Tech

WhatsApp could wreck Snapchat again by copying ephemeral messaging
techcrunch.com
WhatsApp already ruined Snapchat’s growth once. WhatsApp Status, its clone of Snapchat Stories, now has 450 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 188 million. That’s despite its 24-hour disappearing slideshows missing tons of features, including augmented reality selfie masks, animated GIFs, or personalized avatars like Bitmoji. A good-enough version of Stories conveniently baked into the messaging app beloved in the developing world where Snapchat hasn’t proved massively successful. Snapchat actually lost total daily users in Q2 and Q3 2018, and even lost Rest Of World daily users in Q2 despite that being where late-stage social networks rely on for growth. That’s why it’s so surprising that WhatsApp hasn’t already copied the other bi [...]
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Stoop aims to improve your news diet with an easy way to find and read newsletters
techcrunch.com
Stoop is looking to provide readers with what CEO Tim Raybould described as “a healthier information diet.” To do that, it’s launched an iOS and Android app where you can browse through different newsletters based on category, and when you find one you like, it will direct you to the standard subscription page. If you provide your Stoop email address, you’ll then be able to read all your favorite newsletters in the app. “The easiest way to describe it is: It’s like a podcast app but for newsletters,” Raybould said. “It’s a big directory of newsletters, and then there’s the side where you can consume them.” Why newsletters? Well, he argued that they’re one of the key ways for publishers to develop a direct relationship with their [...]
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FCC approval of Europe’s Galileo satellite signals may give your phone’s GPS a boost
techcrunch.com
The FCC’s space-focused meeting today had actions taken on SpaceX satellites and orbital debris reduction, but the decision most likely to affect users has to do with Galileo . No, not the astronomer — the global positioning satellite constellation put in place by the E.U. over the last few years. It’s now legal for U.S. phones to use, and a simple software update could soon give your GPS signal a major bump. Galileo is one of several successors to the Global Positioning System that’s been in use since the ’90s. But because it is U.S.-managed and was for a long time artificially limited in accuracy to everyone but U.S. military, it should come as no surprise that European, Russian and Chinese authorities would want their own solutions. Russia’s GLONASS is op [...]
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Facebook Messenger starts rolling out Unsend; here’s how it works
techcrunch.com
Facebook secretly retracted messages sent by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, TechCrunch reported seven months ago. Now for the first time, Facebook Messenger users will get the power to unsend too so they can remove their sent messages from the recipient’s inbox. Messages can only be unsent for the first 10 minutes after they’re delivered so that you can correct a mistake or remove something you accidentally pushed, but you won’t be able to edit ancient history. Formally known as “Remove for Everyone,” the button also leaves a “tombstone” indicating a message was retracted. And to prevent bullies from using the feature to cover their tracks, Facebook will retain unsent messages for a short period of time so if they’re reported, it can review them for policy violation [...]
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Discover the next messaging giant at Disrupt Berlin
techcrunch.com
Truecaller may already be a familiar name, but many of you probably don’t know that it’s slowly becoming a significant messaging app. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Truecaller co-founder and CEO Alan Mamedi will join us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Truecaller first started as a call screening app. Some countries are more affected than others. But it’s clear that text and call spam is the most intrusive form of spam. The Swedish company then leveraged this user base to quietly turn the app into a full-fledged messaging app with one focus in particular — India. With the acquisition of Chillr, the company shows that it wants to recreate a sort of WeChat for India. The company launched payment features — Truecaller Pay lets you pay other Truecaller users as well as pay [...]
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Facebook Lasso app lead Brady Voss leaves for Netflix right after launch
techcrunch.com
Facebook Lasso has a steep uphill climb ahead as it hopes to chase the musical video app it cloned, China’s TikTok (which merged with Musically). Lasso lets you overlay popular songs on 15-second clips of you lip syncing, dancing or just being silly — kind of like Vine with a soundtrack. It’s off to a slow start since launching Friday, having failed to reach the overall app download charts as it falls from No. 169 to No. 217 on the U.S. iOS Photo and Video App chart, according to App Annie. Sensor Tower estimates Lasso has been downloaded fewer than 10,000 times across both iOS and Android. Forme Facebook Lead Product Designer Brady Voss And now one of the Lasso team’s bosses, Brady Voss, is leaving Facebook for a job at Netflix. He’d spent five years as a l [...]
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Rakuten has SoftBank in its sights
techcrunch.com
This week, I’ve tried to do something new at TechCrunch with this experimental column — getting obsessed about a topic broadly in tech and writing a continuous stream of thoughts and analysis about it. With my research consultant and contributor Arman Tabatabai, we’ve covered two topics: Form Ds, the filing that startups usually submit to the SEC after a venture round closes (although increasingly do not), and SoftBank, which faces all kinds of strategic pressure due to its debt binging. If you missed the other episodes, here are links to the editions from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of something new — provide your feedback directly to the authors: Danny at danny@techcrunch.com or Arm [...]
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Sneaker marketplace GOAT announces an AR-centric Black Friday giveaway
techcrunch.com
Black Friday giveaways have become a tradition for online sneaker marketplace GOAT. Today it’s announcing the details of this year’s campaign, which will be its first to incorporate augmented reality. Director of Communications Liz Goodno described this as “the largest digital sneaker event of the year.” The company says it will be offering more than 1,000 prizes, including sneakers like the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shattered Backboard, KAWSx Air Jordan 4 Retro Black, Pharrell x BBC x NMD Human Race Trail Heart/Mind, plus curated sneaker packs and up to $10,000 in GOAT credit. You can enter the drawing anytime between now and 11:59pm Pacific on Thursday, November 22, with the winners notified at noon on Black Friday. All participants will receive 100 tickets, but [...]
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