No one likes being stalked around the Internet by adverts. It’s the uneasy joke you can’t enjoy laughing at. Yet vast people-profiling ad businesses have made pots of money off of an unregulated Internet by putting surveillance at their core. But what if creepy ads don’t work as claimed? What if all the filthy lucre
Gather a mob and Facebook will now let you make political demands. Tomorrow Facebook will encounter a slew of fresh complexities with the launch of Community Actions, its News Feed petition feature. Community Actions could unite neighbors to request change from their local and national elected officials and government agencies. But it could also provide
Reports emerged today that the FTC is considering a fine against Facebook that would be the largest ever from the agency. Even if it were ten times the size of the largest, a $22.5 million bill sent to Google in 2012, the company would basically laugh it off. Facebook is made of money. But the
How do you do, fellow kids? After Facebook Watch, Lasso, and IGTV failed to become hits with teens, the company has been quietly developing another youthful video product. Multiple sources confirm that Facebook has spent months building LOL, a special feed of funny videos and GIF-like clips. It’s divided into categories like “For You”, “Animals”,
Twitter accidentally revealed some users’ “protected” (aka, private) tweets, the company disclosed this afternoon. The “Protect your Tweets” setting typically allows people to use Twitter in a non-public fashion. These users get to approve who can follow them and who can view their content. For some Android users over a period of several years, that may
Two years on from the U.S. presidential election, Facebook continues to have a major problem with Russian disinformation being megaphoned via its social tools. In a blog post today the company reveals another tranche of Kremlin-linked fake activity — saying it’s removed a total of 471 Facebook pages and accounts, as well as 41 Instagram accounts, which
Tinder has already developed a fairly robust chat platform within its dating app, with support for sharing things like Bitmoji and GIFs, and the ability to “like” messages by tapping a heart icon. Now, the company is testing a new integration – sharing music via Spotify. Tinder confirmed with TechCrunch it’s trying out a new
Facebook is launching some of its self-styled ‘election security’ initiatives into more markets in the coming months ahead of several major votes in countries around the world. In an interview with Reuters the social networking giant confirmed it’s launching checks on political adverts on its platform in Nigeria, Ukraine and the European Union, reiterating too that
After launching on iOS, Twitter is giving Android users the ability to easily switch between seeing the reverse-chronological “latest tweets” and the algorithmic “top tweets” feeds on their home page. The company announced the rollout at a media event in New York. The “sparkle button” is a way for Twitter to appease long-time power tweeters while
Instagram has been earning money from businesses flooding its social network with spam notifications. Instagram hypocritically continues to sell ad space to services that charge clients for fake followers or that automatically follow/unfollow other people to get them to follow the client back. This is despite Instagram reiterating a ban on these businesses in November
Everyone has to have a podcast, apparently. Even Facebook . The social network this week launched its second-ever original podcast series, and its first one in the U.S. An arm of Facebook’s business operation, the new show “Three and a Half Degrees” will focus on entrepreneurship – specifically the lessons learned, challenges faced, and other
ByteDance, the world’s most-valued startup, just launched a new social media product under its Douyin brand in what many people see as a serious attempt to challenge WeChat. Tencent has long dominated China’s social networking space with WeChat and QQ. WeChat claims to have one billion monthly active users worldwide, most of whom are in China.
A new study is making waves in the worlds of tech and psychology by questioning the basis of thousands of paper and analyses with conflicting conclusions on the effect of screen time on well-being. The researchers claim is that the science doesn’t agree because it’s bad science. So is screen time good or bad? It’s
Facebook wants to make it easier for users share events and coordinate with friends before the event’s start. The company this morning said it will test a new feature that lets users share those events they’re interested in attending to their Story, then make plans to meet up with friends who also plan to attend.
Twitter has made a name for itself, at its most basic level, as a platform that gives everyone who uses it a voice. But as it has grown, that unique selling point has set Twitter up for as many challenges — harassment, confusing way to manage conversations — as it has opportunities — the best
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. Microsoft Bing not only shows child pornography, it suggests it A TechCrunch-commissioned report has found damning evidence on Microsoft’s search engine.
Researchers at Michigan State University are exploring the idea that there’s more to “social media addiction” than casual joking about being too online might suggest. Their paper, titled “Excessive social media users demonstrate impaired decision making in the Iowa Gambling Task” (Meshi, Elizarova, Bender and Verdejo-Garcia) and published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, indicates that people
Thousands of people gathered Wednesday night in a southern Chinese city for Zhang Xiaolong, Tencent’s low-key executive who built WeChat eight years ago. It’s no longer adequate to call the app a messenger, for it now enables myriads of functions that infiltrate Chinese people’s private and public lives. It wasn’t just the tech circles tuning
Instagram is swaying the balance towards simplicity but away from originality. It’s adding the ability to publish feed posts to different accounts you control at the same time by toggling them on within the composer screen. An Instagram spokesperson confirms this option is becoming available to all iOS users, telling TechCrunch “We are rolling out
Twitter says it’s going to make it easier for publishers to better understand what sort of content is resonating with its readers on the social network. The company this morning at CES briefly discussed a concept for a new publisher dashboard offering insights and analytics that can better inform their content strategy. The company clarified
Well, that didn’t take long. We’re less than 10 days into 2019 and already Vietnam is aiming threats at Facebook for violating its draconian cybersecurity law, which came into force on January 1. The U.S. social network stands accused of allowing users in Vietnam to post “slanderous content, anti-government sentiment and libel and defamation of
Welcome to 2019 where we learn Facebook is the new crapware. Sorry #DeleteFacebook, you never stood a chance. Yesterday Bloomberg reported that the scandal-beset social media behemoth has inked an unknown number of agreements with Android smartphone makers, mobile carriers and OSes around the world to not only pre-load Facebook’s eponymous app on hardware but render
Rather than just focus on Facebook’s problems like his 2018 challenge, this year Mark Zuckerberg wants to give transparency to his deliberations and invite the views of others. Today he announced his 2019 challenge will be “to host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society — the opportunities, the challenges,
Short-form video app TikTok has been growing in popularity across international markets, including in the U.S. where a merger with Musical.ly has seen the app topping the App Store charts. Facebook and Snapchat have been hastily trying to copy TikTok’s features as a result. A part of TikTok’s ambitious global expansion plan has been its
Social media has become a primary conduit for getting the word out, in some cases proving to be an even stronger force for publicity than more traditional media outlets and paid advertising, and so today, a company that has grown its business around public relations services has acquired a social media management company to make
My parents are approaching 60. When they were young, they hung out at diners, or drove around in their cars. My generation hung out in the parking lot after school, or at the mall. My colleague John Biggs often talks of hanging out with his nerd buddies in his basement, playing games and making crank
Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population, has unblocked Tumblr nine months after it blocked the social networking site over pornographic content. Tumblr — which, disclaimer, is owned by Oath Verizon Media Group just like TechCrunch — announced earlier this month that it would remove all “adult content” from its platform. That decision, which angered
Earlier today, when Instagram suddenly transformed into a landscape oriented Tinder-esque nightmare, the app’s dedicated users extremely lost their minds and immediately took to Twitter to be vocal about it. As we reported, the company admitted that the abrupt shift from Instagram’s well-established vertical scrolling was a mistake. The mea culpa came quickly enough, but
Gfycat, a home for GIF-making tools and an online community, is rolling out a new way to create GIFs – it will now let you keep the sound on. With “Gfycat Sound,” as the feature is called, GIF makers will have the option to retain the audio from the video file they’re using to create
Captiv8, a company offering tools for brands to manage influencer marketing campaigns, has released its 2018 Fraud Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report. The goal is to give marketers the data they need to spot fake followers — and thus, to separate the influencers with a real following from those who only offer the illusion of engagement.