrics

Companies betting on data must value people as much as AI

The truth is, we are still early when it comes to data transformation. The success of tech giants that put data at the core of their business models set off a spark that is only starting to take off.

Categories
Lyrics

In growing battle with TikTok, Facebook to test ‘Facebook Reels’ in the US

Reels are coming to Facebook in the U.S. The company this morning announced it will begin testing a new feature, Facebook Reels, which will give Facebook users the ability to create and share short-form video content directly within the News Feed or within Facebook Groups. The addition is an expansion of tests launched earlier this […]

Categories
Lyrics

Facebook finally made a good virtual reality app

Facebook’s journey toward making virtual reality a thing has been long and circuitous, but despite mixed success in finding a wide audience for VR, they have managed to build some very nice hardware along the way. What’s fairly ironic is that while Facebook has managed to succeed in finessing the hardware and operating system of […]

Categories
Lyrics

Facebook releases a glimpse of its most popular posts, but we don’t learn much

Facebook is out with a new report collecting the most popular posts on the platform, responding to critics who believe the company is deliberately opaque about its top-performing content. Facebook’s new “widely viewed content reports” will come out quarterly, reflecting most viewed top News Feed posts in the U.S. every three months — not exactly […]

Categories
Lyrics

Twitter adds support for Twitter Spaces to its rebuilt API

Twitter is rolling out changes to its newly rebuilt API that will allow third-party developers to build tools and other solutions specifically for its audio chatroom product, Twitter Spaces. The company today announced it’s shipping new endpoints to support Spaces on the Twitter API v2, with the initial focus on enabling discovery of live or […]

Categories
Lyrics

Twitter taps crypto developer to lead ‘bluesky’ decentralized social network effort

Twitter’s ambitious upstart decentralized social media working group “bluesky” took an important step Monday as the social media company appointed a formal project lead who will direct how the protocol develops moving forward. Crypto developer Jay Graber was tapped by Twitter to helm the initiative, which the company hopes will eventually create a decentralized social […]

Categories
Lyrics

Roblox acquires Discord competitor Guilded

Roblox is using M&A to bulk up its social infrastructure, announcing Monday morning that they had acquired the team at Guilded that has been building a chat platform for competitive gamers. The service competes with gaming chat giant Discord, with the team’s founders telling TechCrunch in the past that as Discord’s ambitions had grown beyond […]

Categories
Lyrics

Facebook, telecom operators, add four new branches to the 2Africa subsea cable network

Facebook today announced that it would extend to four more branches the “most comprehensive” subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region. Facebook will do this in collaboration with the 2Africa consortium that includes China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC. The new branches are Seychelles, the […]