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TikTok’s epic rise and stumble

TikTok’s rise in the West is unprecedented for any Chinese tech company, and so is the amount of attention it has attracted from politicians worldwide. Below is a timeline of how TikTok grew from what some considered another “copycat” short video app to global dominance and eventually became a target of the U.S. government. 2012-2017: The emergence of TikTok These years were a period of fast growth for ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company behind TikTok. Originally launched in Chin...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Facebook, Asia, Instagram, Microsoft, Entertainment, Navy, California, Washington, Government, China, America, Tech, Walmart


Snapchat launches a TikTok-like feed called Spotlight, kick-started by paying creators

After taking on TikTok with music-powered features last month, Snapchat this morning is officially launching a dedicated place within its app where users can watch short, entertaining videos in a vertically scrollable, TikTok-like feed. This new feature, called Spotlight, will showcase the community’s creative efforts, including the videos now backed by music, as well as other Snaps users may find interesting. Snapchat says its algorithms will work to surface the most engaging Snaps to display t...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Apps, Video, Instagram, France, Social Media, Tech, Spotlight, Snapchat, Instant Messaging, Snap, Vertical Video, AARP, Wall St Journal


This Week in Apps: Apple slashes commissions, Twitter launches Fleets, warnings about Parler

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever, with   204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a   $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher ...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, TC, Facebook, Apps, Twitter, Japan, Instagram, Supreme Court, Australia, Washington Post, Youtube, Ipo, Tech, Eu


Instagram revamps its mobile messaging app Threads

Instagram is continuing to develop its standalone messaging app, Threads. Last month, the company 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 Status tab, as well as support for posting photos and videos to your Instagram Story. The changes address some of Threads’ shortcomings in usability. Though the app ...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Apps, Messenger, Instagram, Social Media, Tech, Messaging Apps, Facebook Applications, Social Software, Instagram Story, IGTV Reels


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 Messenger itself. The updated app does away with the larger, colorful blocks that would flash when messages arrive for a more traditional messaging app design...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Messenger, Instagram, Social Media, Tech, Instant Messaging, Canada, Facebook Messenger, Messaging Apps, Facebook Facebook, Messenger Kids, Facebook Parents, Facebook Companies Parents


Netflix’s latest experiment is a TikTok-like feed of funny videos

Netflix already borrowed the concept of short-form video “Stories” from social apps like Snapchat and Instagram for its Previews feature back in 2018. Now, the company is looking to the full-screen vertical video feed, popularized by TikTok, for further inspiration. With its latest experiment, Fast Laughs, Netflix is offering a new feed of short-form comedy clips drawn from its full catalog. The feed includes clips from both originals and licensed programming, Netflix says. It also includes v...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Apps, Video, Comedy, Media, Instagram, Social Media, Tech, Netflix, Kevin Hart, Streaming Service, Video Clips, YouTube Twitter Facebook, Mobile Applications


L’Oréal rolls out a line of ‘virtual makeup’

Selfie filters have improved immensely over the past several years, but companies on the forefront of the tech see plenty of room to grow. The cosmetics world has also seen some rapid change in the past several years as makeup has proven particularly ripe for up-and-coming direct-to-consumer and influencer-endorsed brands to take hold. Plenty of legacy brands have seen their revenues decimated, while others have proven resilient by leaning into new tech and sales channel trends. Back in 2018,...
Tags: Google, TC, Instagram, Selfie, Tech, Snapchat, Software, Computing, L'oreal, Internet Culture, Operating Systems, Mobile Software, Snap, Loreal, Oreal, Mobile Applications


Facebook blocks hashtags for #sharpiegate, #stopthesteal election conspiracies

Facebook today began to block select hashtags which were being used to share misinformation related to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Now, searches for the hashtags #SharpieGate is being blocked on the social network. Another election conspiracy hashtag #stopthesteal is also blocked on Facebook, with a note saying some of its content goes against the platform’s community standards. The #stopthesteal hashtag has been promoted by Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign associates on Twi...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Supreme Court, Government, White House, US, Tech, Policy, Pennsylvania, Conspiracy Theories, Trump, Misinformation, Donald Trump Jr


WhatsApp now lets you post ephemeral messages that disappear after 7 days

Facebook recently announced that WhatsApp passed the whopping milestone of 100 billion messages sent per day, but not everyone wants those chats to stick around forever. Now, Facebook’s wildly popular messaging app with 2 billion users is adding a feature to give people more control on how their words and pictures live within the app. From today, messages — including photos and videos — can now be marked to disappear after 7 days. Disappearing messages are being rolled out globally across ...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Tech, Whatsapp, Signal, Ephemeral Messaging, Ephemerality


Close US election results plunge social media into nightmare misinformation scenario

When Trump spoke early Wednesday morning, it became clear which long-dreaded election scenario an anxious nation was on the cusp of. “This is a fraud on the American public,” Trump said in remarks delivered from the White House, mixing his campaign with the presidency. “We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.” Trump’s claim of victory is false — votes are still being counted in a close race — but they heralded his campaign’s intention to work the misinforma...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Government, White House, US, Tech, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Fox News, Michigan, Biden, Trump, Misinformation, Facebook Twitter


Facebook and Instagram notifications warn US users there’s no winner yet in presidential election

Facebook and Instagram are running notifications in their respective apps informing U.S. users that the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election has not yet been determined. In large pop-ups appearing at the top of the Facebook and Instagram News Feeds, the notification states that “Votes Are Being Counted” and directs users to other in-app election resources. Both apps are using the same language for their respective notifications: “The winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election h...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, US, Social Media, Tech, United States, News Feed, President, Vice President, Biden, Caching, Presidential Election, Mobile Software


Facebook and Instagram notifications warn U.S. users there’s no winner yet in Presidential Election

Facebook and Instagram are running notifications in their respective apps informing U.S. users that the winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election has not yet been determined. In large pop-ups appearing at the top of the Facebook and Instagram News Feeds, the notification states that “Votes Are Being Counted” and directs users to other in-app election resources. Both apps are using the same language for their respective notifications: “The winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election h...
Tags: Travel, Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Social Media, United States, News Feed, President, Vice President, Biden, Caching, Presidential Election, Mobile Software, Facebook Applications


This Week in Apps: Facebook Gaming skips iOS, TikTok goes shopping, Apple One bundles arrive

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry is as hot as ever, with   204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a   $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher ...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, TC, Facebook, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Pinterest, Instagram, China, India, Samsung, Tech, ExxonMobil, Walmart, Bloomberg


Facetune maker’s new app Filtertune let anyone create and share personalized photo filters

Facetune maker Lightricks is out today with a new app, Filtertune, designed to create a community around custom photo filters. With the app, creators can make their own personalized preset photos filters, then share them across social media as photos that have a special QR code attached. When others see a filter they like, they can screenshot it to import it back into the Filtertune app for their own use. While it would be easier to create some sort of in-app system for sharing filters — simi...
Tags: Photos, TC, Apps, Photography, Instagram, Social Media, Tech, Photo Filters, Lightricks, Facetune, Farbman, Facebook Instagram Twitter Snapchat, Filtertune, Zeev Farbman, Lightricks Facetune2, Ligthtricks


TikTok invests in social commerce via new Shopify partnership

TikTok is further investing in social commerce with today’s announcement of a new global partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify. The deal aims to make it easier for Shopify’s over 1 million merchants to reach TikTok’s younger audience and drive sales. The partnership will eventually expand to include other in-app shopping features, as well, the companies said. At launch, the agreement allows Shopify merchants to create, run and optimize their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from ...
Tags: Amazon, Social, TC, Facebook, Ecommerce, Video, Instagram, Advertising Tech, Social Media, Tech, Walmart, E-commerce, Ads, Teespring, Black, Shopify


TikTok partners with Shopify on social commerce

TikTok is further investing in social commerce with today’s announcement of a new global partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify. The deal aims to make it easier for Shopify’s over 1 million merchants to reach TikTok’s younger audience and drive sales. The partnership will eventually expand to include other in-app shopping features, as well, the companies said. At launch, the agreement allows Shopify merchants to create, run and optimize their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from ...
Tags: Amazon, Social, Startups, TC, Facebook, Ecommerce, Video, Instagram, Advertising Tech, Social Media, Walmart, E-commerce, Ads, Teespring, Black, Shopify


Facebook adds hosting, shopping features, and pricing tiers to WhatsApp Business

Facebook has been making a big play to be a go-to partner for small and medium businesses that use the internet to interface with the wider world, and its messaging platform WhatsApp, with some 50 million businesses and 175 million people messaging them (and more than 2 billion users overall), has been a central part of that pitch. Now, the company is making three big additions to WhatsApp to fill out that proposition. It’s launching a way to shop for and pay for goods and services in WhatsApp c...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Facebook, Instagram, Mexico, India, Tech, Brazil, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Instagram, Facebook Page, Sandberg, India Indonesia, Facebook Shop, Brazil Facebook, Business Facebook


Google Photos revives its prints subscription service, expands same-day print options

Google Photos is reviving its photo printing subscription service and introducing same-day prints. The company earlier this year had briefly tested a new program that used A.I. to suggest the month’s 10 best photos, which were then shipped to your home automatically. But Google ended the test on June 30. During the trial, Google had offered users a $7.99 per month subscription that would automatically select 10 photos from one of three themes, including people and pets, landscapes, or “a litt...
Tags: Google, Photos, TC, Social Media, Tech, Walmart, Walgreens, Subscriptions, Printing, Google Photos, Cvs, Jane Manchun Wong


Beam is building a web browser that gathers knowledge from your web activity

Remember Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer? Those applications from the 1990s used emphatic metaphors in their names to talk about a simple task — browsing the web. Today, nobody would say that Google Chrome is a web explorer. Browsing the web has become an effortless — and often mindless — task. You grab your phone or computer, you open a new tab and you type a few words in the address bar. Beam, a new startup founded by Dom Leca and Sébastien Métrot, is working on a brand new app that i...
Tags: Apple, Google Chrome, Google, Startups, TC, Facebook, Apps, Europe, Instagram, Tech, France Newsletter, Beam, Sparrow, Loren Brichter, Leca, Beam Beam


Who regulates social media?

Social media platforms have repeatedly found themselves in the United States government’s crosshairs over the last few years, as it has been progressively revealed just how much power they really wield, and to what purposes they’ve chosen to wield it. But unlike, say, a firearm or drug manufacturer, there is no designated authority who says what these platforms can and can’t do. So who regulates them? You might say everyone and no one. Now, it must be made clear at the outset that these companie...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Social, TC, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter, Europe, Instagram, Fcc, Social Networks, Congress, California, France, Government, Social Media


PearPop lets TikTok celebrities monetize by sharing shoutouts and screentime with fans

PearPop a new Los Angeles-based company, is on its way to racking up nearly 25,000 users in less than a month, and has already landed seed funding from the firm Rocket One Capital. The company’s premise is simple. Allow fans to bid for shared screen time with their favorite TikTok celebrities, and it’s one that’s attracted the attention of a few of the platform’s stars with several million followers. The company was able to hook 3,000 users with one post from Anna Shumate, a TikTok star with ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Apps, New York, Instagram, Los Angeles, Tech, Ford, Manhattan, Mason, Markel, St Marks Place, Tiktok, Spencer Markel, Anna Shumate, PearPop


PearPop lets TikTok celebrities monetize by sharing shout-outs and screen time with fans

PearPop a new Los Angeles-based company, is on its way to racking up nearly 25,000 users in less than a month, and has already landed seed funding from the firm Rocket One Capital. The company’s premise is simple. Allow fans to bid for shared screen time with their favorite TikTok celebrities, and it’s one that has attracted the attention of a few of the platform’s stars with several million followers. The company was able to hook 3,000 users with one post from Anna Shumate, a TikTok star wit...
Tags: Startups, TC, Apps, New York, Instagram, Los Angeles, Tech, Ford, Manhattan, Tony Hawk, Mason, Markel, St Marks Place, Tiktok, Spencer Markel, Anna Shumate


The Wing co-founder admits the co-working space upheld ‘the kind of social inequality we set out to upend’

Audrey Gelman, the former CEO of The Wing who resigned in June, today posted a letter she sent to former employees of The Wing last week. In it, Gelman apologized for not taking action to combat mistreatment of women of color at The Wing. She also acknowledged that her drive for success and scaling quickly “came at the expense of a healthy and sustainable culture that matched our projected values, and workplace practices that made our team feel valued and respected.” That meant, Gelman said, ...
Tags: TC, Instagram, Washington, Tech, Diversity, LGBTQIA, Gelman, Coworking Space, Audrey Gelman, Techcrunch Include, The.Wing, Wing COO Lauren Kassan, Kerry Washington At TechCrunch Disrupt Washington


Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro camera upgrades sharpen focus on serious photographers

Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro heaps improvements on the already-formidable power of its camera system, adding features that will be prized by “serious” photographers — that is to say, the type who like to really mess around with their shots after the fact. Of course the upgrades will also be noticeable for us “fire and forget” shooters as well. The most tangible change is the redesign of two of the three lens systems on the rear camera assembly. The Pro Max comes with a new, deeper telephoto camera: a 6...
Tags: Iphone, Apple, TC, Gadgets, Photography, Hardware, Tech, Earth, Dslr, Dolby, Max, Emmanuel Lubezki, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, Apple iPhone event 2020


Messenger’s latest update brings new features, cross-app communication with Instagram

Facebook Messenger is getting a visual update and a number of new features, including support for chat themes, custom reactions, and soon, selfie stickers and vanish mode. The changes are a part of Facebook’s overhauled messaging platform, announced in late September, which introduced the ability for Instagram users to communicate with people on Facebook for the first time. While Instagram users had to opt-in to the upgraded new feature set in order to also gain access to the cross-plat...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Messenger, Instagram, Social Networks, Congress, Social Media, Tech, Facebook Messenger, North America, Messaging Apps, U S House Judiciary Committee, Instead Facebook


Hands on with Telepath, the social network taking aim at abuse, fake news and, to some extent, ‘free speech’

There’s no doubt that modern social networks have let us down. Filled with hate speech and abuse, moderation and anti-abuse tools were an afterthought they’re now trying to cram in. Meanwhile, personalization engines deliver us only what will keep us engaged, even if it’s not the truth. Today, a number of new social networks are trying to flip the old model on its head — whether that’s attempting to use audio for more personal connections, like Clubhouse, eliminate clout chasing, like Twelv, or,...
Tags: TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Social Networking, Youtube, America, Social Media, Tech, New York Times, Quora, Reddit, Telegraph, Biden, The Washington Post


Facebook and Instagram will pin vote-by-mail explainers to top of feeds

Starting this weekend, everyone of voting age in the U.S. will begin seeing informational videos at the top of Instagram and Facebook offering tips and state-specific guidance on how to vote through the mail. The videos will be offered in both English and Spanish. The vote-by-mail videos will run on Facebook for four straight days in each state, starting between October 10 and October 18 depending on local registration deadlines. On Instagram, the videos will run in all 50 states on October 1...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Florida, Voting, Instagram, Colorado, Oregon, US, Tech, Snapchat, Fbi, Pennsylvania, Aclu, Michigan, Trump, Misinformation


Facebook: Trump can’t recruit ‘army’ of poll watchers under new voter intimidation rules

In a blog post Wednesday, Facebook said it will no longer allow content that encourages poll watching that uses “militarized” language or intends to “intimidate, exert control, or display power over election officials or voters.” Facebook credited the update to its platform rules to civil rights experts who it worked with to create the policy. Facebook Vice President of Content Policy Monika Bickert elaborated on the new rules in a call with reporters, noting that wording would prohibit posts...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Instagram, Tech, Biden, Trump, Rosen, Donald Trump Jr, Monika Bickert, Trump Jr, Bickert, 2020 Election, Facebook Those


Shogun raises $35M to help brands take on Amazon with faster and better sites of their own

E-commerce has boomed this year, with more businesses and shoppers than ever before turning to websites and apps as a safer, socially distanced alternative during the current global health pandemic. Today, a startup that has built a platform to help individual companies and brands design better websites is announcing a round of growth funding to help them step up to that challenge with faster and better designed interfaces. Shogun, which lets companies build sites that sit on top of e-commerce b...
Tags: Amazon, Startups, TC, Ecommerce, Design, Instagram, Scotland, Tech, Glasgow, Websites, Taylor, NICK, Shopify, Accel, Magento, SVP


Facebook says it will ban QAnon across its platforms

Facebook expanded a ban on QAnon-related content on its various social platforms Tuesday, deepening a previous prohibition on QAnon-related groups that had “discussed potential violence,” according to the company. Today’s move by Facebook to not only ban violent QAnon content but “any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon” is an escalation by the social giant to clean its platform ahead of an increasingly contentious election. QAnon is a sprawling set of interwoven ...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Oregon, Tech, Conspiracy Theories, Trump, Misinformation, BuzzFeed News, Facebook Pages Groups, Alphabet s YouTube



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