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Snapchat preempts clones, syndicates Stories to other apps

If you can’t stop them, power them. That’s the strategy behind Snapchat App Stories, which launches today to let users show off their ephemeral content in other apps too. The first partners will let you post Stories to your dating profile in Hily, share them alongside [music] videos in Triller, watch them while screensharing in Squad, or give people a peek at your life in augmented reality network Octi. Snapchat’s Stories format has been widely cloned, most famously by Instagram and Facebook, bu...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Spotify, Instagram, Tech, Snapchat, Reddit, Schwerin, Bitmoji, Snapchat Snapchat, Ben Schwerin, Triller, Snapchat Snap Kit, YouTube Twitter LinkedIn SoundCloud, Yolo Schwerin


Facebook Messenger preps Auto Status location type sharing

Facebook Messenger could soon automatically tell your closest friends you’re at the gym, driving, or in Tokyo. Messenger has been spotted prototyping a ported version of the Instagram close friends-only Threads app’s Auto Status option that launched in October. The unreleased Messenger feature would use your location, accelerometer, and battery life to determine what you’re up to and share it with a specific subset of your friends. But instead of sharing your exact coordinates, it overlays an...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Tech, Facebook Messenger, Aol, Tokyo, Location Sharing, Wong, Jane Manchun Wong, Robby Stein, Instagram Threads, Facebook Messenger emoji status


Rebecca Minkoff has some advice for e-commerce companies right now

When Rebecca Minkoff first moved to New York City, the then-18-year-old was making $4.75 an hour. “I just kept working for this designer and someone was telling me what to do every day. I just didn’t like that. And I thought if I’m going to work as hard, it’s going to be for myself and I want to call my own shots,” she said. “I didn’t want to be told what to do, frankly.” Self-employment for Minkoff turned out just fine; in 2001, she redesigned the iconic “I Love New York” shirt and it appear...
Tags: Startups, TC, Ecommerce, Fashion, New York, Instagram, New York City, Tech, E-commerce, Designer, Fundraising, Retail, Apparel, Rebecca Minkoff, Growth, Minkoff


Startups Weekly: A new era for consumer tech

TechCrunch is out hunting for bright spots in the startup world as we all come to grips with the pandemic — particularly where checks are actually being written despite everything. D2C is back to the future First up this week, we surveyed top direct-to-consumer investors, and they seemed pretty optimistic despite the struggles of some sector leaders. Here’s Lightspeed Venture Partners Nicole Quinn, for example, on investor activity versus current opportunity: I would argue it is too weak as in...
Tags: TC, Instagram, Microsoft, Tech, Alexis Ohanian, Casper, Cac, Alex, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Gitlab, Sxsw, Josh, Google Facebook, Google Amazon, Josh Constine, Connie Loizos


This Week in Apps: Apple launches a COVID-19 app, the outbreak’s impact on social and video apps and more

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all. The app industry saw a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie’s “State of Mobile” annual report. People are now spending 3 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 h...
Tags: Apple, Ios, Google, Android, Social, Gaming, Apps, Instagram, Cdc, Tech, Smartphones, Monetization, Growth, App Annie, Extra Crunch, Coronavirus


We’ve come full rectangle: Polaroid is reborn out of The Impossible Project

More than a decade after announcing that it would keep Polaroid’s abandoned instant film alive, The Impossible Project has done the… improbable: It has officially become the brand it set out to save. And to commemorate the occasion there’s a new camera, the Polaroid Now. The convergence of the two brands has been in the works for years, and in fact Impossible Project products were already Polaroid-branded. But this marks a final and satisfying shift in one of the stranger relationships in startu...
Tags: Gadgets, Photography, Hardware, Tech, Cameras, Lady Gaga, Polaroid, Gaga, ONESTEP, FujiFilm Instax, Impossible, Impossible Project, Instant Film, Nederlanders, The Impossible Project, Polaroid Originals


Zyl resurfaces old photos to create collaborative stories

French startup Zyl has released a major update of its mobile app for iOS and Android. The app is all about finding long-forgotten memories of important life events in your photo library. Zyl scans your photo library and magically finds photos that matter. Every day, the app sends you a notification to tell you that you can unlock a new memory — a new Storyl. It instantly brings you back to that special day with an automatically generated story. All your photos are already stitched together, t...
Tags: Startups, Mobile, Apps, Europe, Instagram, Tech, France Newsletter, Zyl


Report: WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage due to COVID-19 pandemic

Social media usage has grown as a result of the COVID-19 crisis as more users go online to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues. Now, new data from insights and consulting firm Kantar reveals exactly how much some apps are benefitting. According to a survey of over 25,000 consumers in 30 markets conducted from March 14 to 24, WhatsApp is the social media app that has experienced the greatest gains due to COVID-19. Overall, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage t...
Tags: Facebook, Apps, Instagram, China, Tech, Spain, Whatsapp, WeChat, Kantar, Klear, Facebook Live, Facebook Messenger Instagram, Overall Facebook, COVID-19, COVID, Weibo Overall Facebook


It’s still easy to find coronavirus mask ads on Facebook

Ads for face masks are still appearing on Facebook, Instagram and Google, according to a review of the platforms carried out by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP). This despite pledges by the platforms that they would stamp out ads which seek to profit from the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook said on March 6 that it would temporarily ban commerce listings and advertisements for medical face masks, in an effort to combat price-gouging and misinformation during the COVID-19 crisis. Google ...
Tags: Google, Social, TC, Facebook, Instagram, Advertising Tech, Social Media, Tech, Whatsapp, Mask, Ftc, Targeted Advertising, Online Advertising, Mark Warner, Facebook Instagram, Facebook Page


Control each other’s apps with new screensharing tool Screen

It’s like Google Docs for everything. Screen is a free interactive multiplayer screensharing app that gives everyone a cursor so they can navigate, draw on, and even code within the apps of their co-workers while voice or video chatting. Screen makes it easy and fun to co-design content, pair program, code review or debug together, or get feedback from a teacher. Jahanzeb Sherwani sold his last screensharing tool ScreenHero to Slack, but it never performed as well crammed inside the messaging a...
Tags: Google, Social, Startups, TC, Mobile, Apps, Post, Enterprise, Instagram, Tech, Screen, Google Docs, Video Chat, Slack, Sherwani, Screenhero


Instagram launches Co-Watching of posts during video chat

Now you can scroll Instagram together with friends, turning a typically isolating, passive experience into something more social and active. Today Instagram launched Co-Watching, which lets friends on a video chat or group video chat browse through feed posts one user has Liked or Saved, or that Instagram recommends. Co-Watching could let people ooh, ahh, joke, and talk about Instagram’s content instead of just consuming it solo and maybe posting it to a chat thread so friends can do the same...
Tags: Social, Startups, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Media, Instagram, Privacy, Tech, Facebook Messenger, Squad, Instagram Direct, Today Instagram, Facebook Watch, Instagram Story


Facebook Lowers Video Quality In Latin America, Following Europe

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Facebook will lower video streaming quality on its platform and on Instagram in Latin America, replicating measures adopted in Europe, to ease network congestion in a region that is starting to feel the grip of the coronavirus. On Sunday, the world's largest social network followed the steps of Netflix, Alphabet's YouTube, Amazon and Walt Disney in response to a call by the European Union to stave off internet gridlock as thousands of people work...
Tags: Facebook, Europe, Instagram, Tech, European Union, Brazil, Latin America, Walt Disney, Reuters, Anatel, Europe Netflix, Facebook Lowers Video, Netflix Alphabet s YouTube Amazon


The best video chat apps to turn social distancing into distant socializing

The vicissitudes of social distancing have taken many people by surprise, making video calls a new necessity for distant socializing. But which of the two dozen apps out there should you and your (perhaps not as tech-savvy) friends and family use? Here are our recommendations, whether it’s for a coffee meeting, a family get-together, or a late night gaming hangout. This list is for individuals looking for a free solution to easily connect with others, not for small businesses or enterprises. The...
Tags: Apple, Google, Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Tech, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Squad, Marco Polo, Skype, Video Chat, Video Conferencing, Video Calling


VidCon joins the list of events canceled by COVID-19

If you heard the collective grieving shriek of a thousand Instagram influencers, YouTubers, and their followers, it’s because VidCon has been canceled. It’s the latest mega-event to fall prey to the social distancing measures put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In a statement, the conference organizers said: VidCon is dedicated to delivering premium entertainment experiences across the globe. Our first priority is the safety and health of our attendees, sponsors, speakers, creat...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Tech, Anaheim, Vidcon, Coronavirus, COVID-19


Facebook and Disney to downgrade streaming quality in Europe due to COVID-19

Facebook is temporarily downgrading the quality of video streaming in Europe on its social platforms Facebook and Instagram in response to a call for action from the European Commission, per Reuters. Disney has also said it will work to shrink bandwidth used by its streaming service, Disney+, which is due to begin launching in Europe from tomorrow. Last week Netflix, YouTube and Amazon said they would switch to SD streaming by default in the region. The EU’s executive has expressed concern...
Tags: Amazon, Facebook, Europe, Media, Instagram, Youtube, India, Disney, Social Media, Tech, Eu, Bloomberg, European Union, Internet Service Providers, Netflix, Digital Media


With kids and adults staying at home, are virtual worlds ready for primetime?

We’ve been diligently following the development of virtual worlds, also known as the “metaverse,” on TechCrunch. Hanging out within the virtual worlds of games has become more popular in recent years with the growth of platforms like Roblox and open-world games like Fortnite, but it still isn’t a mainstream way to socialize outside of the young-adult demographic. Three weeks ago, TechCrunch media columnist Eric Peckham published an in-depth report that positioned virtual worlds as the next er...
Tags: Social, Gaming, Facebook, Instagram, Social Networks, Amc, Tech, Virtual Worlds, Virtual Reality, Minecraft, Epic Games, Eric, Danny Crichton, Roblox, Metaverse, Eric Peckham


Under quarantine, media is actually social

The flood of status symbol content into Instagram Stories has run dry. No one is going out and doing anything cool right now, and if they are, they should be shamed for it. Beyond sharing video chat happy hour screenshots and quarantine dinner concoctions, our piece-by-piece biographies have ground to a halt. Oddly, what remains feels more social than social networks have in a long time. With no source material, we’re doing it live. Coronavirus has absolved our desire to share the recent past...
Tags: Health, Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, New York, Instagram, Opinion, Berlin, US, San Francisco, Social Media, Tech, Spain, Chicago


WhatsApp tests new feature to fight misinformation: Search the web

WhatsApp, one of the most popular instant messaging platforms on the planet, is testing a feature that could make it simpler for its 2 billion users to tell whether the assertion made in messages they have received is true. In the recent most beta version of its Android app, the Facebook-owned service has given users the ability to quickly comb through the web with the text or video they have received for more context. WhatsApp has been testing this feature in some capacity for several ...
Tags: Android, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Tech, Whatsapp, World Health Organization, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID, Covid19


Here’s how to help restaurants while socially distancing yourself

The restaurant industry might look a lot different once we come out of this pandemic. As social distancing and lockdowns ripple across the nation in an attempt to fight COVID-19, some restaurants won’t be able to handle the lack of income and might tip into bankruptcy. Some might never reopen again. Earlier today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo implemented a 90-day moratorium, or temporary prohibition, on evictions for residents and businesses such as restaurants. Ayr Muir, the owner of Clove...
Tags: Google, Food, TC, New York, Instagram, Boston, San Francisco, Tech, Austin, Usa Today, Andrew Cuomo, Mike Krieger, Ali, Opentable, Eniac Ventures, Kabbage


Instagram founder launches gift card site for quarantined restaurants

Coronavirus quarantines are hurting local businesses, but Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger wants to help them keep revenue rolling in. Krieger and his wife Kaitlyn this week launched SaveOurFaves, a directory of Bay Area restaurants selling gift certificates to offset lost income amidst ‘shelter in place’ orders across the region. Users can search for restaurants or browse by neighborhood, and then click through to buy gift certificates straight from the eateries with no added fee from Sa...
Tags: Health, Social, TC, Facebook, Ecommerce, Apps, New York, Instagram, Crowdfunding, California, Government, Restaurants, San Francisco, Tech, Crypto, Payments


YouTube launches dedicated COVID-19 home page section

In an effort to ensure that the latest updates related to COVID-19 are as visible as possible, YouTube announced today that they’re launching a dedicated hub on the YouTube home page for stories related to the coronavirus outbreak. For YouTube, the dedicated shelf is a means of promoting “authoritative content” to users. In the U.S., most of these videos appear to be from national publications. It will be rolling out in 16 countries with more on the way, according to the company’s tweet. The ...
Tags: Health, TC, Media, Instagram, Youtube, Tech, Instagram YouTube, Coronavirus, COVID-19


Facebook is wrongly blocking some links, including coronavirus info

Facebook appears to have a bug in its News Feed spam filter, causing URLs to legitimate websites including Medium, Buzzfeed, and USA Today to be blocked from being shared as posts or comments. The issue is blocking shares of some but not all coronavirus-related content, while some unrelated links are allowed through and others are not. It’s not clear what exactly is or isn’t tripping the filter. Facebook has been trying to fight back against misinformation related to the outbreak, but may have g...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Instagram, Tech, Usa Today, Zuckerberg, Chan Zuckerberg, Guy Rosen


All the companies from Y Combinator’s W20 Demo Day, Part II: Consumer Companies

Y Combinator’s Demo Day was a bit different this time around. As concerns grew over the spread of COVID-19, Y Combinator shifted the event format away from the two-day gathering in San Francisco we’ve gotten used to, instead opting to have its entire class debut to invited investors and media via YC’s Demo Day website simultaneously. In a bit of a surprise twist, YC also moved Demo Day forward one week citing accelerated pacing from investors. Alas, this meant switching up its plan for each comp...
Tags: Google, TC, Facebook, UK, Instagram, Indonesia, India, Africa, San Francisco, Tech, Brazil, Medicare, Computer Science, Mumbai, Bollywood, Gucci


All the companies from Y Combinator’s W20 Demo Day, Part IV: Healthcare, Biotech, Fintech and Nonprofits

Y Combinator’s Demo Day was a bit different this time around. As concerns grew over the spread of COVID-19, Y Combinator shifted the event format away from the two-day gathering in San Francisco we’ve gotten used to, instead opting to have its entire class debut to invited investors and media via YC’s Demo Day website. In a bit of a surprise twist, YC also moved Demo Day forward one week citing accelerated pacing from investors. Alas, this meant switching up its plan for each company to have ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Y Combinator, Asia, Instagram, Indonesia, California, Mexico, India, Africa, America, San Francisco, Tech, Mit, United States, Healthcare


Facebook, Reddit, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube issue joint statement on misinformation

In an unprecedented move to reassure customers and flag the potential for misinformation about COVID-19 on their platforms, all of the major social media companies and their parent corporations issued a joint statement on their efforts. “We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe,” the statement read. Joint Industry Statement from @Facebook, @google, @LinkedIn, @Microsoft, @reddit, @Twitter and @YouTube https://t.co/8H1XVFt2N0 pic.twitter.com/GGJd...
Tags: Google, TC, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Microsoft, Washington Post, Youtube, White House, Politico, Linkedin, Tech, Reddit, Who, World Health Organization, Donald Trump


Instagram uses its power to put Coronavirus tips atop feed

Instagram is embracing its potential as a news source, employing its ubiquity to distribute Coronavirus prevention techniques through a new call-out at the top of its homescreen feed. In some countries, Instagram will show a link to information from the World Health Organization and local health ministries along with a message like this: “Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus: See the latest information from the World Health Organization so you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. — Go t...
Tags: Health, Social, TC, Mobile, Apps, UK, Instagram, Nbc, Washington Post, Government, Tech, Snapchat, World Health Organization, WSJ, Facebook Snapchat, Coronavirus


Russian trolls are outsourcing to Africa to stoke US racial tensions

With tech companies wise to many of the tactics that Russia’s now-infamous troll farms used to seed disinformation during the 2016 election, those campaigns are getting creative. According to a pair of reports out from Facebook and Twitter, a disinformation campaign run by individuals with links to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) is back and focused on the U.S., but this time it’s being run out of Africa. “This network was in the early stages of building an audience and was operated by l...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Pages, Government, Russia, Nigeria, Africa, US, Tech, Cnn, Ghana, Internet Research Agency, Disinformation


Does coronavirus need a brand?

Stay with me here. As we enter the full throes of coronavirus spread in the US, it’s becoming incredibly evident that we cannot depend on the Federal apparatus to clearly communicate any of the necessary information citizens need. From the CDC removing exact testing numbers from its site to the President saying it would just “go away” to the White House attempting to make information about the virus briefings classified .  Meanwhile, everyone is trying to determine what the right...
Tags: TC, Instagram, Cdc, White House, Matt Damon, US, Tech, Bill Gates, John, States, Seattle, Gates Foundation, Hopkins, Morris, New England Journal of Medicine, Massachusetts Medical Society


For $39,000, You Can Buy a Wide-Angle Lens That Can Actually See Behind Itself

A talented photographer can snap stunning photos with even a cheap camera; expensive equipment doesn’t guarantee a beautiful shot. But that doesn’t make buying and experimenting with pricey gear, like a $39,000 fisheye lens with a field of view so wide it can see behind itself, any less tempting.Read more...
Tags: Gadgets, Photography, Science, Tech, Lenses, Lensrentals, Consumer Tech, Roger Cicala, Wide Angle, Fisheye, C 4 Optics


Luce App Tracks the Fine Details of Film Photography

Digital images today are captured with an EXIF meta data layer that stores pertinent facts about the shot so that photographers can study, report and refine their technique. Analog photography (somewhat by definition) remains largely under-serviced by this kind of high-tech service. Luce, an upstart iOS app—from developers Don Chia and his partner, Diego—offers a centralized space for analog photographers to log image data while …
Tags: Ios, Apps, Photography, Design, Film photography, Tech, Exif, Linkaboutit, Analog Photography, Diego, Luce, Film Cameras, Fine Details of Film Photography, Don Chia



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