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Facebook removes its Onavo surveillance VPN app from Google Play

Facebook will end its unpaid market research programs and proactively take its Onavo VPN app off the Google Play store in the wake of backlash following TechCrunch’s investigation about Onavo code being used in a Facebook Research app the sucked up data about teens. The Onavo Protect app will eventually shut down, and will immediately cease pulling in data from users for market research though it will continue operating as a Virtual Private Network in the short-term to allow users to find a repl...
Tags: Apple, Google, TC, Facebook, Instagram, India, Tech, Research, Vpn, App Store, Facebook research, Onavo, Instagram Snapchat, Facebok, Onavo VPN, BetaBound


Google’s ‘Digital Wellbeing’ features hit more devices, including Samsung Galaxy S10

Google’s latest effort to help users monitor and control their screen time, Digital Wellbeing, is making its way to more devices. Initially available exclusively to Pixel and Android One device owners, Digital Wellbeing’s feature set is now rolling out to Nokia 6 and Nokia 8 devices with Android Pie, as well as on the new Samsung Galaxy S10. The site NokiaPowerUser was first to spot the addition to Nokia devices, which was picked up by XDA Developers and noted on their blog. XDA also noticed Dig...
Tags: Apple, Google, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Nokia, Samsung, Tech, Tristan Harris, Center for Humane Technology, Digital Wellbeing, Specifically Digital Wellbeing


This custom ‘hyperfisheye’ lens can see behind itself

If you’re doing ordinary photography and videography, there’s rarely any need to go beyond extreme wide angle lenses — but why be ordinary? This absurd custom fisheye lens has a 270 degree field of view, meaning it can see behind the camera it’s mounted on — or rather the camera mounted on it. It’s certainly a bit of fun from Lens Rentals, the outfit that put it together, but it’s definitely real and might even be useful. Their detailed documentation of how they put it together piece by piece is...
Tags: Gadgets, Photography, Hardware, Tech, Nikon, Optics, Lenses, Lens, Bender, Lens Rentals


Here’s everything announced at Samsung’s Galaxy S10/Galaxy Fold event

Missed today’s Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco? In all, we have five new phones — one of them a foldable, some new earbuds, a virtual assistant and a watch. Here’s everything you need to know. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, presented at Unpacked in San Francisco. (Source: Samsung) Samsung’s Galaxy Fold launches April 26, starting at $1,980 The last time we saw Samsung’s foldable onstage, it was, quite literally, shrouded in darkness. The company debuted a prototype of the upcoming device at ...
Tags: Gadgets, Technology, Instagram, Samsung, San Francisco, Tech, Smartphones, Companies, Mobile Phones, Samsung Electronics, Player, Mobile Software, Samsung Galaxy, Virtual Assistant, Samsung Samsung, Bixby


Samsung’s Galaxy S10 has a built-in Instagram mode

After weeks of leaks, Samsung still managed to save some surprises for today’s event. One of the most interesting among them is a partnership with Instagram that brings Stories directly to the camera app. It’s an interesting partnership and mutually beneficial for both parties. For some, it could signal a kind of return to pre-loaded bloatware, but at least in the case of Instagram, the app is virtually ubiquitous for most users at this point anyway. The mode got a brief demo on stage toda...
Tags: Mobile, Apps, Instagram, Samsung, Tech, Galaxy S10, Samsung Unpacked - Galaxy S10


Daily Crunch: Google tries to explain that secret microphone

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Google says Nest’s secret microphone was ‘never intended to be a secret’ When Google announced earlier this month that its Nest Secure smart home hub would double-up as a Google Assistant, the news sparked anger, since Google hadn’t told anyone that the security hub had a microphone inside to begin wit...
Tags: Google, Security, London, Hardware, Instagram, Samsung, Tech, Finland, Nest, Pacific, Soundcloud, Lucas Matney, Ef, Varjo, Daily Crunch, Amazon Music Apple


SoundCloud will now handle distributing your music – and give you a 100% cut

SoundCloud has a new pitch to creators: upload your music not just to SoundCloud, but to all major music services, too. Distribution is launching in a new beta as part of Premier service, and the terms look appealing. Okay, first, to understand what digital distribution is, let’s go back in time. Digital music for many years meant primarily CDs and … well, piracy, despite some early (fairly horrible) stores. Then along came Apple’s iTunes Music Store. When it launched, you needed to have a lab...
Tags: Apple, Spotify, Business, Music, Instagram, Berlin, Trends, Tech, Web, Monetization, Itunes, Revenue, Stories, Streaming, Soundcloud, Apple Music


SoundCloud adds a music distribution service to its premium subscriptions

Last year, Spotify in music distribution service DistroKid. Apple acquired Platoon. And today, SoundCloud announced it’s adding its own music distribution tools to its premium accounts aimed at artists, SoundCloud Pro and SoundCloud Pro Unlimited. With SoundCloud Premier distribution, artists can upload their tracks to all major music services, including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Tencent, YouTube Music and even Instagram, directly from SoundCloud. The service, which is now launchi...
Tags: Apple, Spotify, Music, Media, Instagram, Tech, Artists, Music Services, IAC, Subscriptions, Soundcloud, Songs, Artist, Distribution, TuneCore, SoundCloud Premier


Instagram’s fundraiser stickers could lure credit card numbers

Mark Zuckerberg recently revealed that commerce is a huge part of the 2019 roadmap for Facebook’s family of apps. But before people can easily buy things from Instagram etc, Facebook needs their credit card info on file. That’s a potentially lucrative side effect of Instagram’s plan to launch a Fundraiser sticker in 2019. Facebook’s own Donate buttons have raised $1 billion, and bringing them to Instagram’s 1 billion users could do a lot of good while furthering Facebook’s commerce strategy. ...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Ecommerce, Apps, Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram, Charity, Tech, Payments, Philanthropy, Zuckerberg, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Non-profits, Instagrammers


Study says US Twitch streamers raked in roughly $87 million in 2017

A new  estimates that revenue-earning American Twitch streamers grew to nearly 9,800 in 2017 (a 59 percent increase from 2016) and made an estimated $87.1 million (representing a 30 percent YOY increase). Twitch is one of the fastest-growing platforms for American content creators. In terms of YOY growth in number of creators themselves, Twitch falls just behind Instagram and YouTube, and ranks second behind Instagram in YOY revenue growth for those creators. (Fun Fact: Instagram’s creator-b...
Tags: TC, Gaming, Instagram, Entertainment, Youtube, US, Tech, Twitch, Ninja, Recreate Coalition


Study says U.S. Twitch streamers raked in roughly $87 billion in 2017

A new study estimates that revenue-earning American Twitch streamers grew to nearly 9,800 in 2017 (a 59 percent increase from 2016) and made an estimated $87.1 billion (representing a 30 percent YOY increase). Twitch is one of the fastest growing platforms for American content creators. In terms of YOY growth in number of creators themselves, Twitch falls just behind Instagram and Youtube, and ranks second behind Instagram in YOY revenue growth for those creators. (Fun Fact: Instagram’s cre...
Tags: TC, Gaming, Instagram, Entertainment, Tech, Twitch, Ninja, Instagram and Youtube, Recreate Coalition


First look at Twitter’s Snapchatty new Camera feature

Twitter has been secretly developing an enhanced camera feature that’s accessible with a swipe from the home screen and allows you to overlay captions on photos, videos, and Live broadcasts before sharing them to the timeline. Twitter is already used by people to post pictures and videos, but as it builds up its profile as a media company, and in the age of Snapchat and Instagram, it is working on the feature in hopes it will get people doing that even more. Described in Twitter’s code as the “N...
Tags: Social, Mobile, Apps, Twitter, Instagram, Tech, Bloomberg, Snapchat, Cnbc, New Twitter, Matt Navarra, Persicope, Jane Manchun Wong


Europe agrees platform rules to tackle unfair business practices

The European Union’s political institutions have reached agreement over new rules designed to boost transparency around online platform businesses and curb unfair practices to support traders and other businesses that rely on digital intermediaries for discovery and sales. The European Commission proposed a regulation for fairness and transparency in online platform trading last April. And late yesterday the European Parliament, Council of the EU and Commission reached a political deal on ...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Android, Facebook, Ecommerce, Europe, Instagram, Ebay, Google Search, Tech, Eu, European Union, E-commerce, Search Engines, Competition, Commission


Daily Crunch: Apple’s subscription fix

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Apple’s iOS update makes it easier to get to your subscriptions Moving the Manage Subscriptions menu so that it’s just one click away from your App Store profile might seem like a minor change, but it was needed: As more mobile apps have adopted subscriptions as a means of generating revenue, it’s become ...
Tags: Apple, Ios, Mobile, Instagram, US, Tech, Mozilla, Arizona, States, Ubisoft, Don, Evan, NPD, Daily Crunch, JibJab, Gregg Spiridellis


2018 really was more of a dumpster fire for online hate and harassment, ADL study finds

Around 37 percent of Americans were subjected to severe hate and harassment online in 2018, according to a new study by the Anti-Defamation League, up from about 18 percent in 2017. And over half of all Americans experienced some form of harassment according to the ADL study. Facebook users bore the brunt of online harassment on social networking sites according to the ADL study, with around 56 percent of survey respondents indicating that at least some of their harassment occurred on the pla...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Harassment, Instagram, Bullying, Youtube, Social Media, Tech, Whatsapp, Cybercrime, Abuse, United States, Digital Media, Reddit, Cyberbullying, Behavior


Instagram is now testing a web version of Direct messages

Insta-chat addicts, rejoice. You could soon be trading memes and emojis from your computer. Instagram is internally testing a web version of Instagram Direct messaging that lets people chat without the app. If, or more likely, when this rolls out publicly, users on a desktop or laptop PC or Mac, a non-Android or iPhone, or that access Instagram via a mobile web browser will be able to privately message other Instagrammers. Instagram web DMs was one of the features I called for in a product wi...
Tags: Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Messaging, Tech, Snapchat, Instagram Direct, Given Facebook, Instagrammers Instagram, Jane Manchun Wong, IGTV, Instagram Stories the Facebook, New York Times Mike Isaac Mobile


The definitive Patreon reading guide

At nearly six years old, Patreon has gone from startup to king of membership. Now an established leader in an industry that’s been flipped on its head, Patreon’s path has been anything but predictable — peppered with its share of milestones, mishaps, pivots, champions, and critics — and offers invaluable insights for founders, investors, creatives, or those looking to make sense of the new media landscape. Since we’ve probably read almost every word written on Patreon as part for our “unde...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Instagram, Tech, Ceo, Web Browsers, Php, Ben Thompson, David Marcus, Editor, Musicians, Sam Altman, Alexis Ohanian, EC, Jack Conte, Thrive Capital


E-commerce startup Zilingo raises $226M to digitize Asia’s fashion supply chain

If you’re looking for the next unicorn in Southeast Asia, Zilingo might just be it. The 3.5-year-old e-commerce company announced today that it has raised a Series D round worth $226 million to go after the opportunity to digitize Asia’s fashion supply chain. This new round takes Zilingo to $308 million from investors since its 2015 launch. The Series D is provided by existing investors Sequoia India, Singapore sovereign fund Temasek, Germany’s Burda and Sofina, a European backer of Flipka...
Tags: Amazon, Fundings & Exits, TC, Ecommerce, Asia, Europe, Instagram, Indonesia, Australia, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Softbank, Funding, Supply Chain, Tech, E-commerce


Dating apps face questions over age checks after report exposes child abuse

The UK government has said it could legislate to require age verification checks on users of dating apps, following an investigation into underage use of dating apps published by the Sunday Times yesterday. The newspaper found  more than 30 cases of child rape have been investigated by police related to use of dating apps including Grindr and Tinder since 2015.  It reports that one 13-year-old boy with a profile on the Grindr app was raped or abused by at least 21 men.  The Sunday Times also f...
Tags: Social, Apps, Europe, UK, Instagram, Tinder, Social Media, Tech, Bbc, Policy, Dating, Regulation, United Kingdom, Child Abuse, Dating Apps, Times


Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?

The German Federal Cartel Office’s decision to order Facebook to change how it processes users’ personal data this week is a sign the antitrust tide could at last be turning against platform power. One European Commission source we spoke to, who was commenting in a personal capacity, described it as “clearly pioneering” and “a big deal”, even without Facebook being fined a dime. The FCO’s decision instead bans the social network from linking user data across different platforms it owns, unles...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe, UK, Instagram, Tech, Eu, Facebook Messenger, Commission, European Commission, EC, Margrethe Vestager, Zuckerberg, Fco, BBC Radio


How to prepare for an investment apocalypse

Micah Rosenbloom Contributor Micah Rosenbloom is a venture partner at Founder Collective. More posts by this contributor Startups need to respect the laws of retail physics Unlike 2000 and 2008, everyone in the startup world is expecting a crash to come at any moment, but few are taking concrete steps to prepare for it. If you’re running a venture-backed startup, you should probably get on that. First, go read from Sequoia to g...
Tags: TC, Facebook, Column, Craigslist, Money, Instagram, Entrepreneurship, Finance, US, Tech, Economy, Whatsapp, United States, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Mergers and Acquisitions


Instagram thinks you want IGTV previews in your home feed

If you can’t beat or join them…force feed ’em? That appears to be Instagram’s latest strategy for IGTV, which is now being shoved right into Instagram’s main feed, the company announced today. Instagram says that it will now add one-minute IGTV previews to the feed, making it “even easier” to discover and watch content from IGTV. Uh. IGTV, you may recall, was launched last year as a way for Instagram to woo creators. With IGTV, creators are able to share long-form videos within the Instagram ...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Instagram, Tech, Facebook Many, Katie Notopoulos, IGTV


Tech platforms called to support public interest research into mental health impacts

The tech industry has been called on to share data with public sector researchers so the mental health and psychosocial impacts of their service on vulnerable users can be better understood, and also to contribute to funding the necessary independent research over the next ten years. The UK’s chief medical officers have made the call in a setting out advice and guidance for the government about children’s and young people’s screen use. They have also called for the industry to agree a code of ...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Europe, UK, Instagram, Advertising Tech, Bullying, Social Media, Tech, CMO, Mental Health, Abuse, Digital Media, United Kingdom, Photo Sharing, Science and Technology Committee


Facebook Ordered To Stop Combining WhatsApp and Instagram Data Without Consent in Germany; Company Says It Needs That Data To Fight Terrorism and Child Abuse

Facebook has been ordered to curb its data collection practices in Germany after a landmark ruling on Thursday that the world's largest social network abused its market dominance to gather information about users without their consent. From a report: The order applies to data collected by Facebook-owned platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, but also third-party sources that Facebook uses to flesh out its advertising profiles, including those of non-users. The Bundeskartellamt, or Federal Cartel...
Tags: Facebook, Instagram, Germany, Tech, Gizmodo, Federal Cartel Office FCO, Instagram Data Without Consent


German antitrust office limits Facebook’s data-gathering

A lengthy antitrust probe into how Facebook gathers data on users has resulted in Germany’s competition watchdog banning the social network giant from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms without their consent. The investigation of Facebook data-gathering practices began in March 2016. The decision by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, , also prohibits Facebook from gathering data on users from third party websites — such as via tracking pixels and social plug-ins —...
Tags: Social, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Europe, UK, Instagram, Privacy, Germany, US, Social Media, Linkedin, Tech, Eu, European Union, Bbc, Snapchat


Pluto TV will expand its free service with paid subscriptions, says new owner Viacom

Last month, Viacom picked up free streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million in cash. This week, the company spoke in more detail about its plans for Pluto TV – including its potential to for ad-supported streaming as well as the ability to market Viacom’s various subscription video properties directly to consumers, similar to how Amazon Channels works today. At the time of the acquisition, Pluto TV offered over 100 channels of free content from 130 partners, and reached 12 million monthly u...
Tags: Amazon, Instagram, Samsung, Tech, Walmart, Roku, Susan Wojcicki, Vizio, Pluto, Robert Bakish, Viacom, Pluto TV, Wojcicki, Facebook Watch, Freedive, Bakish


Ritual raises $25M for its subscription-based women’s daily vitamin

In the era of #spirtual and #physical #wellness, ev erything needs to be Instagrammable, even dietary supplements. Ritual, a subscription-based service that charges customers $30 per month for shipments of its women’s daily or prenatal vitamins, has effectively tapped into that Instagram crowd. The company admits its social media strategy has been key to harnessing a cult following of wellness enthusiasts. Since it was founded in 2015, the business has sold 1 million bottles of vitamins; toda...
Tags: Health, Startups, Facebook, Twitter, New York, Instagram, Funding, Los Angeles, Tech, Walgreens, Harvard, Venture Capital, Forerunner Ventures, Founders Fund, Norwest Venture Partners, Schneider


Account linking could make Instagram the heir to Facebook Login

Teens’ aversion to Facebook jeopardizes not only the company’s feed ad revenue, but its dominance as an identity provider. The Facebook Login platform keeps people tied to the social network in order to easily access other apps without a separate username and password. But for younger users who ditch or neglect Facebook in favor of Instagram, the tech giant stands to lose one of its most powerful wedges into our lives. Meanwhile, Instagram loyalists are forced to juggle multiple sets of lo...
Tags: Google, Social, TC, Mobile, Facebook, Apps, Instagram, Tech, Poshmark, Spotify Netflix, Facebook Login, Instagram Account, Ishan Agarwal, Finstagram, Instagram login, Instagram platform


YouTube expands test of its Instagram-like Explore tab to more devices

YouTube is expanding the test of its “Explore” feature, a new discovery tool it first introduced as an experiment within its iPhone app last year. Similar to Instagram’s Explore page, the new YouTube feature aims to introduce users to a diverse set of personalized recommendations so they can more easily find something new to watch. The test is now available across devices, and has been updated to also suggest smaller, up-and-coming YouTube creators, the company says. The changes to Explore we...
Tags: Social, Mobile, Apps, Media, Instagram, Youtube, Tech, Algorithms, Recommendations, Suggestions, Gaming Movies Music Originals


Instagram’s Adam Mosseri to meet UK health secretary over suicide content concerns

The still fresh-in-post boss of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has been asked to meet the UK’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, to discuss the social media platform’s handling of content that promotes suicide and self harm, the BBC reports. Mosseri’s summons follows an outcry in the UK over disturbing content being recommended to vulnerable users of Instagram, following the suicide of a 14 year old schoolgirl, Molly Russell, who killed herself in 2017. After her death, Molly’s family discovered she ...
Tags: Social, TC, Facebook, Apps, Europe, UK, Instagram, Molly, Youtube, Social Media, Tech, Bbc, Artificial Intelligence, Self Harm, United Kingdom, Telegraph



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