How ad-free subscriptions could solve Facebook

 At the core of Facebook’s “well-being” problem is that its business is directly coupled with total time spent on its apps. The more hours you pass on the social network, the more ads you see and click, the more money it earns. That puts its plan to make using Facebook healthier at odds with its finances, restricting how far it’s willing to go to protect us from the harms… Read More

New book vividly reveals Snapchat’s sexty dorm-room origin

 “He wouldn’t have to worry about sending a hookup a picture of his junk! And girls would be way more likely to send him racy photos if they disappeared.” That’s just a taste of juicy details found in “How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story,” a new book coming out tomorrow from former TechCrunch reporter Billy Gallagher. Read More

Facebook confirms test of a downvote button for flagging comments

 How can Facebook promote meaningful interaction between users? By letting them downvote inappropriate comments to hide them. Facebook is now testing a downvote button on a limited set of public Page post comment reels, the company confirms to TechCrunch. But what Facebook does with signals about problematic comments could raise new questions about censorship, and its role as a news editor… Read More

Instagram tests re-sharing of others’ posts to your Story

 Instagram purposefully lacks a “re-gram” button to promote original sharing, but it’s easing up on that philosophy when it comes to Stories. Instagram now confirms to TechCrunch that it’s testing an option that lets you share public feed posts from other users to your Story. This could let you add commentary and overlaid stickers to a meme, celebrity post, or even a… Read More

How Facebook stole the news business

 Big news outlets stupidly sold their soul to Facebook. Desperate for the referral traffic Facebook dangled, they spent the past few years jumping through its hoops only to be cut out of the equation. Instead of developing an owned audience of homepage visitors and newsletter subscribers, they let Facebook brainwash readers into thinking it was their source of information. Now Facebook is… Read More

Instagram won’t comment on rumored video calling feature

 Instagram copied the ‘Snap’ and now it might be going after the ‘chat’. A video calling feature was spotted in a non-public version of Instagram by WhatsApp industry blog WABetaInfo. It would let users who’ve begun an Instagram Direct message thread to video chat with each other. That could let people spend even more time in the app, but by actively… Read More

Facebook lets you tip game livestreamers $3+

 Facebook Live is launching monetization for video gameplay streamers, allowing users to tip creators a minimum of $3 via the desktop site. Right now, the contributor of the tips doesn’t get any special call-out or privileges, though Facebook tells me its considering different options for creators and gamers. For instance, it could have a special emoji Reaction float across the stream as… Read More

Robinhood adds zero-fee cryptocurrency trading and tracking

 No-commission stock trading app Robinhood will let you buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum without any added transaction fees starting in February, compared to Coinbase’s 1.5 to 4 percent fees in the US. And as of today Robinhood will let all users track the price, news, and set up alerts on those and 14 other top crypto coins, including Litecoin and Ripple. “We’re planning… Read More

Facebook acquires biometric ID verification startup Confirm.io

 Facebook has confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s acquired…Confirm.io. The startup offered an API that let other companies quickly verify someone’s government issued identification card like a driver’s license was authentic. The Boston-based startup will shut down as both its team and technology are rolled into Facebook, where it could help users who are locked out of… Read More