Category Archives: Apps

Pinterest employee #1 launches blockchain art market MakersPlace

Pinterest is a great place to find digital art but a terrible place to sell it. The fact that anything online is infinitely copyable makes it tough for artists to establish a sense of scarcity necessary for their work to be perceived as valuable. Yash Nelapati saw this struggle up close as Pinterest’s first employee. Now he has started MakersPlace, where creators can generate a blockchain fingerprint for each of their artworks that proves who made it and lets it be sold as part of a limited […]

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Vine reboot Byte begins beta testing

Twitter shut down Dom Hoffman’s app Vine, giving away the short-form video goldmine to China’s TikTok. Now a year and half since Hoffman announced he’d reimagine the app as V2 then scrapped that name, his follow-up to Vine called Byte has finally sent out the first 100 invites to its closed beta. Byte will let users record or upload short, looped vertical videos to what’s currently a reverse-chronological feed. the byte beta we’ve been running with friends and family *feels* exactly like the vine friends and family […]

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Down to Shop is a tongue-in-cheek mobile shopping network

Cyrus Summerlin and Max Hellerstein, who previously created the Push for Pizza app (which allowed users to order a pizza with the push of a button), are officially launching their new startup today, Down to Shop. The app bills itself as both a modern reinvention of QVC and “the funnest way to shop.” It allows users to watch funny videos featuring products that can be purchased directly from the app. In an email, Hellerstein said the pair created Down to Shop out of dissatisfaction with existing advertising and […]

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Twitter acqui-hires highlight-sharing app Highly

Quotes from articles are much more eye-catching than links on Twitter, so the social giant is scooping up the team behind highlight-sharing app Highly. This talent could help Twitter build its own version of Highly or develop other ways to excerpt the best content from websites and get it into the timeline. Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch that the deal was an acqui-hire, and a spokesperson provided this statement: “We are excited to welcome the Highly team to Twitter. Their expertise will accelerate our product and design thinking […]

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How-to video maker Jumprope launches to leapfrog YouTube

Sick of pausing and rewinding YouTube tutorials to replay that tricky part? Jumprope is a new instructional social network offering a powerful how-to video slideshow creation tool. Jumprope helps people make step-by-step guides to cooking, beauty, crafts, parenting and more using voice-overed looping GIFs for each phase. And creators can export their whole lesson for sharing on Instagram, YouTube, or wherever. Jumprope officially launches its iOS app today with plenty of how-tos for making chocolate chip bars, Easter eggs, flower boxes, or fierce eyebrows. “By switching from […]

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ZenGo wants to become the crypto wallet for the masses

KZen is about to release ZenGo, a mobile app to manage your cryptocurrencies securely and more easily. There are already countless crypto wallets out there, but the startup thinks they’re all either too complicated or too insecure. If you own cryptocurrencies, chances are they’re sitting on an exchange, such as Coinbase or Binance. If somebody manages to log in to your account, nothing is stopping them from sending those assets to other wallets and stealing everything. Worse, if somebody hacks an exchange, they could potentially divert cryptocurrencies […]

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7 steps to building an engineering competency matrix

Justin Cowperthwaite Contributor Share on Twitter Justin Cowperthwaite is an Engineering Manager at CircleCI passionate about helping remote teams build collaborative delivery paradigms. Every engineer deserves a clear growth path so they can understand, plan, and execute on meaningful career growth. Providing a framework for this growth (we call ours a competency matrix; it’s also known as a career ladder, or professional development ladder) is important work, and the responsibility of any organization that wants to nurture and grow its employees. Back at the beginning of 2018, […]

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Mutiny at HQ Trivia fails to oust CEO

This week’s banishment of host Scott Rogowsky was merely a symptom of the ongoing struggle to decide who will lead HQ Trivia. According to multiple sources, over half of the startup’s staff signed an internal petition to depose CEO Rus Yusupov who they saw as mismanaging the company. But Yusupov then fired some core supporters of the mutiny, leading to a downward spiral of morale that mirrors HQ’s plummeting App Store rank. TechCrunch spoke to multiple sources familiar with HQ Trivia’s internal troubles to piece together how […]

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Harry Potter, the Platform, and the Future of Niantic

What is Niantic? If they recognize the name, most people would rightly tell you it’s a company that makes mobile games, like Pokémon GO, or Ingress, or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. But no one at Niantic really seems to box it up as a mobile gaming company. Making these games is a big part of what the company does, yes, but the games are part of a bigger picture: they are a springboard, a place to figure out the constraints of what they can do with augmented […]

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HQ Trivia replaces Quiz Daddy Scott Rogowsky

Quiz Khalifa aka Host Malone aka Trap Trebek aka HQ Trivia’s Scott Rogowsky has been pushed out of the live mobile gaming startup. The two split due to disagreements about Rogowsky attempting to take a second full-time job hosting sports streaming service DAZN’s baseball show ChangeUp while moving to only hosting HQ on weekends, TMZ first reported. HQ wanted someone committed to their show. Now HQ co-founder and CEO Rus Yusupov confirms to TechCrunch that Rogowsky will no longer host HQ Trivia. He tells me that the company […]

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