Daily Crunch: Facebook has a weak stance on political ads

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. Facebook should ban campaign ads. End the lies. Facebook recently formalized its approach to political advertising, declaring, “We don’t believe, however, that it’s an appropriate role …

Reddit now lets iOS users share to Snapchat

Reddit users can now share their favorite content from the site to Snapchat, thanks to a new integration that allows sharing of text, link, and image-based posts on iOS from Reddit’s “Safe for Work” communities. The move makes Snapchat the first platform partner that Reddit is testing content sharing integration with, the company says, and it hopes the result will …

Facebook should ban campaign ads. End the lies.

Permitting falsehood in political advertising would work if we had a model democracy, but we don’t. Not only are candidates dishonest, but voters aren’t educated, and the media isn’t objective. And now, hyperlinks turn lies into donations and donations into louder lies. The checks don’t balance. What we face is a self-reinforcing disinformation dystopia. That’s why if Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat …

IAC outlines its plans for a Match Group spinoff

Digital media holding company IAC has taken the next step toward spinning off Match Group, with a proposal outlining what that process would look like. Match Group (which owns Tinder, PlentOfFish, OkCupid, Hinge and of course Match itself) is already a publicly-traded company, but IAC remains the majority owner. With the spinoff, IAC says it should distribute its Match Group …

Trump gets on Twitch

The reelection campaign will be livestreamed. US president Donald Trump has joined Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch. Twitch is best known as a social video streaming platform for gamers but does host other content, including politics. The verified DonaldTrump Twitch account, spotted earlier by Reuters, has just one video in the recent broadcast section so far: A livestream of a Trump …

Getting more people to open your emails

Julian Shapiro Contributor Julian Shapiro is the founder of BellCurve.com, the growth marketing team that trains startups in advanced growth, helps you hire senior growth marketers, and finds you vetted growth agencies. He also writes at Julian.com. More posts by this contributor What’s the right way to sponsor a YouTube influencer? How to get people to open your emails We’ve …

New Vector scores $8.5M to plug more users into its open, decentralized messaging Matrix

New Vector, a European startup founded in 2017 by the creators of an open, decentralized communications standard called Matrix to drive adoption and grow an ecosystem around an alternative messaging protocol for instant messaging and VoIP apps, has raised an $8.5 million Series A funding round. Investors in New Vector’s Series A round include enterprise tech specialists Notion Capital and …

Facebook sure does love free $peech

Ensuring politicians in the 2020 election stay truthful is hard work, so Facebook has decided it’s going to sit this one out. Joe Biden’s campaign team sent a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and global elections policy chief Katie Harbath that essentially called on the company to take down a Trump campaign ad that made debunked claims …

Instagram launches Create mode with On This Day throwbacks

Instagram has finally turned Throwback Thursday into an official feature. Today Instagram launched “Create” mode in Stories, which brings the app beyond the camera and makes it a more omnipurpose social network. Instagram has added an “On This Day” option that shows a random feed post you shared on the same calendar date in the past. Tap the dice button …

Instagram is killing its creepy stalking feature, the Following tab

Instagram is removing its Following tab, a feature that became better known as a stalking tool than one to aid with new account discovery, as the company had intended. Today, Instagram says that its Explore tab is the go-to place to find new people, places and hashtags to follow. Meanwhile, the Following tab is now only used by a small …

Snap CEO isn’t expecting much from Facebook antitrust investigations

Facebook’s relentless feature copy of Snapchat has been seen as one of the chief examples of the company’s competitive overreach, but Snap CEO Evan Spiegel isn’t sure whether antitrust activity from the government is going to change the company’s near-term prospects of competing with Instagram. “I mean the history of antitrust would basically say that these investigations last like seven …

Daily Crunch: Facebook faces government pressure over encryption

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. Facebook is being leaned on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion plan U.S. Attorney General William Barr, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary …

Ellen Pao calls out Twitter’s ‘public town square’ model as flawed

Project Include CEO Ellen Pao, who has been working to foster diversity, inclusion and ethics in the tech industry, called out Twitter’s “public square” model as flawed — and a decision that indicates a lack of ethical consideration, on Twitter’s part. The topic of Twitter came up on a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019 this morning, when Pao was …

TikTok explains its ban on political advertising

Already under fire for advancing Chinese foreign policy by censoring topics like Hong Kong’s protests and pro-LGBT content, the Beijing-based video app TikTok is now further distancing itself from U.S. social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with a ban on political ads on its app. The company today says it will not allow political ads on TikTok, noting …

Europe’s top court sets new line on policing illegal speech online

Europe’s top court has set a new line for the policing of illegal speech online. The ruling has implications for how speech is regulated on online platforms — and is likely to feed into wider planned reform of regional rules governing platforms’ liabilities. Per the CJEU decision, platforms such as Facebook can be instructed to hunt for and remove illegal …

Will Smith just dropped $10K on a startup that pitched him on stage at Disrupt

Actor and Hollywood media mogul Will Smith surprised the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019 audience this afternoon by announcing he would invest $10K in a startup that pitched to him onstage as part of “elevator pitch” contest, where the winner would get to take a selfie with the star. The company, Socionado.com, helps companies with their social media presence. However, what …

YouTube’s Neal Mohan describes the company’s efforts on safety and trust

YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan gave an update on all things YouTube at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. He touched on many different subjects, from YouTube Music updates to advertiser-friendly guidelines and tweaking YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. Mohan started right away with an update on YouTube Music. YouTube has accidentally become one of the biggest music streaming services in the world. And …

Daily Crunch: Zuckerberg is wrong about TikTok

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. Zuckerberg misunderstands the huge threat of TikTok In leaked audio of a Facebook all-hands meeting, Mark Zuckerberg described TikTok as “almost like the Explore Tab that …

Twitter launches its anti-abuse filter for Direct Messages

Twitter is rolling out its spam and abuse filter for Direct Messages, a month and a half after the company announced it had started testing the feature. The filter will be available on Twitter’s iOS, Android and Web apps. The filter adds a new view to the Additional Messages inbox, where DMs from people you don’t follow go. If you …

Daily Crunch: Facebook faces VR challenges

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. Not all is predictable on Facebook’s social Horizon Last week, Facebook unveiled Horizon, a massively multiplayer VR world that’s scheduled to launch in 2020. This might …

Instagram launches a ‘creators’ account to encourage more… creation

Instagram deployed a new tool today that should help it continue to build a more viable alternative to YouTube for individual creators looking to try a different platform. It’s a dedicated account called @creators, which will deliver tips and tricks for people hoping to become more active on the platform. Based on the pinned FAQ story that Instagram has posted …

This Week in Apps: AltStore, acquisitions and Google Play Pass

The app industry shows no signs of slowing down, with 194 billion downloads in 2018 and over $100 billion in consumer spending. People spend 90% of their mobile time in apps and more time using their mobile devices than watching TV. In other words, apps aren’t just a way to spend idle hours — they’re a big business. And one …

Not all is predictable on Facebook’s social Horizon

Most of the people I spoke with at Facebook’s Oculus Connect see the proliferation of virtual reality as a foregone conclusion, one that’s just a matter of timing at this point. For Facebook, the conference’s “The Time is Now” catchphrase showcased that they feel their hardware is ready for everyone. But despite the success, they feel like they’ve tapped into …

Daily Crunch: Facebook hides Like counts

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. Facebook tries hiding Like counts to fight envy It looks like Facebook wants to end the terrible game of chasing Likes, and then the equally terrible …

Europe shows the way in online privacy

Alastair Mitchell Contributor Alastair Mitchell is a partner at multi-stage VC fund EQT Ventures and the fund’s B2B sales, marketing and SaaS expert. Ali also focuses on helping US companies scale into Europe and vice versa. After passively watching for many years as tech giants developed dominant market positions that threaten consumer privacy and stifle competition, American antitrust regulators seem …

Facebook announces Horizon, a VR massive-multiplayer world

Facebook today announced it’s building its own Ready Player One Oasis. Facebook Horizon is a virtual reality sandbox universe where you can build your own environments and games, play and socialize with friends, or just explore the user generated landscapes. This is Facebook’s take on Second Life. Launching in early 2020 in closed beta, Facebook Horizon will allow users to …

Why Flexport built a slick Slack SaaS for shipping

“Make their metrics your metrics” is one of Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen’s mantras. Sometimes that means building free software for your clients. It can be frustrating aligning your fates with a fellow business if they operate on email, phone, and fax like much of the freight forwarding industry that gets pallets of good across the world from factories to retailer’s …