Category Archives: social media

Talk media and TED2019 key takeaways with TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha

Anthony just returned from Vancouver, where he was covering the TED2019 conference — a much-parodied gathering where VCs, executives and other bigwigs gather to exchange ideas. This year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got the biggest headlines, but the questions raised in his onstage interview kept popping up throughout the week: How has social media warped our democracy? How can the big online platforms fight back against abuse and misinformation? And what is the Internet good for, anyway? Wednesday at 11:00 am PT, Anthony will recap the five-day […]

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Human rights activist Amira Yahyaoui is battling the US college financial aid system

Tunisian human rights activist Amira Yahyaoui couldn’t go to college. Not because she couldn’t afford it; where she comes from, college is virtually free. She lost the opportunity to pursue higher education, to finish high school, even, when she was exiled from Tunisia at age 17, under the repressive regime of the country’s former President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. As part of the Tunisian human rights diaspora, she was inspired to build Al Bawsala, a globally renowned NGO that fights for government accountability, transparency and access […]

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Snap is channeling Asia’s messaging giants with its move into gaming

Snap is taking a leaf out of the Asian messaging app playbook as its social messaging service enters a new era. The company unveiled a series of new strategies that are aimed at breathing fresh life into the service that has been ruthlessly cloned by Facebook across Instagram, WhatsApp and even its primary social network. The result? Snap has consistently lost users since going public in 2017. It managed to stop the rot with a flat Q4, but resting on its laurels isn’t going to bring back […]

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Fleksy’s AI keyboard is getting a store to put mini apps at chatters’ fingertips

Remember Fleksy? The customizable Android keyboard app has a new trick up its sleeve: It’s adding a store where users can find and add lightweight third party apps to enhance their typing experience. Right now it’s launched a taster, preloading a selection of ‘mini apps’ into the keyboard — some from very familiar brand names, some a little less so — so users can start to see how it works. The first in-keyboard apps are Yelp (local services search); Skyscanner (flight search); Giphy (animated Gif search); GifNote […]

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Respondology helps brands and influencers hide toxic comments

“Don’t read the comments” is one of those clichés that sticks around because it’s still good advice — maybe the best advice. But the team at Respondology is trying to change that. The company started out by helping brands find and respond to messages on social media. Senior Vice President of Sales Aaron Benor explained that in the course of that work, it also built a tool to mitigate “the vitriol, the awful toxicity of online social media.” “We realized that the tool had a lot more […]

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Glossier launches its first spin-off brand, a line of Instagram-friendly ‘dialed-up’ beauty extras

Glossier, known for its line of understated makeup products and a cult-following of millennial Instagrammers, is getting colorful with the launch of its first spin-off brand, Glossier Play. The company — led by founder and chief executive officer Emily Weiss, who built the nearly $400 million business from a makeup blog called Into The Gloss — has raised a total of $92 million in venture capital funding from top-tier consumer investors Forerunner Ventures, Index Ventures and IVP. Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake and Forerunner founder and general […]

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FDA chief summons Altria and JUUL to Washington to discuss teen vaping

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is calling Altria and Juul to meet in Washington to discuss their tie-up and how it impacts the companies’ plans to combat teen vaping. Earlier this year, Altria  href=”https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/20/juul-labs-gets-12-8-billion-investment-from-marlboro-maker-altria-group/”>invested $12.8 billion investment in Juul. “After Altria’s acquisition of a 35 percent ownership interest in JUUL Labs, Inc., your newly announced plans with JUUL contradict the commitments you made to the FDA,” Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote in a strongly worded letter addressed to Altria chairman and chief executive, Howard […]

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Fabula AI is using social spread to spot ‘fake news’

UK startup Fabula AI reckons it’s devised a way for artificial intelligence to help user generated content platforms get on top of the disinformation crisis that keeps rocking the world of social media with antisocial scandals. Even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has sounded a cautious note about AI technology’s capability to meet the complex, contextual, messy and inherently human challenge of correctly understanding every missive a social media user might send, well-intentioned or its nasty flip-side. “It will take many years to fully develop these systems,” the Facebook […]

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Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled to pay SEC fines for flogging garbage ICOs

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and DJ Khaled have agreed to “pay disgorgement, penalties and interest” for failing to disclose promotional payments from three ICOs including Centra Tech. Mayweather received $100,000 from Centra Tech while Khaled got $50,000 from the failed ICO. The SEC cited Khaled and Mayweather’s social media feeds, noting they touted securities for pay without disclosing their affiliation with the companies. Mayweather, you’ll recall, appeared on Instagram with a whole lot of cash while Khaled called Centra Tech a “Game changer.” “You can call me Floyd […]

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Building a great startup requires more than genius and a great invention

Shahin Farshchi Contributor Shahin Farshchi is a partner at Lux Capital. More posts by this contributor Investing in frontier technology is (and isn’t) cleantech all over again The dos and don’ts of crafting frontier-tech companies Many entrepreneurs assume that an invention carries intrinsic value, but that assumption is a fallacy. Here, the examples of the 19th and 20th century inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla are instructive. Even as aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors lionize Edison for his myriad inventions and business acumen, they conveniently fail to recognize […]

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