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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.

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Facebook is bringing end-to-end encryption to Messenger calls and Instagram DMs

Facebook has extended the option of using end-to-end encryption for Messenger voice calls and video calls. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) — a security feature that prevents third-parties from eavesdropping on calls and chats — has been available for text conversations on Facebook’s flagship messaging service since 2016. Although the company has faced pressure from governments to […]

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Former Snap employees raise $9M for Trust, emerging from beta to level marketing playing field

Trust wants to give smaller businesses the same advantages that large enterprises have when marketing on digital and social media platforms.

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Facebook engineers develop new open source time keeping appliance

Most people probably don’t realize just how much our devices are time driven, whether it’s your phone, your laptop or a network server. For the most part, time keeping has been an esoteric chore, taken care of by a limited number of hardware manufacturers. While these devices served their purpose, a couple of Facebook engineers […]

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Facebook’s vaccine stance is part of a familiar pattern, says author and NY Times journalist

Today, in a new report about “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on its platform, Facebook states that it last month removed hundreds of accounts across its Facebook and Instagram platforms that were tied to anti-vaccination disinformation campaigns operated from Russia. In one campaign, says the company, a newly banned network “posted memes and comments claiming that the […]

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What’s driving the global surge in retail media spending?

To understand why retailers will capture more ad spend, it’s important to evaluate what modern marketing has become. Is it bus stop advertisements? Bidding on Google keywords or a Clubhouse session?

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Product School raises $25M in growth equity to scale its product training platform

Traditional MBA programs can be costly, lengthy, and often lack the application of real world skills. Meanwhile, big global brands and companies who need Product Managers to grow their businesses can’t sit around waiting for people to graduate. And the EdTech space hasn’t traditionally catered for this sector. This is perhaps why Product School, says […]

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With liberty and privacy for some: Widening inequality on the digital frontier

We deserve meaningful privacy protections that no company can afford to omit from their products. We deserve a both/and approach: Privacy that is both meaningful and widely available.