Facebook really doesn’t want you to read these emails

Oh hey y’all, it’s Friday! It’s August! Which means it’s a great day for Facebook to drop a little news it would prefer you don’t notice. News that you won’t find a link to on the homepage of Facebook’s Newsroom — which is replete with colorfully illustrated items it does want you to read (like the puffed up claim that …

Pew: Mobile and social media users in emerging markets have more diverse social networks

The latest study from Pew Research Center takes a look at the impact mobile technology, including the use of smartphones and social media, is having on the diversity of people’s social network in emerging markets. For the purpose of the study, Pew surveyed mobile users in eleven key markets: Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, South Africa, Kenya, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Tunisia, …

Tumblr’s next step forward with Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg

After months of rumors, Verizon finally sold off Tumblr for a reported $3 million — a fraction of what Yahoo paid for the once might blogging service back in 2013. The media conglomerate (which also owns TechCrunch) was clearly never quite sure what to do with the property after gobbling it up as part of its 2016 Yahoo acquisition. All …

Twitter picks up team from narrative app Lightwell in its latest effort to improve conversations

Twitter’s ongoing, long-term efforts to make conversations easier to follow and engage with on its platform is getting a boost with the company’s latest acquihire. The company has picked up the team behind Lightwell, a startup that had built a set of developer tools to build interactive, narrative apps, for an undisclosed sum. Lightwell’s founder and CEO, Suzanne Xie, is becoming …

YouTube is closing its private messages feature…and many kids are outraged

People love to share YouTube videos among their friends, which is why in mid-2017 YouTube launched a new in-app messaging feature that would allow YouTube users to private send their friends videos and chat within a dedicated tab in the YouTube mobile app. That feature is now being shut down, the company says. After September 18, the ability to direct …

‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: The League founder and CEO Amanda Bradford on modern dating, and whether Bumble is a ‘real’ startup

Sunil Rajaraman Contributor More posts by this contributor ‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: Former Pinterest president, Moment CEO Tim Kendall on smartphone addiction ‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’: Nomiku Founder CEO Lisa Fetterman on why Silicon Valley doesn’t care about female founders Welcome to this week’s transcribed edition of This is Your Life in Silicon Valley. …

Facebook unveils new tools to control how websites share your data for ad-targeting

Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would be creating a “Clear History” feature that deletes the data that third-party websites and apps share with Facebook. Today, the company is actually launching feature in select geographies. It’s gotten a new name in the meantime: Off-Facebook Activity. David Baser, the director of product management leading Facebook’s privacy and …

Twitter blocks state-controlled media outlets from advertising on its social network

Twitter is now blocking state-run media outlets from advertising on its platform. The new policy was announced just hours after the company identified an information operation involving hundreds of accounts linked to China as part of an effort to “sow political discord” around events in Hong Kong after weeks of protests in the region. Over the weekend more than 1 …

Twitter to test a new filter for spam and abuse in the Direct Message inbox

Twitter is testing a new way to filter unwanted messages from your Direct Message inbox. Today, Twitter allows users to set their Direct Message inbox as being open to receiving messages from anyone, but this can invite a lot of unwanted messages, including abuse. While one solution is to adjust your settings so only those you follow can send your …

Twitter leads $100M round in top Indian regional social media platform ShareChat

Is there room for another social media platform? ShareChat, a four-year-old social network in India that serves tens of million of people in regional languages, just answered that question with a $100 million financing round led by global giant Twitter . Other than Twitter, TrustBridge Partners, and existing investors Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF Capital, India Quotient and Morningside …

What will Tumblr become under the ownership of tech’s only Goldilocks founder?

This week, Automattic revealed it has signed all the paperwork to acquire Tumblr from Verizon, including its full staff of 200. Tumblr has undergone quite a journey since its headline-grabbing acquisition by Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo in 2013 for $1.1 billion, but after six years of neglect, its latest move is its first real start since it stopped being an independent …

Instagram says growth hackers are behind spate of fake Stories views

If you use Instagram and have noticed a bunch of strangers watching your Stories in recent months — accounts that don’t follow you and seem to be Russian — well, you’re not alone. Nor are you being primed for a Russian disinformation campaign. At least, probably not. But you’re right to smell a fake. TechCrunch’s very own director of events, …

Daily Crunch: Final Oculus co-founder departs Facebook

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 losing its last Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell, the final Oculus co-founder remaining at Facebook, announced in an internal memo that he’s leaving the company …

‘Private’ and ‘hidden’ mean different things to Facebook

Facebook’s leadership made a pretty heavy-handed indication this year that it believes Facebook Groups are the future of the app. They announced all of this alongside their odd declaration that “The future is private.” Now, Facebook is changing the language describing the visibility of privacy of groups. As the Groups feature has come front-and-center in recent redesigns, Facebook has decided …

New Facebook ad units can remind you when a movie comes out

Facebook is launching two new ad units designed to help movie studios promote their latest releases. The first unit is called a movie reminder ad, and it does exactly that —since studios usually start marketing their titles months or even years before release, they can now include an Interested button in their Facebook ads, allowing users to opt-in to a …

Twitter tests ways for users to follow and snooze specific topics

You may soon be able to organize Twitter’s web of hashtags and handles in a smarter way — that is, if the company can pull off its ambitious new rethinking of the app’s timelines. The company isn’t getting rid of the process of following users, but at a press event in SF, company execs announced they are planning to push …

Facebook denies making contradictory claims on Cambridge Analytica and other ‘sketchy’ apps

Facebook has denied contradicting itself in evidence to the UK parliament and a US public prosecutor. Last month the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee wrote to the company to raise what it said were discrepancies in evidence Facebook has given to international parliamentarians vs evidence submitted in response to the Washington, DC Attorney General — which is …

Daily Crunch: Twitter tests reply subscriptions

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. Twitter’s latest test lets users subscribe to a tweet’s replies Many people already receive push notifications when selected accounts send out new tweets. Now you’ll be …

Twitter’s latest test lets users subscribe to a tweet’s replies

Twitter in more recent months has been focused on making conversations on its platform easier to follow, participate in, and in some cases, block. The company’s latest test, announced via a tweet ahead of the weekend, will allow users to subscribe to replies to a particularly interesting tweet they want to follow, too, in order to see how the conversation …

India’s Meesho raises $125M to expand its social commerce business

Meesho, a Bangalore-based social commerce startup, has raised $125 million in a new financing round to expand its business in the country and change the way millions shop online. The Series D round was led by Naspers, and existing investors SAIF, Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway participating as well. Facebook also participated in the round, so did Arun Sarin, former …

Why AI needs more social workers, with Columbia University’s Desmond Patton

Sometimes it does seem the entire tech industry could use someone to talk to, like a good therapist or social worker. That might sound like an insult, but I mean it mostly earnestly: I am a chaplain who has spent 15 years talking with students, faculty, and other leaders at Harvard (and more recently MIT as well), mostly nonreligious and …

Snap looks to raise $1 billion in private debt offering

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, is looking to add some cash to its coffers via a new proposed private offering of $1 billion in convertible senior notes, with a due date for maturation of August 1, 2026. The debt offering will be used to cover the cost of general operating expenditures involved in running the business, Snap says, but …

Libra, Facebook’s global digital currency plan, is fuzzy on privacy, watchdogs warn

Privacy commissioners from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Australasia have put their names to a joint statement raising concerns about a lack of clarity from Facebook over how data protection safeguards will be baked into its planned cryptocurrency project, Libra. Facebook officially unveiled its big bet to build a global digital currency using blockchain technology in June, steered by a …

8chan’s new internet host was kicked off its own host just hours later

The bottom-feeding forum 8chan, which grew popular by embracing fringe hateful internet cultures, is having trouble staying online. After Cloudflare dropped its protection of the site yesterday, 8chan adopted the services of Bitmitigate, but soon lost that too as the company providing Bitmitigate with services dropped them. Deplatforming works, but it can be complicated, so here’s a quick explanation of …

Cloudflare will stop service to 8chan, which CEO Matthew Prince describes as a ‘cesspool of hate’

Website infrastructure and security services provider Cloudflare will stop providing service to 8chan, wrote Matthew Prince in a blog post, describing the site as a “cesspool of hate.” Service will be terminated as of midnight Pacific Time. “The rationale is simple: they have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths,” wrote Prince. “Even if …